Tony nominations: 'Once,' 'Porgy and Bess' lead the pack
'Once,' the musical based off the Oscar-winning film, garnered the most Tony nominations of any musical, while the Peter Pan origin story 'Peter and the Starcatcher' earned the most for a play.
The nominations were announced by “Big Bang Theory” star Jim Parsons, who will headline a Broadway production of “Harvey” in June, and “GCB” actress Kristin Chenoweth, who rose to Broadway fame when she originated the role of Galinda in the musical “Wicked” and most recently starred in another musical, “Promises, Promises.”
“The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess,” a revival of the classic musical that also drew controversy for changing some aspects of the show, received 10 nominations, second only to "Once," which received 11. The Peter Pan origin story “Peter and the Starcatcher,” based on the children’s book by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson, earned the most nominations for a play, with 9.
Four shows are each nominated for the biggest awards for the Tonys, Best Play and Best Musical. In addition to “Peter,” the plays “Clybourne Park,” “Other Desert Cities,” and “Venus in Fur” received nods for Best Play, while “Leap of Faith,” “Nice Work If You Can Get It,” “Newsies,” and “Once” made the cut for Best Musical.
The two nominations for the famously troubled musical “Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark,” for costume design and set design, were viewed as a disappointing awards haul by some. “Spider-Man” didn’t garner a nomination for Best Musical or one for its original score.
The Tonys separately recognize plays and musicals that were produced as revivals, and four of each made the cut this year. Best Revival of a Play nominees are “Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman,” “Master Class,” “Wit,” and “Gore Vidal’s The Best Man,” while “The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess,” “Jesus Christ Superstar,” “Follies,” and “Evita” earned nods for Best Revival of a Musical.
Those nominated for their acting work in a play include actor James Corden for “One Man, Two Guvnors” as well as James Earl Jones for “Gore Vidal’s The Best Man,” John Lithgow for “The Columnist,” Frank Langella for “Man and Boy,” and Philip Seymour Hoffman for “Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman.”
Actress Linda Lavin earned the only nod for the play “The Lyons” through her nomination for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play, along with Cynthia Nixon for “Wit,” Nina Arianda for “Venus in Fur,” Stockard Channing for “Other Desert Cities,” and Tracie Bennett for “End of the Rainbow.”
For the Tony Awards, the categories of best “featured” actors and actresses are roughly the equivalent of the Oscars’ best supporting actor and actress categories. For plays, “Spider-Man” star Andrew Garfield earned a nod for his work in “Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman,” joining fellow nominees Michael Cumpsty for “End of the Rainbow,” Christian Borle for “Peter and the Starcatcher,” Jeremy Shamos for “Clybourne Park,” and Tom Edden for “One Man, Two Guvnors.”
“Death of a Salesman” earned another nod with actress Linda Emond’s nomination for Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play. Also nominated were Judith Light for “Other Desert Cities,” Celia Keenan-Bolger for “Peter and the Starcatcher,” Condola Rashad for “Stick Fly,” and Spencer Kayden for “Don’t Dress for Dinner.”
For musicals, acting nominees for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical were Jeremy Jordan for “Newsies,” Danny Burstein for “Follies,” Norm Lewis for “The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess,” Ron Raines for “Follies” and Steve Kazee for “Once.” Actresses who earned a nod for their leading performance in a musical were Cristin Milioti for “Once,” Kelli O’Hara for “Nice Work If You Can Get It,” Laura Osnes for “Bonnie & Clyde,” Audra McDonald for “The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess,” and Jan Maxwell for “Follies.”
The actors in a musical who were nominated in the featured category were Michael Cerveris for “Evita,” David Alan Grier for “The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess,” Michael McGrath in “Nice Work If You Can Get It,” Josh Young in “Jesus Christ Superstar,” and Phillip Boykin for his show “The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess.” Actresses who received a featured nod for a musical were Jayne Houdyshell for “Follies,” Judy Kaye for “Nice Work If You Can Get It,” Jessie Mueller for “On A Clear Day You Can See Forever,” Da’Vine Joy Randolph in “Ghost: The Musical,” and Elizabeth A. Davis for “Once.”
Four musicals were nominated for the category of Best Book of a Musical, which recognizes the portions of a musical that are not sung. “Nice Work If You Can Get It,” “Lysistrata Jones,” “Newsies,” and “Once” received nods this year.
The shows honored in the Best Original Score (Music And/Or Lyrics) category were two plays which included music and two musicals – “Bonnie & Clyde,” “Peter and the Starcatcher,” “One Man, Two Guvnors,” and “Newsies” took the four slots.
Molly Driscoll is a Monitor contributor.