Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The Tony Award Nominations Are In!

The 2012-2013 Broadway season is officially over and what better why to celebrate some good ol' fashioned theatre (pronounced thee-AYE-ter...but, honestly, don't really pronounce it that way.) than with an awards show! Broadway may not be as accessible as film or television, but it's the heart of NYC and nothing quite compares to seeing live theatre! (For those of you that live in NYC or plan on visiting, there's a lot of affordable options to see shows. I LOVE theatre, but I sure ain't paying $130 for a show. If you are 35 and under, Roundabout has a program called Hiptix. It's free to join and the tickets are $22 to all their shows. LincTix is the Lincoln Center version for 35 and under. It's free to join and their tickets are $30. Manhattan Theatre Club has a 30 Under 30 program. And Playbill always lists the Rush ticket policy for the Broadway shows. Don't say I never did anything  for you! Go out and see something!)

The nominations were announced this morning by two-time Tony award winner, Sutton Foster (love her!) and Modern Family's Jesse Tyler Ferguson (yep, he was...also there). So without further ado, let's look at the nominees!

Best Play
The Assembled Parties
Lucky Guy
The Testament of Mary
Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike

The only one of these I haven't seen yet is Lucky Guy. I'll have to try to get a standing room ticket on a Tuesday or something. I am very surprised with the inclusion of Mary here–especially since it's star, Fiona Shaw, isn't nominated for Actress! It's a one-woman show! If you didn't like her in it...what are you nominating?!? Despite enjoying Shaw's previous work with director Deborah Warner (Madea and Happy Days), I can't say I was a fan of this one. Shaw seems lost at what to do and her unnecessary busy work of moving ladders and taking baths combined with her vocal acrobatics distract from the story. The purpose of the work is to give Mary back her humanity after centuries of being glorified. It would have been better accomplished by something more simple and intimate, which doesn't exactly work on Broadway. This afternoon it was announced that it's closing on Sunday. So...congratulations on the nomination?

I would have much preferred to see Douglas Carter Beane's The Nance in Mary's place. The play, about a burlesque performer in the 30s that plays the stock gay character known as a nance and just happens to be gay in real life, is about censorship, being true to yourself and is both ridiculously funny and achingly bittersweet. 

But, the play to beat this year is (for once) a comedy: Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike. I just saw it last week and really enjoyed it. It's a modern-day, comedic take on Chekov, but you don't really need to know much about that playwright to enjoy it–it only gives the humor more depth. (You can think while you're laughing!) The playwright, Christopher Durang, known for his absurdist comedies, has never won a Tony. I have a feeling this play just might do the trick...

Best Musical
Bring It On: The Musical
A Christmas Story, The Musical
Kinky Boots
Matilda The Musical

I would just like to point out that all these are based on movies (well, technically Matilda is a book. But, there's still a movie!). I get that there's a built in audience from a film (did anyone actually see the movie of Kinky Boots?), but I just wish that new musicals would take more of a chance and show a little more creativity. However, I have not seen any of these, so who am I to judge? I do really wanna see both Matilda and Kinky Boots–and it looks like it's between them for the win. Matilda had more buzz going in, but Kinky Boots received more nominations today. Do we have an actual race here?

Best Revival of a Play
Golden Boy
The Trip to Bountiful
Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

I almost fell asleep typing out those nominees. Granted, I heard good things about Golden Boy and Woolf. But, how did Orphans get here? No one seemed to like it and I know people who literally feel asleep at it. This one is Woolf all the way. Only...I never saw it. Don't tell, but...I don't really like that play.

Best Revival of a Musical
The Mystery of Edwin Drood
Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella

I love that 5 shows were eligible and 4 were nominated. True, Jekyll and Hyde didn't stand a chance (countdown to closing announcement begins...now), but it just seems so cruel. I saw Drood  and liked it a lot. But, Pippin is winning this. I tried to get rush tickets, but didn't get there early enough. But I reeeeallly wanna see it. I've got magic to do!

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play
Tom Hanks Lucky Guy
Nathan Lane The Nance
Tracy Letts Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
David Hyde Pierce Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike
Tom Sturridge Orphans

I think the biggest shocker here is that Alan Cumming didn't receive a nomination for his tour-de-force performance of playing all of the characters in Macbeth. His spot was taken by Tom Sturridge, who is gonna have to be happy just to be nominated because this one is going to Tom Hanks in his Broadway debut. Since I don't see Lucky Guy winning Best New Play, it would be a way of honoring the late Nora Ephron as well. Lane, Hyde Pierce, and Letts are all great (and all previous Tony winners), but I really don't see any of them beating America's favorite actor of the 90s.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play
Laurie Metcalf The Other Place
Amy Morton Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
Kristine Nielsen Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike
Holland Taylor Ann
Cicely Tyson The Trip to Bountiful

Jessica Chastain, Scarlett Johansson, Sigourney Weaver, Bette Midler, Jessica Hecht, Fiona Shaw–just a list of actresses who didn't receive a nomination in a (surprisingly) really crowded year. I think an even bigger surprise is that Kristine Nielsen was able to get a nod here when it was originally considered featured. I thought there was no way she could break in, but I'm glad to see her here as I thought she was best in show from V&S&M&S. She does a Maggie Smith impression! I think she has a shot to win, but she has stiff competition in Metcalf and Tyson. But, I'm still bummed that the Divine Ms. M didn't get a nom. Bette!

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical
Bertie Carvel Matilda the Musical
Santino Fontana Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella
 Rob McClure Chaplin
Billy Porter Kinky Boots
Stark Sands Kinky Boots

It could only happen on Broadway– the battle of the drag performers: Carvel Vs. Billy Porter. I'm gonna give the slight edge to Porter since Carvel's performance is technically featured.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical
Stephanie J. Block The Mystery of Edwin Drood
Carolee Carmello Scandalous
Valisia LeKae Motown The Musical
Patina Miller Pippin
Laura Osnes Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella

Everyone was shocked when the 4 actresses playing Matilda were deemed ineligible for this nomination. And now little Annie herself, Lila Crawford, is snubbed as well. The Tonys hate childern. It's as simple as that. It'll just make it easier for Patina Miller to walk away with that Tony...

Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Play
Danny Burstein Golden Boy
Richard Kind The Big Knife
Billy Magnussen Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike
Tony Shalhoub Golden Boy
Courtney B. Vance Lucky Guy

I'm kinda confused by the inclusion of Magnussen. He was just so annoying in that show. But, that is his character, so I guess he did a good job. But, let's be honest, he's hot and in his underwear for most of the show. The nomination is for his abs. I just wish that Jonny Orsini who plays Nathan Lane's lover in The Nance had been included here instead. As for the winner? Shalhoub. I really have no idea.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play
Carrie Coon Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
Shalita Grant Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike
Judith Ivey The Heiress
Judith Light The Assembled Parties
Condola Rashad The Trip to Bountiful

After I saw The Assembled Parties, I turned to my friend and said, "Judith Light is winning her 2nd Tony." And in the second act when she came out on stage, the guy next to me said aloud, "I. Loooove. Her." Angela from Who's the Boss?– 3 back-to-back Tony nominations and a possible back-to-back win. Raise your hand if you saw that one coming. 

Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical
Charl Brown Motown The Musical
Keith Carradine Hands on a Hardbody
Will Chase The Mystery of Edwin Drood
Gabriel Ebert Matilda The Musical
Terrence Mann Pippin

The only one I've seen is Will Chase...so, yeah. I've got nothing for this. 

Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical
Annaleigh Ashford Kinky Boots
Victoria Clark Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella
Andrea Martin Pippin
Keala Settle Hands on a Hardbody
Laurence Ward Matilda The Musical

All I've been hearing about is how great Andrea Martin is in this. I think she's hilarious, so I'm game. I'm surprised that Chita and Jessie Mueller didn't make it from Drood. How do you not include Chita?! She's 80 years old and still got it!

More Nominations after the jump

Best Book of a Musical
A Christmas Story, The Musical Joseph Robinette
Kinky Boots Harvey Fierstein
Matilda The Musical Dennis Kelly
Rodgers + Hammerstein's Cinderella Douglas Carter Beane

Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) Written for the Theatre
A Christmas Story, The MusicalMusic and Lyrics: Benj Pasek and Justin Paul
Hands on a HardbodyMusic: Trey Anastasio and Amanda Green
Lyrics: Amanda Green
Kinky BootsMusic & Lyrics: Cyndi Lauper
Matilda The MusicalMusic & Lyrics: Tim Minchin

Best Scenic Design of a Play
John Lee Beatty, The Nance
Santo Loquasto, The Assembled Parties
David Rockwell, Lucky Guy
Michael Yeargan, Golden Boy

Best Scenic Design of a Musical
Rob Howell, Matilda The Musical
Anna Louizos, The Mystery of Edwin Drood
Scott Pask, Pippin
David Rockwell, Kinky Boots

Best Costume Design of a Play
Soutra Gilmour, Cyrano de Bergerac
Ann Roth, The Nance
Albert Wolsky, The Heiress
Catherine Zuber, Golden Boy

Best Costume Design of a Musical
Gregg Barnes, Kinky Boots
Rob Howell, Matilda The Musical
Dominique Lemieux, Pippin
William Ivey Long, Rodgers + Hammerstein's Cinderella

Best Lighting Design of a Play
Jules Fisher & Peggy Eisenhauer, Lucky Guy
Donald Holder, Golden Boy
Jennifer Tipton, The Testament of Mary
Japhy Weideman, The Nance

Best Lighting Design of a Musical
Kenneth Posner, Kinky Boots
Kenneth Posner, Pippin
Kenneth Posner, Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella
Hugh Vanstone, Matilda The Musical

Best Sound Design of a Play
John Gromada, The Trip to Bountiful
Mel Mercier, The Testament of Mary
Leon Rothenberg, The Nance
Peter John Still and Marc Salzberg, Golden Boy

Best Sound Design of a Musical
Jonathan Deans and Garth Helm, Pippin
Peter Hylenski, Motown The Musical
John Shivers, Kinky Boots
Nevin Steinberg, Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella

Best Direction of a Play
Pam MacKinnon, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
Nicholas Martin, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike
Bartlett Sher, Golden Boy
George C. Wolfe, Lucky Guy

Best Direction of a Musical
Scott Ellis, The Mystery of Edwin Drood
Jerry Mitchell, Kinky Boots
Diane Paulus, Pippin
Matthew Warchus, Matilda The Musical

Best Choreography
Andy Blankenbuehler, Bring It On: The Musical
Peter Darling, Matilda The Musical
Jerry Mitchell, Kinky Boots
Chet Walker, Pippin

Best Orchestrations
Chris Nightingale, Matilda The Musical
Stephen Oremus, Kinky Boots
Ethan Popp and Bryan Crook, Motown The Musical
Danny Troob, Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella

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