Saturday, March 25, 2023

Packed Tony nominations show return of pre-pandemic Broadway

NEW YORK (AP) — After a frantic end to the Broadway season and a few panicky moments as the show struggled to reach the eligibility deadline amid the fresh COVID-19 outbreak, Tony Awards nominations are finally here. is in hand.

Tony Award winner Adrienne Warren and three-time nominee Joshua Henry were scheduled to help reveal the 26-category list Monday morning on Tony’s YouTube channel.

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.

Possible shows eligible for nominations have varied greatly, from a revival of David Mamet to one by Paula Vogel. There are Golden Age classics like “Funny Girl” and “The Music Man” and very current entries like “Thoughts of a Colored Man” and “Pass Over”. Stephen Sondheim’s gender-swapped “company” and a show celebrating Michael Jackson.

One of the most critically acclaimed new musicals of the season is “A Strange Loop,” by playwright Michael R. Jackson’s Theater Meta-Journey – A Tuneful Show About a Black Gay Man Writing a Show About a Black Gay Man. It’s a brave act that will have the Tony nominees in a bind, hailing its freshness and frankness, but perhaps concerned for its commercial viability outside of New York.

Potential challengers for the best new musical crown include “Six”, the six wives of Henry VIII of reformist feminist England, and “Girl from the North Country”, which uses songs from Bob Dylan to weave a Depression-era story. do for in the Midwest.

There’s also “Mrs. Doubtfire,” based on the Robin Williams film about an actor who plays his children as a Scottish nanny to spend time with them after a divorce, and “MJ,” King A bio of pop music, stuffed with his biggest hits including “ABC,” “Black or White,” “Bad,” “Billie Jean,” “Off the Wall,” “Thriller” and “I’ll Be There” .

Top new drama entries could include two about economics—”Skeleton Crew,” Dominic Moriseau’s play about the insecurity of a blue-collar job at a 2008 Detroit auto stamping plant, and “The Lehman Trilogy,” by Stefano Masini. The drama spans 150 years. To the collapse of the financial giant Lehman Brothers.

There is also “The Minutes,” a depiction of a city council meeting of a small town by Tracy Letts that exposes backstabbing, greed, and great confusion in American history, and “Thoughts of a Colored Man,” Keenan Scott II’s In America The Test of Being Black, told with a series of vignettes over the course of a single day.

There were four musical revivals during the season—”Funny Girl,” the classic American show starring Benny Feldstein about the rise of the Ziegfeld Follies’ comic star, and “The Music Man,” which captures America’s soul as a traveling con man. celebrates together. Small Iowa Town starring Hugh Jackman and Sutton Foster, who each have two tons and are likely to be nominated this time around.

Two other possible 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 conflict Sondheim’s exploration of feelings about commitment, this time with the gender-switching of the main character.

Strong contenders in the drama revival category are “Trouble in Mind,” Alice Childress’s Broadway play about racial divisions in the 1950s, and “How I Learned to Drive,” by Vogel’s Pulitzer Prize-winning memory play Told as a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, played by two potential nominees: Mary-Louise Parker and David Morse.

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. There’s also a “Macbeth” starring Daniel Craig and Ruth Negga with an experimental theater sensibility.

Best Actor in a Musical Race will see a trio of veterans join – Jackman in ‘The Music Man’, Rob McClure in ‘Mrs. Man’. Doubtfire” and Billy Crystal “Mr. Saturday Night”—and two newcomers, Jekyll Spivey from “A Strange Loop” and Miles Frost playing the moonwalking titular lead in “MJ.”

The top nominees for Best Actress in a musical are Sharon De Klerk in “Caroline, or Change”, Foster in “The Music Man”, Katrina Lenk in “Company” and Jokina Calukango for “Paradise Square”. Other possibilities include Brittany Mack (“Six”) and Mare Winningham (“Girl from the North Country”).

Voting could make history if L. Morgan Lee nabs a featured actress from “A Strange Loop” in a musical nomination, which would make her the first openly transgender artist to be nominated for a Tony Award.

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.

Ariana Debos Arrives At The 94Th Academy Awards Nominees Luncheon On Monday, March 7, 2022 In Los Angeles.  Debose Will Host This Year'S Tony Awards.
Ariana DeBos arrives at the 94th Academy Awards Nominees Luncheon on Monday, March 7, 2022 in Los Angeles. DeBose will host this year’s Tony Awards.

Jordan Strauss / InVision via The Associated Press

Tony producers have made it a point this year to tell attendees that it has a “strict no violence policy,” a clear nod to the fallout when actor Will Smith slapped comedian Chris Rock on stage at the Oscars.

Mark Kennedy is here


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