Broadway types are fuming after CBS announced that a singalong version of the 1978 film “Grease” will replace the Tony Awards on the network next month. One theater insider even sent us an email with the eye-catching subject line “Grease is the turd!” — adding, “a rough season for Broadway types just got a whole lot worse.”
The Tonys, which honor the best of Broadway at Radio City Music Hall, remain indefinitely postponed. And though the movie “Grease” was based on a stage musical of the same name, Broadway stars are revolting on Twitter.
Tony nominee Gideon Glick of “To Kill a Mockingbird” tweeted at CBS, “I’m certain there are a million gays out there who could help you curate a greatest hits of the Tony Awards to air instead!” while “Frozen” star Patti Murin mused of the network’s move, “[Not] a retrospective of past great Tony performances and speeches and moments? Or something highlighting the amazing work that people in theatre do for their community? Or literally anything other than this?”
“Dear Evan Hansen” lyricist Benj Pasek opined, “Danny can never replace Tony,” referring to John Travolta’s lead character in “Grease,” and “Hamilton” guru Lin-Manuel Miranda posted a link to the announcement with a vintage photo of Michael Jordan on the court giving side-eye to his much-maligned Bulls teammate Scott Burrell. Former “Spring Awakening” and “Wicked” star Andy Mientus tweeted a link to the news and added, “Why is this hysterical to me.”
Outspoken Broadway power PR pro Rick Miramontez told Page Six of the Tonys being upstaged for “Grease”: “As class president of LA’s John Marshall High School during the actual filming of ‘Grease,’ I feel I need to be diplomatic about this one: Let me put it this way, even during quarantine I expect to have something vastly more interesting to do with my June 7 evening than tune in.” (For movie buffs, John Marshall High School was also featured in “Pretty in Pink,” “A Nightmare on Elm Street,” “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” Van Halen’s “Hot for Teacher” music video and many more.)
Since New York announced a ban on gatherings over 500 on March 12, Broadway has remained dark, marking the longest hiatus in its history.
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