Numbers are hot.

So here’s a few to spice up your weekend:

Let’s look at Tony Award nominees and winners of the two big categories, Best Musical and Best Play, and their corresponding reviews in the New York Times over the last 11 seasons (since 1997).

                    BEST PLAY NOMINEES

Positive Reviews             40%                  Positive Reviews        68%
Mixed Reviews                30%                  Mixed Reviews          16%
Negative Reviews           30%                   Negative Reviews       16%


Positive Reviews             64%                  Positive Reviews        82%
Mixed Reviews                18%                  Mixed Reviews          18%
Negative Reviews           18%                   Negative Reviews       0%

What does all this mean?  Does the New York Times favor plays?  Are Tony voters voting with The Times or because of The Times?  Do reviews not matter for musicals looking to be nominated for a trophy, or is it just that the lower numbers of new musicals means easier nominations?

What does it mean?

That’s for you to decide.

Any accountant, comptroller or high school kid with a pirated copy of Excel can deliver you a set a good looking numbers.

It’s a Producer’s job to figure out what they mean.  And when you do, it’s not hot. It’s beau-tastic.

(Oh, and in case you are wondering (and you should be, because data is only as good as its source), we used the Variety Pro/Con/Mixed meter to determine the status of the reviews.)

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Ken created one of the first Broadway podcasts, recording over 250 episodes over 7 years. It features interviews with A-listers in the theater about how they “made it”, including 2 Pulitzer Prize Winners, 7 Academy Award Winners and 76 Tony Award winners. Notable guests include Pasek & Paul, Kenny Leon, Lynn Ahrens and more.