Crowded nominations for Tony show the Return of Broadway before the pandemic

NEW YORK (AP) – After a frantic end to the season on Broadway and some nervous moments as shows struggled to meet the deadline for eligibility amid new COVID-19 epidemics, Tony Award nominations have finally arrived.

Tony Award winner Adrienne Warren and triple nominee Joshua Henry were to help unveil a list of 26 categories on Monday morning on Tony’s YouTube channel.

The season – with an incredible 34 new productions – represents a complete return to cinemas after nearly two years of closure due to the pandemic. It is also notable for the wave of black playwrights ’dramas, which reflect the impact of the global race talk following the 2020 murder of George Floyd on Broadway.

The potential shows that qualify for the nominations are extremely diverse, from the revival of David Mamet to that of 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”. There’s Stephen Sondheim’s “Company” with gender reassignment and a show celebrating Michael Jackson.

One of the most acclaimed new musicals of the season is “A Strange Loop,” the theatrical meta-journey of playwright Michael R. Jackson – a harmonious show about a black gay man who writes a show about a black gay man. It’s a brave act that will put Tony’s candidates in a bind, cheering for his freshness and honesty, but perhaps concerned about his commercial viability outside of New York.

Leading potential challengers for the best new musical crown include “Six,” the corrective feminist approach of six English women by Henry VIII, and “Girl From the North Country,” which uses Bob Dylan songs to weave stories from the Depression era. in the Midwest.

There is also “Mrs. Doubtfire ”, based on Robin Williams’ film about an actor posing as his lovely children, a Scottish nanny to spend time with after divorce, and “MJ”, the King of Pop’s biomusic, filled with his greatest hits including “ABC”, “Black or White ”,“ Bad ”,“ Billie Jean ”,“ Off the Wall ”,“ Thriller ”and“ I’ll Be There ”.

The most important new plays could include two about economics – “Skeleton Crew”, Dominique Morisseau’s play on the insecurity of blue-collar employment at a Detroit car factory in 2008 and “The Lehman Trilogy”, a 150-year play by Stefano Massini about what led to the collapse of financial giant Lehman Brothers.

There are also “Minutes,” Tracey Letts’ account of a small town council meeting exposing stabbing in the back, greed, and major misconceptions in American history, and “Thoughts of a Colored Man,” Keenan Scott II’s questioning of being black in America. told by a series of vignettes over the course of one day.

During the season, there were four musical revivals – “Funny Girl”, a classic American show starring Beanie Feldstein about the rise of comic star Ziegfeld Follies, and “The Music Man” which celebrates the American soul with a traveling cheater in a small town in Iowa with Hugh Jackman and Sutton Foster in the lead roles, each with two Tony and will likely be nominated this time.

The other two likely entries into the category of musical revival are “Caroline, Or Change,” a show by Tony Kushner and Jeanine Tesori that explores American racial, social, and economic divisions in Louisiana in 1963, and “Company,” Sondheim’s study of conflicting feelings. about devotion, this time with a gender reassignment of the main character.

Strong candidates in the revival category are Trouble in Mind, Alice Childress’s Broadway play exploring the racial division of the 1950s, and How I Learned to Drive, Vogel’s Pulitzer Prize-winning memoir about survivors of childhood sexual abuse. with two likely nominees: Mary-Louise Parker and David Morse.

Others include “Take Me Out,” by Richard Greenberg’s research on what happens when a baseball superstar proves gay, and “For Colored Girls Thinking of Suicide / When Debt is Enough,” a study of black femininity by playwright Ntozake Shange. There’s also “Macbeth” with an experimental theatrical sensibility starring Daniel Craig and Ruth Negga.

The best actor in the music race is likely to include a veteran trio – Jackman in “The Music Man”, Rob McClure in “Mrs. Doubtfire” and Billy Crystal from “Mr. Saturday Night” – and two newcomers, Jaquel Spivey from “A Strange” Loop ”and Myles Frost in the lead role of moonwalking in“ MJ ”.

The best nominees for Best Actress in a Musical are probably Sharon D. Clarke from “Caroline, Or Change”, Foster in “The Music Man”, Katrina Lenk in “Company” and Joaquina Kalukango for “Paradise Square”. Other options include Brittney Mack (“Six”) and Mare Winningham (“Girl from the North Country”).

Voting could go down in history if L Morgan Lee from “A Strange Loop” catches a prominent actress in a music nomination, making her the first openly transgender performer to be nominated for a Tony Award.

End date for the 2021-2022 season was postponed to May 4 after several Broadway shows had to cancel performances due to COVID-19 cases reported among actors and crew.

The Tony Awards will be held at Radio City Music Hall on June 12th. The ceremony will be broadcast live on CBS and Paramount + starting at 20:00 ET. Film and stage star Ariana DeBose will host.

Ariana DeBose arrives for lunch for her 94th Oscar nomination on Monday, March 7, 2022, in Los Angeles.  DeBose will host this year’s Tony Awards.
Ariana DeBose arrives for lunch for her 94th Oscar nomination on Monday, March 7, 2022, in Los Angeles. DeBose will host this year’s Tony Awards.

Jordan Strauss / Invision through the Associated Press

Tony’s producers told attendees this year that he has a “strict policy of banning violence,” a clear sign of the consequences when actor Will Smith slapped comedian Chris Rock on stage at the Oscars.

Mark Kennedy is on http://twitter.com/KennedyTwits

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