Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Theater feature: 'Mormon' leads Tony nominations with 14 nods

Andrew Rannells and Josh Gad in The Book of Mormon.


By Hap Erstein

Trey Parker and Matt Stone’s irreverent,‭ ‬yet surprisingly traditional musical comedy,‭ ‬The Book of Mormon,‭ ‬went into this morning’s announcement of Tony Award nominations as the prohibitive favorite to win the all-important Best Musical award.‭ ‬It emerged with‭ ‬14‭ ‬nominations,‭ ‬making it even more of a lock to clean up at the Tonys ceremony on Sunday,‭ ‬June‭ ‬12,‭ ‬and‭ ‬--‭ ‬at least mathematically‭ ‬--‭ ‬a chance to cop a record number of Tonys.

Like‭ ‬The Producers a decade ago,‭ ‬this buddy musical was nominated in every category possible,‭ ‬but had no candidate for Best Actress.‭ ‬Both of its male stars,‭ ‬Josh Gad and Andrew Rannells,‭ ‬will be vying for the Best Actor Tony,‭ ‬also a repeat of‭ ‬The Producers‭’ ‬contest between Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick.

Book of Mormon’s nomination haul included Best Book‭ (‬Parker,‭ ‬Robert Lopez and Stone‭)‬,‭ ‬Best Score‭ (‬Lopez,‭ ‬Parker and Stone‭)‬,‭ ‬Best Featured Actor‭ (‬Rory O’Malley‭)‬,‭ ‬Best Featured Actress‭ (‬Nikki M.‭ ‬James‭)‬,‭ ‬Best Scenic Design‭ (‬Scott Pask‭)‬,‭ ‬Best Costume Design‭ (‬Ann Roth‭)‬,‭ ‬Best Lighting Design‭ (‬Brian MacDevitt‭)‬,‭ ‬Best Sound Design‭ (‬Brian Ronan‭)‬,‭ ‬Best Direction‭ (‬Casey Nicholaw and Parker‭)‬,‭ ‬Best Choreography‭ (‬Nicholaw‭) ‬and Best Orchestrations‭ (‬Larry Hochman and Stephen Oremus‭)‬.

As a marketing tool for Broadway,‭ ‬the Tonys usually slight shows that opened early in the season and have since closed,‭ ‬but this year‭ ‬The Scottsboro Boys‭ ‬--‭ ‬the final musical by the late Fred Ebb,‭ ‬which transferred from off-Broadway and never managed to attract a Broadway audience‭ ‬--‭ ‬earned‭ ‬12‭ ‬nominations.‭ ‬Other shuttered shows remembered with nominations,‭ ‬largely to fill out categories,‭ ‬included‭ ‬Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown‭ (‬3‭ ‬nominations‭) ‬and‭ ‬Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson‭ (‬2‭)‬.‭ ‬Still,‭ ‬the odds against either of them winning anything are astronomical.‭

In the play categories‭ ‬--‭ ‬the stepchildren of the Tony telecast‭ ‬--‭ ‬the British import‭ ‬Jerusalem and the rudely titled,‭ ‬but serious drama‭ ‬The Motherf‭**‬ker with the Hat each pulled in six nominations.‭ ‬They will compete with‭ ‬War Horse and‭ ‬Good People,‭ ‬making it two American plays versus two British.

The Tonys may have gotten over their crush on movie stars which dominated last year’s results.‭ ‬Among the Hollywood fixtures who appeared on Broadway this year but failed to get nominations are Daniel Radcliffe‭ (‬How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying‭)‬,‭ ‬Robin Williams‭ (‬Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo‭)‬,‭ ‬Chris Rock‭ (‬The Motherf‭**‬ker‭ …‬),‭ ‬Kiefer Sutherland‭ (‬That Championship Season‭) ‬and Jim Belushi‭ (‬Born Yesterday‭)‬.

Undoubtedly‭ ‬Bengal Tiger was hoping for a Best Play nod to help its flagging box office.‭ ‬Also looking for better returns today was‭ ‬Priscilla,‭ ‬Queen of the Desert,‭ ‬a jukebox version of the‭ ‬1994‭ ‬Australian flick,‭ ‬which scored nominations for Best Actor‭ (‬Tony Sheldon‭) ‬and its costumes,‭ ‬but not Best Musical.‭

Snubbed productions with‭ ‬slumping ticket sales often post their closing notices soon after the Tony nominations are announced.‭ ‬My pick for first to close is the Shirelles show‭ ‬Baby,‭ ‬It’s You,‭ ‬which had to settle for one nom,‭ ‬for Best Actress candidate,‭ ‬Beth Leavel.‭ ‬Also earning one nomination and facing a shaky future are the panned revival of‭ ‬House of Blue Leaves‭ (‬Featured Actress Edie Falco‭) ‬and bio-play‭ ‬Lombardi‭ (‬Featured Actress Judith Light‭)‬.

Here is the complete list of today’s Tony Award nominations:

Best Play
Good People,‭ ‬Author:‭ ‬David Lindsay-Abaire‭
Jerusalem,‭ ‬Author:‭ ‬Jez Butterworth
The Motherf‭**‬ker with the Hat,‭ ‬Author:‭ ‬Stephen Adly Guirgis
War Horse,‭ ‬Author:‭ ‬Nick Stafford

Best Musical
The Book of Mormon
Catch Me If You Can‭
The Scottsboro Boys‭
Sister Act‭

Best Book,‭ ‬Musical‭
Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson,‭ ‬Alex Timbers
The Book of Mormon,‭ ‬Trey Parker,‭ ‬Robert Lopez and Matt Stone
The Scottsboro Boys,‭ ‬David Thompson
Sister Act,‭ ‬Cheri Steinkellner,‭ ‬Bill Steinkellner and Douglas Carter Beane

Best Original Score‭ (‬Music and/or Lyrics‭) ‬Written for the Theatre
The Book of Mormon,‭ ‬Trey Parker,‭ ‬Robert Lopez and Matt Stone
The Scottsboro Boys,‭ ‬John Kander and Fred Ebb
Sister Act,‭ ‬Alan Menken,‭ ‬Glenn Slater
Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown,‭ ‬David Yazbek

Best Revival of a Play
Arcadia
The Importance of Being Earnest
The Merchant of Venice
The Normal Heart

Best Revival of a Musical
Anything Goes
How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying

Best Actor in a Leading Role,‭ ‬Play
Brian Bedford,‭ ‬The Importance of Being Earnest
Bobby Cannavale,‭ ‬The Motherf‭**‬ker with the Hat
Joe Mantello,‭ ‬The Normal Heart
Al Pacino,‭ ‬The Merchant of Venice
Mark Rylance,‭ ‬Jerusalem

Best Actress in a Leading Role,‭ ‬Play
Nina Arianda,‭ ‬Born Yesterday
Frances McDormand,‭ ‬Good People
Lily Rabe,‭ ‬The Merchant of Venice
Vanessa Redgrave,‭ ‬Driving Miss Daisy
Hannah Yelland,‭ ‬Brief Encounter

Best Actor in a Leading Role,‭ ‬Musical
Norbert Leo Butz,‭ ‬Catch Me If You Can
Josh Gad,‭ ‬The Book of Mormon
Joshua Henry,‭ ‬The Scottsboro Boys
Andrew Rannells,‭ ‬The Book of Mormon
Tony Sheldon,‭ ‬Priscilla,‭ ‬Queen of the Desert

Best Actress in a Leading Role,‭ ‬Musical
Sutton Foster,‭ ‬Anything Goes
Beth Leavel,‭ ‬Baby,‭ ‬It's You‭!
Patina Miller,‭ ‬Sister Act
Donna Murphy,‭ ‬The People in the Picture

Best Actor in a Featured Role,‭ ‬Play
Mackenzie Crook,‭ ‬Jerusalem
Billy Crudup,‭ ‬Arcadia
John Benjamin Hickey,‭ ‬The Normal Heart
Arian Moayed,‭ ‬Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo
Yul Vázquez,‭ ‬The Motherf‭**‬ker with the Hat

Best Actress in a Featured Role,‭ ‬Play
Ellen Barkin,‭ ‬The Normal Heart
Edie Falco,‭ ‬The House of Blue Leaves
Judith Light,‭ ‬Lombardi
Joanna Lumley,‭ ‬La Bête
Elizabeth Rodriguez,‭ ‬The Motherf‭**‬ker with the Hat

Best Actor in a Featured Role,‭ ‬Musical
Colman Domingo,‭ ‬The Scottsboro Boys
Adam Godley,‭ ‬Anything Goes
John Larroquette,‭ ‬How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying
Forrest McClendon,‭ ‬The Scottsboro Boys
Rory O'Malley,‭ ‬The Book of Mormon

Best Actress in a Featured Role,‭ ‬Musical
Laura Benanti,‭ ‬Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown
Tammy Blanchard,‭ ‬How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying
Victoria Clark,‭ ‬Sister Act
Nikki M.‭ ‬James,‭ ‬The Book of Mormon
Patti LuPone,‭ ‬Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown

Best Scenic Design,‭ ‬Play
Todd Rosenthal,‭ ‬The Motherf‭**‬ker with the Hat
Rae Smith,‭ ‬War Horse
Ultz,‭ ‬Jerusalem
Mark Wendland,‭ ‬The Merchant of Venice

Best Scenic Design,‭ ‬Musical
Beowulf Boritt,‭ ‬The Scottsboro Boys
Derek McLane,‭ ‬Anything Goes
Scott Pask,‭ ‬The Book of Mormon
Donyale Werle,‭ ‬Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson

Best Costume Design,‭ ‬Play
Jess Goldstein,‭ ‬The Merchant of Venice
Desmond Heeley,‭ ‬The Importance of Being Earnest
Mark Thompson,‭ ‬La Bête
Catherine Zuber,‭ ‬Born Yesterday

Best Costume Design,‭ ‬Musical
Tim Chappel‭ & ‬Lizzy Gardiner,‭ ‬Priscilla,‭ ‬Queen of the Desert
Martin Pakledinaz,‭ ‬Anything Goes
Ann Roth,‭ ‬The Book of Mormon
Catherine Zuber,‭ ‬How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying

Best Lighting Design,‭ ‬Play
Paule Constable,‭ ‬War Horse
David Lander,‭ ‬Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo
Kenneth Posner,‭ ‬The Merchant of Venice
Mimi Jordan Sherin,‭ ‬Jerusalem

Best Lighting Design,‭ ‬Musical
Ken Billington,‭ ‬The Scottsboro Boys
Howell Binkley,‭ ‬How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying
Peter Kaczorowski,‭ ‬Anything Goes
Brian MacDevitt,‭ ‬The Book of Mormon

Best Sound Design,‭ ‬Play
Acme Sound Partners‭ & ‬Cricket S.‭ ‬Myers,‭ ‬Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo
Simon Baker,‭ ‬Brief Encounter
Ian Dickinson for Autograph,‭ ‬Jerusalem
Christopher Shutt,‭ ‬War Horse

Best Sound Design,‭ ‬Musical
Peter Hylenski,‭ ‬The Scottsboro Boys
Steve Canyon Kennedy,‭ ‬Catch Me If You Can
Brian Ronan,‭ ‬Anything Goes
Brian Ronan,‭ ‬The Book of Mormon

Best Direction,‭ ‬Play
Marianne Elliott and Tom Morris,‭ ‬War Horse
Joel Grey‭ & ‬George C.‭ ‬Wolfe,‭ ‬The Normal Heart
Anna D.‭ ‬Shapiro,‭ ‬The Motherf‭**‬ker with the Hat
Daniel Sullivan,‭ ‬The Merchant of Venice

Best Direction,‭ ‬Musical
Rob Ashford,‭ ‬How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying
Kathleen Marshall,‭ ‬Anything Goes
Casey Nicholaw and Trey Parker,‭ ‬The Book of Mormon
Susan Stroman,‭ ‬The Scottsboro Boys

Best Choreography
Rob Ashford,‭ ‬How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying
Kathleen Marshall,‭ ‬Anything Goes
Casey Nicholaw,‭ ‬The Book of Mormon
Susan Stroman,‭ ‬The Scottsboro Boys

Best Orchestrations
Doug Besterman,‭ ‬How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying
Larry Hochman,‭ ‬The Scottsboro Boys
Larry Hochman and Stephen Oremus,‭ ‬The Book of Mormon
Marc Shaiman‭ ‬and Larry Blank,‭ ‬Catch Me If You Can

No comments: