It’s Tony Time in NYC!
Every year at this time Broadway gets together to honor its own. One indication of the power of these awards is the 23 percent increase in Broadway revenues since the nominations were announced.
Awards will be handed out at Radio City Music Hall on Sunday, June 8, and televised on CBS. The Tony broadcast is traditionally the most interesting of the awards shows as it has so much performance content from nominated (and non nominated but visually exciting) shows.
The column today will feature theatrical productions that have either been reviewed or featured in this column, all of which have received one or more of the illustrious Tony nominations. Closing dates are listed if they have been posted.
Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill: Audra McDonald gets her seventh nomination (she has won 4) for her stirring portrayal of jazz singer Billie Holiday. After much discussion it was resolved that her nomination would be for Leading Actress in a Play rather than a musical, making her eligible for the first Tony Grand Slam. (Wins in all lead and featured actress categories.) Closes Aug. 10.
A Night With Janis: The fabulous recreation of a Janis Joplin concert by the wonderfully talented Mary Bridget Davies who got a leading lady Tony nod for her riveting performance.
All The Way: Bryan Cranston received Best Actor in a Play nomination for his scorching Lyndon Johnson portrayal and author and Pulitzer winning writer Robert Schenkkan also received a nomination, as well as Best Play nod. Closes June 29
Beautiful, The Carole King Musical: Best Actress nomination for Jessie Mueller’s performance as legendary songwriter Carole King in her remarkable rise to stardom, as well as Best Musical nomination for the show. It is probably destined for a long run, but who knows?
Bridges of Madison County: Though snubbed for Best Musical, leading lady Kelli O’Hara was nominated, as well as Best Original Score. The show, based on the best-selling novel, will tour next year, but unfortunately the show will shutter its Broadway run on May 18.
After Midnight: The wonderful throwback to the Cotton Club Era with outstanding singing and dancing, and the best jazz band that Co-Creator Wynton Marsalis could assemble! It was selected in the Best Musical category among the seven Tony nominations it received. It rotates leading ladies in and out, with Patti LaBelle, Gladys Knight and Natalie Cole scheduled for future turns. This show remains a winner.
A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder: This comedic spoof garnered the most Tony nominations of any show. Nods included Jefferson Mays for lead actor and the play for Best Musical, Best Book of a Musical and Best Original Score.
Raisin in the Sun: Denzel Washington received kudos for his performance in Lorraine Hansberry’s classic play, but not a Tony nomination. Not true for LaTanya Richardson Jackson, who did receive a nod for Leading Actress in a play; Sophie Okonedo and Anika Noni Rose garnered Featured Actress in a Play nods; it also won nomination for Best Revival of a Play. Closes June 13.
This is a roundup of some of the very best that Broadway has to offer. Now is the time to take advantage of the opportunity!