Saturday, April 30, 2011

The 2011 Awards Season: The Outer Critics Circle , Drama Desks and Astaire Awards

I thought it might be interesting to take a look at the major awards and who has been nominated thus far, for comparison purposes.  The awards I'm looking at today are the Outer Critics Circle, Drama Desk and Astaire, plus I'll add in the figures from the Drama League Award nominations earlier this week. 

While no one award seems to be a clear harbinger of what is to come Tony-wise, it is interesting to contemplate the impact of who was nominated for these, and perhaps more importantly, who was NOT nominated.  The Tony Committee has a decades long tradition of bucking the trends, looking instead more toward economic viability and critical response, and less toward public popularity and Box Office.  That is not to say that they are not influenced by the nominations already given - they may cause members to remember long-forgotten fall entries, for example.  And we all know for sure that a proven (though not 100%) way to get your show in the big awards nomination lists is to announce a national tour, whether it happens (Avenue Q eventual Best Musical) or not (Pajama Game eventual Best Musical Revival).  The really big shows will still announce their tours shortly, but with the secure knowledge that a lengthy run ahead is worth much more than a tour announcement.  Priscilla Queen of the Desert isn't taking any chances - they announced yesterday, just as the Tony nominating committee prepares to meet before Tuesday's announcement**.

Don't count Andrew Jackson
or Breif Encounter out!

It is also important to note that all of the awards nominating so far (except the Astaires) include off-Broadway plays and musicals, which the Tonys do not, and therefore leave more openings for Broadway shows to snatch up extra nominations later.  Also, and this year in particular, you need to consider that shows that opened last season off-Broadway - Brief Encounter, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson and The Scottsboro Boys were all considered then and not this year.  All three could prove spoilers as they are eligible for Tonys this season, especially since both Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson and The Scottsboro Boys won titles as Best off-Broadway musical.

What about Arcadia, Baby It's You! and Wonderland?

And there are the titles that have rarely if ever been on one of these lists: Driving Miss Daisy, Arcadia, La Bete, That Championship Season, Mrs. Warren's Profession, Jerusalem, High, RAIN: The Beatles Experience on Broadway, Baby It's You!, Wonderland.

For your consideration:

SHOW:                              TOTAL NOMS/"BEST" (PLAY/MUSICAL/REVIVAL)
Anything Goes                      25/3
Book of Mormon                  23/3
Sister Act                              19/3
Catch Me If You Can           19/1                               
How to Succeed...                 17/3
Women on the Verge...         13/1
The Merchant of Venice       12/3
Bengal Tiger/Baghdad Zoo  12/3
The Mother... the Hat          12/3
Priscilla Queen/Desert         11/3
Good People                        10/3
The Importance/Earnest       9/3
War Horse                             8/3
The Normal Heart                 7/3
The House of Blue Leaves     6/2
Born Yesterday                      6/2
The People in the Picture      6/1
Lombardi                               5/0

Are Anything Goes, The Book of Mormon
and Catch Me If You Can in the hunt?

If this is any indication of Tony nominations, then the nominees for Best Play should be: Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo, The Mother Fucker with the Hat, Good People and War Horse.  Best Revival of a Play: The Merchant of Venice, The Importance of Being Earnest, The Normal Heart and Born Yesterday.  Of course the Best Musical Revival will be Anything Goes and How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.    The Best Musical nominees, by these numbers, should be: The Book of Mormon, Sister Act, Catch Me If You Can and Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown.

Something tells me we are in for quite a few surprises.

** Be sure to come to this blog on Tuesday, May 3rd at 8:25AM Eastern to see the Tony Award Nominations LIVE!

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