The Tony Awards are on Sunday night. Do you care?
No reason you should, to be honest. Broadway's annual awards gala which will be telecast again this year, despite perenially meager ratings, by CBS has become little more than a three-hour orgy of promotional spots. For any show looking ahead to the lucrative summer tourist season, landing a production number on the telecast is an indispensable box-office boost. (Read "Inside the Mind of a Tony Voter.")
This year's show, moreover, will be even less suspenseful than usual, as one big musical, Billy Elliot, is a heavy favorite to sweep the awards. But the mood will at least be upbeat. Despite a crippling recession, Broadway set a new box-office record this season, and for a corny old reason: a lot of very good shows. If you're headed to New York this summer, here are my picks, with a sidelong glance at how they might fare on Sunday night.