2015 Tony Nominations

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The Original BJ
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Re: 2015 Tony Nominations

Postby The Original BJ » Mon Jun 08, 2015 10:54 pm

dws1982 wrote:
HarryGoldfarb wrote:The interesting fact is that Mama Rose have garnered the most nominations overall (five) while every time an actress has been nominated for playing Leonowens the actress has won (a perfect tally for a character).

Worth noting that Mary Beth Peil was nominated for (and lost) the Featured Actress award in 1985 for playing Anna opposite Yul Brynner in what was his final run in The King and I.


And what's REALLY weird about this stat is that Yul Brynner himself won the FEATURED Actor prize for the debut production of The King and I.

Which is to say, BOTH the role of Anna AND the role of the King have each been nominated in the Lead and Featured categories, depending on the production.

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Re: 2015 Tony Nominations

Postby dws1982 » Mon Jun 08, 2015 10:24 pm

HarryGoldfarb wrote:The interesting fact is that Mama Rose have garnered the most nominations overall (five) while every time an actress has been nominated for playing Leonowens the actress has won (a perfect tally for a character).

Worth noting that Mary Beth Peil was nominated for (and lost) the Featured Actress award in 1985 for playing Anna opposite Yul Brynner in what was his final run in The King and I.

George in Virginia Woolf is another one that has won for three different actors: Arthur Hill, Bill Irwin, and Tracy Letts.

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Re: 2015 Tony Nominations

Postby The Original BJ » Mon Jun 08, 2015 10:03 pm

Mister Tee wrote:(Yes: it was an EXTREMELY odd choice for a high school production.)


Interestingly enough, my high school also did The Visit, albeit a few years after I graduated.

To answer your question, flipp, Alexander Sharp is indeed the youngest person to win Best Actor in a Play. Though, of course, he's still over a decade older than the record holders for Best Actor in a Musical, the boys from Billy Elliott.

Helen Mirren now has won all three major show business acting prizes for playing different queens of England.

Ruthie Ann Miles is only the second Asian actress, after Lea Salonga, to win a Tony, and the first in the Featured Actress category.

As was reported on the telecast, Jeanine Tesori and Lisa Kron became the first all-female creative team to take Best Score and Best Book of a Musical.

It's worth noting that the winners of Best Play and Best Musical also took BOTH their respective directing prizes AND awards for their lead actors. The last time this dominance occured was in 1984, with La Cage aux Folles and The Real Thing.

Jersey Boys also broke the record for most times "Oh, What a Night" has been performed on the Tonys telecast, though I've lost track if they're up to four or five million times.

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Re: 2015 Tony Nominations

Postby Mister Tee » Mon Jun 08, 2015 9:39 pm

flipp525 wrote:So, this is the third performer to receive a Tony for playing Anna Leonowens in The King and I. I can only think of Mama Rose in Gypsy bringing the same amount of accolades. Are there any others?

Pseudolus in Forum won for Zero Mostel, Phil Silvers and Nathan Lane.

The crowning irony of Mama Rose is the fact that Ethel Merman's one of the ones who DIDN'T win for it.

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Re: 2015 Tony Nominations

Postby HarryGoldfarb » Mon Jun 08, 2015 9:29 pm

flipp525 wrote: So, this is the third performer to receive a Tony for playing Anna Leonowens in The King and I. I can only think of Mama Rose in Gypsy bringing the same amount of accolades. Are there any others?


Indeed, both characters have garnered 3 awards. The interesting fact is that Mama Rose have garnered the most nominations overall (five) while every time an actress has been nominated for playing Leonowens the actress has won (a perfect tally for a character).

Even Peter Pan as a character have generated more Best Leading Actress in a Musical nominations than Leonowens (four).
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Re: 2015 Tony Nominations

Postby Mister Tee » Mon Jun 08, 2015 9:24 pm

I forget that the Tonys are on tape-delay for the West Coast. And I sympathize, BJ, with your apparently-failed attempts at staying spoiler-free. I've learned from trying to watch the far less-reported-on BATFAs that I have to stay away from the Internet pretty much all afternoon, or risk seeing a blurb somewhere that drains the suspense.

The Visit is almost already in the category with Side Show -- they've been attempting to bring that show in for what seems over a decade by now. You could say just getting it produced in NY was a victory for the creators. I'm sorry it's closing so fast -- I might have made some attempt to see it, if only because I played the male lead in the play back in my high school days. (Yes: it was an EXTREMELY odd choice for a high school production.)

It's interesting that none of us mentioned the Richard McCabe win, which also would have to rank among the night's bigger surprises...I didn't see anyone forecast him. (Though apparently he did win the Olivier award.)

As the show was going along, I found myself thinking, well, voters can show what they value more highly in a musical -- the decorative/technical arts, where American in Paris did exceedingly well, or the creative/auteur arts, which were solidly Fun Home. In that sense, Sam Gold winning for directing was a pretty key moment in the evening.

Four awards for American in Paris feels like a decent haul, but then you remember not one of them was televised. By comparison, King and I also won four, but three of them were seen by the home audience.

A friend of mine said today that the Gigi number was so manic it seemed like The Night They Invented Cocaine.

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Re: 2015 Tony Nominations

Postby flipp525 » Mon Jun 08, 2015 7:20 pm

The Original BJ wrote:When Christian Borle prevailed, my first thought was, I'd love to know how Sutton Foster reacted to seeing her ex-boyfriend present her ex-husband with a Tony.

In hindsight, given his Drama Desk win, I really should have considered Christian Borle more as an eventual winner last night in Featured Actor in a Musical. I was pretty confident that Brad Oscar would take it and, if not him then Andy Karl or Max von Essen as a dark horse. But Borle really should've always been on my radar. I'm disappointed that Brad didn't win, but I'm still thrilled that he came so close this time around. I agree with both BJ and Tee about the amount of surprise wins and the kind of uncertainty about several key categories. It's like we've almost forgotten how very refreshing and satisfying that can be.

The "Ring of Keys" number from Fun Home was incredibly moving and really made me want to see the show. I felt like the presence of one or more "Alisons" on the stage at the same time was suggesting that we are always the young child, no matter how old we are, and that we always look back to try to understand how we became who we became. I have the graphic novel upon which Fun Home is based and I'm looking forward to reading it first.

Ruthie Ann Miles and Annaleigh Ashford's wins were both great moments in the show as was Alex Sharp taking Lead Actor in a Play. Can you imagine winning a Tony less than a year after getting your MFA? That has to be on the list of youngest winners in that category.

So, this is the third performer to receive a Tony for playing Anna Leonowens in The King and I. I can only think of Mama Rose in Gypsy bringing the same amount of accolades. Are there any others?

I also thought The Visit segment was odd and potentially off-putting (although I did like Chita's phrasing in the beginning and the song itself). It might end up becoming more of a Follies-type show that maintains a cult following down the line as time goes on. Or, more recently, Side Show.

Overall though, I thought the winners were very deserving and almost every category ended as it should've. Cumming and Chenowith were kind of embarrassing and hokey as hosts. The bit in the beginning didn't bode well for what was to come.

The ratings were apparently an all-time low last night.
Last edited by flipp525 on Tue Jun 09, 2015 9:30 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: 2015 Tony Nominations

Postby dws1982 » Mon Jun 08, 2015 12:39 pm

The Visit is the first post-awards casualty, closing Sunday.

Not a surprise at all, and hard to imagine that the performance last night sold even one ticket.

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Re: 2015 Tony Nominations

Postby Big Magilla » Mon Jun 08, 2015 9:24 am

I could read the names in the In Memoriam segment well enough but they went by too fast to really focus on them. On the other hand I was perplexed by the introductions of the presenters. I couldn't hear most of the names so either I recognized them or I didn't. The highlights for me were Kelli O'Hara and the kid from Curious Incident, a real inspiration for my 18 - year-old theater and philosophy major nephew I was watching with.
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Re: 2015 Tony Nominations

Postby The Original BJ » Mon Jun 08, 2015 2:09 am

I agree with Mister Tee about how great it was to have a group of super-tight races at the ending -- though I'd add that watching on the west coast has its disadvantages, mainly the fact that you can't even open up a web browser without having a race spoiled (Best Musical) or even have your phone on when friends seem to have no concern about texting spoilers to you (Best Actress in a Musical).

When Jason Alexander -- whose producing efforts out in L.A. have included a lot of pretty adventurous smaller musicals -- opened the last envelope and uttered "Bravo," you could almost sense that was directed towards Tony voters. Fun Home seems like the kind of choice that honors the Tonys as much as the inverse -- for a small, art-aspirant, and let's be frank, very lesbian musical drama to triumph in such a big way was a huge coup. I haven't yet seen any of this year's Best Musical nominees, but after years of watching musicals that completely overwhelmed me emotionally and artistically (Next to Normal, The Light in the Piazza, Parade, Ragtime) lose out to more frivolous fare, it was a thrill to watch the show everyone seems to agree was the artistic creme de la creme of the field pull through. (And, of course, it doesn't hurt when your friend is the star!)

Although I can't say Kelli O'Hara has ever been an especial favorite of mine -- there's something fairly vanilla about the way she slots so easily into these Golden Age-type roles -- she's an obvious talent who's been delivering strong work for the past decade, and it was nice to see her finally rewarded. (And you could see the sheer joy on the other nominees' faces, including her old college musical theater rival Chenoweth, when O'Hara prevailed.) Most delightful speech of the night, too. (And I'm with Mister Tee -- given the raves for Chenoweth's On the Twentieth Century performance, I expected something far more outside her usual comfort zone than what we saw.)

As for the other shows, Something Rotten looked entertaining enough, though I have to say the "isn't-it-hilarious-we're-in-a-musical" concept is getting old for me. Many people I know have raved about An American in Paris, though I agree that the number didn't stand out in any major way. Still, I thought it was very well danced and choreographed, whereas the On the Town number struck me as rather stale and a little sloppy. Often the medleys don't work for these things, but I thought the snippets of the three songs chosen for The King and I sold it well -- it looks like a very classy production. I'm a big Kander/Ebb fan, and friends I know speak very highly of The Visit, but gosh, that number seemed so strange. The show is on life support as it is -- I can't imagine that song goosing ticket sales.

The worst numbers, unsurprisingly, were from the shows that didn't get nominations. Vanessa Hudgens seemed completely out of place in Gigi. The It Shoulda Been You song looked like the kind of thing that should be playing in a dinner theater in Palm Springs. And as for Finding Neverland...yikes. Can we just call a moratorium on all things Peter Pan-related for a while?

Jeanine Tesori was the night's other big at-last victor -- she's been turning out memorable music for a while now, and it was nice to see her finally win too. (And the song selected to showcase Fun Home was the best piece of original music of the night.)

My reaction to Best Actress in a Play being presented first wasn't that it was an unsettled category, but that producers likely wanted a BIG star to accept a prize right off the bat so casual viewers wouldn't just tune out.

Pretty much all of Curious Incident's prizes were in the bag, but the lack of surprise didn't make them undeserving (at least on their own terms -- the competition is sight unseen by me.)

When Christian Borle prevailed, my first thought was, I'd love to know how Sutton Foster reacted to seeing her ex-boyfriend present her ex-husband with a Tony.

Ruthie Ann Miles seemed, to me, the biggest upset of the night. Perhaps the Fun Home girls did cannibalize each other's votes.

I agree with Mister Tee that Annaleigh Ashford's role in You Can't Take It With You doesn't seem like a major one, but I thought she was very funny in Kinky Boots, so I could imagine her making something special out of it. (And I imagine her losing nomination two years ago provided some decent career momentum for victory this year.)

As for the hosts, I found both Cumming and Chenoweth pretty annoying throughout, though much of the scripted material was pretty subpar, even by this show's not-high standards.

Can someone PLEASE figure out a better way to showcase the Plays? I mean, given the great visual triumph of Curious Incident, only a dunderhead would have selected the clip shown on the telecast as representative of the show.

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Re: 2015 Tony Nominations

Postby Mister Tee » Sun Jun 07, 2015 10:26 pm

Are we ever again going to have an Oscars like this -- where the last three awards are all toss-ups, at least two won by perceived underdogs, and the last prize of the night goes, improbably, to the most artistically ambitious effort? What a rush of emotion that last half hour provided.

Up till then...it was a standard hit-and-miss Tonys. I can't say I particularly loved Cumming and Chenoweth; they were OK but not memorable. There was way too much musical filler, with plays as usual getting short shrift. The awards for plays seemed to be handed out in order of how suspenseful-or-not the categories were -- how else to explain Mirren preceding the supporting players, best revival following best play?

I thought the number from Something Rotten! sold the show pretty well; it made it look like an enjoyable lark. The Fun Home number was of another stripe: totally heartbreaking, selling to a far different audience, one that seeks insight rather than distraction. I can't say the American in Paris number made me want to see the show. I've heard it's way more than a recreation of the film, but there was nothing in the excerpt to confirm that. (ON EDIT: I forgot to mention On the Twentieth Century. My feeling was, if that's the best number they could pick to showcase Chenoweth, I can't deeply regret her not winning tonight)

I've seen people at other sites who were wowed by the It Shoulda Been You number. All I can say is, tastes differ. It made me want to run from the room.

On the other hand, the Finding Neverland number drained me of even the energy to run.

I liked Kelli O'Hara's speech, and Ruthie Ann Miles', even if she went on too long. I thought the Larry David/Jason Alexander bit was quite funny.

What were those first couple of notes Josh Groban hit? And why do they persist in long shots of the singer that make it impossible to read the names of the In Memoriam-ed?

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Re: 2015 Tony Nominations

Postby Jefforey Smith » Sun Jun 07, 2015 2:27 pm

Funny you'd hone in on that category. This was a last minute switch just made today. Switched Wolf Hall to second place & moved The Audience into the top spot. Also on the musical side for this category, flipped An American in Paris for The King & I. These are simply 11th hour hunches. Perhaps I'm overthinking it.

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Re: 2015 Tony Nominations

Postby Mister Tee » Sun Jun 07, 2015 2:04 pm

I've of course seen neither, but it would strike me the costumes in Wolf Hall would likely be far more elaborate than those for The Audience. Yet I've seen others make the same prediction as you. Is there something I don't know about the two shows that make The Audience the betting choice?

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Re: 2015 Tony Nominations

Postby Jefforey Smith » Sun Jun 07, 2015 1:38 pm

This is a contentious, suspenseful, & exciting year. Here's how I'm calling it:

Play: Curious Incident
Musical: An American in Paris
Book: Fun Home
Score: Fun Home
Play Revival: Skylight
Musical Revival: The King and I
Actor Play: Alex Sharp, Curious Incident
Actress Play: Helen Mirren, The Audience
Actor Musical: Robert Fairchild, An American in Paris
Actress Musical: Kristen Chenoweth, 20th Century
Featured Actor Play, Nathaniel Park, Wolf Hall
Featured Actress Play: Annaleigh Ashford, You Can't Take It With You
Featured Actor Musical: Andy Karl, 20th Century
Featured Actress Musical: Judy Kuhn, Fun Home
Director Play: Marianne Elliott, Curious Incident
Director Musical: Sam Gold, Fun Home
Choreography: An American in Paris
Orchestrations: An American in Paris
Scenic Design Play: Curious Incident
Scenic Design Musical: An American in Paris
Costume Design Play: The Audience
Costume Design Musical: The King & I
Lighting Design Play: Curious Incident
Lighting Design Musical: An American in Paris

Overall An American in Paris is going (deservedly) to fare better than I expected before the nominations were announced. And The King & I seems to command a great deal of respect.

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Re: 2015 Tony Nominations

Postby flipp525 » Sat Jun 06, 2015 12:07 pm

Mister Tee wrote:Anyway, I agree with BJ that the straight-play side is mostly wrapped up, except for supporting actor -- the lean there seems toward Nathaniel Parker in Wolf Hall, which surprises me, because I've never cared for him as an actor -- and revival. Times critics and most of the Theater Talk panel think Skylight is a shoo-in, but I question that for several reasons: 1) I don't think the play is all that much (based on the earlier Michael Gambon production) and 2) The Elephant Man did win the Drama Desk, and was a high-profile production. (Which could offset Skylight's major advantage, that it's still running,)

I know several people who are voting for Micah Stock here. Just throwing that out there.
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