At the 2016 Tony Awards, Scott Rudin was the lead producer on two top Tony winners. “The Humans” claimed Best Play and “A View from the Bridge” snagged Best Play Revival. Not surprisingly, the prolific producer has the chance to dominate again this season and could well claim three of the top four awards.
While that would be unprecedented, remember Rudin is the only one of the dozen EGOT champs to have won all four of these kudos as a producer: an Emmy for the 1984 children’s program “He Makes Me Feel Like Dancin'”; a Grammy in 2012 for the cast recording of “The Book of Mormon”; an Oscar in 2007 for “No Country For Old Men” and 12 Tonys dating back to 1994 Best Musical “Passion.”
Rudin is presenting Lucas Hnath’s new play “A Doll’s House, Part 2” The wild new work picks up right where Henrik Ibsen’s classic “A Doll’s House” left off, depicting what happens after the infamous door slam. The production is directed by Tony winner Sam Gold (“Fun Home”), and stars Emmy winner and Tony nominee Laurie Metcalf, Oscar champ Chris Cooper, Tony winner Jayne Houdyshell and Tony nominee Condola Rashad.
In a season light on new plays so far, “A Doll’s House, Part 2” has all the makings of a Tony winner on paper. The show connects to a classic masterwork, stars a cast of heavy hitters, and is written by an exciting new author making his Broadway debut. It will open at the Golden Theatre on April 27, 2017, the last day for Tony eligibility.
Its main competition for Best Play includes the Lincoln Center Theater production of “Oslo” by J.T. Rogers, Off-Broadway transfer “Significant Other” by Joshua Harmon, and the Cate Blanchett vehicle “The Present” by Andrew Upton. More plays could of course be added to the season, but for now it’s easy to picture Hnath’s play becoming a favorite and snagging Tony #1 for Mr. Rudin.
Rudin’s is also overseeing a rialto revival of 1964 Best Musical champ “Hello, Dolly!” starring Bette Midler. The Jerry Herman tuner has already broken ticket sale records and is easily the most anticipated show of the season. If everything comes together well, the production could find itself dominating the Tony Awards. It will compete against “Cats”, “Falsettos”, and “Miss Saigon” for Best Musical Revival. People in the theatre district already want to shower it with awards, sight unseen. Consider this Tony #2.
Tony #3 may be more difficult to obtain, but Rudin has two strong contenders for Best Play Revival: the newspaper comedy “The Front Page” featuring Nathan Lane, John Slattery and John Goodman; and “The Glass Menagerie” starring Sally Field and Joe Mantello.
This category will be extremely competitive, with Rudin’s productions facing off against the likes of productions of August Wilson’s “Jitney”, Noel Coward‘s “Present Laughter” with Kevin Kline, Arthur Miller‘s “The Price” with John Turturro and Tony Shalhoub, Lillian Hellman‘s “The Little Foxes” with Laura Linney and Cynthia Nixon, and Christopher Hampton‘s “Les Liaisons Dangereuses” with Janet McTeer and Liev Schreiber.
Could one of Rudin’s revivals edge out the competition? The extensive cast of Tony winners and nominees in “The Front Page” could do it. And excitement could also build for Field’s interpretation of Amanda Wingfield this spring.