Wednesday, May 2, 2012

The 2012 Tony Nominations: A Few Thoughts

When this blog posts, it'll be just over 24 hours since the 2012 Tony Award nominations were announced.  Every year there are the givens, the surprises and left outs.  And the carnage begins almost immediately.

As I type this, two shows have already thrown in the towel: Seminar and Magic/Bird, both of which came up empty-handed this morning.  And all over town, decisions are being made about the fate other shows whose fortunes were resting on a Tony nod or two.  The only other show currently running that got no nominations is Godspell, whose box office has been iffy throughout its run.  Personally, I'd have rather had the uneven, but much riskier Godspell up for Best Musical Revival than the hardly exciting by-the-Book Jesus Christ Superstar, whose strongest asset, Tom Hewitt (right) went away without a nomination.

So far, I've only seen a handful of plays, so I will only comment on those I have seen.  My views will likely change in the coming weeks when Mike and I take in Clybourne Park, Venus in Fur, One Man, Two Guvnors and The Lyons, all of which I am looking forward to.

Speaking of Mike, he guessed 58% of the nominees that should have been nominated to my 50%.  When it came to the actual nominations we were both exactly equal - we guessed 72% correctly.  Of course, we didn't guess exactly the same, but we were pretty close, percentage-wise!

To see all of our predictions in the musical categories, click HERE.

To see reviews of each musical and a few plays from the 2011 - 2012 season, click HERE.

Of the nominations,  I am particularly pleased that Once got the most nominations, and that the beautiful revival of Follies wasn't forgotten, even though it departed months ago.  I am disappointed that the two shows I liked the least this season - The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess and Nice Work If You Can Get It - were so rewarded.  That's not to say that they were completely undeserved.  How terrific that Broadway newbie Phillip Boykin's ominous and violent turn in Porgy was remembered, and that Norm Lewis was nominated for his touching, passionate performance in the same.  Both Michael McGrath and Judy Kaye are certainly shining stars in the mediocrity of Nice Work, and both are deserving of nominations.

Two of my favorite shows got notice: Lysistrata Jones' hilarious and too smart book by Douglas Carter Beane and Bonnie and Clyde got deserved nods for its leading lady, Laura Osnes and the score by Frank Wildhorn and Don Black. (Take that, Wildhorn haters!)

2012 Tony Nominee for Best Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical
Laura Osnes - Bonnie and Clyde

Overlooked, but still loved: Bernadette Peters
2012 Tony Nominee for Best Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical
Ron Raines - Follies

I think I was most surprised that Ron Raines got a nomination and Bernadette Peters did not.  The same goes for Jane Houdyshell getting one and Terri White not getting one!  With Raines, he totally deserves it, I just never thought that because he was playing a highly unlikable character he would get a nomination.  But he was THAT good.  I know there are those who didn't enjoy Ms. Peters' different take on Sally, but I found her to be heartbreaking and tragic.  And amazing!  And not that she doesn't deserve it, but I was surprised that Once's  Elizabeth A. Davis was nominated from that amazingly tight ensemble.  And I'm not sure if it is surprise or disappointment that Leap of Faith got a Best Musical nomination, considering its critical reception.  I'd have rather had that slot go to Ghost The Musical, if it had to go to a still-running show.

Adam Chanler-Berat and
2012 Tony Award Nominee
Celia Keenan-Bolger -
Peter and the Starcatcher

And I am thrilled with all of the nominations for Other Desert Cities and Peter and the Starcatcher!  Go Stockard, Celia and Christian!  Still, I am disappointed that Rachel Griffiths and director Joe Mantello were over looked for Cities.  And I am very disappointed that the sweet portrayal of the boy who would become Peter Pan by Adam Chanler-Berat was overlooked.  And John Larroquette and Eric McCormack's turns as Presidential hopefuls in The Best Man were ignored by the nominating committee, which is a real shame (though James Earl Jones is pretty terrific).

The Featured Actress in a Musical performance of the year:
Melissa van der Schyff - Bonnie and Clyde

But hands-down, my biggest disappointment of all is the omission of Melissa van der Schyff from the list of Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical.  Her strong and heartbreaking performance as Blanche in Bonnie and Clyde was a highlight of the entire season.

Non-nominees Jennifer Lim (center) and the set by David Korins
from Chinglish

A few other names I am sorry to see were missed include: Chinglish's Jennifer Lim and its set designer, David Korins, Follies' director Eric Schaeffer, Ghost's Caissie Levy and its score by Dave Stewart and Glen Ballard, Godspell's scenic design by David Korins and the inventive orchestrations by Michael Holland, Evita's Ricky Martin, Leap of Faith's Leslie Odom, Jr. (but he IS Mr. Broadway this month!), Andrew Keenan-Bolger (but he was LAST MONTH's Mr. Broadway!) and Kara Lindsay from Disney's Newsies.

Speaking of Mr. and Ms. Broadways, many of them are 2012 Tony Award Nominees: Jeremy Jordan (Sept. 2011), Douglas Carter Beane (Mr. Broadway 2011), Steve Kazee (March 2012), Laura Osnes (May 2011), Celia Keenan-Bolger (February 2012), and Cristin Milioti (March 2012)!

To find out more about these and other honoree, click the tabs at the top of the blog!

@jkstheatrescene (Twitter); (email); Comment below (Blogger)

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