Predicting the Tonys: What's Not Eligible in This Very Strange Season
A conclusion to our series about how the 2020 Tony Awards could shake out.
The Broadway League and the American Theatre Wing have announced that they will present the 2020 Tony Awards this year after all, in a digital format. Details are scarce, but here's what we know: The newly determined cutoff date will be February 19, which is just shy of a month before when the theaters actually shut down. We spent this week working our way through the eligible shows, actors, and designers. And now, to conclude, we tackle all of the shows that are not eligible for this year's Tonys.
1. West Side Story and Girl From the North Country
These are the last two shows to open before the shutdown. West Side Story opened on February 20, Girl From the North Country on March 5. While some may look at the Tony cutoff on February 19 as a spiteful move against West Side Story, it's really much simpler than that: These two productions hadn't invited Tony voters yet. So without voters seeing them, there was no way for them to be considered.
2. Freestyle Love Supreme and David Byrne's American Utopia
Two of the biggest hits of the season chose not to accommodate Tony voters; their producers decided to sell all the tickets instead of making hundreds of pairs of comps available. Probably a better choice in the long run, though it won't necessarily stop them from getting special Tonys, like Bruce Springsteen did.
3. Special Events
Yanni, Regina Spektor, Kristin Chenoweth, Harry Connick Jr., Criss Angel, Dave Chappelle, Slava's Snowshow, and The Illusionists all did shows on Broadway this season. None of them were opened to Tony consideration because their runs were so short. (Chappelle can content himself with the Grammy he won for the recorded version of the show he did on Broadway, titled "Sticks and Stones," as well as the Emmy nom.)
4. All of the Shows That Were in Previews or Were About to Start Previews
Six was to open the night of the shutdown. Hangmen, Company, The Lehman Trilogy, Mrs. Doubtfire, and Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? had already begun, with Sing Street and How I Learned to Drive on deck. Unfortunately, there's no way for these shows to be counted at all. Oh well. Maybe next year.