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Too many Tony Awards? Why not combine shows? Enter our contest to win an invitation to TheaterMania's Tony Party.

By New York City
In our dreams: Billy Crudup and Brian d'Arcy Jamesin Sweet Smell of The Elephant Man
In our dreams: Billy Crudup and Brian d'Arcy James
in Sweet Smell of The Elephant Man
Just like the Oscars, the Grammys, the Golden Globes, and so on, the Tony Awards ceremony annually faces the knotty problem of having too much to do in too little time. Trying to cram the award presentations, acceptance speeches, numbers from the nominated musicals, and all of the attendant hoo-ha into a three-hour telecast ain't easy--nor it is easy to decide what to cut. (While the acceptance speeches are often the least entertaining part of the evening, it would be kinda silly to do an awards show without them, don't you agree?)

Our solution: Why not combine elements of various shows to form hybrids and then discard the originals? This would result in fewer award categories and fewer nominees in each category, thereby freeing up more time for entertainment and maybe even allowing the whole shebang to clock in at two hours or less. Our staff batted around a few ideas as to possible combinations (see below), and then we thought: Why not turn this into another of our fun contests for TheaterMania readers? So that's exactly what we've done. The prize is a special VIP invitation for two to our second annual Tony Awards Party. (What exactly do we mean by a "VIP invitation," you ask? Free drinks all night!)

So read our own crazy combination show ideas for inspiration, then follow the instructions at the end of this article and send us your own. We hope it goes without saying that the more outlandish your creations are, the better. Have fun!

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Sweet Smell of The Elephant Man
In Victorian London, the hideously deformed John Merrick (Billy Crudup) ekes out a miserable existence as a sideshow freak attraction. Suddenly, he realizes what he must do to solve all of his problems: move to New York City and get himself a press agent! Unfortunately, he hires the unscrupulous Sidney Falco (Brian d'Arcy James) as his flack and winds up in a worse position than he was to begin with. The score, with music by Marvin Hamlisch and book and lyrics by Bernard Pomerance, includes several reprises of the pivotal song "I Can Get You in Liz Smith."

Private Noises Off
A second-rate British touring production of a classic Noël Coward play comes to grief in Manchester when a Saturday matinee performance has to be halted due to the extraordinary flatulence of the stage manager, who had dined on beans and cabbage the night before. Starring Alan Rickman and Lindsay Duncan, with a crackerjack ensemble including Faith Prince, Katie Finneran, and Patti LuPone (but Patti is billed above the title).

Stephen Sondheim's The Crucible
A glamorous witch (Vanessa Williams) meddles in the lives of some colorful characters in 17th century Salem, Massachusetts. This turns out to be a BIG mistake. Co-starring Liam Neeson, Laura Linney, John McMartin, and Pamela Myers. Songs include "Agony," "No One is a Crone," and "On the Steps of the Gallows."

The Goat Who Had All the Luck
A sweet, unassuming goat named Sylvia is swept off her feet by a prize-winning architect. At first, the animal is tortured by guilt over the prospect of leaving her barnyard buddies behind to move into a fabulous suburban mansion and live the good life--but she gets over it. Starring Chris O'Donnell as the architect and Chad Kimball (in another brilliant example of gender-blind, species-blind casting) as The Goat.

Morning's at Seven With Elaine Stritch
Having won a very weird contest sponsored by Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, four late-middle-aged sisters journey from the Midwest to spend a weekend with the one and only Elaine Stritch at her home in Sag Harbor. It turns out that Stritch is not exactly a morning person, so the sisters must adjust to a whole new daily schedule. Resentments build. Songs include "The Ladies Who Eat Breakfast at Lunchtime," "I'm Still Asleep," and "Why Do the Wrong People Travel?"

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To enter this contest, send your idea(s) to editorial@theatermania.com. Please provide a detailed description of your combination show(s), including songs (where appropriate) and possible casting. Please restrict yourself to Broadway shows that opened during the 2001-2002 season. You may submit more than one idea if you like, but they must all be sent in one e-mail. Be sure to include full contact information: your name, e-mail address, phone number(s), and mailing address. Entries must be received no later than Friday, May 24. The winner will receive a VIP invitation for two persons to TheaterMania's second annual Tony Awards Party, to be held this year on Sunday, June 2 from 7pm to midnight at the Park Avenue Country Club, 381 Park Avenue South (between 26th and 27th streets).

The winner will be chosen by our editorial staff and will be announced via our TM Insider e-mail newsletter during the last week of May. Entrants who are not already TM Insiders will be added to our address list and will begin receiving this free cyber newsletter, which offers discount tickets and other special deals to members. Please let us know in your entry if you don't want to be added to the list. To view complete contest rules, click page 2 below.


THEATERMANIA'S "COMBINATION SHOWS" CONTEST

Official Rules:
This contest is void where prohibited. No purchase necessary to enter.

Who is Eligible:
This contest is open only to persons who are at least 18 years of age and legally reside in the United States, except where the contest is prohibited or restricted by law. Employees of TheaterMania and their immediate families, TheaterMania officers, directors, shareholders, agents, representatives and affiliated companies, its advertising and promotion agencies, the sponsors and prize donors are not eligible to participate in this contest.

How to Enter:
There are two ways to enter the contest: (1) Enter online by sending your idea(s) to editorial@theatermania.com; (2) Enter via regular U.S. mail by sending us a card to TheaterMania "Combination Shows" Contest, c/o TheaterMania.com, Inc., 37 West 20th Street, Suite 909, New York, New York 10011. Whether you enter online or by mail, include your first and last names, date of birth, complete mailing address, daytime and evening telephone numbers, and complete e-mail address (if you have one). Please provide a detailed description of your combination show(s), including songs (where appropriate) and possible casting. Please restrict yourself to Broadway shows that opened during the 2001-2002 season. You may submit more than one idea if you like, but they must be sent all in one e-mail. Entries must be received no later than Friday, May 24. The winner will receive a VIP invitation for two (2) persons to TheaterMania's second annual Tony Awards Party, to be held this year on Sunday, June 2 at the Park Avenue Country Club, 381 Park Avenue South, New York, NY.

Announcement of Winners, Etc.:
The winner will be announced via the TM Insider e-mail newsletter during the last week of May. Entrants who are not already TM Insiders will be added to our address list and will begin receiving this free cyber newsletter, which offers discount tickets and other special deals to members. You must let us know in your entry if you don't want to be added to the list. In case of dispute as to the identity of a winner who enters online, the entry will be declared made by the registered holder of the e-mail account. TheaterMania and its agents or representatives are not responsible for the failure to receive entries due to transmission failures of any kind and/or other conditions beyond its reasonable control.

One Entry Per Person:
Only one entry per person is permitted, whether by online or regular U.S. mail entry although more than one idea may be included in each entry. In order to be eligible, an entry by regular U.S. mail must be postmarked during the advertised contest period. Once submitted, all entries become the property of TheaterMania and will not be returned. TheaterMania.com and its agents or representatives are not responsible for entries sent by regular U.S. mail that are destroyed, delayed, lost, incomplete, damaged, illegible or sent postage due.

Selection of Winners:
Selection of the prize winner will be solely at the discretion of TheaterMania, whose decisions and interpretations of these Official Rules shall apply and be final. The winner will be notified by e-mail, regular U.S. mail and/or telephone. If the winner does not respond within three (3) calendar days after attempted notification, TheaterMania reserves the right to choose an alternate winner from the names of all entries that did not win a prize. The winner will be required to submit a signed affidavit of eligibility and liability/publicity release, and confirmation that they have followed the Official Rules of this contest. The affidavit must be signed and returned within ten days of attempted notification. Failure to comply with the foregoing, or the return of any prize as undeliverable, may cause a winner to forfeit his or her prize and, in such event, TheaterMania reserves the right to select an alternate winner. Except where prohibited by law or regulation, a winner's acceptance of the prize will constitute permission for TheaterMania, its affiliated companies, sponsors or prize donors to use a winner's name, likeness, and statements for any purpose in reference to the contest and this promotion without additional compensation, consideration or consent.

Disclaimer of Responsibility:
Neither TheaterMania nor its affiliates or related companies are responsible for any damages, taxes or expenses that the winners might incur as a result of this contest or receipt of prizes. Winners accepting prizes agree that all prizes are awarded on the condition that TheaterMania and its agents, representatives, affiliates and employees will have no liability for any injuries, losses or damages of any kind resulting from acceptance, possession or use of the prizes. Winners further acknowledge that TheaterMania is not liable for any warranty, representation or guarantee, express or implied, in fact or in law, relative to any prize.

Prize:
The "Combination Shows" prize consists of an invitation for two (2) person to attend TheaterMania's 2002 Tony Awards party, as described above. The number of eligible entries received during the contest entry period determines the odds of winning a prize. TheaterMmania reserves the right to change or replace the prize at any time with a prize of similar value. The prize is not transferable, assignable nor redeemable for cash. Winners will be responsible for all Federal, State, or other applicable taxes in connection with the receipt of a prize.

General Conditions:
This contest is void where prohibited or restricted by law. By entering the contest, entrants agree to be bound by these Official Rules and agree to release TheaterMania and any sponsors and administrators from any and all liability for injuries, losses, or damages of any kind resulting from participation in this contest. TheaterMania and any sponsors and administrators are not responsible for technical, network, electronic, computer, hardware or software failures of any kind, including any injury or damage to entrant's or any other person's computer related to or resulting from participating in or downloading any materials in this contest. TheaterMania and any sponsors and administrators are also not responsible for incomplete, distorted or delayed Internet/e-mail computer entries. In the event that technical difficulties compromise the integrity or ability of the prize drawings under this contest, TheaterMania reserves the right to terminate this contest at any time.

Request for Winner's Name:
For a copy of the winner's name, available 15 days after the end of the contest period, please send a self-addressed, stamped envelope to TheaterMania's "Combination Shows" Contest Winner, c/o TheaterMania.com, Inc., 37 West 20 Street, Suite 909, New York, New York, 10011.


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