The True Art Today?

Winners / 2022 Tony Awards for Live Performances

This Years Tony Award Winners

The Hollywood Reporter

“Was it just those young years that made the world so wonderful? Or, was it the city of Los Angeles in the 1950s that made the world so wonderful? Or, might it have been some combination of these two?”

No Mystery / Chick Corea


John Fraim

I’ve been a subscriber of the Hollywood Reporter for at least 15 years. For the past five years, I’ve been a subscriber to their online publication. I think it can give one a powerful understanding of current culture if one is able to see the constant subtext of news in the Hollywood Reporter. Over my years of reading it, the Reporter has provided me with an excellent radar into the context of popular culture of our times. Whether one agrees with this culture or not. The Hollywood Reporter has always been brilliant in tracking the key stories for the LA entertainment culture of film and music. Better than anyone else I feel. Even Variety. And all the other magazines or online sites that comment on LA today. In effect, the Hollywood Reporter might as well be called the LA Reporter. Much more authoritative than some academic writing some academic book to be published by an academic press.

The Hollywood Reporter offers the truly, few remaining investigative reporters out there today. The writing quality if far superior to 98% of the other stuff out there. More than anything, it seems to me, the Hollywood Reporter really is a reporter also about the context or environment of LA that produces the world’s greatest entertainment content. What is this LA context made up of? What might someone like Marshall McLuhan make of the whole thing? Hollywood was a medium (context)? Movies and music as messages (content) in the medium of context.

It’s an interesting question to persons like me who were born and grew up in LA during the first part of their lives. Maybe they’ve left LA many years ago. Yet that certain mystery of LA is something that will always be in me. Even after leaving LA so many years ago. There is a certain magic to living in LA that a number of artists have tried to capture. In writing. In images. In music. Was it just those young years that made the world so wonderful? Or, was it the city of Los Angeles in the 1950s that made the world so wonderful? Or, might it have been some combination of these two?

But the Hollywood Reporter has focused on the greatest entertainment stories coming from LA. Not a small project. Certainly an entire newsroom devoted to LA entertainment. Like the TV show and the magazine and lots of other things today. But still, the Hollywood Reporter covers its beat better than most out there it seems to me. They report on all aspects of that broad, phenomena of popular culture called “entertainment.”

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Yet there has to be some communcation dynamics when the Hollywood Reporter leaves LA to report on that major part of the entertainment industry centered outside of LA. That’s New York’s Broadway. Or, the entire part of the entertainment business taken up by plays or stage performances.

When one thinks about it, plays performed in New York City, might not reach huge audiences. However, they more than make up for numbers with quality of numbers. In effect, those who go to plays in New York live in Manhattan for the most part. Many are key cultural influencers in the nation. New York is the key media center of the world and the power of live stage performances have an effect on many of the key media influencers in the nation. It all starts out from New York City and its Broadway plays. Many in the media are avid playgoers.

What is being compared here? LA entertainment compared to New York entertainment? Movies and music compared to plays? It seems to me that the larger symbolism of the situation here is between the ideas/symbols of a recorded performance and a live performance. This is the real battle line between LA and NYC entertainment it seems to me. A battle between LA’s recorded and packaged and sold (over the Internet) entertaiment and NYC’s entertainment in live entertainment via its plays and operas.

* * *

Anyway, I have to congratulate the Hollywood Reporter for covering the Tony winners. Of course it’s the New York version of Hollywood’s Oscar. Should we take more notice of what’s happening on Broadway as also a type of radar of our culture. Like Hollywood’s films? Perhaps even more influencial than films? Might there be a coming turn to personal communications rather than recorded presentations. In many ways, LA is the symbol of recorded and packaged symbols. And New York, the symbol of Broadway and live performances in front of audiences rather than recorded performances showing in the nations theater chains.

the major factor in comparison – it seems to me – is live performance versus recordered performance. Or a play versus a film. What is more important to society and current culture? Is there a trend towards one or the other? More and more recorded performances? Or, perhaps a trend towards live performances? After the two years of the pandemic, it seems a good question to ask: is popular culture, is the nation as a whole, perhaps the entire globe, moving more towards the large symbols of recorded or live performances.

These are the two great symbols in battle between the entertainment dynamics of LA and New City. Recorded and packaged performances and live performances. Much more difficult to package. Yet much more powerful to those who watch the live performance. Those who watch live performances (in New York City) are often members of the media and influencers of social media. The reach of plays and live performances are small today. But those within this reach are controllers and influencers of media and public opionion today. Beside from all of this, the ascension of Broadway over Hollywood could become an ongoing topic over the next years as culture decides between live and recorded. Will the debate extend out into culture? Or be nipped at the bud as one might say.

* * *

The battle between a recorded and live world, perhaps the forces of AI against humans, all of this will not be an easy battle and might go on for years. Like a new form of Cold War. LA represents the recorded and packaged world of entertainment. The recorded and package world in effect. And, New York City’s Broadway and live performance culture represents the live world of entertainment. The recorded, no matter how good it is, is always a product of the past. The live performance, always a product of the present. Broadway and plays being at the Crow’s Nest of searching for what’s on the horizon.

Our world will go one of two ways it seems to me. Either it establishes live performances in front of real people with Broadway as a goal here. Or, it continues to get more sophisticated on not presenting themselves live to an audience. But only through the work of hundreds on a film crew to make a recorded performance hyper real.

Which should be our future?

Which will be our future?

Read the link at the top of this page for the winners of the Tony Awards this year. As reported in the Hollywood Reporter.

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