Tony Awards eligibility rulings, round one: ‘SIX’ wives, ‘Lehman Trilogy’ men are all leads

The Tony Awards Administration Committee met for the first time during the 2021-2022 Broadway season to discuss eligibility of 12 productions for the 75th Annual Tony Awards in 2022. The Tony Awards are presented by The Broadway League and the American Theatre Wing.

The productions discussed were: “Girl from the North Country,” “Pass Over,” “Lackawanna Blues,” “Six,” “Chicken & Biscuits,” “Is This A Room,” “Thoughts of a Colored Man,” “The Lehman Trilogy,” “Dana H.,” “Caroline, or Change,” “Diana, The Musical” and “Trouble in Mind.” No word yet on when the ceremony will take place, nor was there any announcement of a firm eligibility cut-off date.

The following determinations were made:

Jay O. Sanders and Mare Winningham will be considered eligible in the Lead Actor/Actress in a Musical categories for their respective performances in “Girl from the North Country.”

Colin Bates will be considered eligible in the Featured Actor in a Musical category for his performance in “Girl from the North Country.”

Jon Michael Hill and Namir Smallwood will be considered eligible in the Lead Actor in a Play category for their respective performances in “Pass Over.”

“Lackawanna Blues” will be considered eligible in the Best Revival of a Play category.

Bill Sims Jr. will be considered eligible in the Best Score category for his work on “Lackawanna Blues.”

Adrianna Hicks, Andrea Macasaet, Abby Mueller, Brittney Mack, Samantha Pauly, and Anna Uzele will be considered eligible in the Lead Actress in a Musical category for their respective performances in “SIX.”

Cleo King and Ebony Marshall-Oliver will be considered eligible in the Lead Actress in a Play category for their respective performances in “Chicken & Biscuits.”

Emily Davis will be considered eligible in the Lead Actress in a Play category for her performance in “Is This A Room.”

Te’La, Kamauu, and Keenan Scott II will be considered jointly eligible in the Best Original Score category for their work on “Thoughts of a Colored Man.”

Stefano Massini and Ben Power will be considered jointly eligible in the Best Play category for their work as co-authors on “The Lehman Trilogy.”

Simon Russell Beale, Adam Godley, and Adrian Lester will be considered eligible in the Lead Actor in a Play category for their respective performances in “The Lehman Trilogy.”

Lucas Hnath and Dana Higginbotham will be considered jointly eligible in the Best Play category for their work as co-authors on “Dana H.”

Deirdre O’Connell will be considered eligible in the Lead Actress in a Play category for her performance in “Dana H.”

Jeanna de Waal will be considered eligible in the Lead Actress in a Musical category for her performance in “Diana, The Musical.”

“Trouble in Mind” will be considered eligible in the Best Revival of a Play category.

As a reminder: Tony eligibility aligns with a performer’s opening night billing in the Playbill. Actors listed above the title are considered Lead while those below the title are considered Featured, unless otherwise stated in a determination above.

The biggest surprise of this announcement is likely the placement of the ladies of “SIX.” The six women who play the wives of Henry VIII are the only performers in the hit pop musical, and share equal stage time. The Tonys often stick performers of such ensemble pieces in the Featured acting categories, but these women are all bumped up to Lead. Mare Winningham of “Girl From the North Country” will also compete in the category for a part that could have gone either way. With additional competition from Sharon D. Clarke (“Caroline, or Change”), Jenna de Waal (“Diana”), Katrina Lenk (“Company”), and the yet to be seen Carmen Cusack (“Flying Over Sunset”), Beanie Feldstein (“Funny Girl”), Sutton Foster (“The Music Man”), and Joaquina Kalukango (“Paradise Square”), Lead Actress in a Musical just became the most hotly competitive race of the season.

Similarly, Cleo King and Ebony Marshall-Oliver were pushed to the Lead Actress in a Play race for their scene-stealing turns in the ensemble comedy “Chicken & Biscuits.” As for male actors, both Jon Michael Hill and Namir Smallwood will compete for Lead Actor in a Play. Ditto the trio of men from “The Lehman Trilogy” (Simon Russell Beale, Adam Godley, and Adrian Lester). These performers were all billed below the title but certainly dominated their respective productions. All three of these plays have closed or will be closed by the time Tony voting takes place in the spring, but this fall has seen a slew of acclaimed plays make their bow. So expect to see many of them earn nominations, despite being closed.

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