Tony Reactions: Nominees Bryan Cranston, Laurie Metcalf, Adam Driver, Jeff Daniels And Others Speak Up

By Dade Hayes, Greg Evans

Tony Awards

Refresh for updates Bryan Cranston might have said it best: “It’s hard to stay Mad as Hell when you’re nominated for a Tony!”

Here are some of reactions to today’s Tony Award nominations. The actual Broadway awards will be announced Sunday, June 9 at the 73rd annual Tony Awards on CBS live from Radio City Music Hall in New York, with James Corden hosting.

Scott Ellis, Tootsie, direction/musical: “After nine nominations, I’m often asked whether this morning gets old – but no, the moment when you hear your name announced is still an absolute thrill. I’m so happy for Kiss Me, Kate and Tootsie, and for everybody involved with both shows – these combined 15 nominations are a proud and special moment for us all to share. Thank you.”

Kenneth Lonergan, playwright, The Waverly Gallery, revival/play: “Working with Elaine May was one of the great experiences of my life. It’s thrilling to be nominated alongside all these amazing shows. I loved this production and I’m very grateful to Lila Neugebauer and the entire stupendous cast for everything they gave to tell a very difficult story.”

Kristine Nielsen, Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus, featured actress/play, told Deadline:Beyond thrilled to be recognized by the theatre community and for them to give me a legitimate- at least in my opinion – excuse to skip the gym this morning!”

Bryan Cranston, Network, leading actor/play: “It’s hard to stay Mad as Hell when you’re nominated for a Tony! Thank you to the members of the American Theater Wing & the Broadway League for this recognition.”

Laurie Metcalf, Hillary and Clinton, leading actress/play: “It’s such a wonderful honor to get nominated for playing this role. It’s an honor I share with our brilliant playwright, Lucas Hnath, all three of my incredible scene partners, and the great Joe Mantello.”

Andy Grotelueschen, Tootsie, featured actor/musical: “What a crazy morning! I couldn’t be prouder of this show, and I’m ecstatic that NYC audiences are enjoying it. And personally, I just called my mom in Iowa and she screamed.”

Derrick Baskin, Ain’t Too Proud, leading actor/musical: “It’s been a career highlight playing living legend Otis Williams each night, while working alongside the most incredibly giving cast and crew. Now to be recognized by the American Theater Wing is an absolute honor.”

Adam Driver, Burn This, leading actor/play: “It’s hard to articulate the honor it is to be nominated. I’m beyond thrilled to be a part of this play, with this cast and director, and this production team. It’s a meaningful moment in my life that I’m very grateful for.”

Rachel Chavkin, Hadestown, direction/musical, told Deadline: “I’m very overjoyed. Anais [Mitchell] and I had been chanting while riding home last night at 1 a.m. from recording the cast album, and we were chanting for everyone who worked so tirelessly on this show. There’s a level of detail and depth to these performances, like Amber Gray and Patrick Page that have been evolving for years. The audience reaction every night feels like a f*cking revival happening at the Walter Kerr. There’s something so old but something so new on that stage. I still feel my heart stop when Reeve [Carney] turns around and looks at Eva [Noblezada]. There’s something so archetypal about that move that I can’t think of better word than ancient.”
Dominique Morisseau, Ain’t Too Proud, book of a musical, told Deadline: “The one thing I’ve always told my cast is we are storytellers first and our mission is to serve the people we’re telling stories about, and in this case that’s Detroit, that’s Otis Williams of the Temptations and that the legend of the Temptations themselves, so this recognition just makes us feel like we’re all doing our jobs. And for me personally, I’d just like to say Hell yeah, go Detroit!”
Eva Noblezada, Andre De Shields, Reeve Carney Matthew Murphy
André De Shields, Hadestown, featured actor/musical, told Deadline: “Because New York is the city so nice they had to name it twice, and because we refer to it as the Big Apple, this Tony nomination means that this worm has taken a huge bite out of the apple. I’m chewing, and it’s juicy, it’s satisfying, it’s delicious.”

Laura Donnelly, The Ferryman, leading actress/play: “Bringing The Ferryman to Broadway has been an incredible journey and I’m immensely proud to be part of it.”

Sam Mendes, The Ferryman, direction/play: “I’m absolutely thrilled to have been nominated. The Ferryman has been one of the best experiences of my professional life, and this really is the cherry on the cake.”

Jez Butterworth, playwright, The Ferryman, play: “It is one of the most crowded new play environments I’ve ever been in so all the more an honour to be nominated. Working with Sam Mendes was far and away one of the best creative experiences of my life.”

Taylor Mac, playwright, Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus, play: “I’m feeling so so proud of Gary and all involved. Our play asks the question, ‘How can one cope when chaos permeates?’ And the answer is, at least on this Tuesday morning: put on a play that grapples with the horror of the world and put it on with a bunch of exceptional humans. Thank you to everybody who championed this new play and all the other work this season.”

Richie Jackson, producer, Torch Song, revival/play, told Deadline: “It’s incredible for me to be nominated for the revival of Torch Song given that I saw the original when I was 17 and it changed my life, so to be able to do that 36 years later with Harvey [Fierstein] is the gift of a lifetime.”

Harvey Fierstein, playwright, Torch Song, revival/play: “Richie Jackson’s mom took him to see Torch Song when he was 17 years old. Thirty-five years later he brought it back to Broadway hoping it would do for others what it did for him. Thank you Tony Awards committee for honoring us. Not only does theater change lives, but it makes dreams come true.”

Mary Testa, Oklahoma!, featured actress/musical, told Deadline: “I’m thrilled and shocked and deeply satisfied that Oklahoma! is getting the recognition it deserves. And I’m very excited and very proud to be in this group of extraordinary women.”

Ali Stroker, Oklahoma!, featured actress/musical: “I’m thrilled to arrive at this place in my life and career. It’s a total dream come true.  It’s an honor to be nominated along with Mary Testa who has been a mentor and friend to me. I love the show and so proud to be a part of the wonderful and extremely talented company.”

“The Prom” Deen van Meer

Brooks Ashmanskas, The Prom, leading actor/musical: “To say that I’m thrilled and honored to be on that list with those wonderful gentlemen is a huge understatement. Congratulations to all the nominees, and I’m so grateful for all the love out there for The Prom.”

Stephanie J. Block, The Cher Show, leading actress/musical: “I am beyond thrilled and honored by this nomination and I will carry the entire Cher Show with me on this journey! Stepping into the life of Cher each night and getting to tell her story eight times a week is a one of a kind experience I will always cherish. This show has truly changed me.”

Tarell Alvin McCraney, playwright, Choir Boy, play:  “Choir Boy inspired me motivated me watching that amazing cast led by Jeremy Pope, and that incredible production directed by Trip Cullman everyday I knew we had to do everything we could to tell stories yet untold. I’m honored by this nomination … all of them. I’m so excited to see so much of our production recognized; especially along side folks like Taylor Mac. It’s humbling.”

Sarah Stiles, Tootsie, featured actress/musical: “Getting to be on stage every night with this company telling this hilarious and heartfelt story is the ultimate gift, but having our team honored by so many nominations is buttery, full fat gravy on an already decadent pile of mashed potatoes that I am ready to EAT!”

“Be More Chill” Maria Baranova

Joe Iconis, Be More Chill, original score: “I am so very honored to represent our entire misfit musical with this beyond-appreciated nomination! I’m proud that our weirdo, homegrown show about anxiety, depression, and pill-sized supercomputers is getting to play in a sandbox with such esteemed company. The nomination might have my name on it, but it’s really for all the people who have been on the Be More Chill journey over the years – the artists who created it and the human beings who love it.”

Alex Brightman, Beetlejuice, leading actor/musical: “As any person in the arts will tell you, uncertainty is a humongous part of our life and career. You hold on tightly to the good. You let the bad slip off your back. This is one of those good moments and I’m going to hold onto it forever. I am so proud of our show. The nominations are wonderful. But the real thrill is that people are loving the show. We made something that is unique and weird and absurd…and people are taking to it. And that’s the most wonderful thing. I am already (joyously) overwhelmed. I look forward to living in the moment and cheering on my friends. I am a joy creator by trade. And I love my job. Thanks for the nomination. It’s cool to know that there are people out there that like what we do enough to put it in writing.”

Caitlin Kinnunen, The Prom, leading actress/musical: “I’m shocked and honored and completely overwhelmed. I’m so happy to be a part of this incredible show. We’ve all worked so hard to make this happen. I’m crying the happiest of tears.”

Camille A. Brown, Choir Boy, choreography: “My best friends called me screaming that I’d been nominated for a Tony award!!! I couldn’t believe it and was silent on the phone for a least 3 mins. I didn’t have the words – only gratitude. It washed over me immediately. There is gratitude in my heart for the Tony committee to acknowledge my infusion of South African Gumboot and Step rooted in the African Diaspora feels tremendous. Lifting up my culture and community today! The last Black woman nominated in this category was Marlies Yearby in 1996. Honoring her and all the Black female choreographers who have worked and are still working in theater.”

Mart Crowley, playwright, The Boys In The Band, revival/play: “Never in a million years did I imagine that I would be a Tony nominee at this point in my career. Everything about this production has been an unexpected delight and to be honored with a nomination is beyond my wildest dreams. I can’t thank Joe Mantello, Ryan Murphy, David Stone and the brilliant company enough. This 83-year old first-time Tony nominee couldn’t be happier this morning!”

Amber Gray, Hadestown, featured actress/musical: “Thank you to the Broadway League and The American Theater Wing for the personal honor and all of the Hadestown love. I am so proud to be sharing this work of art, night after night, and am thrilled people are resonating with it. There are so many fellow artists I adore, some I consider family, nominated this year, and I can’t wait to go on this celebratory ride with them. Congrats to all.”

Ruth Wilson, King Lear, featured actress/play: “I’m so humbled to be included amongst this wonderfully talented group of actresses – who I admire so much. To stand alongside the unparalleled Glenda Jackson – and this incredible cast – 8 times a week is the true honor.”

Patrick Page, Hadestown, featured actor/musical: “Hadestown is one of the most remarkable shows I have been a part of in my 30 years as an actor, making it especially meaningful to have my work noticed in such an extraordinary production. This is my 30th year in the profession and my 15th Broadway show, so I’ve been around long enough to know how rare and special this is. I intend to savor every moment and am filled with gratitude for the hard work of the entire cast and crew of this incredible show.”

Ain't Too Proud The Life and Times of The Temptations
“Ain’t Too Proud” Matthew Murphy

Ephraim Sykes, Ain’t Too Proud, featured actor/musical: “There’s no way to truly express how honored and humbled I am at this moment. Getting to portray David Ruffin in a Broadway show was already a dream I could never have dreamt, and now being recognized by The American Theatre Wing and sharing this moment with my brothers Derrick Baskin and Jeremy Pope!? I’m in tears!”

Casey Nicholaw, The Prom, direction/musical: “The Prom has been a special one for us – very close to our hearts. We created a story and idea from scratch, so to see it recognized with 7 nominations makes today a satisfying and emotional day for the whole team and also the actors who have been with it from the first reading.”

Jeff Daniels, To Kill A Mockingbird, leading actor/play: “It is an honor to play Atticus Finch on Broadway. And now this. Thank you, League and American Theatre Wing.”

Celia Keenan-Bolger, To Kill A Mockingbird, featured actress/play: “I am so enormously proud to be a part of this production and the first person I thought of when these nominations were announced was Harper Lee. I wish she was alive to witness this production and I hope she’d feel so proud of what Aaron Sorkin has made and that something she wrote in 1960 about 1934 is having such a huge impact in 2019. She’s the reason we all get to be here and I am so moved that her contribution lives on through these awards.”

Gideon Glick, To Kill A Mockingbird, featured actor/play: “I am utterly shell shocked and beaming with gratitude. I’ve been working in this community since I was 17 years old and to be recognized and acknowledged in this way is very moving. I am so proud of the work that our cast, creative team, and crew have poured into this show, and I feel very lucky to be able to tell this story and to play this character every day. Aaron, Bart, and Scott have created something quite remarkable at the Shubert Theater and I feel so deeply grateful to be a part of it.”

Chad Beguelin, Matthew Sklar, The Prom, score: “We have been writing musicals together for over 25 years. It is beyond thrilling to be a part of the theatre community, which we love so much, and an absolute honor to be amongst such talented fellow nominees. To be recognized in this way for an original musical, is simply overwhelming. If we could go back and tell those two college kids, who first met over greasy fries in a NYC diner, that they would be nominated for a Tony Award for Best Original Score, their minds would be blown. We share this with our amazing The Prom family who bring this show to life every night.” (Beguelin also was nominated with Bob Martin for The Prom‘s book.)

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