Those watching the Tony Awards this past Sunday night may have noticed something a little different: There was no "In Memoriam" photo montage. The segment was cut from live TV and instead shown only to Radio City audience members.
It was later made available online.
Shawn Purdy, a spokeswoman for Tony Award Productions, told the New York Times that the cut enabled them to include more people this way:
Presenting in this manner allowed us to include more individuals than we have been able to include most years, and as a result, more accurately reflected the depth of loss suffered by our community this past year.
But, as the Times pointed out, this year's montage ran roughly two minutes and 40 seconds long, about the same length as last year's that featured Cindy Lauper.
Many die-hard theater fans felt upset that CBS decided not to dedicate three minutes to honor Broadway industry members, especially in light of them closing the show with Jennifer Hudson performing a song from Finding Neverland, a new musical that hasn't even begun showing in Cambridge, Mass. yet, and which she is hardly involved in.
The opening number and the Music Man rap featuring non-Broadway stars LL Cool J and T.I. also faced criticism.
Jennifer Hudson will be involved in the Finding Neverland concept album.