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Shut Out at the 2014 Tony Awards: Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway,' Idina Menzel and 'If/Then'

By Jon Sobel j.sobel@classicalite.com on Jun 10, 2014 11:36 AM EDT

Everyone talks about the winners after the Tony Awards, even when there are few surprises. A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder cleaned up at the Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards, so it was no surprise when it took the Tony for Best Musical (along with Book of a Musical, Costume Design and Director).

Neil Patrick Harris may not have been entirely confident he'd win the Tony for his performance in the Best Revival of a Musical winner Hedwig and the Angry Inch. But his own Best Actor win startled few. Nor was the theater punditry knocked for any loops by Bryan Cranston's Best Actor win for All the Way.

It must hurt longtime Broadway stars some, though, when they miss out on a Tony Award while watching actors best known for television roles read their thank-yous. I'm thinking of Idina Menzel, naturally, whose pop-culture ascendance may have hit a tiny snag Sunday night. The former Rent and Wicked star, and current little-girl idol for her hit Oscar-winning song "Let It Go" (from Disney's Frozen), lost out to a newcomer, Beautiful's Jessie Mueller, for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical. The fact that her own vehicle, the new musical If/Then, received ho-hum critical response may have had something to do with it.

On the other hand, the reason Idina Menzel hasn't won a Tony Award in a decade is that she's been away from Broadway, on concert tours and on screen (Enchanted, Glee). And the silver screen is where this year's other big Tony loser got its start. Bullets Over Broadway was a bigger hit with the American Theatre Wing voters than If/Then, netting six nominations to If/Then's two. Yet it too danced home empty-handed Sunday night.

Best Book of a Musical nominee Woody Allen has at least a few shelves-full of trophies already, including four Academy Awards. That's out of 24 nominations, for a 16.67 percent Oscar success rate. And, come to think of it, that's just half of Idina Menzel's 33.3 percent Tony Award record (one win out of three nominations). So, while it's great fun to watch the emotions play out across celebrities' faces on TV, feeling bad for these stars is never going to be a hobby of mine.

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TagsIdina Menzel, Bullets Over Broadway, Bryan Cranston, Woody Allen, Oscars, Tony Awards, Tony Awards 2014, Neil Patrick Harris, Jessie Mueller, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Hedwig, Hedwig on Broadway, Beautiful, broadway