68th Tony Award Nominations

The nominations for the 68th Tony Awards are in! Without any further ado, here is the full list of nominees. (First the plays, then the musicals.)

Best Play
  • Act One, James Lapine
  • All the Way, Robert Schenkkan
  • Casa Valentina, Harvey Fierstein
  • Mothers and Sons, Terrence McNally
  • Outside Mullingar, John Patrick Shanley
I enjoyed Casa Valentina, but I've yet to see Act One and Mothers and Sons, both of which are supposed to be quite good. And while I haven't seen The Realistic Joneses, word of mouth makes me a little surprised it was left out.

Best Revival of a Play
Twelfth Night, baby! Also, this is the first time a production of Tennessee Williams's classic has earned a Tony nomination.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play
What a category. (Note that Rylance was eligible as a Lead Actor for Richard III and as Featured Actor for Twelfth Night.) I usually think that Mark Rylance should win all the awards every time, but this looks like it'll be a tough category, especially since his show has closed. (It was a planned limited engagement.) It could easily go to Bryan Cranston, whom people adore, or we could get a replay of last year, when theatre stalwart Tracy Letts beat out movie star Tom Hanks. We'll see!

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play
  • Tyne Daly, Mothers and Sons
  • LaTanya Richardson Jackson, A Raisin in the Sun
  • Cherry Jones, The Glass Menagerie
  • Audra McDonald, Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill
  • Estelle Parsons, The Velocity of Autumn
I've only seen one performance so I can't reasonably take a stance, although I can tell you that if Audra wins (and a lot of people think she will), she'll be winning a record sixth Tony, and this is the one acting category in which she has not previously won.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Play
Holy Thespis! What a category! Reed Birney!!!!!!!!! Three Twelfth Night actors, including Mark Rylance, making him a double nominee! If voters go for Cranston in the Lead Actor category, they could go for Rylance in the Featured Actor, but Reed Birney! I'm all over the place on this one. Great, great category.

Best Performances by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play
Based just on the three performances I've seen, this is definitely a competitive category. All the nominations are well deserved.

Best Direction of  a Play
It's interesting that these directors all directed revivals. I don't know if that makes their accomplishment more noteworthy—that they were able to put a fresh spin on classic works—or if it says something about the crop of new plays that were on the boards this year. I'm going with the former, since we had great directors working on new plays this year, like Sam Gold and Joe Mantello. While Grandage and Carroll did fine work, I might give the edge to Tiffany for his vision that brought new life to the Williams play.

Best Scenic Design of a Play
Word on the street is that Boritt's design for Act One is spectacular, although I did like the floating stage of The Glass Menagerie.

Best Costume Design of a Play
For the pure craftsmanship and attention to detail that went into the Twelfth Night (and Richard III) costumes, I'm rooting for Tiramani, though the ladies in Casa Valentina look lovely.

Best Lighting Design of a Play
I've seen two of the nominees and of those, I'd have to give it to Natasha Katz, because the lighting design in The Glass Menagerie was another character.

Best Sound Design of a Play
  • Alex Baranowski, The Cripple of Inishmaan
  • Steven Canyon Kennedy, Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill
  • Dan Moses Schreier, Act One
  • Matt Tierney, Machinal
Do you think Lady Day has an unfair advantage because a lot of the sound they're working with is Audra McDonald's voice?


Best Musical
What the...? Are you kidding me? No Bridges? No If/Then? What? What?? WHAT??? I don't understand this. Especially because the nominating committee could have nominated five shows. Shame on you, committee.

Best Book of a Musical
  • Chad Beguelin, Aladdin
  • Douglas McGrath, Beautiful
  • Woody Allen, Bullets Over Broadway
  • Robert L. Freedman, A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder
Again, I'm baffled.

Best Original Score
  • Alan Menken (music), Howard Ashman, Tim Rice and Chad Begeulin (lyrics), Aladdin
  • Jason Robert Brown, The Bridges of Madison County
  • Steven Lutvak (music and lyrics), Robert L. Freedman (lyrics), A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder
  • Tom Kitt (music) and Brian Yorkey (lyrics), If/Then
Hell yeah, Jason Robert Brown and Tom Kitt + Brian Yorkey!!!!!! I'm team JRB all the way. The score is one of the most glorious scores I've heard in a long time. (Also, I didn't think enough of Aladdin's score was written for the stage in order to be eligible...)

Best Revival of a Musical
Politically, it's a bit shocking that Cabaret wasn't nominated, even though I don't think it would have won. Even though I haven't seen it, something tells me the winds are blowing toward Hedwig.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical
  • Neil Patrick Harris, Hedwig and the Angry Inch
  • Ramin Karimloo, Les Miserables
  • Andy Karl, Rocky
  • Jefferson Mays, A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder
  • Bryce Pinkham, A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder
How do you not nominate Steven Pasquale? How?!?! Doesn't really matter, since my spidey senses tell me NPH is going to take home the honor, but still. This is outrageous.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical
This is might be the most competitive category. Davies is a huge surprise, but the battle comes down to the other four. Foster has two Tonys to her name, Menzel one. Mueller has one nomination under her belt, O'Hara four (I think). This was a rich year for strong performances from leading women. (Note that some notable names, like Michelle Williams in Cabaret, were left off.)

Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical
Huzzah! What a good slate. After "Friend Like Me," I thought, "Just give Iglehart the Tony." And they might. But Burstein's, Henry's and Spector's performances are nothing to sneeze at. Good job, guys.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical
  • Linda Emond, Cabaret
  • Lena Hall, Hedwig and the Angry Inch
  • Anika Larsen, Beautiful
  • Adriane Lenox, After Midnight
  • Lauren Worsham, A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder
I feel like I can't pick sides having seen only two of the nominees, though I'm hearing great things about Lena Hall. Still, I would have liked a nomination for lovely lady Caissie Levy in Les Miserables.

Best Direction of a Musical
  • Warren Carlyle, After Midnight
  • Michael Mayer, Hedwig and the Angry Inch
  • Leigh Silverman, Violet
  • Darko Tresnjak, A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder
Excuse my language, but what the fuck? No Alex Timbers? How did that happen? The only reason Rocky is worth seeing is Alex Timbers's genius. What were the nominators thinking? Anyway, I've always been impressed with Mayer's work (he directed, among many other things, Spring Awakening and American Idiot), and I'm excited to see what he's done with Hedwig.

Best Choreography
  • Warren Carlyle, After Midnight
  • Steven Hoggett and Kelly Devine, Rocky
  • Casey Nicholaw, Aladdin
  • Susan Stroman, Bullets Over Broadway
Hmm. Hoggett's fight choreography is sensational, and Nicholaw works his chorus line. No front runner, in my opinion.

Best Orchestrations
Like I said, I'm team JRB all the way. (Although I would have appreciated some love for Michael Starobin for If/Then.)

Best Scenic Design of a Musical
  • Christopher Barreca, Rocky
  • Julian Crouch, Hedwig and the Angry Inch
  • Alexander Doge, A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder
  • Santo Loquasto, Bullets Over Broadawy
Having only seen Rocky, I must abstain from additional commentary in this category, except to say that Barreca had his work cut out for him and he did a terrific job.

Best Costume Design of a Musical
  • Linda Cho, A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder
  • William Ivey Long, Bullets Over Broadway
  • Arianne Phillips, Hedwig and the Angry Inch
  • Isabel Toledo, After Midnight
Having seen none of the nominees (yet), I must also abstain from additional commentary in this category.

Best Lighting Design of a Musical
I don't have a favorite in this category yet. Maybe after I see Hedwig and if I see After Midnight that'll change...

Best Sound Design of a Musical
  • Peter Hylenski, After Midnight
  • Tim O'Heir, Hedwig and the Angry Inch
  • Mick Potter, Les Miserables
  • Brian Ronan, Beautiful
I'm waiting until after I see Hedwig to declare a favorite here.


Special Tony Honors (non-competitive awards)
  • Joe Benincasa, president and CEO of The Actors Fund, Tony Honors for Excellence in the Theatre
  • Joan Marcus, acclaimed theatre photographer [most production stills you see were shot by Ms. Marcus], Tony Honors for Excellence in the Theatre
  • Charlotte Wilcox, General Manager, and active leader within The Broadway League, Tony Honors for Excellence in the Theatre
  • Jane Greenwood, costume designer, Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre

And there you have it: The nominations for the 68th Tony Awards. Note that hardly anything from the fall was nominated (save Twelfth Night/Richard III); and several other good productions, like No Man's Land/Waiting for Godot, were shut out. Check back for Tony tidbits as we make our way to the big day; browse through my Tony Pinterest board and my Culturalist profile, both of which I'll be updating throughout the season; and tune into the Tony Awards, hosted by Hugh Jackman, on CBS on Sunday, June 8 at 8pm. Visit tonyawards.com for more information.

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