BREAKING: 'A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder' Leads Tony Nominations; Neil Patrick Harris In, Denzel Washington Out
The honchos at the American Theatre Wing have spoken, and now we know that when it comes to Tony Award juice, Neil Patrick Harris, Estelle Parsons, Tony Shalhoub and Bryan Cranston are "in" this year, while Denzel Washington, Daniel Radcliffe and Ian McKellen are "out."
The tightly constructed, low-key musical A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder has received 10 Tony nominations (to go with its 11 Outer Critics Circle nominations), more than any other show this year, but that doesn't necessarily make it the front-runner for Best Musical in a year many critics considered an "anything goes" year. It's up against After Midnight, as much a revue as an original musical; Aladdin, which if it won would break the string of non-winners Disney has maintained since The Lion King won Best Musical in 1998; and Beautiful, the Carole King show, which by its very nature lacks original songs. Idina Menzel's star power wasn't enough to net "If/Then" a Best Musical nomination, though the score and Menzel herself both got nods. IF she's going to win, THEN Menzel will have to face down Sutton Foster for Violet and Jessie Mueller's Carole King.
Hedwig and the Angry Inch, which we've covered heavily here at Classicalite, was nominated for Best Revival of a Musical, up against Les Misérables and Violet. I'd lean towards Hedwig for the win, though Violet could be a strong dark horse. (Les Miz has earned enough plaudits in its long career.) Hedwig star Neil Patrick Harris picked up a nomination for his performance in the heavily bewigged title role, as did his co-star Lena Hall, but the How I Met Your Mother star is up against Andy Karl's Rocky Balboa – now that would be a fight worth running away from.
The Best Play field is also wide open. Bryan Cranston's star power gave All the Way its buzz. Act One, the Moss Hart bio-play, may be a sentimental favorite among theatrical literati because of its subject matter, but its reviews haven't been strong. The same can be said for Harvey Fierstein's Casa Valentina. I'm betting on Mothers and Sons, the new Terrence McNally play starring Tyne Daly.
Surprisingly, neither Denzel Washington nor Daniel Radcliffe received Best Actor nominations although their respective productions, highly praised revivals of A Raisin in the Sun and The Cripple of Inishmaan, both did. I haven't seen All the Way but I wouldn't be at all surprised if the Tony team bestowed their Best Actor in a Leading Role in a Play award on Bryan Cranston, even though he's up against Mark Rylance's portrayal of Richard III.
Because of her age, Estelle Parsons could be a sentimental favorite to win Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Play for her performance in the poorly reviewed The Velocity of Autumn, but she's up against a very strong field that includes not only Tyne Daly but Audra McDonald and Cherry Jones.© 2016 The Classical Art, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.