Remember when I said that the costumes in Ragtime were like, the same as the costumes in Ragtime? You know, when Ragtime happened the first time.
Well, I said it because I saw the show the first time. And the second time. Because lots of people did. And let me tell you, they’re exactly the same. In fact, I’d wager that they’re the same costumes. Like, they went into the warehouse and they pulled it all off the racks, gave everything a good steam clean, and voila. Instant Broadway show.
I have no problem remembering. Which is why it’s kind of odd that the Tony nominating committee had a massively hard time remembering that. Like, they remembered it so poorly that they nominated Santo Loquasto, the costume designer in question, for a Tony Award. Again. In fact, he was nominated the first time, so they can’t even be like, “He was a random designer working on a tiny, unmemorable show! How am I supposed to remember these complex things?”
Before today, I used to joke that the Tony nominating committee was getting senile. Now I wonder if it’s actually true.
Well, they withdrew the nomination today. As they should have. Because, duh.
But that’s not even the point. The point is that this group of people has run out of ideas in such a complete way, that theater is so full of re-dos and rehashes and revivals that no one can even sort out what’s new and what’s not anymore. And that’s just depressing. It is also, unfortunately, totally typical, and totally unsurprising when you look at the rest of this year’s nominees, many of whom are representing shows that failed to find audiences, and ultimately closed. The Tonys haven’t even happened yet, and they’re already old news.
The good thing about today’s decision is that it allows another designer a chance in the spotlight—you know, for designs that we might not have actually seen before. The disturbing thing? That the committee in charge of selecting and acknowledging the year’s best theater—the people we trust to have like, more judgment and insight than us—couldn’t discern one way or the other.
Credit: upi.com; broadway.com