The Playgoer: Tony Noms 2010

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Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Tony Noms 2010

They're out.  And they're...pretty much what you expected.

I'd say the headline coming out of this is the number of bona fide celebrities included.  Look at the Best Actor category alone: Denzel Washington, Jude Law, Christopher Walken, Liev Schreiber, and Alfred Molina.  Might as well be the next Jerry Bruckheimer buddy film! Also nominated: Scarlett Johansson, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Angela Lansbury,Valerie Harper, Linda Lavin, Kelsey Grammer, Laura Linney, Sean Hayes.

Oh, and Green Day.  Not that they're nominated personally.  But they'll be there, you betcha.

So CBS must be thrilled for the broadcast.  A red carpet worthy of the name and lots of A-list presenters. And with David Hyde Pierce getting a special honor (for his charity work) you got a Frasier reunion, too!  (Especially if Bebe Neuwirth bothers to show after being snubbed for Addams Family.)

Other mild surprises and newsworthy details:

Best Play: David Mamet turns out not to have a lock in the category: his Race was shut out.  But after all, it's really not a good play....Instead, the committee chose to remember Sarah Ruhl's In the Next Room, which closed back in January.  So Ruhl makes it on Broadway....A shout out to the little play that might, Next Fall, and the very-respected Time Stands Still by Donald Margulies. The British snob hit slot goes to Red (since everyone hated Enron) and it will probably win.

Patrick Healy's analysis of the Best Play nom's over at NYT are worth considering:

the four nominees for best play are all shows that have or had performed modestly at best at the box office. Two of the plays, “In the Next Room (or the vibrator play)” and “Time Stands Still,” were both not-for-profit Broadway productions; “In the Next Room” struggled badly to fill seats,” and “Time Stands Still” performed unevenly. A third nominee, “Next Fall,” has had some of the lowest grosses of the spring season.
More confirmation that drama is not back on B'way.  But Red is doing well.  And the biggest hit drama of the year, A Steady Rain (starring Wolverine and James Bond) was also shut out.  I'd say that's just an example of good taste on the part of the committee.  Then again, if it were still running, it might have had more clout among producers.

Best Musical: The big story will be the absence of The Addams Family. But you knew that.  That show may not need Tonys to keep running--BUT it will really, really want a spot on the TV broadcast.  How will they finagle that?  Stay tuned to Michael Riedel....Twyla Tharp's Sinatra-fest Come Fly Away also left out, though she got a choreography nod...Also note that among all four nominees, only one has an original score.  The fact that that show is Memphis surprised me since I (like many, probably) assumed it's another jukebox musical.  But no, it only features faux-R&B songs by Bon Jovi's David Bryan....And yes, half of the four nominated musicals (Memphis & Million Dollar Quartet) are nostalgic recreations of early rock 'n' roll in the same city!

Best Score: Because 75% of the nominated musicals featured only repackaged music, the committee had to expand this once-crucial category, renaming it "Best Original Score Written for the Theatre."  So not only did they have to descend to Memphis and even The Addams Family (must have been hard for them), but two plays! Fences (Branford Marsalis's classy & jazzy incidental music) and Enron.  Which everyone hated.  Talk about filling the category.

Again, nothing for Brighton Beach Memoirs, due to (as commenter Steve pointed out) the show not running long enough for Tony voters to see it.  Talk about self-fulfilling prophecy!

More snubs: Nathan Lane in Addams Family--will he show? will he be a bitchy presenter? Let's hope so.  (I'm sure CBS is.)...Everyone involved in A Steady Rain.  I guess Hugh isn't hosting again this year....And a lot of American Idiot, which only got Set and Lighting in addition to Best Musical. So big dis to director/conceiver Michael Mayer and lead actor John Gallagher, who basically carries the show.

Special Awards to: Alan Ayckbourn, Marian Seldes, the O'Neill Center, and--in a surprise nod to the NYC nonprofit downtown community, ART/NY! (Alliance of Resident Theatres/New York)

The Big Winners: Fela (11 noms), La Cage (11 ), Fences (10),  Memphis (8), the long-ago-closed and beleaguered Ragtime revival (7)...and actress Jan Maxwell (2) for Lead in Royal Family and Featured in Lend Me a Tenor.

See you on June 13th for the return of the Blogcast!

*Correction: I didn't notice the ART/NY award earlier.  Thanks to the commenter below for reminding me.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

A.R.T/New York has also received a special Tony this year. Not as glamorous as David Hyde Peirce, Alan Ayckbourn, Marian Seldes, and the O'Neill Center, but still warrants mentioning.