They will try to impart tonight's Tony Awards in Manhattan with all possible razzmatazz to revive flagging TV ratings, assisted – perhaps – by wins for celebrities including Sir Elton John and the Murder She Wrote star Angela Lansbury. But rumbling in the background will be a sour little side drama that might go by the title "Too Many Damn Brits".
Broadway veterans were this weekend predicting that when the final gong is given on the stage of the Radio City Music Hall late tonight, and the television audience is finally released to go to bed, more than half of the prizes will be taken home by veterans of British theatre rather than by home-grown American talent. Much of the reason can be summed up in two words, Billy Elliot, which could break the record set by The Producers for the most number of Tony awards given to a single show.
That British actors, dancers, singers and directors, not to mention all those involved in design, are used to taking home a hefty trove of Tonys each year is hardly news. But not since the days when Les Misérables and The Phantom of the Opera first landed on the Great White Way has a Broadway season been so dominated by British imports.
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