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The 2019 Tony Awards

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  • Anton Spivack
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    I just saw Be More Chill and I see it receiving nods for Best Musical, Best Score, Best Book, Best Scenic Design, Best Sound Design, Best Supporting Actor for George Salazar and Best Supporting Actress for Stephanie Hsu.

    Anton Spivack
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    The reviews for BMC came in, and they’re okay but not stellar.  BMC isn’t likely to win for Best Musical, though Jason Tam could be nominated for Best Supporting Actor in a Musical.

    Jeffrey Kare
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    I think George Salazar may be the more likelier featured acting nominee for Be More Chill. As for other categories where the show could also pick up nominations, we shall see how the rest of the season turns out. Then again, I could see Be More Chill following in the footsteps of other shows like The Wedding Singer, Mary Poppins, Cry-Baby, Catch Me If You Can, Leap of Faith, and Frozen where they did not get such a great critical reception, but they still take the last slot in Best Musical as filler.

    adamunc
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    By my count, there are 11 productions this season eligible for Best Musical:

    Hadestown
    Tootsie
    Beetlejuice
    The Prom
    Be More Chill
    King Kong
    The Cher Show
    Head Over Heels
    Gettin’ the Band Back Together
    Pretty Woman
    Ain’t Too Proud

    So we could certainly have five nominees; the lack of clear separation lends itself to a close vote. Unlike the Best Play category, which has a wealth of strong material this season, Best Musical is kind of slim pickings so far. Based on what has opened and what data we have from tryout or regional productions, I think we can say that three shows are in the Likely-To-Be-Nominated category:

    The Prom
    Hadestown
    Tootsie

    That leaves potentially two slots up for grabs. I think we can safely say that King Kong and Gettin’ the Band Back Together have no chance and Head Over Heels has next to no chance. So, fighting for the last two potential nominations are these five shows:

    Pretty Woman
    Be More Chill
    Ain’t Too Proud
    The Cher Show
    Beetlejuice

    From here, it’s speculation, but I think a nomination for Samantha Barks in Lead Actress will be Pretty Woman‘s reward. Be More Chill just does not seem to fit in the Tony nominators’ wheelhouse. It has similarities to Dear Evan Hansen in subject matter, but the latter show had fully-realized adult characters and a wildly respected director helming things and appeal across more groups. Ain’t Too Proud and The Cher Show hit the sweet spot for the “typical” Tony voter in terms of pop culture. I think it’s a sad day when there are two shows using existing music nominated for the top prize, but it’s happened before as recently as 2014 (Beautiful and After Midnight). Heck, in 2010, three nominees used existing music (American Idiot, Fela!, and Million Dollar Quartet). So it’s certainly not out of the question that both of these get in. I’ll be curious to see what the critical reception is for Ain’t Too Proud. Unless it’s strong, I’d give the edge to The Cher Show due to the production elements and praise for its cast.

    The wild card here is Beetlejuice, which has a lot going for it–veteran, popular cast members; a known director; familiar source material; killer designs. The tryout reception was lukewarm, but word is that a lot of work has been done since. If that work is successful, Beetlejuice could be one of those end-of-season shows that opens at just the right time and surpasses expectations.

    Anton Spivack
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    Also in 1992 three of the Best Musical nominees (Crazy for You, Five Guys Named Moe, Jelly’s Last Jam) had recycled music, and the fourth, Falsettos, didn’t have a recycled score but it had been staged years before so the music wasn’t entirely new.

    Jeffrey Kare
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    The wild card here is Beetlejuice, which has a lot going for it–veteran, popular cast members; a known director; familiar source material; killer designs. The tryout reception was lukewarm, but word is that a lot of work has been done since. If that work is successful, Beetlejuice could be one of those end-of-season shows that opens at just the right time and surpasses expectations.

    Speaking of Beetlejuice, Michael Riedel has just covered some of the changes the creative team has made.
    https://nypost.com/2019/03/14/revamped-beetlejuice-still-may-not-have-the-juice-for-broadway/

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