On NBC’s ‘One Night time Only,’ a worthy goal but a narrow look at of Broadway

Melissa M. Munoz

It was heartening to listen to that NBC’s the latest two-hour musical special, “One Evening Only: The Most effective of Broadway,” raised additional than $3 million for Broadway Cares/Fairness Fights AIDS.

As several stars reminded the audience in the course of the telecast, that revenue will assistance pay back for groceries, health and fitness care, and economical aid for users of the Broadway community who are having difficulties to stay afloat amid a pandemic that has shuttered theaters nationwide.

That is a worthy trigger, so kudos are in buy. I just would like the telecast’s definition of “the most effective of Broadway” was much more expansive.

It’s an age-previous trouble. On people uncommon occasions when tv features a key-time showcase to theater, it just about usually requires a greatest-hits method. So viewers arrive away with a really narrow conception of the dynamic area Broadway basically is, or at least can be, and the wide range of function that is presented there. From that standpoint, “One Evening Only” feels like a skipped chance.

The exclusive was hosted by Tina Fey, in a additional earnest method than I have ever found her. Though she’s most effective acknowledged for her Television and movie get the job done, Fey’s presence was legit, given that she wrote the e book for the musical adaptation of her “Mean Women.” And the specific did function a amount of testimonials from Broadway stalwarts such as Billy Porter and Nathan Lane.

But there were also some stars with a tenuous or nonexistent link to Broadway. Kelly Clarkson singing Irving Berlin’s “White Christmas”? State singer Brett Eldredge crooning “Oh, What a Wonderful Mornin’,” from Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Oklahoma!,” instead of Damon Daunno, who was so great as Curly in the new explosive revival?

What’s more, “One Night Only’’ introduced a eyesight of Broadway as a milieu nearly devoid of plays. The only non-musical represented was “Harry Potter and the Cursed Kid,” and then only in a dialogue of it by forged members and some video relatively than the are living functionality of a scene.

As for the musicals, when it was excellent to see numbers from a handful of new demonstrates like “Jagged Very little Pill” and “Ain’t Too Proud: The Life and Times of the Temptations,” there could have been extra. “One Night time Only” set the tone ideal away by opening with a medley from “Jersey Boys,” which has been touring for good, has been built into a motion picture by Clint Eastwood, and shut on Broadway a few many years ago. At another place in the present, we ended up addressed to an aged clip of Barbara Streisand singing “People.” I could go on.

Appear, I get it. A mass audience is necessary when raising revenue is the intention. And a flavor of Broadway is undoubtedly improved than absolutely nothing. I just hope that the upcoming time tv focuses on theater, it provides us a even larger and more consultant chunk.


Don Aucoin can be arrived at at [email protected] Observe him on Twitter @GlobeAucoin.

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