“Shuffle Along” reaped 10 Tony Awards nominations, including a bid for Best Musical. It recounts the backstage drama of mounting the 1921 musical revue of the same name, which had a score by Eubie Blake and Noble Sissle. Tony winner George C. Wolfe, who also handled helming, adapted the original book by Flournoy Miller and Aubrey Lyles. And another Tony champ, Savion Glover, reaped a nomination for his choreography.
The starry cast is led by a trio of Tony winners: six-time champ Audra McDonald, Brian Stokes Mitchell and Billy Porter. However, it was a pair of featured players – Brandon Victor Dixon and Adrienne Warren — who reaped Tony nominations.
On Sunday’s Tony Awards telecast, the whole ensemble performed the rousing show opener “Broadway Blues.” At the end of the night, this song had a different meaning as “Shuffle Along” lost all 10 of its Tony bids.
But “Shuffle Along” was in good company as all of the new musicals in contention were shut out save “Hamilton,” which won a near-record 11 Tony Awards. The only races it lost that it contended in were Best Actress — that went to Cynthia Erivo, star of “The Color Purple,” which also won Best Revival — and Scenic Design, which was won by David Rockwell for the revival of “She Loves Me.”