Tony Award nom­i­na­tions led by ‘Hadestown’ with 14

The Tribune (SLO) - - Espresso - BY MICHAEL PAULSON

The new mu­si­cal “Hadestown” led the Tony nom­i­na­tions Tues­day morn­ing, get­ting nods in 14 cat­e­gories.

The nom­i­nees for best mu­si­cal are “Ain’t Too Proud: The Life and Times of the Temp­ta­tions,” “Beetle­juice,” “Hadestown,” “The Prom” and “Toot­sie.”

Best play nom­i­nees are “Choir Boy,” “The Fer­ry­man,” “Gary: A Se­quel to Ti­tus An­dron­i­cus,” “Ink” and “What the Con­sti­tu­tion Means to Me.”

Among the bold­faced names nominated were Annette Ben­ing, Bryan Cranston, Jeff Daniels, Adam Driver, Elaine May and Lau­rie Met­calf.

The awards cer­e­mony will take place at 8 p.m. EDT June 9, at Ra­dio City Mu­sic Hall, and will be broad­cast on CBS with a time de­lay for PDT view­ers. James Cor­den is the host.


“Hadestown,” a folkand-blues-in­flected mu­si­cal reimag­in­ing the Greek myth of Or­pheus and Eury­dice, led the Tony nom­i­na­tions Tues­day morn­ing, win­ning nods in 14 cat­e­gories.

But the nom­i­na­tions were no­table not only for those they hon­ored, but for those they ig­nored. “To Kill a Mock­ing­bird” and “Net­work,” two costly dra­mas that have been big hits at the box of­fice, did not get nominated in the best new play cat­e­gory. But they did not come away empty-handed – “Mock­ing­bird” was nominated in nine other cat­e­gories and “Net­work” in five.

The cur­rent Broad­way sea­son, much to the sur­prise of many who wor­ried that the in­dus­try is be­ing swal­lowed by big brand block­buster mu­si­cals, was dom­i­nated by plays – 21 in all, many of them new, sev­eral of them prof­itable and some quite ad­ven­tur­ous.

The Tony race for best new play is now likely to be a face­off be­tween “The Fer­ry­man,” Jez But­ter­worth’s grip­ping fam­ily drama set in a trou­bled North­ern Ire­land in 1981, and the much more in­ti­mate “What the Con­sti­tu­tion Means to Me,” an au­to­bi­o­graph­i­cal piece by Heidi Schreck about gen­der and Amer­i­can le­gal his­tory, in­spired by her ado­les­cent ex­pe­ri­ence giv­ing speeches about the Con­sti­tu­tion to win schol­ar­ship money.

The other con­tenders for best new play are “Choir Boy,” “Gary: A Se­quel To Ti­tus An­dron­i­cus” and “Ink.”

The race for best play re­vival is wide open, but among the hope­fuls are “The Waverly Gallery,” a Ken­neth Lon­er­gan drama, first pro­duced in 1999, about how Alzheimer’s dis­ease af­fects a woman and her fam­ily, and “The Boys in the Band,” a pi­o­neer­ing 1968 play by Mart Crowley about a group of gay men gath­ered for a birth­day party. Nei­ther play had ever been staged on Broad­way be­fore.

Also nominated: “All My Sons,” “Burn This” and “Torch Song.”

A panel of 42 theater experts who saw all 34 el­i­gi­ble shows over the last year voted on the nom­i­na­tions. The nom­i­na­tors are not al­lowed to have any financial re­la­tion­ship with any of the el­i­gi­ble shows.


The mu­si­cals vy­ing for big awards this sea­son could hardly be more dif­fer­ent from one an­other.

“Hadestown” is an un­con­ven­tional show born of the down­town theater scene – sung-through, poetic, packed with both emo­tion and pol­i­tics. That show will now face off against “Ain’t Too Proud: The Life and Times of the Temp­ta­tions,” an ex­u­ber­antly sung and danced juke­box mu­si­cal, which gar­nered 12 nom­i­na­tions, and “Toot­sie,” a mu­si­cal com­edy that, like many Broad­way shows to­day, was adapted from a pop­u­lar film, but smartly up­dated to re­flect to­day’s gen­der pol­i­tics. It got 11 nom­i­na­tions.

Also in the run­ning is “The Prom,” which is about a group of ego­tis­tic New York ac­tors who de­cide to come to the aid of an ado­les­cent girl in Indiana who wants to take her girl­friend to the prom, and “Beetle­juice,” adapted from the Tim Bur­ton film.

There were only two mu­si­cal re­vivals this sea­son. Both were well re­viewed and both were nominated for the prize in that cat­e­gory: a re­vised “Kiss Me, Kate” and a re­vi­sion­ist “Ok­la­homa!”


Reeve Car­ney, left, and Eva Noblezada em­brace dur­ing a per­for­mance of “Hadestown,” di­rected by Rachel Chavkin. The mu­si­cal led all pro­duc­tions with 14 Tony nom­i­na­tions.

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