Broadway has taken audiences to fascinating places this season, from a female-led retelling of the events of 1776 to the enlightened land of Camelot and from a lifeboat bobbing in the Pacific Ocean to a prison in Georgia just before World War I.
On Tuesday, all those places and more will be hoping to attract many more visitors with a coveted Tony Award nomination. ‘Funny Girl’ star Lea Michele and last year’s Tony-winner Myles Frost from ‘MJ’ will announce the list. Even a nomination can lure uncertain patrons.
There are few certainties, but critical musical darling ‘Kimberly Akimbo’, with Victoria Clark playing a teen who ages four times faster than the average human, is likely to earn one of the prized best new musical nods, as should ‘Some Like It Hot'.
Likely nominations in the play category are Tom Stoppard’s ‘Leopoldstadt’, which explores Jewish identity with an intergenerational story, and ‘Fat Ham’ James Ijames’ Pulitzer Prize-winning adaptation of Shakespeare’s ‘Hamlet’ set at a Black family’s barbecue in the modern South. Also in shoo-in territory is ‘Prima Facie’, which deals with sexual assault and the failure of the legal system to reckon with it.
Two jukebox shows will hope to earn nominations for best new musical — ‘A Beautiful Noise, The Neil Diamond Musical’, a stage biography of the sing-songwriter who has had dozens of top-40 hits, and ‘& Juliet’, which reimagines ‘Romeo and Juliet’ and adds some of the biggest pop Max Martin hits of the past few decades.
This was a Broadway season that had two well-received Stephen Sondheim revivals — ‘Sweeney Todd’ with Annaleigh Ashford and Josh Groban and a star-studded ‘Into the Woods’, which are both up for musical revivals. Another likely entry in that category is ‘Parade’, a doomed musical love story set against the real backdrop of a murder and lynching in Georgia in pre-World War I.
Andrew Lloyd Webber gave audiences a new show — the frothy and widely panned ‘Bad Cinderella’ — even as he bid farewell to his long-running ‘The Phantom of the Opera’. And there was a lush revival of ‘Camelot’, this time with Aaron Sorkin reinventing the 1960 King Arthur musical.
Ariana DeBose will host the June 11 awards celebration from New York City’s United Palace theater live on CBS and on Paramount+. It is her second-straight stint as host.
CBS and the streaming service Pluto TV will partner to present ‘The Tony Awards: Act One’, a 90-minute pre-show of live content, including the first round of awards.
Broadway had some very serious works this season, like the new plays ‘Cost of Living’ and ‘The Kite Runner’ and revivals of ‘Topdog/Underdog’ and ‘Death of a Salesman’ led by Wendell Pierce. A revival of ‘Parade’, about the lynching of a Jewish businessman starring Ben Platt, was well-received.
The season had an element of the fantastical in a puppet-heavy adaptation of the lifeboat book ‘Life of Pi’, satire in ‘The Thanksgiving Play’ and pure silliness in ‘Shucked’ and ‘Peter Pan Goes Wrong’.