As spring turns into summer, speculation about this year’s Tony Awards is heating up. The nominations are out, and multiple productions are poised for a big night. Let’s see what all the buzz is about.
When it comes to talk about the Best Play category, chatter seems to be centered on Peter and the Starcatcher by Rick Elice. This story about a boy who never wanted to grow up is standing tall and planted firmly with nine (9) solid nominations. Five (5) nominations went to Jon Robin Baitz’s Other Desert Cities, with a super cast that has featured Stockard Channing, Stacy Keach and Rachel Griffiths, among others. They all play characters at odds over skeletons in the family closet. Don’t discount Clybourne Park by Bruce Norris. Even though it has four (4) nominations, it already has a Pulitzer Prize already under its belt. David Ives’s Venus in Fur is on the scoreboard with two (2) nominations. This steamy, sexy play about auditioning for a theater role has stirred up theatre audiences and could walk away with the award.
See the complete list of 2012 Tony Awards nominations.
Leap of Faith will need more than a leap to walk away with a Tony for Best Musical this year. This show about a con artist isn’t even a frontrunner in the one category it’s nominated. However Newsies, about a newsboy with a big dream, is making front page news with eight (8) nominations. Nice Work If You Can Get It, with all those Gershwin-penned tunes, has ten (10) nominations. But Once, adapted from a recent film of the same name, leads the pack with eleven (11) nominations. This charming story about love and music will likely walk away with more Tonys than its name suggests.
Arthur Miller’s play Death of a Salesman has seven (7) nominations, including Best Revival of a Play. Interestingly enough, Salesman also won two Tony Awards in 1949 for Best Play and Author. This old chestnut of a play may find itself back in the winner’s circle 63 years later. Phillip Seymour Hoffman has garnered rave reviews for his portrayal of Willy Loman, and may walk away with Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play. Gore Vidal’s The Best Man, the timely revival about a race for the presidency and the ruthlessness in getting a party nomination, has two (2) nominations. With this year’s presidential race heating up, the timeliness might go a long way. Terrence McNally’s Master Class won a Tony in 1996 for its focus on opera great Maria Callas. Hitting a singular high note, it pulled in one (1) nomination. The beautiful tearjerker Wit is the final Play Revival nominee; the poetic take on cancer pulled in two (2) nominations.
Evita checks in with a nomination for Best Revival of a Musical. This powerful story of Eva Perone’s rise to power was once called too serious to be a musical, yet here it is once again among Broadway’s best. Stephen Sondheim’s Follies, with its eight (8) nominations, isn’t fooling around either. Considering its theme is the demolition of a theatre, this musical pulls on all the right heart strings. However, the competition is stiff with names like George and Ira Gershwin floating around the Tonys. The Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess might even be the favorite unless Jesus Christ Superstar, with two (2) nominations, gets a little divine intervention.
(credit: Cindy Ord/Getty Images)
While the plays mentioned here are already winners in the eyes and ears of theatre goers, much of their success comes from the actors and actresses who bring them to life. There are many superior nominees in the acting nominations for 2012. James Corden, with his amazing performance in the English import One Man, Two Guvnors, is orbiting the winner’s circle. He’s up against the aforementioned Philip Seymour Hoffman, as well as James Earl Jones, Frank Langella and John Lithgow for Best Performance of an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play. The leading lady category is just as competitive. Stockard Channing finds herself pitted against Nina Arianda, Tracie Bennett, Linda Lavin, and Cynthia Nixon for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play.
The buzz will build to deafening decibels until Neil Patrick Harris takes the stage to host the 66th Annual Tony Awards ceremony. Tune in to see which of your favorite productions and performers win theatre’s biggest honor.
The Tony Awards air on June 10 at 8:00 pm (7:00 Central) on CBS.
Visit the Tony Awards section at CBS Local.
Joanne Greco Rochman is the arts editor of “The Fairfield County Review,” a columnist, critic, feature story writer and English professor. Her work has appeared in “The New York Times,” “The Republican-American” and Hersam-Acorn Publications. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.