Daniel Radcliffe just can’t work his magic on the Tony Awards nominating committee. Two years ago, he was snubbed for his well-received performance in the play “Equus” taking on the part of a troubled teen that had earned Peter Firth a Best Play Actor nod for the original 1975 production.
This year, Radcliffe was back on the boards, headlining the second rialto revival of the Tony-winning musical “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.” He earned rave reviews for his performance as J. Pierpont Finch, a window cleaner who rises to the top of a huge company while, of course, wooing and winning a girl along the way. That part won the top Tony for Robert Morse for the original 1962 production and Matthew Broderick for the 1995 restaging.This remounting received eight nominations, including Best Musical Revival and featured performance bids by Emmy champs John Laroquette and Tammy Blanchard, but Radcliffe was left off the list of Best Musical Actor nominees.
Robin Williams was also snubbed by the Tonys Tuesday for his Broadway debut in the play “Bengal Tiger at the Bagdhad Zoo.” Had he won a Tony, Williams would have finally completed the EGOT and become the eleventh person to have all four major showiz awards.
He won the first of his four Best Comedy Album Grammys for “Reality … What a Concept” back in 1979, the first of his two consecutive Emmys for Individual Variety Performance for “Carol, Carl, Whoopi & Robin” in 1987 and the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for “Good Will Hunting” in 1997.
While Williams was trained as a stage actor at Gotham’s famed Julliard school, “Bengal Tiger” marks his first legit rialto appearance. He did his stand-up routine in a Broadway house in 2002 and was part of an all-star production of “Waiting for Godot” helmed by grand slammer Mike Nichols at an off-Broadway theater back in 1988.
Ben Stiller returned to Broadway this season in “The House of Blue Leaves.” Back in 1987, he had played the part of the wayward son in this John Guare dark comedy. This time around he took on the role of the hapless father, torn between his wife and his mistress. While John Mahoney won the Best Featured Play Actor Tony back then, Stiller was hoping to be nominated in the lead race. While he was snubbed, his co-star Edie Falco stayed in the featured race and could win the award, just as Swoosie Kurtz did back then,
Also left off the list of nominees were a pair of two-time Tony champs. James Earl Jones (Best Play Actor: “The Great White Hope,” 1969; “Fences,” 1987) headlined the revival of “Driving Miss Daisy” which was snubbed save for a Best Play Actress bid by Vanessa Redgrave. And Cherry Jones (Best Play Actress: “The Heiress,” 1995; “Doubt,” 2005) headlined the Roundabout revival of the Shaw classic “Mrs. Warren’s Profession” which was completely shut out of the race.