So the other day I got to wondering when is a Tony Award winning show no longer a Tony Award winning show?
Consider this hypothetical… There’s this old wooden ship from 1776 on display in some sailing museum. Over the years, as the wood ages and decays, the museum replaces wood plank after wood plank. Soon 10% of the original wood has been replaced. Then 20%, 50% and so on. The question is at what point is the 1776 ship no longer the original 1776 ship, but a replica made entirely with new wood?
So that’s my question… But about a live show that is claiming to be a Tony Award winning musical. We can all agree that any show is the sum of it’s individual parts, writer, composers, director, design team and of course especially the actors.
Certainly a very gifted group of actors will go a long way to taking a show to a successful Tony Award sweep. In fact, if the actors are terrible, I bet the show won’t win anything at all. So the actors are an essential element.
So when those actors who helped to catapult the show to Tony victory LEAVE the show, is it still the same show? Can it still fairly be called “the” Tony Award winning show? The show is fundamentally different with different performers. If this was not the case, there would not be the lengthy casting process – and any actor could play the roles.
So like the ship that has 100% of its wood replaced – and is really no longer that original ship, at what point is the Tony Award winning show no longer the show that won the Tony in the first place?