With the announcement of the Tony Awards nominations on October 15, we now know the shows and performers in contention but we still don’t know when the winners will be announced. The Tonys had been set for June 7 at Radio City Music Hall but were postponed in March after the COVID-19 pandemic shuttered Broadway. We do know that the ceremony will be virtual, much like the recent Emmy Awards.
The 41-members of the Tony nominating committee honored 15 of the 18 eligible productions across 25 competitive categories.
The musical “Jagged Little Pill,” a stage adaptation of Alanis Morissette’s 1995 album of the same name, leads with 15 nominations including Best Musical and for six of its cast. “Moulin Rouge! The Musical” is right behind with 14 nominations. That adaptation of the 2001 Baz Luhrmann film, scored the only Musical Actor nomination of the season for Aaron Tveit. In order to win the trophy, he has to be found worthy by 60% of the 784 Tony voters. Jukebox musical “Tina – The Tina Turner Musical” rounds out the top tuner category and scored 12 nominations overall.
The only other eligible musical of the season, “The Lightning Thief,” was skunked by the nominators. Though the youth-oriented show wasn’t expected to land a Best Musical bid, it seemed like a potential nominee in at least Musical Actor and Score. Likewise, two plays — “The Great Society” and “The Height of the Storm” — were snubbed.
On the play side, “Slave Play” scored a record 12 nominations. This new work by Jeremy O. Harris eclipsed the benchmark of 11 nominations set by the 2018 revival of Tony Kushner’s “Angels in America.” “The Inheritance” tied that “Angels” achievement. The contest between the two for the top prize is shaping up to be the most exciting races of the season.
The nominators spread the wealth in the play categories, citing 10 other new dramas and revivals including: “A Soldier’s Play,” 7 nominations; “The Sound Inside,” 6 nominations; “A Christmas Carol,” 5 nominations; “Betrayal” and “Sea Wall/A Life,” 4 nominations; “Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune,” “Grand Horizons,” “Linda Vista,” and “The Rose Tattoo,” 2 nominations each; and “My Name is Lucy Barton” for its sole performer Laura Linney.