Tuesday, May 25, 2004

Observe My Peevedness

OK, last year, this was a show on Broadway that was incredibly, phenomenally good.  It was a revival of the musical Big River.  The revival was originally mounted by Deaf West Theatre in Los Angeles, and the production was notable because it used Deaf and hearing actors together, and put the songs across with a combination of voice, sign, and dance.  There's never been anything on Broadway like it.

It was wonderful.

It started off at Deaf West in Los Angeles, transferred a mid-size theatre here and then opened on Broadway.

It got nominated for a Tony for Best Revival of a Musical.  It is about to embark on a national tour a few days after the Tony Awards.  (Go see it.  Really.)

Traditionally, shows that get nominated for Best Revival are given an opportunity to perform on the Tony telecast.  CBS has decided, in its infinite stupidity, that Big River will not be given a performance slot.  They say this is because the show is no longer running on Broadway, but that's a load of horse hooey, as shows that have closed are often featured on the Tonys.  And this show is about to go on tour, so the nationwide viewing audience would be much more interested in learning about it than some musical that will open and close on Broadway and never be heard from again -- but which has the good fortune to happen to be running now.

I know there is a long and unfortunate history of ineffectual letter-writing campaigns to television networks.  Yet I am so phenomenally peeved about this decision -- which feels like a slap in the face to not only the Deaf community, but the community of people who happen to love inventive, entertaining theatre -- I felt a strongly worded email was in order. 

There is a little "feedback" button at cbs.com.  I'm just saying.  Should you be so inclined.


annalisa135 said...

any idea or any way of finding out if "Big River" will be coming to Pittsburgh, or anywhere near by?  it sounds like something i would definitely enjoy, and god knows i need the distraction, as well as entertainment.  let me know, please.  

nzforme said...

It will get to Philly in a number of months, but I don't know of anything closer.