Wednesday, May 3, 2023

The 2023 Tony Awards Nominations: Our Thoughts

The 2023 Tony Awards Nominations: Our Thoughts

Like all of you, we watched and held our breath while Lea and Myles read the list of nominees for The 76th Annual Tony Awards. And like you, we have a few thoughts and feelings about how they turned out. As usual, there were some glaring snubs, some well-deserved but surprising inclusions, and some shows completely left out. Dancin's final days are already upon us, and I fear that Andrew Lloyd Webber's streak of having shows on Broadway is soon to be over. In both cases a shame, really. On the other hand, it seems that there is a broader diversity in this year's Nominee Class - ethnic, gender, and variety of content. It was also nice to see that the committee's memory is significantly longer than usual.

Before we start, we'd like to note that we have not yet seen New York, New York or Parade, though we will have seen them both before the winners are announced, We can't speak too much about any creative element or actor not included in the nominations. Below are our thoughts on the musical categories only.


Jeff: I have to say that I am most disappointed, and, in fact, shocked that Gaten Matarazzo was left off the list for Featured Actor in a Musical. His amazing interpretation of Tobias in Sweeney Todd is nothing short of eye-opening. Though all of the actors nominated in this category are deserving - I wouldn't drop one of them - it's a shame they didn't add a sixth. Related disappointment: what about Thomas Kail?

Mike: The biggest surprise and disappointment was Gaten Matarazzo's lack of a nomination for Featured Actor in a Musical. Pretty much everyone agreed he created something new and brilliant. That includes me - I thought I'd never forgive him for those constant, grating Verizon commercials! 😀

Jeff: Another actor nomination I'd have liked to see was Andrew Burnap in the Leading Actor in a Musical category. He is the single best thing about this otherwise dull production. And though it would have been nice to see Casey Likes' name on the list, I think it is wonderful that he is a Theatre World Award recipient for his debut in Almost Famous!

Mike: The second biggest surprise is the lack of a nomination for Andrew Burnap, even with six nominees for Best Actor in a Musical!


Mike: The most pleasant surprise was Best Score. Those are exactly the nominees I would have picked from among the new musicals (though I might have included Life of Pi over KPOP).

Jeff: I am so thrilled that Almost Famous was nominated for Best Score! So deserving, and such a tribute to American rock music. I'm also glad that the committee recognized the very best elements of KPOP, especially the score and the choreography. Finally, I am very happy for Ruthie Ann Miles, who makes a banquet out of crumbs in her role as The Beggar Woman in Sweeney Todd.


Mike: Despite its single-digit nomination total, I think Kimberly Akimbo is still the easy favorite to win Best Musical. It was never much of a factor for the design categories or choreography. It wouldn't be a shocker if it won everything it was nominated for. Overall, it's hard to complain too much. I would have preferred a little recognition for Dancin' and Bad Cinderella, but I'm very pleased with the great showing for Shucked and & Juliet (as well as Kimberly Akimbo). 

Jeff: I completely agree with Mike here. I think there is much to honor in both Bad Cinderella - the design elements and orchestrations are stand outs - and Dancin' is surely deserving of recognition for several cast members, not to mention Best Revival. But this is one year when I'm in almost complete agreement with the Tony Nominators in the musical categories. There were so many excellent choices this season, it must have been tough to have to leave anyone out.


On Monday, we posted our predictions (HERE). For each correct one we got 1 point, and for each "we'd like to see" choice that actually got nominated we got a 1/2 point. After all was said and done, Mike beat me by 1/2 a point, 57.5 to 58!


While it is awesome that Life of Pi got 5 well-deserved Tony nods, it is extremely disappointing that it wasn't nominated for Best Play and Best Lead Actor in a Play.

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