The Tony Nominations Announcement is tomorrow! Everybody gets free ham!!
A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder is the most original piece of musical theater I’ve seen in years. In a sea of movie adaptations and movie stars, this irresistible little musical that could is Broadway’s lifeboat. Sweeney Todd by way of Gilbert and Sullivan, the lyrics are chock-full of witticisms so charming it’s impossible not to root its deliciously wicked characters. I enjoyed the show immensely (and have admired their equally unique marketing campaign!) and dearly hope lead actor Jefferson Mays, costumer Linda Cho, and especially Robert L. Freedman and Steven Lutvak’s frolicsome book and lyrics are recognized tomorrow. If Aladdin and Rocky dominate the Best Musical categories, all hope is lost.
The Tonys, like many other awards shows, tend to suffer also from a mild case of amnesia. With so many big-budget shows opening this month precisely for Tony season, it’s easy for voters to forget some of the terrific theater from last fall.Fortunately, Best Revival of a Play will surely include The Glass Menagerie, which could be this year’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? if, like that early-season contender, it dominates the acting categories – and any of its four cast members could go on to win.
As for the acting categories, this year is a feast. Along with marquee names like Neil Patrick Harris, Bryan Cranston, Denzel Washington, and yes, Idina Menzel, there are some venerable stage stars who have a shot, like Tyne Daly, Reed Birney and Sutton Foster. Will there be only one Best Actor in a Play slot available for Waiting for Godot and No Man’s Land? My vote’s for Gandalf, but it’s possible even he shall not pass.
There’s some confusion about the eligibility of Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill and whether it’s considered a play or musical. So the always-fabulous Best Actress in a Musical category could be a showdown between FIVE-time Tony winner Audra Macdonald and ZERO-time Tony winner Kelli O’Hara, who is doing some gorgeously gorgeous work of gorgeosity in The Bridges of Madison County (The Great Kelli O’Hara! No Tony Awards! Blasphemy!!). [Update: I’m wrong about Audra in Lady Day, she’ll be nominated for Best Actress in a Play. Deal with it.] Michelle Williams is also probably destined for a nomination, but if she beats her theatery peers for her pitchy work in the Cabaret re-revival, I will be saying NEIN, FRÄULEIN, NEIN.
Sharr White’s The Snow Geese is suffering from both early season syndrome and mostly negative reviews (not mine!) but there were hidden gems in this Chekhov-inspired play. Brian Cross, for one, deserves recognition for steering the story more capably and more fervently than his costar Mary Louise Parker. Similarly, Roger Rees and Charlotte Parry gave exquisite performances in The Winslow Boy, but aren’t likely to stand a chance tomorrow, which is a shame.
Basically, if you appeared on the Broadway stage in the past year and you’ve made at least one big movie or TV show, your name’s being read tomorrow. But we mustn’t despair. The theater scene is alive and well, and the first acting Tony winner to reach the top 10 has somehow been dominating the charts for months. If nothing else, the Tony ceremony is sure to be full to the brim with genies, boxers, Carole King songs, adulterers, and hopefully some maniacally clever lovers and murderers.
Plus, Hugh Jackman is pretty.