Takeaway from the 2023 Tony Awards nominations today

Photo illustration: an eagle. Photos: Matthew Murphy and Evan Zimmerman; Joanne Marcus

The American Theater Wing announced its nominations for the 2022-23 Broadway season ahead of the Tonys on June 11, and it’s not Hamilton The year one show is most likely to be swept. This year’s event at the United Palace Theater will feature an array of close races – keep an eye out for Jodie Comer vs. Jessica Chastain – and split fields, many with at least three contenders, as with Best Musical and Musical Revival. The season itself was ripped through the middle by a grim series of sudden closures around the holidays — including very short stints for shows like kpop And not la mo, both of which are today’s favorites — and a relatively strong spring, which has led to a lot of comparisons between apples and oranges. Do the Tonys prefer what’s still running or what was lauded last year but didn’t last? Do they lean towards spectacle or emotion? Do they go for British imports or American crops – and how much do they love corn? Let the campaign begin.

The most nominated show is not the first nominee for the Grand Prize.

Some like it hot It leads the pack for musicals with 13 nominations, including honors for its heroes, Christian Borley and J. Harrison Guy, and its director and choreographer, Casey Nicolau, as well as a host of craft categories. Maybe it was rave from New York times (I found the program technically impressive though emotionally hollow), but most likely it fits perfectly with the niche Tony voters love: it’s old-fashioned but well-executed. However, it’s not a Best Music favorite (it’s also not currently selling well). It can happen Kimberly Akimbo, which is an even stranger, smaller story about a teenage girl from New Jersey who ages at several times the normal rate. It has a real depth of emotion while also being hilarious — there’s a recurring anagram gag — and has eight nominations. There’s also competition from the juggernaut based on all the jokes peeled With nine nominations – you can see the campaign take The Book of Mormon And Avenue Q The “vote on the thing that made you laugh the hardest” approach.

To revive a musical, it is Sondheim v. Sondheim v. Brown: Dawn of Justice.

In the land of the musical revival, it was a good day for Stephen Sondheim’s revival Sweeney Todd Get eight nominations and Into the forest six. If there is a surprise, this is it Sweeney Director Thomas Kail missed out on a nomination. (the forestLear de Besson succeeded in that.) Todd It can play the “we’re still here doing big” card, while Into the forestthat carried over from Encores! to Broadway last summer and drew crowds when they were still scarce, you might go for the “We’ve Reopened Broadway” corner. Michael Arden processionwritten by Jason Robert Brown, also made a list of Best Director nominations, and its show could make the winning case for being the most politically relevant of the bunch.

heterogeneous spot.
May was not a lively month for Lincoln Center’s revised but not lauded play Camelot (I liked it more than most of the other critics, and I was lukewarm.) Bartlett Sher’s production earned nominations for Best Revival of Jordan Donica’s Lancelot as well as for scenic, costume and lighting design. But Guinevere by Philippa Sue and Arthur by Andrew Burnab were left out, as was conspicuously Aaron Sorkin and his controversial rewrite. In fact, Sue was skipped twice, because she was qualified for the role of Cinderella Into the forest. Not a good season to be in any form of Cinderella.

British Imports v. American Pulitzer Winners.
Best Play category populated by three Pulitzer Prize winners – Fat Hamwhich won in 2022; cost of livingwhich won in 2018; And Between Riverside and Crazywhich won in 2015 – as well as the London import Leopoldstadt And all Americans not la moTom Stoppard’s latest appearance is a favourite: an extraordinarily personal and unapologetically personal work by a cerebral, multicultural British scholar, depicting a version of his family’s history among Vienna’s pre-war Jewish elite. Leopoldstadt Win Olivier in London, Tony American voters may prefer something homegrown and more structured. (The candidates skipped two other British imports: first face And Hyatt Bay.) If voters really want to celebrate something American, I can see a rally around the corner Fat Hamwhich is still in operation and has received much praise.

The candidates’ memories were longer than usual…

The Tonys usually prefer products that are fresh in memory. But this year, they found space to appreciate it not la mowith six nominations, and kpop, with three (I’m thrilled to see their scores recognized), both of which opened and closed in space last December. The same goes for the Best Actor in Play category, with a really strong field in which four of the five nominees have starred in shows that have already closed: both stars Topdog / UnderdogWendell Pierce V Death of a salesmanand (my favourite) Stephen McKinley Henderson V.I Between Riverside and Crazy. (The fifth is Sean Hayes’s Good night, Oscar.)

…and a last-minute maneuver hardly paid off.

Two names are glaringly missing from the main cast categories: Oscar Isaac and Rachel Brosnahan. The banner in Sidney Brustein’s window He made the bold move to move to Broadway from a run at BAM at the end of April, just in the eligibility of a Tony. If the producers hoped the freshness and good buzz would work in their favor at the awards show, they didn’t succeed. Sydney Brustein It only earned two nominations, for Best Revival of a Play and for the titular lead, Miriam Silverman, who is incredible as Brosnahan’s badly injured sister. (It’s a difficult class, which was eliminated Piano lessonDaniel Brooks W Death of a salesmanSharon D. Clark.) This is an eerily similar result to what happened in the original series of the Lorraine Hansberry drama, when Alice Ghostly’s performance in the same role was the only nomination. For what it’s worth, she won.

The Tonys’ gender performance categories are looking increasingly flawed.
J. Harrison Ghee and Alex Newell, who are non-binary, are potential favorites in their respective categories: Best Actor in a Motion Picture Musical and Best Featured Actor in a Musical. Newell single-handedly stops the show peeledand Ghee’s character arc, which concerns the discovery of their non-binary identity, is heartfelt Some like it hot. Both performers had to choose to compete as an actor or actress (Newell said they chose actor because it’s the most gender-neutral term), and and julietJustin David Sullivan decided to opt out completely rather than “go ahead denying any part of my identity.” This set of categories will likely change soon, and you can count on hearing support for this idea in an acceptance speech or two.

There is a small but close race between actresses in plays…
This year’s Most Exciting category has only four nominees, with first faceJodie Comer doll houseJessica Chastain, Homicides in OhioAudra McDonald’s, W Summer 1976Actress Jessica Hecht is in the running for Best Actress in a Play. Since there are less than nine eligible major shows, there are four candidates, forcing potential competitors such as BrusteinBrosnahan and Hecht’s partner, Laura Linney. I’m very happy for Behesht, the lesser-known name in the duo but giving a better performance, that the nominees have recognized Audra – though that race boils down to Comer and Chastain, the Oscar-winning star opposite the stage newcomer who’s already won Olivier. It could go either way, but I might flip it towards Comer.

…and a strong competition for actresses in musicals.

If love Kimberly Akimbo As strong as I hope she is, then Victoria Clarke will walk away with her second Tony for her incredible win and awkward transformation into a teenager (compare that to Light in the square If you want to see the real extent). But if not, Annaleigh Ashford, Micaela Diamond, and Sara Bareilles are all hot on their heels (and they’re locked in icy skates). It is the key to their respective successes SweeneyAnd processionAnd Into the forest, and they’re all willing to campaign hard for their own shows—expect plenty of hits in the morning and/or late at night (Ashford would threaten to bake Stephen Colbert into a pie or something). As for the supporting actresses, Bonnie Milligan of Kimberly Akimbo Might as well be her speech belts already.

Finally, results Bad Cinderella is worse than bad.

Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber’s big, loud new musical may have renamed itself on its way from London to New York, Cinderella inside Bad Cinderella, but she did not convince anyone along the way. Ticket sales plummeted, and it got no nominations, with no love even for Carole Carmelo, a potential bright spot for “You’re Good to Mess” here and in the revival 1776. It’s so hard that Lloyd Webber’s score is ignored in favor of Tom Kitt and Cameron Crowe’s rock music. always famous (itself the only nomination for this musician). Bad Cinderella At least it has a company among other products without a nomination like Thanksgiving play (Which prompted Darcy Carradine), Nice noise (The usually fruitful path of acting in a bio-musical didn’t work out for Will Swenson), W.J cooperation (Presumably we’d still have to suffer through a movie adaptation of that.) One doubts it Bad Cinderella It can’t stay open much longer, and if it’s packed soon at the Imperial Theatre, it will mark the end of the string of Lloyd Webber productions on Broadway that began. EvitaPreviews in 1979.

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