Boston Theater and Beyond
I think you'd have to admit that a lot of the Norton choices are pretty strange (although, as you say, that's hardly surprising). Both the IRNEs and the Nortons threw large bouquets to SpeakEasy - which certainly deserved recognition - but at least the IRNEs noticed the surprising achievements at the North Shore and Merrimack; the Norton critics are so out of it you'd never realize that those two theatres both hit heights that SpeakEasy didn't. And as I've pointed out before, there are no separate awards for musical performances, or musical direction - or lighting or costume or sound design. All these categories are sacrificed to fears over the length of the show and the attention span of the audience. And really - this year's awards went to Paul Benedict and Joyce Kulhawik? Surely both awards are decades late; but that only speaks to the ages and tastes of most of the Norton judges. The award should really be shaped like a fossil.
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