May 14, 2011

Everybody's celebrating the season's best—now here's a chance to salute its worst

We are now deep into the theater awards season.  The Pulitzer Prize for Drama was awarded to Bruce Norris’ Clybourne Park in April and, at the beginning of this month, The Lortel Awards, which celebrate off-Broadway, anointed Kristoffer Diaz's The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity as best play and Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson as best musical.

Just this week, the New York Drama Critics’ Circle singled out David Lindsay-Abaire’s Good People as best play, Jez Butterworth’s Jerusalem as best foreign play and The Book of Mormon as best musical. And on the same day, the Theatre World Awards, which recognizes outstanding debuts, celebrated a dozen newcomers to the New York stage including Ellen Barkin, Patina Miller, Arian Moayed and Tony Sheldon, all of whom are also up for Tonys, which will be awarded on June 12. 

In the meantime, the Obies will be announced on Monday, while the award winners for the Drama League and Independent Theater Bloggers Association awards will be revealed on May 20 and those for the Drama Desk on May 23. The Outer Critics Circle members are voting this weekend and will give their honors out at a festive ceremony on May 26.

Even regular theater lovers are being given the chance to vote for their faves in the 12th annual Audience Choice Awards sponsored by and the brand new Tina Awards for off-Broadway shows that the Best of off-Broadway website has just introduced. 

But, as my fellow blogger Jonathan Mandell at The Faster Times notes, while everyone is busy celebrating the best of the season, no one seems to be paying attention to the worst.  So Jonathan has decided to remedy that. He's set up an online poll to pick the biggest bomb of the season.

He's calling this dishonor the Carrie Award in honor of one of Broadway's most infamous flops. I like the name the Tinnies, because the shows on his list had such tin ears when it came to figuring out what theater lovers would enjoy. But you might also think of the prize as the Joeys since every show on Jonathan's list is bound to end up on the flop wall at Joe Allen's restaurant (click here to see a gallery of those already there.)

I turned in my Outer Critics ballot yesterday and I'm happy to report that it was hard as hell to do.  A great season like the one we've just had means really hard choices.  But I voted in Jonathan's poll too and I have to say that while the field of competition for the worst may have been smaller, it was pretty fierce too. Give Jonathan's poll a try yourself by clicking here.

No comments: