2011 Tony Nominations

The 2011 Tony nominations have been announced, dear readers! While the committee did remember some of the shows from the fall, they failed to nominate a certain actor from this spring. Grr!!!! Anyway, without any further ado, here are the nominees, along with some commentary, of course. (Note: If I've seen the show, I've linked to my review at its first mention. I plan on doing some Tony prep/catch up in the coming weeks, so stay tuned for more reviews.)

The Musicals:

Best Musical
Well, obviously I would have preferred for Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson to take Sister Act's spot, but I'm happy with the other three nominees.

Best Musical Revival
Since only two musical revivals opened on Broadway this season, there were no surprises one way or the other here.

Leading Actor in a Musical
  • Norbert Leo Butz, Catch Me
  • Josh Gad, The Book of Mormon
  • Joshua Henry, The Scottsboro Boys
  • Andrew Rannells, The Book of Mormon
  • Tony Sheldon, Priscilla Queen of the Desert
I'm so mad at the committee for, once again, overlooking Aaron Tveit. They passed over him two years ago for his incredible work in Next to Normal and they've passed over him this year for his terrific turn in Catch Me. This super talented actor just can't catch a break. I'm glad Josh Henry was nominated and that Daniel Radcliffe wasn't. I haven't seen Priscilla yet so I can't speak to Sheldon's nomination, but I would have preferred for Tveit to be nominated instead of both the Mormons (they were both good, though I preferred Rannells) or, dare I say it, Butz. Poor Aaron.

Leading Actress in a Musical
First, note that there are only four nominees in this category. Due to a Tony rule, there need to be at least seven eligible women in order for there to be five nominees, like in other acting categories. This year, there were only six women eligible in this category. Now, of these four who are nominated, these are the four I predicted. No complaints, although just based on the shows they're in I would like for Sherie Rene Scott to take Leavel's place, but this shook out fine.

Featured Actor in a Musical
  • Colman Domingo, The Scottsboro Boys
  • Adam Godley, Anything Goes
  • John Larroquette, How to Succeed
  • Forrest McClendon, The Scottsboro Boys
  • Rory O'Malley, The Book of Mormon
I'm so excited for Rory O'Malley. In my review, I expressed hope that the committee would remember him come nomination time and they did! Now it's up to the voters to do the right thing. (Also, John Larroquette's nomination is bunk. What about Tom Wopat? Or Joel Grey?)

Featured Actress in a Musical
I really wanted Kerry Butler to be nominated. I would, without a moment's hesitation, swap her in in place of Tammy Blanchard. Butler kills it in "Fly, Fly Away." But, I am glad that James, Benanti and LuPone were all nominated. (I haven't seen Sister Act, but I hear Clark is great.)


  • Rob Ashford, How to Succeed
  • Kathleen Marshall, Anything Goes
  • Casey Nicholaw, The Book of Mormon
  • Susan Stroman, The Scottsboro Boys
Other than hoping/predicting Jerry Mitchell in place of Rob Ashford, this category is as I thought it would be. It's basically a battle of the hoofers this year; can "Turn if Off' beat "Anything Goes"?


  • The Book of Mormon, Music and Lyrics by Trey Parker, Robert Lopez and Matt Stone
  • The Scottsboro Boys, Music and Lyrics by John Kander and Fred Ebb
  • Sister Act, Music by Alan Menken, Lyrics by Glenn Slater
  • Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, Music and Lyrics by David Yazbek
I really was hoping for nominations for Bloody Bloody and Catch Me; other than that, no complaints.


  • Doug Besterman, How to Succeed
  • Larry Hochman, The Scottsboro Boys
  • Larry Hochman and Stephen Oremus, The Book of Mormon
  • Marc Shaiman and Larry Blank, Catch Me
I think any nomination for How to Succeed is undeserving... Everything else is fine.

  • Alex Timbers, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson
  • Trey Parker, Robert Lopez and Matt Stone, The Book of Mormon
  • David Thompson, The Scottsboro Boys
  • Cheri Steinkellner, Bill Steinkellner and Douglas Carter Beane, Sister Act
Bloody Bloody, baby!!! So super extra excited for Alex Timbers's nomination. I think this deserves to win, though it's shaping up to be a year for Mormons.


  • Rob Ashford, How to Succeed
  • Kathleen Marshall, Anything Goes
  • Casey Nicholaw and Trey Parker, The Book of Mormon
  • Susan Stroman, The Scottsboro Boys
From a musical theatre history perspective, this is interesting: All the directors (except for Trey Parker) are director/choreographers, like the pioneer Agnes DeMille (Oklahoma!). Aside from that aspect, I'll reiterate that I don't think Ashford should be nominated, and, instead, I would have loved for Alex Timbers to be nominated.

Lighting Design

  • Ken Billington, The Scottsboro Boys
  • Howell Binkley, How to Succeed
  • Peter Kaczorowski, Anything Goes
  • Brian MacDevitt, The Book of Mormon

Scenic Design

  • Beowulf Boritt, The Scottsboro Boys
  • Derek McLane, Anything Goes
  • Scott Pask, The Book of Mormon
  • Donyale Werle, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson
Yay, Bloody Bloody!!! I loved, loved, loved that design - the way it completely enveloped you the moment you entered the theatre, and particularly the way Werle was able to translate that immersion-theatre experience to a big Broadway house.

Costume Design

  • Tim Chappel and Lizzy Gardiner, Priscilla
  • Martin Pakledinaz, Anything Goes
  • Ann Roth, The Book of Mormon
  • Catherine Zuber, How to Succeed
I haven't seen Priscilla yet, but just based on the production stills I've seen, it seems like this is its award to lose. However, I did thrill over all of Reno's dresses in Anything Goes.

Sound Design

  • Peter Hylenski, The Scottsboro Boys
  • Steve Canyon Kennedy, Catch Me
  • Brian Ronan, Anything Goes
  • Brian Ronan, The Book of Mormon

The Plays:

Best Play
You know how I felt about ...the Hat, dear readers, so you shouldn't be surprised that I'm fed up with that nomination. I'd be much happier if Rajiv Joseph had been shown some love for Bengal Tiger. So glad Jerusalem was nominated though, and I hear only wonderful things about War Horse. (I'm going next month...before the Tonys, of course.)

Best Play Revival
  • Arcadia
  • The Importance of Being Earnest
  • The Merchant of Venice
  • The Normal Heart
Stoppard, Wilde, Shakespeare...and Larry Kramer. I loved Arcadia. I've heard the other three were/are fantastic. (Earnest and Normal Heart are still running; Merchant was a limited run.) Tough category, but deserving nominees, all.

Leading Actor in a Play
  • Brian Bedford, Earnest
  • Bobby Cannavale, ...the Hat
  • Joe Mantello, The Normal Heart
  • Al Pacino, The Merchant of Venice
  • Mark Rylance, Jerusalem
Despite Matthew Broderick pronouncing Mark's last name "Reliance," Mr. Rylance did pick up a nod for Jerusalem, which is most deserving. I though Mantello or Bedford or Cannavale might have been looked over for Robin Williams but it seems the committee did well here. (True, I haven't seen Earnest, Merchant or Normal Heart, but I hear very good things about all three.)

Leading Actress in a Play

  • Nina Arianda, Born Yesterday
  • Frances McDormand, Good People
  • Lily Rabe, Merchant
  • Vanessa Redgrave, Driving Miss Daisy
  • Hannah Yelland, Brief Encounter
I predicted four out of five of these, missing Yelland and having Cherry Jones in her spot. No complaints. I've actually only seen McDormand, but I'm seeing Born Yesterday this weekend and I heard raves about Rabe.

Featured Actor in a Play
  • Mackenzie Crook, Jerusalem
  • Billy Crudup, Arcadia
  • John Benjamin Hickey, The Normal Heart
  • Arian Moayed, Bengal Tiger
  • Yul Vazquez, ...the Hat
Guess how I feel about this category, dear readers? That's right, thrilled except for Vazquez. Oh well... I loved Crudup, and I'm also very proud of the committee for Crook's and Moayed's nominations. They were both fantastic.

Featured Actress in a Play

  • Ellen Barkin, The Normal Heart
  • Edie Falco, The House of Blue Leaves
  • Judith Light, Lombardi
  • Joanna Lumley, La Bete
  • Elizabeth Rodriquez, ...the Hat
I was thoroughly impressed by Bel Powley in Arcadia so I'm upset to see she wasn't nominated, and I'm a little surprised to see Rodriquez nominated, although she did have some strong moments with Cannavale. Lumley was such fun in La Bete, Light was really powerful in Lombardi and I hear Barkin is stunning in The Normal Heart. This is a pretty good category.


  • Marianne Elliott and Tom Morris, War Horse
  • Joel Grey and George C. Wolfe, The Normal Heart
  • Anna D. Shapiro, ...the Hat
  • Daniel Sullivan, Merchant
Is this a joke? Shapiro is nominated for ...the Hat and neither Ian Rickson nor David Leveaux are nominated for Jerusalem or Arcadia? Absolutely ridiculous.

Lighting Design
  • Paule Constable, War Horse
  • David Lander, Bengal Tiger
  • Kenneth Posner, Merchant
  • Mimi Jordan Sherin, Jerusalem
You know I loved Jerusalem, but I think the lighting design in Bengal Tiger was pretty great.

Scenic Design

  • Todd Rosenthal, ...the Hat
  • Rae Smith, War Horse
  • Ultz, Jerusalem
  • Mark Wendland, Merchant
I was impressed by the set in ...the Hat. I loved Jerusalem's set, though. The real grass; the live chickens; the smell of the forest. Absolutely exquisite.

Costume Design

  • Jess Goldstein, Merchant
  • Desmond Heeley, Earnest
  • Mark Thompson, La Bete
  • Catherine Zuber, Born Yesterday
Sound Design
  • Acme Sound Partners and Cricket S. Myers, Bengal Tiger
  • Simon Baker, Brief Encounter
  • Ian Dickinson for Autograph, Jerusalem
  • Christopher Shutt, War Horse

And there you have it, dear readers: the 2011 Tony nominations. The Book of Mormon leads the pack with 14 nominations (tying, if my counting is correct, The Producers' 2001 total nominations); next is The Scottsboro Boys with 12 (particularly noteworthy since it's closed); Anything Goes earned 9 nods; Jerusalem boasts 6; Catch Me's total is 4; and Arcadia can feel good about 2 nominations.

tonyawards.com for a printable list of the nominees (you know, so you can cross shows/performances off as you see them), and make sure you tune in to the Tony telecast on Sunday, June 12 to see who walks away with an Antoinette Perry statuette.


  1. I was really happy with the results this year. With all of the great shows on Broadway, it must have been hard to make the decisions. The Book of Mormon tickets that I found were a great buy!


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