By AARON KRAUSE
While we still do not know when the 2020 virtual Tony Awards broadcast will take place, we at least now know the nominees. The Tony Awards’ presenters, The Broadway League and the American Theatre Wing, announced the nominees on Thursday.
Alanis Morissette’s musical, Jagged Little Pill, leads the way with 15 nominations. In fact, the show earned at least one nomination in every eligible category. That includes six for the show’s principal performers.
Jagged Little Pill is an original story of suburban subversion. Alanis Morissette’s Grammy Award-winning album inspired the musical. In it, Mary Jane Healy is a high-achieving homemaker. She will do anything for her family. That includes adopted African-American daughter, Frankie, who is struggling to find her place in their lily-white community. But when the Healys’ lives begin to unravel, Mary Jane’s drive to keep her family together threatens to break them apart. This new Jukebox Musical features Morissette’s songs. They include “Ironic,” “You Oughta Know,” and “Hand in My Pocket,” as well as newly written material.
While Jagged Little Pill garnered the most nominations, Moulin Rouge! wasn’t fire behind, earning 14 nominations. These two shows and Tina: The Tina Turner Musical make up this year’s Best Musical Category. Tina: The Tina Turner Musical is a jukebox musical featuring Turner’s music. Specifically, the show depicts her life from her humble beginnings in Nutbush, Tenn., to her transformation into a rock ‘n roll star.
Moulin Rouge is a jukebox musical stage adaptation of the 2001 film of the same name. The show takes place set in the Montmartre Quarter of Paris, France at the turn of the 20th century. The musical relates the story of Christian, a young composer, who falls in love with cabaret actress Satine. Similar to the movie, the musical’s score weaves together original songs with popular music, including songs that have been written in the 17 years since the film’s premiere.
In the Play categories, Jeremy O. Harris’ Slave Play and Matthew Lopez’s The Inheritance led the way with 12 and 11 nominations, respectively. The Inheritance’s 12 is the most nominations ever for a play. In addition, Bess Wohl’s Grand Horizons, Adam Rapp’s The Sound Inside, and Sea Wall/A Life from Simon Stephens and Nick Payne are nominees in the “Best Play” category.
In Slave Play, race, sex, power relations, trauma and interracial relationships collide. The piece follows three interracial couples undergoing “Antebellum Sexual Performance Therapy” because the black partners are no longer sexually attracted to their white partners.
Meanwhile, The Inheritance takes its inspiration from Howards End, by E.M. Forster. The stage piece tells the tale of Eric Glass. He’s a middle-class New York Jewish intellectual in his early 30s. Eric lives with his partner, Toby, who has fled a traumatic past by assuming a veneer of cultured urbanity. The play examines love between gay men in contemporary New York a generation after the AIDS epidemic. A question the play poses is what the current generation owes to its forebears.
In Grand Horizons, the unexpected happens to a close couple of 50 years. Speaking of the unexpected, The Sound Inside may also catch audiences off guard. In this play, we meet Yale creative writing professor Bella Baird and her brilliant, guarded, challenging student Christopher Dunn. The professor wants something from her student. But she may not be able to ask it. Quietly and provocatively, the tension builds as the play hurtles to a shocking end.
Sea Wall/A Life is also likely to captivate you. In the piece, we meet Alex, a photographer on a holiday with his family in the south of France. In addition, we meet Abe, a music producer with a baby on the way. “Two men — both fathers, husbands, and sons — take us on a journey you will never forget,” enthuses the show’s website, seawallalife.com.
Altogether, The 74th Annual Tony Awards honors a Broadway season that the pandemic cut short. Theaters closed on March 12 and will remain shuttered until at least June, and likely later. The Broadway League and American Theatre Wing determined a Feb. 19 eligibility cut off. In all, 18 productions are vying for this year’s awards. Some productions had either begun previews or opened between that date and March 12. However, nominators or voters may not have seen them in time to make determinations.
Here is a complete list of nominations:
Grand Horizons by Bess Wohl
The Inheritance by Matthew Lopez
Sea Wall/A Life by Simon Stephens and Nick Payne
Slave Play by Jeremy O. Harris
The Sound Inside by Adam Rapp
Best Revival of a Play
Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune by Terrence McNally
A Soldier’s Play by Charles Fuller
Jagged Little Pill
Moulin Rouge! The Musical
Tina: The Tina Turner Musical
Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play
Joaquina Kalukango, Slave Play
Laura Linney, My Name is Lucy Barton
Audra McDonald, Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune
Mary-Louise Parker, The Sound Inside
Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play
Ian Barford, Linda Vista
Andrew Burnap, The Inheritance
Jake Gyllenhaal, Sea Wall/A Life
Tom Hiddleston, Betrayal
Tom Sturridge, Sea Wall/A Life
Blair Underwood, A Soldier’s Play
Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical
Karen Olivo, Moulin Rouge!
Elizabeth Stanley, Jagged Little Pill
Adrienne Warren, Tina: The Tina Turner Musical
Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical
Aaron Tveit, Moulin Rouge!*
Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Play
Ato Blankson-Wood, Slave Play
James Cusati-Moyer, Slave Play
David Alan Grier, A Soldier’s Play
John Benjamin Hickey, The Inheritance
Paul Hilton, The Inheritance
Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play
Jane Alexander, Grand Horizons
Chalia La Tour, Slave Play
Annie McNamara, Slave Play
Lois Smith, The Inheritance
Cora Vander Broek, Linda Vista
Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical
Danny Burstein, Moulin Rouge!
Derek Klena, Jagged Little Pill
Sean Allan Krill, Jagged Little Pill
Sahr Ngaujah, Moulin Rouge!
Daniel J. Watts, Tina: The Tina Turner Musical
Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical
Kathryn Gallagher, Jagged Little Pill
Celia Rose Gooding, Jagged Little Pill
Robyn Hurder, Moulin Rouge!
Lauren Patten, Jagged Little Pill
Myra Lucretia Taylor, Tina: The Tina Turner Musical
Best Book of a Musical
Jagged Little Pill, Diablo Cody
Moulin Rouge!, John Logan
Tina: The Tina Turner Musical, Katori Hall with Frank Ketelaar and Kees Prins
Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) Written for the Theatre
A Christmas Carol, Christopher Nightingale
The Inheritance, Paul Englishby
The Rose Tattoo, Fitz Patton and Jason Michael Webb
Slave Play, Lindsay Jones
The Sound Inside, Daniel Kluger
Best Direction of a Play
David Cromer, The Sound Inside
Stephen Daldry, The Inheritance
Kenny Leon, A Soldier’s Play
Jamie Lloyd, Betrayal
Robert O’Hara, Slave Play
Best Direction of a Musical
Phyllida Lloyd, Tina: The Tina Turner Musical
Diane Paulus, Jagged Little Pill
Alex Timbers, Moulin Rouge!
Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, Jagged Little Pill
Sonya Tayeh, Moulin Rouge!
Anthony van Laast, Tina: The Tina Turner Musical
Tom Kitt, Jagged Little Pill
Katie Kresek, Charlie Rosen, Matt Stine, and Justin Levine, Moulin Rouge!
Ethan Popp, Tina: The Tina Turner Musical
Best Scenic Design of a Play
Bob Crowley, The Inheritance
Soutra Gilmour, Betrayal
Rob Howell, A Christmas Carol
Derek McLane, A Soldier’s Play
Clint Ramos, Slave Play
Best Scenic Design of a Musical
Riccardo Hernández and Lucy Mackinnon, Jagged Little Pill
Derek McLane, Moulin Rouge!
Mark Thompson and Jeff Sugg, Tina: The Tina Turner Musical
Best Costume Design of a Play
Dede Ayite, Slave Play
Dede Ayite, A Soldier’s Play
Bob Crowley, The Inheritance
Rob Howell, A Christmas Carol
Clint Ramos, The Rose Tattoo
Best Costume Design of a Musical
Emily Rebholz, Jagged Little Pill
Mark Thompson, Tina: The Tina Turner Musical
Catherine Zuber, Moulin Rouge!
Best Lighting Design of a Play
Jiyoun Chang, Slave Play
Jon Clark, The Inheritance
Heather Gilbert, The Sound Inside
Allen Lee Hughes, A Soldier’s Play
Hugh Vanstone, A Christmas Carol
Best Lighting Design of a Musical
Justin Townsend, Jagged Little Pill
Justin Townsend, Moulin Rouge!
Bruno Poet, Tina: The Tina Turner Musical
Best Sound Design of a Play
Paul Arditti and Christopher Reid, The Inheritance
Simon Baker, A Christmas Carol
Lindsay Jones, Slave Play
Daniel Kluger, Sea Wall/A Life
Daniel Kluger, The Sound Inside
Best Sound Design of a Musical
Jonathan Deans, Jagged Little Pill
Peter Hylenski, Moulin Rouge! The Musical
Nevin Steinberg, Tina: The Tina Turner Musical