Wednesday, November 30, 2022

“A Strange Loop” Leads to a Tony Award Nomination

NEW YORK (AP) — “A Strange Loop,” Michael R. Jackson’s critically upbeat theater meta-journey earned a major 11 Tony Award nominations Monday as Broadway races to embrace an envelope-pushing Black-written and Black-embracing became involved in the national discussion. music led.

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Jackson’s 2020 Pulitzer Prize drama winner is about to write a show about a black gay man who won best leading man in newcomer Jackel Spivey and L. Morgan Lee’s for Best Featured Actress, becoming the first openly transgender performer. Nominated for Tony Award. The show was nominated for Scenic Design, Lighting, Sound, Orchestration, Directed by Stephen Brackett, and Featured Actor for John-Andrew Morrison.

“I expected my colleagues to be accepted. It was actually, in a weird way, much more exciting to me,” Jackson told the Associated Press. “Even if we hadn’t received a nomination, I would have been disappointed, but I would also have known how powerful this show is among the masses.”

“Grey’s Anatomy” star Jesse Williams, making his Broadway debut, received a nomination for “Take Me Out”, as did his “Modern Family” co-star Jesse Tyler Ferguson of fame. Playwright Lynn Notage has two reasons to smile on Monday morning: Her book for Michael Jackson’s musical “MJ” was nominated for best book and her play “Clydes” was nominated for best drama.

Just behind “A Strange Loop” is a tie with 10 nominations for “MJ”, a bio of the King of Pop filled with his biggest hits, and “Paradise Square”, Irish immigrants and A musical about black Americans struggling to survive. In New York City around the time of the Civil War.

The rest of the Best New Music category includes “Six,” the six wives of Henry VIII of reformed feminist England, “Girl from the North Country,” which weaves a Depression-era tale using lyrics by Bob Dylan. The Midwest, and “Mr. Saturday Night,” a bittersweet, old outrageous humor in Billy Crystal’s film about a last laugh chasing.

Two of the Best Drama nominees are about economics—”Skeleton Crew,” Dominique Moriseau’s play about the insecurity of a blue-collar job at a 2008 Detroit auto stamping plant, and “The Lehman Trilogy,” a play by Stefano Masini. spanning 150 years. The collapse of the financial giant Lehman Brothers.

There is also the play “Clydes,” Notage, about a group of ex-cons trying to resume their lives at a truck stop diner, and “The Minutes,” Tracy Letts’s play on the town council of a small town. Backstabbing, greed and highlighting. The Great Confusion in American History. “The Hangman,” the look of Martin McDonagh from an executioner of a pub owner forced to grapple with his past after the death penalty was made illegal in the United Kingdom, also received a Best Play.

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One of its actors is Alfie Allen, who made his Broadway debut and was nominated as a Featured Actor. “I’m eating some pancakes, and I have a lovely morning,” he said, adding that the ensemble is welcoming. “It’s all really a family feeling, you know, which has been great. It was like stepping into a family. Everyone was so supportive of each other, and I still like myself a little bit.” I’m taking a chuckle. It’s amazing.”

There were four musical revivals during the season, but only three received nominations: “The Music Man” which celebrates the soul of America with a traveling con man in a small Iowa town starring Hugh Jackman and Sutton Foster, each of whom Has two tones and each was nominated this time too.

Two other entries in the musical revival category are “Caroline, or Change,” a Tony Kushner and Jeanine Tesori show that explores America’s racial, social, and economic divide in 1963 Louisiana, and “The Company,” a one-man show by Stephen Sondheim. Discovering conflicting feelings about commitment, this time with the gender-switching of the main character. This left out “Funny Girl,” the classic American show starring Benny Feldstein, about the rise of a comic star from the Ziegfeld Follies—the only nod it received, as Best Actor in a Musical, for Jared Grimes.

Grimes, a triple threat whose heroes include Sammy Davis Jr. and Gregory Hines and whose performance includes an electrifying tap dance number, took the traditionally white character Eddie Ryan and recreated it as a young black man.

“Eddie Ryan is just a huge leap forward for us towards realizing that we can be everything and anything. We just need a chance,” he said. “I like to think that we are making good progress. are.”

Nominated for Best Drama Revival for “Trouble in Mind,” Alice Childress’ “Alice Childress” about a Broadway play that explores racial divisions in the 1950s, “How I Learned to Drive,” Vogel’s Pulitzer Prize-winning memory play Childhood Told by Survivor of Sexual Abuse, starring two nominees: Mary-Louise Parker and David Morse and “American Buffalo,” a look at David Mamet’s allegiance and greed set in a junk shop starring Laurence Fishburne, Darren Criss, and Sam Rockwell Gai, who was later the only actor in the play. Nominated.

Others are “Take Me Out”, Richard Greenberg’s Exploration of What Happens When a Baseball Superstar Comes Out as Gay, and “Girls of Color Who Contemplate Suicide / When the Rainbow Is Enough,” playwright Nozek Schenz. The discovery of black womanhood. That work also made history: Camille A. Brown, the first black woman to direct and choreograph a Broadway play since 1955, earned nominations in both categories.

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The season – with 34 new productions – represents a full return to theaters after nearly two years of pandemic-mandated shutdowns. It is also notable for a wave of plays by Black playwrights, reflecting the impact on Broadway of the global conversation about race following the murder of George Floyd in 2020.

“I’m so grateful, and very happy, Broadway is alive and well,” said “Company” nominee Jennifer Simard. “Because there was a minute when I wasn’t sure we would be back after the pandemic. So I am very grateful.”

Neither Matthew Broderick nor his wife Sarah Jessica Parker earned nominations for the revival of “Plaza Suite”, but Patti LuPone received one for “Company” and so did Lachanz for “Trouble in Mind”. Ruth Negga earned a nomination for “Macbeth,” but her co-star Daniel Craig came up empty. Tony-winner Phylicia Rashad received her first nominations in more than 15 years with “Skeleton Crew” and “Saturday Night Live,” veteran Rachel Dratch clinching a Tony in the feminist skit “POTUS.” An eye-opening decision was that Katrina Lanke should not be approved for her work in ‘The Company’.

The musical “Mrs. Doubtfire” won approval only once for Rob McClure, an actor’s move to play Robin Williams, who poses as his children’s Scottish nanny to spend time with her after a divorce. .

Nominees for Best Actress in a Musical: Sharon de Klerk in “Caroline, or Change”, Foster in “The Music Man”, Joaquina Calucango for “Paradise Square”, Carmen Cusack in “Flying Over Sunset” and “” I have the mare Winningham. Girl from the north country.”

Spivey, in the Best Actor in a Musical category, is Crystal for “Mr.” alongside Jackman and McClure. Saturday Night” and Miles Frost, whose King of Pop in “MJ” was a moonlight victory. Best Actor in a Drama Category “The Lehman Trilogy” is dominated by three leads – Simon Russell Beale, Adam Godley and Adrian Lester. Rest Morse , Rockwell, Ruben Santiago-Hudson from “Lacvana Blues” and David Threlfall from “Hangmen”.

The eligibility cutoff date for the 2021-2022 season was delayed to May 4 after several Broadway shows canceled performances due to reported COVID-19 cases among cast and crew.

The Tony Awards will be held on June 12 at Radio City Music Hall. The event will air on CBS and Paramount+ starting at 8 p.m. ET. Film and stage star Ariana Debos will host it.

National writer Jocelyn Noveck contributed to this report.

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