Nine Broadway orchestrators have written a letter urging Tony officials and the head of the League of American Theatres and Producers to reconsider the decision to grant Susan Stroman's Contact Tony eligibility as a musical.
Musicians Local 802 had protested the hit musical's eligibility because it contained no original music and no live performances of the music in the show. A Tony spokesperson later indicated that the eligibility decision was final.
The subsequent April 27 letter was jointly addressed to American Theatre Wing president Roy A. Somlyo, Tony managing producer Edgar Dobie and the League's executive director, Jed Bernstein.
The letter urges the three executives to "reconsider the Tony Administration Committee decision granting the dance play Contact Tony eligibility in the Best Musical category."
Arguing that the play may "deserve some form of Tony recognition," the orchestrators said that "to allow a dance play utilizing recorded standards to be considered denigrates the live theatrical art form of the musical." The letter was signed by William D. Brohn, Bruce Coughlin, Michael Gibson, Luther Henderson, Steve Margoshes, Don Sebesky, Michael Starobin, Danny Troob and Jonathan Tunick.
-- By Murdoch McBride