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Michael Butler claimed it, but I am doubtful
Posted by: AlanScott 02:52 am EST 11/08/22
In reply to: Was “Hair” made ineligible for the 1968 Tony Awards? - kieran 10:55 pm EST 11/07/22

I started typing this shortly after you posted, then put it aside after doing some research, needing a break. NW has since posted some of this info so I am sorry for any info that is duplicated.

Both Michael Butler and David Black, producer of George M!, were told that the eligibility cutoff was to be April 10. But the Tonys had been scheduled for April 21 going back to at least as early as the first week of February. Later the eligibility cutoff was changed to March 18. (March 18 is the correct date, not March 15, the date from the Backstage article quoted by NW.) Butler had been planning, or so it was said at the time, to open Hair on Broadway on April 10 in order to just make it. As it turned out, that was not going to happen. He didn't even make a deal for the Biltmore till the end of March or the beginning of April. Hair didn't open till April 29. So in all likelihood even if the cutoff had remained April 10, Hair would not have made it on time under the circumstances of the theatre squeeze that was going on at the time. Black had a more genuine reason to protest.

If anything, I think the Tonys and also NBC would have wanted both Hair and George M! in there as the season had been so bad for musicals. It would have been a better contest, there would have been more opportunity for publicity and likely greater public interest. It seems to me most likely that it was simply felt that 10-11 days might not be enough for all the voters to see the shows and get their ballots in and counted if the nominations were not made till April 11. Given the totality of the circumstances, I think it’s pretty clear there was no conspiracy to keep out Hair.

There is more to the APA-Phoenix story than is quoted below, but that can be saved for another time.

I do wish people wouldn’t say these things without really looking into the facts first.
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