Announced early Tuesday morning, the Tony Award nominations are pleasantly surprising this year! There are veteran and newcomer names among the nominees. Shows telling the stories of those as well-known as Carole King and Janis Joplin garnered nominations for their stars, Jessie Mueller and Mary Bridget Davies respectively; and the exciting revival of Hedwig and The Angry Inch brought the second most nominations this year with eight, next to The Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder (10 nominations). Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, The Glass Menagerie, and Twelfth Night all received seven nominations.
Neil Patrick Harris is no stranger to the Broadway stage, as well as many of the nominated actors and actresses this year. Most know him as Doogie Howser, M.D., Barney Stinson from How I Met Your Mother, or the go-to Tony or Emmy Awards show host, but Harris has also been seen onstage in shows such as Cabaret, Assassins, and Company. His combination of wit, charm, and talent make him very versatile for the Broadway stage as well as film and television. In his run of the John Cameron Mitchell authored musical as the title character Hedwig and her band The Angry Inch, Harris tells the tale of an interesting transgendered would-be rock star and the trials of betrayal, survival, and love she encounters along the way.
Television and movie stars Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad) and Anika Noni Rose (Dreamgirls, The Princess and the Frog) are among the nominees, joining newcomers such as Davies (the sole nomination for her show) and Mueller. Other Tony Award nominees include: Ramin Karimloo for Les Misérables, Sutton Foster for Violet, Idina Menzel for If/Then, and Tony Shalhoub for Act One. Tony Award nominations are pleasantly surprising this year for Best Musical and Best Play also: A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, Outside Mullingar, and Casa Valentina. The nominees all bring a seasoned mix of old and new, and therefore a varied feel to an evening sometimes full of the same names and faces. Host Hugh Jackman, a Broadway veteran himself, is sure to bring audiences a night full of laughter, talent, and charm.
This year’s Tony Awards show is sure to provide exciting moments from the nominated shows, as well as appearances by many Broadway, television, and movie favorites. The performances from nominated musicals and descriptions of the play nominees brings an insight into the stories being told, giving all an idea of the outstanding artists in the shows presented. The Tony Awards show is almost like a commercial for everything on Broadway, encouraging everyone to experience a night of carefree enjoyment.
Sometimes there can also be disappointing snubs at the Tony Awards. Denzel Washington (A Raisin in the Sun), James Franco (Of Mice and Men), and Alan Cumming (Cabaret) are among those the nominating committee seems to have forgotten this year. Although all of the nominees are amazing, sometimes experienced talent must sacrifice to give new talent a chance to share the spotlight. In the long run, the Tony Award nominations are sure to be pleasantly surprising for audiences this year.
Opinion by Sharon A. Daws