Awards: Tony Comes of Age

Broadway Producer Alexander Cohen, 46, loves a good bash. Once he staged a carnival in the heart of the theater district and invited half of the Eastern seaboard. "I figure," he says, "why take your wife to dinner when you can just as easily have 40 guests?"

Or why sit through Broadway's annual Tony awards, which, since their inception in 1947, have been staged with all the glitter and glamour of a church supper. "Broadway deserves better," Cohen decided, and seven months ago he bought the rights to produce this year's awards show,...

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