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Tony nominations 2010: angst over nods to Hollywood stars

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Beyond the television show, big names help sell tickets, says Christopher Presley, director of professional development for The Actors Studio Drama School at Pace University in New York.

“In these times, Broadway producers are striving to create ‘must-see’ events. Hollywood star casting has become one of the ways they try to meet this need,” he says in an email.

“Unfortunately, in some cases the Hollywood stars are not able to deliver on-stage, eight shows a week.”

Broadway relies more and more on Hollywood stars to sell tickets, says Catherine Rodgers, Professor of Theatre, Meredith College in Raleigh, NC, especially for non-musicals. “As brilliant as Jude Law's "Hamlet" and Denzel Washington's portrayal in “Fences” are, they are cast to fill the seats at a time when Broadway ticket prices are soaring. This is more and more the trend of the London stage, also, particularly on the West End where Law originated his leading role in Hamlet last year,” she says by email.

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