Can hosts Groban and Bareilles stop a Tony ratings nosedive?

Can hosts Groban and Bareilles stop a Tony ratings nosedive?

They’re not going to sing and dance like Hugh Jackman or get large laughs like James Corden, however Sara Bareilles and Josh Groban simply would possibly develop the Tony telecast demographic past the Actors Fund Residence.

Or so CBS and the Broadway League hope.

“Possibly they don’t have that old school Broadway sizzle,” says a veteran producer, “however they’re in style and fairly cute collectively.”

As co-hosts of the June 10 awards present, Bareilles and Groban include built-in fan bases. Groban’s cornered the market on soccer mothers, who purchase tickets to Broadway exhibits, whereas Bareilles is in style with 30-something ladies who deliver their husbands or dates to her live shows.

And each are bona-fide Broadway stars.

Groban propelled weekly grosses for final season’s “Natasha, Pierre and the Nice Comet of 1812” to $1 million. Each time he missed a present, these soccer mothers almost rioted within the Imperial Theatre foyer.

Bareilles has proved a main draw each time she sang the lead in her present, “Waitress,” on the Brooks Atkinson. She additionally received raves and, with John Legend, attracted almost 10 million viewers to NBC’s “Jesus Christ Famous person Stay” on Easter Sunday.

No one’s anticipating enormous numbers for the Tony telecast, but when Bareilles and Groban can halt the downward drift, Broadway will breathe a bit simpler.

Final yr’s Tonys, hosted by he-who-must-not-be-mentioned (Kevin Spacey), drew simply 6 million viewers.

CBS hopes to goose ratings with a efficiency by Bruce Springsteen, who’s racking up $2.5 million week in, week out on the Walter Kerr Theatre. The Tony Award administration committee meets subsequent week and will seemingly vote to provide him a particular Tony Award for injecting some pleasure into a lackluster season.

“We’re not idiots,” says one committee member.

Sara Bareilles (with John Legend) wowed viewers throughout “Jesus Christ Famous person Stay” final month.Peter Kramer/NBC

Musicals are the engine of Broadway and the Tonys, however other than Tina Fey’s “Imply Women,” there hasn’t been a breakout hit this season.

“The Band’s Go to,” a terrific present, ought to choose up awards for Greatest Musical, Rating and Actress (the marvelous Katrina Lenk), however it hasn’t penetrated in style tradition the best way “Hamilton” did in 2016 and Ben Platt in “Expensive Evan Hansen” did final yr.

If I had been producing the Tonys, I’d kick off with Bruce to seize viewers and then maintain them with a quantity from “Imply Women,” since all people is aware of the film.

Bareilles and Groban ought to do a enjoyable medley of Broadway duets, then have cameos by Fey, Platt and Lin-Manuel Miranda.

I’d even have Bareilles reprise her touching rendition of “I Don’t Know Easy methods to Love Him” from “Jesus Christ Famous person” and then, for good measure, I’d deliver on Brandon Victor Dixon to knock out the title track.

Dixon stole the “Famous person” telecast proper out from underneath Legend, and he’s on his strategy to turning into a main star.

Mark my phrases: He’s going to host the Tonys himself sooner or later.

It appears like a joke, however it’s not.

Actors’ Fairness has voted to alter the identify of the “Gypsy Gown,” worn as a part of a longstanding custom on a musical’s opening night time. Some members assume the identify is offensive to gypsies, in order that they’re polling for a substitute.

We’re not speaking gypsies with crystal balls and caravans as in Maria Ouspenskaya in “The Wolf Man.”

Gypsies, as all people on Broadway is aware of, has lengthy been the affectionate identify for refrain children who go from present to point out. It’s by no means been used as a pejorative.

This resolution jogs my memory of what the late nice Shubert chief Bernard Jacobs mentioned of Fairness: “It’s a union ruled by a galaxy of lunatics.”

You possibly can hear Riedel on “Len Berman and Michael Riedel within the Morning” on the radio 710 WOR-AM.

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