Special Reports

The Nopebook: Who Didn’t Get Nominated for a 2024 Tony Award?

Here are the biggest snubs of the 2024 Tony nominations.

Ryan Vasquez and Joy Woods star in The Notebook on Broadway.
(© Julieta Cervantes)

The new musical adaptation of The Notebook rode to Broadway on a wave of acclaim from its Chicago debut, with an army of millions of readers and moviegoers ready to cry their eyes out all over again. And the producers will have to be satisfied with that, because The Notebook was not one of the five new shows nominated in the Best Musical category for the 2024 Tony Awards.

In my predictions last week, I thought this guaranteed tearjerker was likely to get the fifth slot, but it went to Illinoise instead. It is by no means a total shutout for The Notebook: Both Maryann Plunkett and Dorian Harewood were rightly nominated in the leading actor categories, and Bekah Brunstetter was nominated for her book — so there are still opportunities for Tony voters to make it rain.

Kyle Ramar Freeman, Nichelle Lewis, Johnson Richardson, and Avery Wilson star in the Broadway revival of The Wiz.
(© Jeremy Daniel)

Not so with The Wiz, which was (with the possible exception of Cabaret) the most heralded revival of the season, with press announcements for seemingly every member of the creative team and a national tour meant to pick up steam on the road to New York, mirroring Dorothy’s march on Emerald City. But it got a frosty critical reception and this morning it received not one nomination. Producer Kandi Burruss will have to put off her dream of winning a Tony Award for another year, but she can console herself with this silver lining: No seats will be wasted on spoiled voters that could otherwise go to paying customers, of which there are plenty. The show grossed $1.6 million last week.

The Who’s Tommy did receive a nod for Best Revival — and that’s all. There was nothing for director Des McAnuff, choreographer Lorin Latarro, or the design team behind this sensory overload of a musical. Most disappointingly, newcomer Ali Louis Bourzgui was left out of the Leading Role category, despite a herculean vocal performance. I hope we’ll see him again in future seasons.

The Great Gatsby is certainly the most lavish new musical of the Broadway season, with giant moving scenery, onstage automobiles, and real fireworks that would make the producers of the Eurovision Song Contest blush. It also has songs and book scenes. But after all that effort, the nominators only recognized Linda Cho’s glittering costumes, overlooking Gatsby in every other category. I was hoping for a nod for Jeremy Jordan, especially for the way he nightly seduces the audience (and, apparently, my boss). And so we beat on…

2 BTTF Roger Bart & Casey Likes Photo by Matthew Murphy and Evan Zimmerman
Roger Bart, Casey Likes, and the DeLorean star in Back to the Future on Broadway.
(© Matthew Murphy and Evan Zimmerman)

Back to the Future is another spectacle that was passed over in the Best Musical category. A big hit in London, where it won the WhatsOnStage Award for Best New Musical, it only received two Tony nods in New York: Tim Hatley and Finn Ross for scenic design (they make that car fly over the audience, after all) and Roger Bart for his featured performance as Doc Brown. The DeLorean can take you to Hill Valley in 1955, but can it take you back to London circa 2022?

Peter Morgan’s Patriots is another London transfer that seems to have fizzled out on the crossing. This neo-Shakespearean epic about the power struggle for Russia received one Tony nod, for Michael Stuhlbarg’s leading performance as Boris Berezovsky. Will Keen was overlooked for his (in my opinion, superior) performance as Vladimir Putin. So was director Rupert Goold, whose production does a lot to shine up a lackluster script, but was not nearly as good as his work earlier this season in The Hunt off-Broadway.

I didn’t expect much for Lempicka, the ambitious new historical musical about painter Tamara de Lempicka and her life in interwar Paris. It got three nods: scenic design (Riccardo Hernández and Peter Nigrini), a well-earned featured performance nod for Amber Iman, and leading for Eden Espinosa. I was disappointed George Abud wasn’t included for his delirious performance as Italian futurist Filippo Marinetti. I’ve been telling everyone to go see it for him, and for the delicious camp factor (those mesh sweater vests!) that I suspect we’ll be clucking about at Glass House Tavern for years to come.

CarellVanya
Steve Carell plays the title role in Uncle Vanya on Broadway.
(© Marc J. Franklin)

Our memories of the latest revival of Uncle Vanya are unlikely to be as vivid. It was not included in the Best Revival category; nor was its star, Steve Carell, nominated in the leading actor category. But his co-star, William Jackson Harper, was nominated in that category for his show-stealing performance as Dr. Astrov. This has been an incredible season for Harper, who began it with one of the best stage performances I have ever seen off-Broadway in Primary Trust. This is his first Tony nomination and only his second time on Broadway.

There were some notable anti-snubs. I was thrilled that the nominators reached back to recognize closed shows like Purlie Victorious (six noms) and Jaja’s African Hair Braiding (five noms). Days of Wine and Roses and Prayer for the French Republic each received three nominations — although I was surprised Francis Benhamou wasn’t nominated for her memorable performance as Elodie in the latter.

Unfortunately, the nominators didn’t spare a thought for the now-closed Barry Manilow-Bruce Sussman musical Harmony, despite all the podcasts. I thought it might get at least one, for Chip Zien, who really did give one of the best performances of the year as our narrator, Rabbi.

F. Michael Haynie performs with the Broadway company of The Heart of Rock and Roll.
(© Matthew Murphy)

Although I was expecting this outcome, I still think it’s a little heartless of the nominators to completely ignore The Heart of Rock and Roll, the brave little jukebox musical at the James Earl Jones Theatre, which promises nothing more than a good night of musical comedy and delivers spectacularly. Even if the nominators chose to ignore the book, direction, choreography (tap dancing on bubble wrap!), and design, they should have at least thrown something to leading man Corey Cott or leading lady McKenzie Kurtz, who is giving one of the funniest performances of the season. The show also has hilarious supporting performances by Tamika Lawrence and Orville Mendoza. But in a season this crowded, and when theater awards regularly undervalue comedy, Heart was always a longshot.

You can read the full list of Tony nominations here, and read the nominees’ reactions here. The winners won’t be announced until June 16, so buckle up for a long campaign season. In several categories, especially the all-important Best Musical award, there is no clear frontrunner.

Featured In This Story

Uncle Vanya

Closed: June 16, 2024

The Heart of Rock and Roll

Closed: June 23, 2024

Up to 35% off

Lempicka

Closed: May 19, 2024

Patriots

Closed: June 23, 2024

The Who’s Tommy

Closed: July 21, 2024

Center Mezzanine Seats from $89*

The Notebook

Tickets Starting at $55. Orch from $89 (Reg $119)

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