Previously the Broadway League allowed NINE theaters to dim their lights in honor of NY Yankees owner George Steinbrenner, who never appeared on a Broadway stage.
Tomorrow night the Broadway League will "allow" ONE theater to dim their lights in honor of Kyle Jean-Baptiste, who made theatre history with just one performance on a Broadway stage.
If anything, this puts a spotlight on the ludicrous decision making on the part of the Broadway League, the "organization" who gives a thumbs up or down on such tributes.
This honor is usually given for theatre legends. However lately, their definition of what constitutes as a legend, seems to be changing.
In recent years, a tribute that has been bestowed to legends such as Celeste Holm, Lena Horne, Mike Nichols and Marian Seldes has been also bestowed to agents, critics, restaurateurs and the owner of the NY Yankees.
Also, according to their website press releases, since 2006, only 5 African Americans have received such an honor.
With the exception of the lowering of flags and moments of silents at sporting events, tributes to those who have passed should be organic and left to the discretion of those who want to honor them.
An organization who is as corruptible and inconsistent as the Broadway League is, shouldn't be allowed to be organizing such a honor. Instead it should be left to the individual theatre owners.
But beyond whatever ridiculous reasoning the league has for deciding who should and should not receive the honor, it will never impact what the family and friends and fans who those who have left us, do to honor them.
So tomorrow night, at 10:15 pm, we here at OnStage are going to join the Imperial Theatre to honor the life and accomplishments of Kyle Jean-Baptiste. But we're doing it by shutting off our lights for 3 minutes and 33 seconds. Why such a random amount of time?
Because that's how long it typically takes to sing "Bring Him Home" from Les Mierables. A song which Kyle should have been able to sing for years to come.
I hope you'll join us.
Please spread the word by using #3334KJB and let's be better than the Broadway League and honor this incredible human being the right way.