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Tuesday, May 16, 2006


2006 Tony Award Nominations Are Here!

The official list, and how we fared with our predictions:

Best Play
The History Boys; The Lieutenant of Inishmore; Rabbit Hole; Shining City
Our Picks: 4/4
I'd love to argue my brilliance, but this wasn't much of a longshot if you've seen the shows.

Best Musical
The Color Purple; The Drowsy Chaperone; Jersey Boys; The Wedding Singer
Our Picks: 4/4
With Tarzan managing one measly nomination (for lighting), it simply wasn't much of a contender.

Best Revival of a Play
Awake and Sing!; The Constant Wife; Edward Albee's Seascape; Faith Healer
Our Picks: 2/4
Our spoilers came back to bite us...we had both Constant Wife and Seascape as our outside shots. And personally, we're thrilled that the nominators chose quality over the middling star power of Caine Mutiny and Odd Couple.

Best Revival of a Musical
The Pajama Game; Sweeney Todd; The Threepenny Opera
Our Picks: 3/3
Easy to pick, when there's only three.

Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Play
Ralph Fiennes
, Faith Healer; Richard Griffiths, The History Boys; Zeljko Ivanek, The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial; Oliver Platt, Shining City; David Wilmot, The Lieutenant of Inishmore
Our Picks: 3/5
We goofed on the talented Ivanek, who we thought would go into the supporting category. I'm a little surprised that John Slattery's fine work in Rabbit Hole was not recognized, but since the show closed a month ago, maybe out of sight is out of mind.

Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Play
Kate Burton, The Constant Wife; Judy Kaye, Souvenir; Lisa Kron, Well; Cynthia Nixon, Rabbit Hole; Lynn Redgrave, The Constant Wife
Our Picks: 2/5
Never have I been so glad to be so wrong about a category; Tony voters reached back to June 2005 to recognize the twin brilliance of Burton and Redgrave in Constant Wife. Industry favorite Kaye also stole a spot, which left Julia Roberts and Cherry Jones out in the cold. (At least they can swap Erin Brockovich stories.)

Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical
Michael Cerveris, Sweeney Todd; Harry Connick, Jr., The Pajama Game; Stephen Lynch, The Wedding Singer; Bob Martin, The Drowsy Chaperone; John Lloyd Young, Jersey Boys
Our Picks: 4/5
Another great get by the Tony Committee...refusing to reward Alan Cumming's mugging nonsense.

Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical
Sutton Foster, The Drowsy Chaperone; Kelli O'Hara, The Pajama Game; LaChanze, The Color Purple; Patti LuPone, Sweeney Todd; Chita Rivera, Chita Rivera: The Dancer's Life
Our Picks: 5/5
The increasing buzz of Drowsy Chaperone carries Foster to a nomination (her third in five years!).

Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Play
Samuel Barnett, The History Boys; Domhnall Gleeson, The Lieutenant of Inishmore; Ian McDiarmid, Faith Healer; Mark Ruffalo, Awake and Sing!; Pablo Schreiber, Awake and Sing!
Our Picks: 2/5
Really blew it here...put Ruffalo in the wrong category, picked the wrong History Boy, and vastly overrated the Three Days of Rain boys.

Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Play
Tyne Daly, Rabbit Hole; Frances de la Tour, The History Boys; Jayne Houdyshell, Well; Alison Pill, The Lieutenant of Inishmore; Zoe Wanamaker, Awake and Sing!
Our Picks: 4/5
Alison Pill comes out of nowhere to land the final spot over much starrier competition. The role is a great one, and I don't feel it isn't deserved.

Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical
Danny Burstein, The Drowsy Chaperone; Jim Dale, The Threepenny Opera; Brandon Victor Dixon, The Color Purple; Manoel Felciano, Sweeney Todd; Christian Hoff, Jersey Boys
Our Picks: 4/5
The Color Purple did extremely well, and the major evidence of it is in the performance categories. Dixon was a delight to watch, and certainly more nuanced than Michael McKean was in The Pajama Game.

Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical
Carolee Carmello, Lestat; Felicia Fields, The Color Purple; Megan Lawrence, The Pajama Game; Beth Leavel, The Drowsy Chaperone; Elisabeth Withers-Mendes, The Color Purple
Our Picks: 3/5
Happiness and sadness here. Happiness, because Carolee Carmello was recognized for keeping Lestat out of the cultural abyss. And sadness, because we won't get to see Cyndi Lauper perform on the Tony Awards.

Best Direction of a Play
Nicholas Hytner, The History Boys; Wilson Milam, The Lieutenant of Inishmore; Bartlett Sher, Awake and Sing!; Daniel Sullivan, Rabbit Hole
Our Picks: 3/4
Note to self: Daniel Sullivan can never be ignored. He is the Steven Spielberg of the American theatre.

Best Direction of a Musical
John Doyle, Sweeney Todd; Kathleen Marshall, The Pajama Game; Des McAnuff, Jersey Boys; Casey Nicholaw, The Drowsy Chaperone
Our Picks: 4/4
Not too shabby. Thrilled for Casey, who made a stunning Broadway debut after decades as a dancer/choreographer.

Best Choreography
Rob Ashford, The Wedding Singer; Donald Byrd, The Color Purple; Kathleen Marshall, The Pajama Game; Casey Nicholaw, The Drowsy Chaperone
Our Picks: 4/4
The best of the best, without a doubt.

Best Orchestrations
Larry Blank, The Drowsy Chaperone; Dick Lieb and Danny Troob, The Pajama Game; Steve Orich, Jersey Boys; Sarah Travis, Sweeney Todd
Our Picks: n/a
I didn't predict this category, because I think Sarah Travis will win in by a huge margin. If I had a million bucks, I'd bet it on Travis.

Best Original Score written for the Theatre
Lisa Lambert and Greg Morrison, The Drowsy Chaperone; Brenda Russell, Allee Willis and Stephen Bray, The Color Purple; Matthew Sklar and Chad Beguelin, The Wedding Singer; Andrew Lloyd Webber and David Zippel, The Woman in White
Our Picks: 2/4
Note to self: Andrew Lloyd Webber can never be ignored. Even when the work is substandard, irritating and pitched.

Best Book of a Musical
Chad Beguelin and Tim Herlihy, The Wedding Singer; Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice, Jersey Boys; Bob Martin and Don McKellar, The Drowsy Chaperone; Marsha Norman, The Color Purple
Our Picks: 3/4
Apparently, someone on the Tony committee really liked The Wedding Singer. When two young nobodies beat out Terrence McNally, that's truly an accomplishment.

Best Scenic Design of a Play
John Lee Beatty, Rabbit Hole; Bob Crowley, The History Boys; Santo Loquasto, Three Days of Rain; Michael Yeargan, Awake and Sing!
Our Picks: 2/4
Beatty is the brilliant diamond of these jewels.

Best Scenic Design of a Musical
John Lee Beatty, The Color Purple; John Doyle, Sweeney Todd; Derek McLane, The Pajama Game; Klara Zieglerova, Jersey Boys
Our Picks: 2/4
Big ups to Zieglerova...her ugly-ass set was the weakest element of Jersey Boys, and yet it scored a nomination.

Best Costume Design of a Play
Michael Krass, The Constant Wife; Santo Loquasto, A Touch of the Poet; Catherine Zuber, Awake and Sing!; Catherine Zuber, Edward Albee's Seascape
Our Picks: 1/4
Our worst category. But thank heaven for Catherine Zuber.

Best Costume Design of a Musical
Gregg Barnes, The Drowsy Chaperone; Susan Hilferty, Lestat; Martin Pakledinaz, The Pajama Game; Paul Tazewell, The Color Purple
Our Picks: 2/4
Is the omission of John Doyle here a sign of Sweeney Todd weakness? We'll find out next month.

Best Lighting Design of a Play
Christopher Akerlind, Awake and Sing!; Paul Gallo, Three Days of Rain; Mark Henderson, Faith Healer; Mark Henderson, The History Boys
Our Picks: 2/4
In march the British! I think Henderson's a minor talent at best, but hey, what do I know.

Best Lighting Design of a Musical
Ken Billington and Brian Monahan, The Drowsy Chaperone; Howell Binkley, Jersey Boys; Natasha Katz, Tarzan; Brian McDevitt, The Color Purple
Our Picks: 1/4
And perhaps the only truly criminal omissions happen here, in the last category. How anyone could skip the lighting of Sweeney Todd is beyond me.

Regional Theatre Tony Award: Intiman Theatre in Seattle, WA
Special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre: Harold Prince
Special Tony Award: Sarah Jones

Top Nominees:

The Drowsy Chaperone - 13
The Color Purple - 11
The Pajama Game - 9
Awake and Sing! - 8
Jersey Boys - 8
The History Boys - 7
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