UPDATED WITH ANALYSIS AND FULL LIST OF NOMINEES: The Tony nominations announced this morning made one thing quite clear: On Broadway, it’s been the season of the actor. Especially the year of the actor in drag.
Jefferson Mays was nominated for playing more roles than I can count in the amusing musical murder thriller A Gentleman’s Guide To Love And Murder. British actor Mark Rylance came away with two nominations, one for his performance as a twisted king, in Richard III, a second for his performance as a lovestruck countess, in Twelfth Night.
Broadway and TV favorite Neil Patrick Harris is in the running for his title foray in Hedwig And The Angry Inch, playing a sort-of transgender sort-of rock star. Audra McDonald is looking for her sixth Tony, for her astonishing performances as Billie Holiday in Lady Day At Emerson’s Bar & Grill. If she wins, she will have landed in the very exclusive club whose members have won Tony Awards for Outstanding Performance by a Leading Actress and Featured Actress in both plays and musicals, starting with her first win, for Carousel, in 1994.
Gentleman’s Guide led the pack with 10 nominations, including Best Musical, score, book and direction. James Lapine’s heartfelt dramatization of Act One, Broadway legend Moss Hart’s celebrated autobiography, took the most nominations for Best Play, though Lapine was overlooked for his staging of the show at Lincoln Center Theater’s Vivian Beaumont.