Report: Tony Administration Committee to Meet Jan. 16

Tony Awards   Report: Tony Administration Committee to Meet Jan. 16 The Tony Awards Administration Committee will meet Jan. 16 to discuss both the performers and the productions that have opened on Broadway during the first half of the 2002-2003 theatre season.

The Associated Press reports that the Administration Committee will discuss — among other issues — for what awards Movin' Out and La Bohéme will be eligible.

Billy Joel's Movin' Out — featuring choreography by Twyla Tharp — is told entirely in dance, and there is question whether the production will be eligible in the Best Musical category. Although Contact, another dance musical, nabbed the 2000 Tony for Best Musical, the Best Special Event category, which was created in 2001, might also be possible. Producer Emanuel Azenberg, who is a co-producer of Movin' Out and who also sits on the Tony Administration Committee, told AP, "Movin' Out is a musical — it follows Fosse and Contact. . . . The idea of the American musical is evolving. The special category was created for things like Dame Edna or Blast — things that might be recognized but don't fit any specific category. I can't believe that Movin' Out — that has those dancers on the stage — can be dismissed."

Azenberg is also a co-producer of La Bohème, a modern retelling of the classic Puccini opera directed by Baz Luhrmann. Whether that production will be considered a new musical or a revival is also in question. A rule created by the Tony committee this past summer, however, would seem to indicate that the production would be nominated in a revival category should it be deemed a "classic." The "classics" rule states, "A play or musical that is determined by the Tony Awards Administration Committee (in its sole discretion) to be a 'classic' or in the historical or popular repertoire shall not be eligible for an Award in the Best Play or Best Musical Category but may be eligible in that appropriate Best Revival category."

La Bohème also raises one other question: Since the production features three rotating casts, will all the show's actors be eligible for nomination or only those who appeared in the official opening night. Says Azenberg, "The committee hopefully will make a judgment that will be, to use Baz's words, 'somewhat inclusive.'"

Tony Award nominations for the 2002-2003 season will not be announced until May.