BROADWAY BABIES

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TONY TIME: Filled with star movie performers, the roster of Tony awards nominees and winners gave off some extra Broadway luminance this year with its most recognizable talent in years. No doubt, good marketing for the legitimate theater industry.

People's POP profiles confirmed this fact for this year's Tony thespians giving them high marks in its "recognition" category. But there remains a mixed picture in terms of these stars' ability to hawk consumer products as spokespeople.

Longtime character actor Brian Dennehy earned top Tony honors as best actor in a play for his version of Willy Loman in the classic "Death of a Salesman." In the POP profiles, theatergoers also gave him top honors in recognition (74%) as well as in response to the question "Would you buy a product or service from this performer?" Mr. Dennehy earned a 58% rating. Similarly, Martin Short, Tony winner for the leading actor in a musical, pulled in high numbers.

The most enigmatic of the People POP numbers comes from the unusual suspect himself -- Kevin Spacey, who lost to Mr. Dennehy, for his role in another revival, "The Iceman Cometh."

Only 46% of respondents recognized him. But a strangely higher number, 56% of those same people, said they would buy a product or service from him.

So while some people don't know him, they will, at the same time, seemingly shop and spend in a spacy shopping state of mind from a man named Spacey. Perhaps there's much more to Spacey than the little gimp he played in film "The Usual Suspects" of a few years ago. Perhaps he is similar to his on-screen alter ego after all -- the much-feared, legendary criminal, Keyser Soze.

Theatergoers are very familiar with Bernadette Peters over the years as a stage actress. This year she won a Tony as the leading actress in a musical for "Annie Get Your Gun." But her winning ways don't go much further. Only 32% of

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