As I mentioned in my column earlier this morning, I first started watching the Tonys in 1996 when RENT won for best musical. What got me to stop flipping channels was seeing the performance of Big.
In my research for that column, I went on Youtube and other sites to try to find the performance, I couldn't find it anywhere.
In my frustration, I blurted something along the lines of "Wouldn't it be nice if all of these were on Netflix or something?!?!?" And then it hit me.
It would be nice, more than nice even, if the American Theatre Wing or CBS made every Tony Awards telecast available to stream free through their website. And not just for fans who want to watch their favorite Tony Awards performances at the click of a button, but it could be a fantastic educational opportunity as well.
We all know there are thousands of kids out there who watch the Tonys every year and use it as an inspiration to follow their dream of being on Broadway, wouldn't it be great to have a place where they can go to experience that every day in high quality rather than a grainy vhs recording on Youtube?
Doesn't Jennifer Holliday's immortal performance deserve better than this?
And what about seeing our favorite legendary performers in shows that were way before our lifetime? Wouldn't it be great to see Katherine Hepburn's performance with the cast of Coco? Or what about Gregory Hines in Eubie? What about the telecasts that were televised on WWOR-TV before they moved to network television?
The answer is yes, all of the amazing performers, designers, directors do. I understand that what I'm hoping for is virtually impossible with television rights, music licensing, etc. But given the American Theatre Wing's status as a service organization, I would like to think that CBS would have no problem allowing this.
But with every great change, or development, there must be an idea to kick things off. So here's hoping that as the Tonys reaches their 70th year, I'm not the only one who thinks this is something worth looking into.