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Tonys Retire "Special Theatrical Event"


80924403 The Tony Awards will officially retire the category for “Special Theatrical Event,” after the 2009 award was given to Liza Minnelli for Liza’s at the Palace…!

This year’s “Special Theatrical Event” contained an odd assortment of martial arts (Soul of Shaolin), Will Ferrell’s You’re Welcome America. A Final Night with George W Bush, and Slava’s Snowshow, a Russian clown show.

The category of “Special Theatrical Event” has been an award since 2001, and was created after Contact won “Best Musical,” despite having pre-recorded music, and no original score. Initially awarded to Blast!, after the Contact controversy the New York Times reports the 2003-4 season and the 2005-6 season went unawarded, despite a special award given to Sarah Jones for Bridge and Tunnel.

According to a statement released to the press on June 18, 2009 administrative and management committees of the Tony Awards “retain its ability to award a Special Tony Award to productions… worthy of extraordinary recognition. Additionally, by eliminating the category of Special Theatrical Event, all elements of all productions will now be eligible for nomination in all the other creative categories.”

Pictured: Liza Minelli performs in the National Auditorium in Mexico City, on April 28, 2008. (STR/AFP/Getty Images)

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