Tony Awards nominations spotlight newbies and shutouts aplenty
The new crop of 2022 Tony nominees were unveiled by theater stars Joshua Henry and Adrienne Warren on Monday. The list showcases the newest and brightest offerings on the Broadway stage this season, just ahead of the upcoming awards show slated for June 12.
A Strange Loop is surely the front-runner, leading the pack with 11 nominations, including Best Musical. The show won a Pulitzer Prize in 2020 for its Off-Broadway run and newly opened on the B'way, highlighting a Black gay man writing a musical about ... a Black gay man writing a musical.
Close behind in noms – with 10 each – and also in the running for Best Musical are MJ, the Michael Jackson jukebox musical, and Paradise Square, a large-scale spectacle about contrasting cultural groups in NYC circa 1863.
Fan favorite Six: The Musical, a girl group pop musical about the wives of Henry VIII, Girl From North Country, which features the music of Bob Dylan, and Mr. Saturday Night, the newbie helmed by Billy Crystal, round out the Best Musical bunch.
The Best Play category sees The Lehman Trilogy leading with eight nods, in addition to Clyde’s, Hangmen, The Minutes, and Skeleton Crew.
Among the biggest snubs were some celebrity names, including Daniel Craig as MacBeth, Debra Messing in Birthday Candles, and both Matthew Broderick and Sarah Jessica Parker in the revival of Neil Simon’s Plaza Suite.
Yet, many small screen and Hollywood heavyweights haven't been left hanging. Crystal, Hugh Jackman, Mary-Louise Parker, Jesse Williams, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Ruth Negga, Rachel Dratch, Phylicia Rashad, Sam Rockwell, and Uzo Aduba all received acting nods.
Shutouts and spotlights
The biggest shutouts of musicals still playing were Mrs. Doubtfire and the revival of Funny Girl, which only received nominations for its lead actor and supporting actor, respectively.
The nominees were selected by an independent committee of 29 nominators, and are presented by The Broadway League and the American Theatre Wing. Now, 650 designated Tony voters will vote on the winners.
This year's nominations announcement was postponed a week "in an effort to allow nominators to see Tony eligible shows" after "challenges" arouse – namely some continued cast member absences and cancellations due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
Theater fans are hoping this year's Tony's and its nominations give a much-needed boost to Broadway attendance. The industry is still struggling to come back following its 15-month Covid shutdown, which ended last summer, and widespread cancellations over the Christmas holiday due to Omicron's surge. The Tony's handed out awards for 2020's shortened season in a streamed-only ceremony in September.
"This year, the Great White Way shines ever brighter, as not only are we coming back stronger than ever, but it's the 75th anniversary," Warren explained at the top of the announcement from New York's Sofitel Hotel on Monday.
2022's awards will be hosted by Oscar and Tony winner Arianna DeBose at Radio City Music Hall on June 12. The broadcast will be televised live across the country on CBS for the first time in the show's history, and streamed on Paramount+.
Cover photo: Collage: ANGELA WEISS / AFP & JENNY ANDERSON / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / GETTY IMAGES VIA AFP