2014 Tony Nominations

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Re: 2014 Tony Nominations

Postby OscarGuy » Sat Jun 07, 2014 1:14 pm

I read somewhere that the Tony committee put rules in place to decrease the influence of the roadies. It would make since considering the people who should be voting on these should be theater professionals who actively work in the New York theatre community (thus have an opportunity to see all of the shows).
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Re: 2014 Tony Nominations

Postby Mister Tee » Sat Jun 07, 2014 12:51 pm

The Original BJ wrote:...enough Tony night disappointments have me thinking Beautiful, which you'd have to imagine the road show contingent will vote for pretty strongly, will win the big prize.

In case your opinion of these road show people wasn't low enough, yesterday's Times reports that some of them "said they were voting against the show (Gentleman's Guide) to prevent it from hitting the road and possibly flopping in their theatres." The Times does say they only make up about 10% of voters (I'm pretty sure it used to be more), which is enough to tip a super-close race, but may not be quite enough this year.

I have the same misgivings about Bridges winning score despite its no-show under best musical, but 1) the numerous people I know who saw Bridges came out fawning over the score and 2) unlike the Oscars, the nominating committee has no real correlation with voters, so shows the nominators don't like aren't necessarily disliked by the voters at large -- as in '97, when Titanic took only a few nominations (albeit including best musical, in a moribund year), but won most all of them, or, going back, in '84, when the nominators ignored the highly-touted Dustin Hoffman Death of a Salesman in every category except revival, a category it then won to a loud ovation.

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Re: 2014 Tony Nominations

Postby The Original BJ » Sat Jun 07, 2014 3:27 am

Mister Tee, your analysis seems pretty spot-on to me, so I don't have a ton to add.

Having seen neither Gentleman's Guide or Beautiful, I have to say I'm more inclined to root for the show with an original score (which received pretty stellar reviews) over the jukebox musical, but enough Tony night disappointments have me thinking Beautiful, which you'd have to imagine the road show contingent will vote for pretty strongly, will win the big prize. As you say, the artier pick generally doesn't trump the crowdpleaser (though I'd argue that Once over Newsies was pretty inarguably an example of that, and I remember going into that ceremony thinking Newsies would prevail). Though I do wonder if the presence of another big crowdpleaser like Aladdin on the ballot might cut into Beautiful's final vote total.

Most people are predicting The Bridges of Madison County for the score prize, and I see where they're coming from -- Jason Robert Brown's score is ravishingly gorgeous, and his body of work is mostly beloved by the Broadway community. But it's at least worth pointing out that shows not nominated for Best Musical almost NEVER win the Score prize. By my count, only Gigi and Aida serve as precedent, and the latter at least was a big popular hit. The fact that Bridges closed so early could help Brown get some sympathy support...but it also indicates, along with the low nomination total for the show, that Bridges just wasn't very widely liked outside of niche circles. I definitely think Gentleman's Guide could still snag this prize, though admittedly, it's the one nominee in this category that I've not seen/heard, so I'm mostly basing that on what seems like overall strength for the show.

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Re: 2014 Tony Nominations

Postby Mister Tee » Sat Jun 07, 2014 12:40 am

Okay, my stab at predicting Sunday’s outcome:

Both the Times and Post are predicting Act One for best play, which honestly shocked me. I thought All the Way’s run through the earlier awards – including the NY Drama Critics, who I’d thought more likely to say “no award” than go for something so middling-reviewed – made it a shoo-in here. I’ll still stick with that call, but with a bit less confidence.

Best musical should be that rarest of races: one we truly can’t know till that last envelope is opened. It’s clearly between Gentleman’s Guide and Beautiful, but, even if the award-split up till then leans heavily in Gentleman’s Guide’s direction – it’ll surely win book, and could win any/all of supporting actress, director, score, costumes (even actor isn’t 100% out of the question) – the tendency of the Tonys to choose the crowd-pleaser over artistic aspirations in the past 20 years is pronounced (Passion over Beauty and the Beast is the last clear example to the contrary – though some might argue Once over Newsies). Even if best actress is Beautiful’s sole award to that point, I give it a shot at winning the big one (much the way Two Gentlemen of Verona shocked Follies way back in 1972).

Actor in a play is by wide consensus going to Bryan Cranston, and most people think Audra McDonald is going to win yet another Tony as Lady Day. I guess that’s the way I lean, but I’m surprised how much people seem to have bailed on Cherry Jones, whose reviews for Glass Menagerie were of the luminous variety. On the musical side, when I say Jefferson Mays is not 100% out of the best actor race, I mean he’s only 80% or so out – Neil Patrick Harris, for his long service to the Tony community, plus a sell-out hit, is the clear favorite. And, though there’s some murmur of support for Broadway favorites Kelli O’Hara and Idina Menzel, most expect fresher face Jessie Mueller to triumph.

Supporting has one sure thing: Igelhart for Aladdin. The female race under musicals is brutally competitive – I think anyone besides former winner Lenox has a genuine shot, with maybe Worsham in Gentleman’s Guide and Hall in Hedwig a bit further up the ladder than the others. In plays, I’ve heard many assume Mark Rylance is unstoppable when it comes to the Tonys (and I guess we’d hear more of that damn poem), but I think the threesome from Twelfth Night have to hurt one another a bit; I’m inclined to think theatre veteran Reed Birney will be well supported, and his Drama Desk win persuades me to predict him. Among females, the two Raisin in the Sun ladies might hurt one another (since neither has been especially singled out), leaving Keenan-Bolger in Menagerie and Mare Winningham in Casa Valentina in front – but this one’s another toss-up. I’ll say Keenan-Bolger.

Twelfth Night and Hedwig seem well in front for revivals, and I imagine both will contend strongly for directing as well – though Hedwig’s Michael Mayer will have a formidable challenge from Gentleman’s Guide’s Darko Tresnjak (my ultimate pick). After Midnight will probably get choreography as a consolation prize, unless Susan Stroman has more friends among voters than I imagine. Gentleman’s Guide will, as I said, definitely win for book, but most feel Jason Robert Brown will take score for Bridges of Madison County.

The design prizes are total guesswork (since I haven’t seen most of the shows), but I’ll say sets to Rocky & Act One, costumes to Gentleman’s Guide and Twelfth Night, and lighting to Hedwig and Glass Menagerie. Sound design/orchestrations, I just don’t give a damn.

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Re: 2014 Tony Nominations

Postby Okri » Wed Apr 30, 2014 9:33 pm

a) All five playwrights for best play are previous nominees. Three are Pulitzer Prize winners (Schenkhan, Lapine, Shanley). Amusingly, James Lapine is the only one that hasn't been previously nominated for best play (his nominations come from book of a musical and director)

b) Best actor in a play was frickin' stacked. Ian McKellan, Patrick Stewart, Denzel Washington, and Ethan Hawke are all previous nominees and in a weaker year might have made the cut. I do feel bad for Radcliffe, who's clearly trying so hard to earn credibility (improve as an actor). That stated, there does seem to be a hint of reticence about nominating such a huge star who really had no formal stage training. And given that the nominations group itself is so small. And there does seem to be several times when the one that got left out has a more notable film than stage career.

c) Tee, best play has always had representation in best director with at least one nomination. So this is a first.

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Re: 2014 Tony Nominations

Postby Greg » Wed Apr 30, 2014 2:43 pm

Big Magilla wrote:Hepburn lost to Cicely Tyson in The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman while Waterston's Tom lost to Moriarty's gentleman caller.


And Tyson almost certainly would have won an Oscar had Pittman been released theatrically.

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Re: 2014 Tony Nominations

Postby Big Magilla » Wed Apr 30, 2014 2:14 pm

Mister Tee wrote:By the way, I don't know if this was noted elsewhere, but the NY Times has highlighted the fact that this is the first Broadway production of The Glass Menagerie to get so much as a single Tony nomination. The legendary original version of course predated the award, but subsequent productions, even with such awards magnets as Maureen Stapleton, Julie Harris and Jessica Tandy as Amanda, never got a nibble. This contrasts mightily with Streetcar, which not only won for Tandy in an early Tony year, but has got multiple acting nominations down the years for assorted productions. (Or Cat, which has received acting attention over several decades)


On the other hand, all four stars of the 1973 TV version - Katharine Hepburn; Sam Waterston; Michael Moriarty and Joanna Miles - were nominated for Emmys with Moriarty and Miles winning. Hepburn lost to Cicely Tyson in The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman while Waterston's Tom lost to Moriarty's gentleman caller.
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Re: 2014 Tony Nominations

Postby flipp525 » Wed Apr 30, 2014 2:11 pm

Mister Tee wrote:It seems like Neil Patrick Harris' "friend of the Tonys" status, plus strong reviews and near-sellout business, will get him the prize -- though I don't fully discount Jefferson Mays.

I wouldn't count out Ramin Karimloo as an upset in Best Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical. His Jean Valjean is fan-fucking-tastic. I also feel NPH fatigue setting in. The cheap production value of this version of Les Miz will hurt him though.
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Re: 2014 Tony Nominations

Postby Mister Tee » Wed Apr 30, 2014 2:02 pm

By the way, I don't know if this was noted elsewhere, but the NY Times has highlighted the fact that this is the first Broadway production of The Glass Menagerie to get so much as a single Tony nomination. The legendary original version of course predated the award, but subsequent productions, even with such awards magnets as Maureen Stapleton, Julie Harris and Jessica Tandy as Amanda, never got a nibble. This contrasts mightily with Streetcar, which not only won for Tandy in an early Tony year, but has got multiple acting nominations down the years for assorted productions. (Or Cat, which has received acting attention over several decades)

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Re: 2014 Tony Nominations

Postby Mister Tee » Wed Apr 30, 2014 10:39 am

Oh, and a Mark Harris tweet I loved. He said a well-known actor yesterday asked him if he (the actor) had been snubbed. Harris' reply was, no, "snub" was a word journalists used to make non-nominees feel worse.

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Re: 2014 Tony Nominations

Postby Mister Tee » Wed Apr 30, 2014 10:37 am

The year that Denzel, Scarlett and (most egregiously) Zeta-Jones won, there was a bit of a revamp of the voting roster, as it was felt the touring company bloc had become too large, and that they'd always default to big names like this (though Denzel would have won, regardless). Perhaps this has led some to lean the other direction, but I don't think there are any "what an outrage!" omissions this year. Denzel got good reviews, and could have been nominated, but everyone there in his stead was also well-received; it's like saying Tom Hanks' omission at the Oscars meant the Academy hates stars. (And, by the way, Franco did NOT get particularly good notices)

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Re: 2014 Tony Nominations

Postby flipp525 » Wed Apr 30, 2014 9:21 am

FilmFan720 wrote:In the last five years, the Tonys have awarded Scarlett Johansson, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Denzel Washington, Frances McDormand, and John Larroquette and nominated Jane Fonda, Tom Hanks and Andrew Garfield, not to mention a lot of actors with lots of stage credentials who have also created great Hollywood careers. When they "snub" people who come from Hollywood, it is usually because the general consensus is that they aren't very good and the reviews show it (Julia Roberts, Jessica Chastain, Daniel Radcliffe in his earlier performances, Denzel and Franco this year). Plus, some of these categories this year were so competitive that it wasn't a "don't like" but a matter of not having the room.

While a lot of this is true, a quibble:

From the notices I've read as well as audience reviews, Denzel's performance in A Raisin in the Sun is very good. While his age makes him all wrong for the part, he apparently overcomes this with powerful work on the stage. So, his absence from the line-up is suspect and may just feed into the anti-Hollywood bias that's being discussed here.
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Re: 2014 Tony Nominations

Postby OscarGuy » Wed Apr 30, 2014 6:10 am

I was referring not to the nominating of Hollywood people at the Emmys, Tripp, but that the Emmys tend to recognize their own and only their own year after year even after they've long lot their mojo. And that's in the series category. The movie/mini category is always dominated by Hollywood people. I think that's more because the Emmys seem to feel like the bastard step-children of the entertainment awards biz.

I had read that Franco received strong notices for Of Mice and Men, but maybe it was just the Variety critic who was effusive. Anyway, I look more toward the likes of Daniel Radcliffe who has been snubbed three times now for Tony nominations even though he's delivered there critically acclaimed performances. Perhaps some of this year's crop weren't as great in their transitions, but this isn't the first year where Hollywood has been completely shunned.
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Re: 2014 Tony Nominations

Postby Big Magilla » Wed Apr 30, 2014 3:28 am

The Tony nominating committee in recent years has had an anti-Hollywood bias. Movie and TV stars are expected to not only live up to their reputations but to surpass them. Maybe that's fair, maybe it isn't, but the thing that struck me about the AP piece was that I had to look at the bi-line a couple of times to make sure it was from the AP and not ET, EW or E! Emphasis should have been on who was nominated, not who was left out. I don't think anyone was "snubbed" in the sense that they were deliberately left out. I was surprised that Zachary Quinto and Daniel Radlcliffe weren't nominated given the high praise for their performances and the fact that several of their co-stars were nominated, but then I haven't seen any of the nominees so I can't say who they might have been nominated instead of. Denzel Washington, James Franco and Orlando Bloom were not generally well received. Zach Braff? Most of the Bullets Over Broadway reviews centered on Broadway veteran Marin Mazzie.

Michelle Williams in Cabaret and Mazzie both received the kinds of notices that generally lead to Tony nominations but Best Actress in a Musical is unusually strong this year, which may be why Audra MacDonald, who sings 13 or 14 songs in her show has been nominated in the Drama category for what is being called a "play with music" though I suspect most audiences are going for the singing.
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Re: 2014 Tony Nominations

Postby FilmFan720 » Tue Apr 29, 2014 10:48 pm

Oddest fact for me of the day: Douglas McGrath and Woody Allen are competing against each other for Best Book of a Musical (McGrath for Beautiful, Allen for Bullets Over Broadway) when they both shared an Oscar nomination for the source material for Allen's show!
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