The 68th annual Tony Awards are in full swing, with the official announcement of nominees being released Tuesday, April 29. Screen and stage stars alike will gather for the Hugh Jackman-hosted ceremony in June to celebrate the best of the best in theatrical performance. Any drama student should certainly be aware of the Tony Awards and their impact.
Leading the pack is “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder” with ten nominations, including Best Musical. The comedy stars Broadway babe Bryce Pinkham as Monty Navarro, a man willing to do anything to get to the top of the line of succession for his family fortune. Heralded by critics as the play to restore our faith in musical comedy, “A Gentleman’s Guide” is hoping to have a big night at the Tonys, having also been nominated for Best Book, Best Score, and Best Direction.
Neck and neck with “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder” is Woody Allen’s first ever Tony-nom “Bullets Over Broadway” with six nominations, including Best Choreography, Best Scenic Design, and Best Costume Design. This visually appetizing mobster musical is a throwback to Broadway’s golden days, telling the tale of an unlikely friendship between a playwright and a gangster. Starring Zach Braff and Susan Stroman, “Bullets Over Broadway” gives you the pizzazz of a broadway spectacle–it’s the kind of play that leaves you doing jazz hands for weeks.
But the Tonys are not all about jazz hands. In fact, this year’s bracket includes revivals of some of theatre’s greatest social commentary works, including “Raisin in The Sun,” Lorraine Hansberry’s drama about the assimilation of black culture in America. Over fifty years after its original debut in 1959, “Raisin” is still relevant. The Denzel Washington-led show snagged five nominations, including Best Revival and Best Direction.
Tennessee William’s coming-of-age tale “The Glass Menagerie” also finds relevance with the modern audience, raking in noms for Best Revival and Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Play (Brian J. Smith).
The list of nominees is rounded out with some of Broadway’s favorite starlets, including Sutton Foster, Audra McDonald, and Idina Menzel, as well as theatre’s most well-known scripts, such as Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night” and Steinbeck’s “Of Mice and Men.” I am a little surprised that Patrick Stewart and Ian Mckellan’s “Waiting for Godot” was left off the nominee list, but I guess not everyone loves Beckett as much as I do.