Do you think an award given for a lifetime of work is worthy of a few moments of screen time? That is the issue being raised by a New York based entertainer and arts advocate Richard Skipper. Quote:Lifetime achievement awards are awarded to recognize contributions over the whole of a career, rather than or in addition to single contributions. This year’s recipient is Tommy Tune and he is certainly deserving of this award. He has won 9 Tony Awards and the only person in theatrical history to win in four different categories and to win the same two Tony Awards two years in a row. With this Lifetime Achievement Award, he will have an unprecedented 10 Tony Awards.
Richards thoughts have been seconded with a show of support from famed celebrity columnists Liz Smith and Michael Reidel. Smith posted thoughts on the issue in a recent article stating “This year they’ll tap my pal Tommy Tune who is the king of them all; having won 9 Tony Awards so far. (10, with his honorary award.) But the telecast viewers — hopefully future Broadway ticket buyers — won’t see Tommy in this historic moment. The Tony Awards want to promote current hit shows.”
The columnists went on to ‘call out’ the Tony’s saying ” As far as they are concerned, honoring legends isn’t worth the time, if they can squeeze in another musical number, or more useless prattle from the host or presenters. Oh, come on! Don’t tell me that, in the past, the Tony TV audience — which is made up of people who worship the theater and its stars — wouldn’t have wanted to see Lauren Bacall or Angela Lansbury accept their well-deserved lifetime honors? And I’m sure they’d love to see Tommy. “
Reportedly Mr. Tune hasn’t complained and gone so far as to state in a private message to Liz that ” it wasn’t about him”. Will their public pleas reach the Academy in time to rectify the situation? Richard hopes so “It is an insult to a body of work and worth to be relegated to not be a part of the very telecasts that purports to celebrate excellence in the theatre! Please help me get him the respect he deserves and allow his legion of fans to celebrate with him. That is not just about Tommy Tune this is for ALL FUTURE recipients!” says Richard. Only time will tell if Richards efforts will affect this years Tony presentation and allow the Lifetime achievement award winner Tommy Tune to have his moment in the spotlight.
Do you think a prestigious award like the Lifetime Achievement Award should be televised? You can sign a petition on Richard Skippers blog at http://www.richardskipper.com/ and let the Tony Awards know what you think here: http://www.tonyawards.com/en_US/feedback/index.html . The Tonys will air June 7th on CBS, at 8/7 central time hosted by Kristen Chenowith and Alan Cumming.
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Official Link to Tommy Tune website: http://www.tommytune.com/
Official Tony Awards Show Link: http://www.tonyawards.com/index.html
Visit Richard Skippers Blog: http://www.richardskipper.com/
Here is a compilation of Tommy Tune’s work (provided by Mr Richard Skipper)
Tommy danced onto the Broadway scene in the chorus of “Baker Street” in 1965 and hasn’t stopped since. He worked in the chorus’ of “A Joyful Noise”in 1967 and “How Now Dow Jones” in 1968. He garnered raves and his first
Tony(Best Featured Actor in a Musical) in Michael Bennett’s “Seesaw” in 1973.Branching out, he directed his first show, the off-Broadway production of”The Club” in 1976. “The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas” was his next venture followed by “A Day in the Hollywood/ A Night in the Ukraine”and his second Tony (Best Choreography). Tommy returned to off-Broadway in 1981 to direct Caryl Churchill’s “Cloud 9”; 1982 brought “Nine” and his third Tony (Best Direction of a Musical). Mr. Tune pulled double duty in My One and Only and was rewarded with his fourth and fifth Tony (Best Choreography, Best Actor in a Musical).This was followed by “Stepping Out”, and then he received his next two Tonys with “Grand Hotel” (Best Choreography, Best Direction of a Musical). The following year brought the “Will Rogers Follies” and his next two Tony Awards, (Best Choreography, Best Musical).
You can read more from Richard Skippers blog here :http://richardskipper.blogspot.com/2015/05/tommy-tune-tops-tonys-with-tenth-winbut.html and the article from Liz Smith and Michael Reidel here: http://www.newyorksocialdiary.com/guest-diary/2015/liz-smith-tommy-tune-william-shatner-lena-horne-ava-gardner-and-light-egyptian