While we were on vacation, I had the chance to watch the Tony Awards. Since I love New York theater, I usually enjoy the Tony’s; but this year was disappointing for a number of reasons: 1. It seems Hollywood has taken over Broadway; 2. Catherine Zeta Jones in no way deserved the Tony over the other actresses that were up for the award; 3. Mostly I was disappointed in the “new” offerings coming down out of Broadway this year…except one. (More on that later.)
Granted, the Tony’s give away an award for “The Best Revival of a Musical” every year, but this year there were revivals of revivals, like La Cage aux Folles, Finian’s Rainbow, and a revival of Bye Bye Birdie after a sequel of Bye Bye Birdie had closed a number of years ago after only four performances. (Last October my wife and I happened to see the revival of Bye Bye Birdie starring John Stamos and Gina Gershon…and it was awful! No wonder it closed after only four months.)
Broadway isn’t the only place this is happening. Now I see there is going to be a “revival” of Hawaii 5-O on TV in the fall. And this summer there is going to be a “revival” of The A-Team in the movie theater (…did we really need that???!!!). It seems that instead of the old adage “everything old is new again,” recently “everything new is old again”!
Where are the people like Jeremy Wood, who has made cutting the lawn a form of art? I read in Fast Company magazine that Jeremy has attached his GPS device to the riding lawn mower he uses to cut his mother’s grass, and then maps it out, so that it looks like a giant etch-a-sketch drawing. How’s that for making something “old” “new” again?
Is our 21st century culture so devoid of creativity that we have to rely on old ideas, and cannot come up with anything new? The writer of the Old Testament book of Ecclesiastes famously said about sin, that “there is nothing new under the sun.” When it comes to TV, Movies, Art, Books, Music, and, yes, Broadway Musicals, can we please have something “new under the sun”?
Which brings me back to the one musical on Broadway’s Tony Awards that really caught my eye. There is a new musical based on a conceptual album by punk rockers Green Day called American Idiot. I’m not a Green Day fan, and I’m not even sure I would like the show or its contents. But it was the one “preview” on the Tony Awards that made me say out loud, “now that’s different.” It was intriguing, innovative, and more energetic than almost everything else on the Tony’s this year.
Where are the people who are going to make something new on Broadway, in Hollywood, on iTunes, or in the Book Store? I’m hoping this new generation “gets it” and will contribute things we’ve never seen before. And, frankly, why can’t some of these things come out of the Church…the place where New Creation happens every day? (Within the areas of the Church, of course, where there is Christian freedom.)
What are your ideas, not on making “everything new, old again,” or “everything old, new again,” but on making something completely new? Please leave a comment with your ideas!