Tuesday, May 3, 2011

THE MOTHERF*****R WITH THE TONY: Tony Award nominations are out, and a few surprises and notes:
  • Despite a fair number of eligible big stars (Robin Williams, Ben Stiller, Jim Belushi, James Earl Jones, Chris Rock) the only "name" in leading actor in a play is Al Pacino, who's got a tough fight with Joe Mantello for the win.
  • A surprising amount of love for two long-closed shows--The Scottsboro Boys and Women on the Verge of A Nervous Breakdown--with Scottsboro beating out Priscilla and People in The Picture for the fourth Best Musical slot and both of them getting Original Score nods.
  • Several highly acclaimed productions failing to score nods--no love for any actors in the much acclaimed War Horse (though many tech nods and a special Tony for the puppets), no nod for Daniel Radcliffe in How To Succeed, and only one acting nods for the three main leads in Priscilla.
  • No shock that Book of Mormon leads all comers (Best Musical, Best Book, Best Score, Best Director, Best Choreographer, Best Lead Actor (x2), Best Featured Actor, Best Featured Actress, and tech nods pretty much everywhere. Its only real competition? The glitzy Sister Act, which may get votes from folks who found Mormon too edgy, but it sure looks like Parker and Stone are going ET, with a plausible shot at picking up a G for the cast album next year.


  1. Joseph J. Finn9:11 AM

    So either Spider-Man was completely shut out, or they decided to go along with the (wink wink nudge nudge) oficial story that it hasn't actually opened yet.

    Also, the Regional Theater Award going to Lookingglass here in Chicago (and oy, is it deserved) means that David Schwimmer finally has one of the EGOTs (I assume he gets one as one of the current leaders of the group).

  2. Watts9:20 AM

    I'm a know-nothing when it comes to musical theater, but DAMN that's an impressive list of broads under Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play (although I'm ignorant as to Elizabeth Rodriguez.  Broad? Ingenue?)

  3. Heather K10:05 AM

    woohooo Lookingglass!

  4. ... and in the alternate universe in my head, Parker and Stone have an Oscar and Phil Collins doesn't.  Alas.

    I'm thrilled that The Book of Mormon got as many acting noms as it did - with a show like that, it would be easy to overlook just how good the actors are.  I'm especially happy that Rory O'Malley got nominated as Featured Actor.

    As for Daniel Radcliffe, I'm both surprised and not surprised that he didn't get a nomination.  I wouldn't have wanted him to get a nomination simply because he's a huge movie star and could help the Tony Awards attract a younger audience; but the thing is, he's actually becoming a capital-A Actor, and to have done both Equus and H2S on Broadway shows he's no interloper.  (I'm sure he'd've been nominated if he had a better singing voice.)

    I wish I'd had a chance to see Scottsboro Boys.  I mean, not only is it apparently a difficult, unsettling show, it's also Kander and Ebb.  I'm surprised at the noms for Women on the Verge, which was apparently just not a very good show.

  5. I guess the next question is... which production numbers will the nominated shows perform at the Tony ceremony?  From Book of Mormon, the obvious choice in many ways is "Hasa Diga Eebowai", but there's no way in hell that will appear on network TV.  I'm hoping for "Turn it Off" -- it's got lots of tap dancing and Rory O'Malley is fantastic, but it doesn't prominently feature Rannells or Gad.

    I can't imagine that the cast of Anything Goes WON'T be performing "Anything Goes".  If they do, it will undoubtedly be a highlight of the telecast.  And the logical choice for H2S would be "Brotherhood of Man", even though it's the big, climactic number.  (Dan Radcliffe may not have gotten a nomination, but I'm sure the girls would still tune in to watch him sing and dance.)

  6. Spiderman hasn't opened yet.  A show opens when they say it opens.  And when it does open, it'll be a different (though probably not Tony-worthy) show from what was reviewed...

    To Matt's points: Not a surprise that Women on the Verge got nods for the two successful elements of the show (music and divas), but definitely a surprise that Scottsboro did so well overall.  I mean, Best Set Design??  Priscilla and War Horse were not expected to have many (if any) acting nods.  Hoping for a War Horse backlash to allow a non-puppety/treacly/Spielbergy play to win.  (I say that without having seen any of the Play nominees.  Still: America, f**k yeah.)

  7. Spider-Man seems likely to get some recognition for the design elements.  While everyone agrees that the prior version was a narrative mess, the costumes and tech credits are apparently most impressive.  It also could get some nods by default, in particular Score.

  8. KCosmo12:35 PM

    It could be Man Up.  I actually wouldn't be surprised if they get two performances, or a segue from something like Man Up or Salt Lake City into something tappier (like Turn It Off).

  9. KCosmo12:35 PM

    By the way, we are seeing Mormon again on Thursday.  I feel well timed.

  10. bella wilfer1:55 PM

    I agree with KCosmo - I think there could be a medley type thing going on with Book of Mormon.  It'd be a bummer if they did Man Up, I feel like that won't play as well on TV as it does in the theatre.  (And I'm SO jealous you're seeing it again - I felt like I could have walked right back into another performance of the show as soon as it ended and not been bored for a second.)

  11. Paul Tabachneck2:09 PM

    I just want to take a second to brag hardcore -- my cousin, Mervyn Millar, is the head puppetteer for War Horse.  Based in London, he spent a lot of time in Africa studying the huge wooden horse puppets used in this production, and was put up here for a few months to get the show up and running.  I'm very proud of him, and loved having him in town.

  12. Jenn.4:23 PM

    I'll admit that I was kind of rooting for Robin Williams to get the Tony, for EGOT purposes.

  13. Paul Tabachneck4:35 PM

    Oh!  He's also written two books on them, one of which, linked below, is about his first staging of War Horse:


  14. Eric J.9:12 PM

    If I can brag softcore for a moment, Casey Nicholaw, the Director and Choreographer of Book of Mormon is an old friend of my wife's family. My sister-in-law acted with him in several productions when they were teenagers.

  15. Maggie12:07 AM

    Just bought Book of Mormon tickets for a few weeks from now.  Also have time to see at least one more show...looking for suggestions from those who've seen them - should it be How to Succeed or Anything Goes? 

  16. bella wilfer1:47 PM

    I'd say How to Succeed if only for the "Daniel Radcliffe doing something different" factor.  Both shows are super fun (and a friend of mine is in Anything Goes, so I'm really being a terrible person by not recommending that one), but if you've seen Sutton Foster in Millie or Drowsy Chaperone you know she rocks, you know?