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Sunday, May 03, 2009

 

2009 Tony Award Nominations: Best Book of a Musical

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Continuing our Tony Predix, here's

BEST BOOK OF A MUSICAL

WILL BE NOMINATED:
Hunter Bell, [title of show]
Lee Hall, Billy Elliot: The Musical
David Lindsay-Abaire, Shrek The Musical
Brian Yorkey, next to normal

SHOULD BE NOMINATED:
Hunter Bell, [title of show]
Chris D'Arienzo, Rock of Ages
Lee Hall, Billy Elliot: The Musical
David Lindsay-Abaire, Shrek The Musical

GOING HOME EMPTY-HANDED:
Brian Hill, The Story of My Life
Dan Elish and Robert Horn, 13
Jill Santoriello, A Tale of Two Cities
Patricia Resnick, 9 to 5: The Musical
Paul Blake and David Ives, Irving Berlin's White Christmas
Richard Greenberg, Pal Joey

MODFAB THINKS: Yes, I think Hunter Bell will be nominated...despite the musical's closure six months ago after a disappointing Broadway transfer. Why? Because it's inventive, he's well-liked in the industry, he's a hyphenate (actor/writer), he's a new-generation face, and everyone's seen those You Tube videos where he talks about dying to have a nomination.

I wish I believed that the bigger-than-life humor of Rock of Ages could curry the favor of the Tony nominators, but I bet it's not sophisticated enough for them. So in its place, the sentimentalized, mildly offensive take on mental illness known as next to normal will continue to rack up nominations.

DARK HORSE: Two possible candidates. The first is Pal Joey, which has a notoriously poor book but was rewritten by a Pulitzer winner, Richard Greenberg. (The fact that it wasn't much of an improvement kept it from making my nomination list.) And for pure shtick and charm, you couldn't beat the book of 13.

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