MALTZ JUPITER THEATRE'S
ANDREW KATO WORKS
BEHIND THE SCENES AT TONY AWARDS
May 19, 2010 (Jupiter, FL) - When the artistic directors of most theatres take a vacation, they travel. They catch up on the latest shows on Broadway and beyond. And they relax.
When Andrew Kato, artistic director of the Maltz Jupiter Theatre, takes a vacation, he goes to work.
For the seventh year in a row, Kato will work as the coordinating producer on the annual Tony Awards broadcast, which airs at 8 p.m. Sunday, June 13, on CBS.
"This is my lucky seventh year," says Kato, who is returning to the three-time Emmy Award-winning Tony broadcast. "Credit for the show's success goes to the vision of Ricky Kirshner and Glenn Weiss," executive producers of the awards show.
For Kato, the Tony Awards bring a month of working 'round the clock on the 43rd floor of the Flatotel, a contemporary high-rise in the middle of Manhattan, blocks away from Radio City Music Hall, where the awards show will be held. The offices of White Cherry Entertainment, which produces the broadcast, take up the entire floor.
While there, Kirshner and Weiss tap Kato's knowledge of live theatre to help structure each segment.
"We receive video footage from each play's producers for the nomination packages - where they say, 'And the nominees are...' - to create packages for broadcast," Kato says.
"For broadcasts, we have to be very well-organized in order to be on time," Kato says. "With this being Broadway's biggest night, every detail needs to be perfect. Except for the spontaneous energy one hopes for in a live broadcast, nothing is left to chance."
Of course, all Kato's time in New York is not spent at an editing console. The first part of his trip, he spends his evenings on Broadway attending performances of each nominated show. This year, he will see 16 shows in 2½ weeks.
"That helps me to be more knowledgeable about what might be good for broadcast," Kato said. "After all, we have only three hours to get across what's happened all year long on Broadway."
This summer, Kato's mind also will be on a show of his own.
Academy, the musical he created with his friend John Mercurio, is headed this summer to South Korea, where it will be presented as part of the Daegu International Musical Festival. Kato, Mercurio and their production received an all-expenses-paid trip to present Academy in South Korea as a prize at last year's New York Musical Theatre Festival.
Academy also won awards for Excellence in Writing and for Outstanding Ensemble Performance at NYMF. The New York Times gave the show a rave review, and it's now on the roster for the Maltz Jupiter Theatre's 2010/2011 season.
"We've worked long and hard for this," Kato said. "After a decade of writing and producing workshop performances, Academy's success is the stuff of dreams."
And someday, maybe Tony Awards fodder.
The Maltz Jupiter Theatre is an award-winning professional not-for-profit regional theatre dedicated to the performing arts whose mission is to entertain, educate and inspire our community. The Theatre is a member of the prestigious League of Resident Theatres and is located east of U.S. Highway 1 at 1001 East Indiantown Road and State Road A1A in Jupiter.