Decoding the 2018 Tony Nominations: Snubs & Surprises
The nominations are out, sending Broadway fans into a frenzy of who might win, who should win, and who wasn’t even nominated. Let’s break it down.
Newcomers (to the Great White Way, at least) Mean Girls and SpongeBob SquarePants led the nominations, up for 12 awards each. It’s a clear signal that often-elitist Broadway has welcomed the two productions with Silver Screen origins. Close behind, Angels in America, Carousel, and The Band’s Visit each received 11 nods. Being nominated for so many awards is impressive, but it doesn’t mean these shows will walk away with arms full of Tonys. (Great Comet of 1812, for example, won only two awards out of its 12 nominations)
Ten shows were eligible for Best Play, and five have been nominated, including the buzzy Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Other nominees: The Children, Farinelli and the King, Junk, and Latin History for Morons. We were surprised not to see 1984 on the list.
Best Revival of a Play
It’s a five-way competition for best play revival: Angels in America, Lobby Hero, Three Tall Women, The Iceman Cometh, and Travesties
Best Leading Actor in a Play
No surprise that Andrew Garfield earned a nomination for Angels. Others vying for the Tony include Tom Hollander for Travesties, Jamie Parker for Harry Potter, Mark Rylance in Farinelli and the King, and Denzel Washington in The Iceman Cometh.
Best Leading Actress in a Play
One of the big surprises of the nominations was in the Leading Actress in a Play category, with the hilarious Amy Schumer besting her equally comedic costar (and Broadway darling) Laura Benanti in Meteor Shower. She’ll compete for the award with Glenda Jackson in Three Tall Women, Condola Rashad in Saint Joan, and Lauren Ridloff in Children of a Lesser God.
Best Featured Actor in a Play
Two of the five nominees in this crowded category hail from Lobby Hero: Michael Cera and Brian Tyree Henry. Other nominees include David Morse from The Iceman Cometh, Anthony Boyle in Harry Potter, and (obviously) Nathan Lane for Angels.
Best Featured Actress in a Play
Both Denise Gough and Susan Brown from Angels received well-deserved nominations for their challenging roles in the grueling production. Likewise, Noma Dumezweni, who plays Hermione in Harry Potter is up for the Tony as well. Others in this category: Debora Findlay from The Children, and Laurie Metcalf (fresh off an Oscar win for Ladybird) from Three Tall Women.
In the Best Musical category, Frozen is competing against The Band’s Visit, Mean Girls, and SpongeBob.
Best Revival of a Musical
No surprises in this category. All three eligible revivals—Carousel, My Fair Lady, and Once on this Island—received nominations.
Best Leading Actor in a Musical
Tony Shalhoub, who sings barely a note in The Band’s Visit, scored a nomination nonetheless thanks to his brilliant acting. The probable frontrunner of the night will likely be Ethan Slater for his much lauded take as SpongeBob. Also in the running: Harry Hadden-Paton for My Fair Lady and Joshua Henry for Carousel.
Best Leading Actress in a Musical
It was a crowded field of leading ladies in the musical world this year. Even though it wasn’t nominated for Best Musical, Summer: The Donna Summer Musical received some love, in the form of star LaChanze’s portrayal of the diva. Lauren Ambrose for her role as Liza Doolittle in My Fair Lady, newcomer Hailey Kilgore for her powerful portral of Ti Moune in Once on this Island (a role La Chanze originated and received a nomination for as well), Katrina Lenk from The Band’s Visit, Taylor Louderman as Regina George from Mean Girls, and Jessie Mueller (of Waitress and Beautiful fame) in Carousel complete the list of nominees. Notably absent? Casey Levi and Patti Murin, the princesses of from Frozen, in one of the most talked-about snubs of the nominations.
Best Featured Actor in a Musical
Ari’el Stachel, a breakout performer from The Band’s Visit, earned a nomination, along with Norbert Leo Butz (My Fair Lady), Alexander Gemignani (Carousel), Grey Henson (Mean Girls) and Gavin Lee (Spongebob).
Best Featured Actress in a Musical
Two of Carousel‘s actresses, opera megastar Renée Fleming and previous Elphaba Lindsay Mendez, are competing for the Tony in this cagetory. So too, is Airana DeBose for her take on Disco Donna in Summer, Ashley Park for her role as Gretchen Wieners in Mean Girls, and Diana Rigg (Game of Thrones fans will recognize her as the feisty Lady Olenna) for her take as Mrs. Higgins in My Fair Lady.
See all the nominees in New York
The Tony’s will air on CBS on June 10, at 8pm Eastern Time. Will you be watching? There’s still time to see the nominated shows! Make The Knick, in the heart of New York’s Theater District, your Broadway base, and stop by St. Cloud Social for an apres-theater drink.