Who gets to tell Al Pacino that he’s been deemed an “Actor in a Featured Role” for his work in the recent Broadway revival of Glengarry Glen Ross?
Pacino was placed in that category by the Tony Awards Administration Committee in their second of four meetings to determine the eligibility of Broadway productions for the 2013 Tony Awards. The committee discussed the eligibility of fourteen productions: Grace; Cyrano de Bergerac; Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?; The Heiress; Annie; The Mystery of Edwin Drood; Scandalous; A Christmas Story, The Musical; Dead Accounts; The Anarchist; Golden Boy; Glengarry Glen Ross; The Other Place; and Picnic. While the decisions are often consistent with the billing credits as they appeared on opening night, a producer has the right to petition the committee to change the eligibility status of certain actors. The rulings are below.
Annie stars Anthony Warlow (Daddy Warbucks) and Lilla Crawford (Annie), who appear below-the-title in the Playbill, will be eligible in the categories of Best Performance by an Actor/Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical. Two-time Tony Award winner Katie Finneran, who plays Miss Hannigan, will be eligible in the Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical category. (It should be noted that, although Miss Hannigan only has about a half hour of stage time, Dorothy Loudon, who originated the role in 1977, was nominated – and won – in the leading category.)
Downton Abbey heartthrob Dan Stevens, whose name appears at the top of the Playbill as Morris Townsend in The Heiress, will be eligible in the Featured Actor category, as will Patrick Page, for his above-the-title performance as the Comte de Guiche in Roundabout Theatre Company’s revival of Cyrano de Bergerac.
The Mystery of Edwin Drood stars Will Chase, Gregg Edelman, and Chita Rivera – all of whom are above the title – will be eligible in the Featured Role categories for their performances. Above-the-title stars Stephanie J. Block and Jim Norton will be eligible in Leading Role categories.
Pacino and the other major stars of the recent Glengarry Glen Ross revival, Bobby Cannavale, David Harbour, and Richard Schiff, will be considered Featured Actors. The large ensemble of Roundabout Theatre Company’s Picnic, Reed Birney, Sebastian Stan, Maggie Grace, Elizabeth Marvel, Mare Winningham, and Ellen Burstyn, will also be considered eligible in Featured Role categories.
Seth Numrich, below-the-title in Golden Boy, and Laurie Metcalf, below-the-title in The Other Place, will be considered in the categories of Actor and Actress in Leading Roles.
The stars of A Christmas Story, The Musical, John Bolton (The Old Man), Erin Dilly (Mother), and Johnny Rabe (Ralphie), will be eligible in the Leading Actor/Actress in a Musical categories for their performances, despite below-the-title billing.
The season’s three solo concert shows, Lewis Black’s Running on Empty, Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons on Broadway, and Barry Manilow’s Manilow on Broadway, are ineligible for awards, as is the short-lived comedy The Performers, which closed after six performances — not enough to be deemed eligible.
The 24-member committee who makes these decisions is made up of ten members designated by the American Theatre Wing, ten members by the Broadway League, and one member from Actors’ Equity Association, United Scenic Artists, the Dramatists Guild, and the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society.