On the morning of Tuesday, April 29th, Jonathan Groff and Lucy Liu announced the nominations for the 68th Annual Tony Awards. There were a lot of surprises and deserving nominations, but that said, here’s my reaction to the announcement this year.
Best Musical nominations went to Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, Aladdin, After Midnight, and A Gentlemen’s Guide to Love and Murder. Beautiful has been speculated to get a nomination, with the popularity with Carole King and glowing reviews for star Jessie Mueller. After Midnight, the popular jazz review was also expected to get nominated. Though many thought Gentlemen’s Guide deserved a nomination with critics enjoying the show, audiences have not quite caught on to the musical. As expected, the popular Disney musical Aladdin got a nomination. After the Tony committee announced it would extend the category from four to five nominations, and with the wide arrange of musicals to choose from, you wonder why they stuck with only four shows.
Best Play nominations went to Act One, All The Way, Mothers and Sons, Casa Valentina, and Outside Mullingar. Many of these shows recieved great reviews from their leading actors (Tyne Daly, Debra Messing), especially All The Way with Breaking Bad’s Bryan Cranston. Harvey Fierstein’s drag play Casa Valentina and the show about a show Act One have also been well received by audiences and critics. Best Play will be a tough category this year.
Best Revival of a Musical nominations went to Violet, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, and Les Miserables. Violet and Hedwig, both originally Off-Broadway musicals, took to the Broadway stage with stars Sutton Foster and Neil Patrick Harris leading the productions. The revamped production of Les Miserables, straight from the 25th anniversary tour, was also nominated for its stunning look and all-star cast. Even with only three nominees in the category this year, (unfortunately Cabaret, being a replica of the revival in 1998, was ineligible to be nominated in this category) it will be a tough battle between these shows.
Leading Actor in a Musical nominees include Neil Patrick Harris (Hedwig and the Angry Inch), Ramin Karimloo (Les Miserables), Andy Karl (Rocky), Jefferson Mays and Bryce Pinkham (Gentleman’s Guide). NPH goes from host to Tony nominee this year, with his amazing, transformative performance in Hedwig. Ramin and Andy give powerful performances as Jean Valjean and Rocky Balboa, respectively. They will be up against the two funny men of Gentleman’s Guide. It’s anybody’s game here– though our money’s on Harris.
Leading Actress in a Musical nominations went to Mary Bridget Davies (Janis Joplin), Sutton Foster (Violet), Idina Menzel (If/Then), Jessie Mueller (Beautiful), and Kelli O’Hara (Bridges of Madison County). This category is star-studded this year with three Broadway vets and two bright, upcoming talents. With glowing reviews for Jessie Mueller portrayal of Carole King and star power from Idina and Sutton, it’s really hard to say which Broadway diva is going to snag the award.
These are only five of the many categories. For the full list of nominees, visit thetonyawards.com.
Be sure to watch the 68th Annual Tony Awards on Sunday, June 8th at 8:00pm. This year, I will be lucky enough to attend the Tony’s, as will the crew at Camp Broadway! Be sure to follow us on Twitter and Instagram as we send live updates from Radio City Music Hall.