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Friday, May 11, 2018

The Friday 5: 5 Thoughts on the 2018 Tony Award Nominations

Well, it's been a week and a half since the 2018 Tony Awards nominations were announced, and now that I've had some time to process this information (and see 3 more shows from the season), here are a few thoughts:


1.  There REALLY needs to be a Tony for projections.
In the case of Mean Girls, for example, nearly the entire set IS projections, not a set. And yet, it was nominated for Best Scenic Design - Scenic Designer Scott Pask and Projection Designers Finn Ross and Adam Young. Meanwhile, some of the best projections of the season are in the overlooked Disney's Frozen. Are the nominators still confused? A separate category would eliminate the "is it set design?" vs "is it lighting?" confusion.

Those walls look like a mall! Projections!
2.  How can so many shows claim  the "most nominated of the season"?
Turns out, A LOT of  shows can and do... you really need to read the fine print. The Most Tony Award nominated shows are Angels in America - 11 nominations (a new record for any play, ever - sorry, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child), and SpongeBob SquarePants and Mean Girls - both tied with 12 nominations... Meanwhile, in combined award nominations, it is true that Harry Potter and the Cursed Child and Carousel are the most nominated shows of the season.  And none of this takes into consideration that The Band's Visit won a ton last year, and is only eligible for Tonys this year.

Was nominated: Grey Henson.
Shoulda been nominated: Barrett Wilbert Weed and Erika Henningsen
3.  I would have done opposites of what was nominated from Mean Girls
Instead of Taylor Louderman for Best Actress, I'd have nominated Erika Henningsen. I'd have nominated Kate Rockwell over Ashley Park. And instead of a Featured Actor, I'd have gone with another Featured Actress with Barrett Wilbert Weed. Sorry, Grey.

4.  Not sure how these people made the list...
I can think of at least 5 other very worthy performances over Grey Henson, Alexander Gemignani, and Norbert Leo Butz. Two of these guys waaayyy over acted and the other had almost nothing to do.

Overlooked: James McArdle

Overlooked: Jellani Alladin

Overlooked: Phillip Boykin
5.  The egregiously overlooked...
How could they have nominated Christopher Gatelli's work on My Fair Lady and left out Camille A. Brown's Once On This Island choreography?  Then there's the Frozen freeze-out: no costumes, scenery and lighting nods? Really? And I'd take both Patti Murin and Caissie Levy over Jessie Mueller. No Kenita R. Miller as Featured Actress? Sad. And Angels in America's James McArdle really got overlooked... As for the 5 very worthy performances I can think of over Butz, Henson and Gemignani? I feel that Once On This Island's Phillip Boykin and Isaac Powell, The Band's Visit's John Cariani and Frozen's John Riddle and Jelani Alladin all offered more, in my opinion.

Every year there are surprises and disappointments, and this year is no exception.  Good luck and congratulations to all!

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