Cheer Up, Charlie: Who Didn't Get Nominated for a 2017 Tony Award?
Amélie, A Bronx Tale, Oh, Hello, and Cats get the boot from the Tony nominators.
Charlie Bucket may have a golden ticket, but he doesn't have a Tony Award: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, the new musical that ran in London for over three years and earned two Olivier Awards, received no Tony nominations this year. (The show did receive one Drama Desk nomination last week — for Basil Twist's puppets.) This snub may not come as a huge surprise to observers of the rialto: The show was almost universally panned by the critics, with the pre-opening chat board snark turned up to 10. As a slight consolation, the production will get to claim that its leading man is a Tony nominee: Christian Borle received a nod for his performance earlier this season in the Lincoln Center Theatre revival of Falsettos.
Charlie joins Amélie and A Bronx Tale in the total snub club: All three of these new musical were completely ignored by Tony nominators, despite strong performances by Phillipa Soo and Nick Cordero in their respective leading roles.
War Paint, the soporific new musical about makeup moguls Elizabeth Arden and Helena Rubinstein, was recognized for its two formidable leading ladies, Patti LuPone and Christine Ebersole. The two will go head-to-head in the category of Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical. Despite that, the musical won't be in the running for Best Score, Best Book, and the all-important Best Musical Awards. New musicals Anastasia and Bandstand also had meager showings, with just two nominations each.
Andrew Lloyd Webber can rightfully claim this is his biggest Broadway season ever, with four productions running simultaneously in New York. He won't be able to garnish that achievement with a Tony, though: Neither the revival of Cats nor Sunset Boulevard was recognized. Granted, the latter production was somewhat limited in its prospects from the beginning: Glenn Close already won a Tony in 1995 for her performance as Norma Desmond, making her ineligible this year. Yes, everything's as if we never said goodbye.
The nominators once again showed a palpable preference for drama over comedy: Of all the Best Play nominees, only Lucas Hnath's A Doll's House, Part 2 could be categorized as a comedy, and that is a major stretch. The nominators passed on Nick Kroll and John Mulaney's new comedy, Oh, Hello. Meanwhile, the London transfer of Mischief Theatre's hyperactive farce, The Play That Goes Wrong received just one nod: for Nigel Hook's artful disaster of a set.
The nominators were none too fond of director Sam Gold's radical reimagining of Tennessee Williams' The Glass Menagerie. The production received one nod, for Sally Field in the category of Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play. Gold isn't likely to be too fazed today though: He was nominated in the Best Direction category for his work on A Doll's House, Part 2.
As with previous years, Tony prospects significantly dim once the marquee does: Of the 106 nominations handed out today, 16 went to closed productions, with the revivals of Jitney (six noms) and Falsettos (five) leading the pack. Closed shows In Transit, Significant Other, and Les Liaisons Dangereuses were completely shut out, despite strong notices for individual elements in all three.
While Simon McBurney's now-closed solo show, The Encounter, was not placed in a competitive category, Gareth Fry and Pete Malkin will receive a special award for their intimate binaural sound design. This is perhaps a conciliatory move from an awards committee that has not recognized sound design for the last several years (something set to change in 2018).
Unlike last year's Hamilton blowout, this season features multiple strong contenders in all of the major competitive categories. Expect fierce competition for the top prizes of Best Musical and Best Play. In a season this strong, there is no real shame to be snubbed: You've been bested by the very best.