Five things to know about Sunday's Tony Awards

Dear-Evan-Hansen-You-Will-Be-Found-4645-Photo-Credit-Matthew-Murphy 800
‘Dear Evan Hansen,’ which will launch its national touring production in Denver in October 2018, is nominated for nine Tony Awards on Sunday, including Best Musical. Photo by Matthew Murphy. 

Broadway’s big night is a valley of the ‘Dolls’:
A Doll’s House Part 2 and Hello Dolly! among leaders

By John Moore
Senior Arts Journalist

Hamilton has brought more widespread pop-culture attention to Broadway theatre than any musical in decades. And that helped make last year’s Tony Awards telecast the most-watched in 15 years. But as an awards program, it was also something of a fait accompli for viewers as Hamilton racked up 11 trophies.

A year later, with Hamilton still running strong but out of awards contention, Sunday’s Tony Awards, hosted by Kevin Spacey, promises to spread the focus around.

160x600_TuneinBanners_1199Think of Times Square as the Valley of the ‘Dolls’: A Doll’s House Part 2 and Hello Dolly! are among this year’s wide-ranging favorites.

 “Compared to last year, where the vast majority of the award attention was centered around Hamilton, this year has many more competitive categories and unknowns,” said John Ekeberg, Executive Director of DCPA Broadway and a Tony Awards voter. “I expect there to be much more drama, shall we say.”

Broadway introduced 13 new musicals this past season. That’s the highest number in 35 years, and it doesn’t include five revivals. That means few clear frontrunners this year, Ekeberg said, which should make the 2017 awards unusually competitive.

Leading the musical field with 12 nominations is Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812, followed by the emotionally visceral Dear Evan Hansen, with nine. Come From Away is a potential dark horse, with seven. (See play descriptions below.)

David Rooney of the Hollywood Reporter breaks down the races

It was recently announced that Denver will launch the first national touring production of Dear Evan Hansen in October 2018. Director Michael Greif, who also helmed the groundbreaking musicals Rent and Next to Normal, told the DCPA NewsCenter, “Dear Evan Hansen is a cathartic story about a kid who comes to love himself. And it’s about a grieving family that gets healed.” Read our full interview here.

The favorites among new plays are Lucas Hnath’s A Doll’s House, Part 2, with eight nominations, and J.T. Rogers’ Oslo, with seven. Hnath also wrote The Christians, which was presented by the DCPA Theatre Company this last season.

Celebrity nominees include Cate Blanchett, Kevin Kline, Laura Linney, Chris Cooper, Josh Groban, David Hyde Pierce, Danny DeVito, Nathan Lane, Richard Thomas, Patti LuPone, Cynthia Nixon and Sally Field. But most eyes will be fixed on Bette Midler, who is starring in a fun revival of Hello, Dolly!, which is nominated for 10 awards.

 “I can’t wait to see how it all sorts out,” said Ekeberg.

The awards will be telecast on a one-hour delay at 7 p.m. Sunday on CBS-4 Denver. For those who just can’t wait, you can stream the awards live online here.

Five things to know about Sunday’s Tony Awards

NUMBER 1laurie-metcalfA Doll’s House Part 2 claims the rare distinction of having earned nominations for its entire four-member cast, including Laurie Metcalf (pictured right), the runaway favorite to win for lead actress in a play.

NUMBER 2There’s a fun twist to the Outstanding Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical category. The nominees include Gavin Creel (Hello, Dolly!) and Andrew Rannells (Falsettos), both of whom played Elder Price in Broadway’s The Book of Mormon.

NUMBER 3Celebrity presenters will include Scott Bakula, Sara Bareilles, Orlando Bloom, Glenn Close, Brian d’Arcy James, Tina Fey, Sutton Foster, Josh Gad, Whoopi Goldberg, Jonathan Groff, Mark Hamill, Taraji P. Henson, Allison Janney, Scarlett Johansson, Anna Kendrick, John Legend, John Lithgow, Patina Miller, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Chazz Palminteri, Sarah Paulson, Lea Salonga and Tommy Tune.

NUMBER 4Performers will include the casts of Bandstand, Come From Away, Dear Evan Hansen, Falsettos, Groundhog Day The Musical, Hello, Dolly!, Miss Saigon, Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812 and War Paint, along with additional performances by The Radio City Rockettes and Tony Award winners Cynthia Erivo and Leslie Odom Jr.

NUMBER 5Annaleigh AshfordIf you heard all the great buzz about Jake Gyllenhaal and Wheat Ridge native (and past Tony Award winner) Annaleigh Ashford in Sunday in the Park with George, you may wonder why the show isn’t among the mix of nominees. The producers withdrew the show from Tony Award consideration. Their statement: “With a season so full of tremendous, soon-to-be long-running new musicals and revivals, the producers feel this extremely limited, special run of Sunday stands most appropriately outside of any awards competition. The production is nevertheless proud to be part of such a landmark Broadway season.”

John Moore was named one of the 12 most influential theater critics in the U.S by American Theatre Magazine in 2011. He has since taken a groundbreaking position as the Denver Center’s Senior Arts Journalist.

NOMINATIONS FOR 2017 TONY AWARDS

BEST PLAY

A Doll’s House, Part 2
Author: Lucas Hnath
The reimagined Ibsen classic considers what has and hasn’t changed in terms of gender politics in the past 140 years.

Indecent
Paual_VogelAuthor: Paula Vogel
Indecent
recounts the controversy surrounding the play God of Vengeance by Sholem Asch, for which the cast of the original production were arrested on the grounds of obscenity.

Oslo
Author: J.T. Rogers
Oslo
shapes nine months of secret back-channel peace negotiations into a riveting political thriller.

Sweat
Author: Lynn Nottage
This working-class drama, set in 2008, tells the story of a group of friends whose friendships come apart when layoffs and picket lines begin to chip away at their trust. Winner of the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.


BEST MUSICAL

Come From Away
Set in the week following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Come From Away tells the true story of what transpired when 38 planes were ordered to land unexpectedly in the small town of Gander, Newfoundland as part of Operation Yellow Ribbon.

Dear Evan Hansen
The story of a lonely boy who perpetuates a lie that earns him Internet fame.

Groundhog Day The Musical
Based on the 1993 film of the same name, the plot centers an arrogant Pittsburgh TV weatherman who, finds himself in a time loop, repeating the same day again and again.

Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812
Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812
. A brilliantly conceived electro-poperatic retelling of a chapter of War and Peace



Best Book of a Musical

Come From Away
Irene Sankoff and David Hein

Dear Evan Hansen
Steven Levenson

Groundhog Day The Musical
Danny Rubin

Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812
Dave Malloy


Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) Written for the Theatre

Come From Away
Music and Lyrics: Irene Sankoff and David Hein

Dear Evan Hansen
Music and Lyrics: Benj Pasek & Justin Paul

Groundhog Day The Musical
Music and Lyrics: Tim Minchin

Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812
Music and Lyrics: Dave Malloy


Best Revival of a Play

August Wilson’s Jitney
John Guare’s Six Degrees of Separation
Lillian Hellman’s The Little Foxes

Present Laughter

Best Revival of a Musical
Falsettos
Hello, Dolly!

Miss Saigon

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play
Denis Arndt, Heisenberg
Chris Cooper, A Doll’s House, Part 2
Corey Hawkins, John Guare’s Six Degrees of Separation
Kevin Kline, Present Laughter
Jefferson Mays, Oslo



Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play

Cate Blanchett, The Present
Jennifer Ehle, Oslo
Sally Field, The Glass Menagerie
Laura Linney, Lillian Hellman’s The Little Foxes
Laurie Metcalf, A Doll’s House, Part 2



Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical

Christian Borle, Falsettos
Josh Groban, Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812
Andy Karl, Groundhog Day The Musical
David Hyde Pierce, Hello, Dolly!
Ben Platt, Dear Evan Hansen



Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical

Denée Benton, Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812
Christine Ebersole, War Paint
Patti LuPone, War Paint
Bette Midler, Hello, Dolly!
Eva Noblezada, Miss Saigon



Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Play

Michael Aronov, Oslo
Danny DeVito, Arthur Miller’s The Price
Nathan Lane, The Front Page
Richard Thomas, Lillian Hellman’s The Little Foxes
John Douglas Thompson, August Wilson’s Jitney



Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play

Johanna Day, Sweat
Jayne Houdyshell, A Doll’s House, Part 2
Cynthia Nixon, Lillian Hellman’s The Little Foxes
Condola Rashad, A Doll’s House, Part 2
Michelle Wilson, Sweat



Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical

Gavin Creel, Hello, Dolly!
Mike Faist, Dear Evan Hansen
Andrew Rannells, Falsettos
Lucas Steele, Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812
Brandon Uranowitz, Falsettos



Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical

Kate Baldwin, Hello, Dolly!
Stephanie J. Block, Falsettos
Jenn Colella, Come From Away
Rachel Bay Jones, Dear Evan Hansen
Mary Beth Peil, Anastasia



Best Scenic Design of a Play

David Gallo, August Wilson’s Jitney
Nigel Hook, The Play That Goes Wrong
Douglas W. Schmidt, The Front Page
Michael Yeargan, Oslo



Best Scenic Design of a Musical

Rob Howell, Groundhog Day The Musical
David Korins, War Paint
Mimi Lien, Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812
Santo Loquasto, Hello, Dolly!



Best Costume Design of a Play

Jane Greenwood, Lillian Hellman’s The Little Foxes
Susan Hilferty, Present Laughter
Toni-Leslie James, August Wilson’s Jitney
David Zinn, A Doll’s House, Part 2



Best Costume Design of a Musical

Linda Cho, Anastasia
Santo Loquasto, Hello, Dolly!
Paloma Young, Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812
Catherine Zuber, War Paint



Best Lighting Design of a Play

Christopher Akerlind, Indecent
Jane Cox, August Wilson’s Jitney
Donald Holder, Oslo
Jennifer Tipton, A Doll’s House, Part 2



Best Lighting Design of a Musical

Howell Binkley, Come From Away
Natasha Katz, Hello, Dolly!
Bradley King, Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812
Japhy Weideman, Dear Evan Hansen



Best Direction of a Play

Sam Gold, A Doll’s House, Part 2
Ruben Santiago-Hudson, August Wilson’s Jitney
Bartlett Sher, Oslo
Daniel Sullivan, Lillian Hellman’s The Little Foxes
Rebecca Taichman, Indecent



Best Direction of a Musical

Christopher Ashley, Come From Away
Rachel Chavkin, Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812
Michael Greif, Dear Evan Hansen
Matthew Warchus, Groundhog Day The Musical
Jerry Zaks, Hello, Dolly!



Best Choreography

Andy Blankenbuehler, Bandstand
Peter Darling and Ellen Kane, Groundhog Day The Musical
Kelly Devine, Come From Away
Denis Jones, Holiday Inn, The New Irving Berlin Musical
Sam Pinkleton, Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812



Best Orchestrations

Bill Elliott and Greg Anthony Rassen, Bandstand
Larry Hochman, Hello, Dolly!
Alex Lacamoire, Dear Evan Hansen
Dave Malloy, Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812


Recipients of Awards and Honors in Non-competitive Categories

Special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre

James Earl Jones 

Special Tony Award
Gareth Fry and Pete Malkin, Sound Designers for The Encounter

Regional Theatre Tony Award
Dallas Theater Center

Isabelle Stevenson Tony Award
Baayork Lee

Tony Honors for Excellence in the Theatre
Nina Lannan
Alan Wasser

Tony Nominations by Production

Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812 – 12
Hello, Dolly!
– 10
Dear Evan Hansen
– 9
A Doll’s House, Part 2
– 8
Come From Away
– 7
Groundhog Day The Musical
– 7
Oslo
– 7
August Wilson’s Jitney
– 6
Lillian Hellman’s The Little Foxes
– 6
Falsettos
– 5
War Paint
– 4
Indecent
– 3
Present Laughter
– 3
Sweat
– 3
Anastasia
– 2
Bandstand
– 2
The Front Page
– 2
John Guare’s Six Degrees of Separation
– 2
Miss Saigon
– 2
Arthur Miller’s The Price
– 1
The Glass Menagerie
– 1
Heisenberg
– 1
Holiday Inn, The New Irving Berlin Musical
– 1
The Play That Goes Wrong
– 1
The Present
– 1

Have fun: Tony Awards trivia


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#TonyAwards2017
www.TonyAwards.com

Some information in this report was culled from national media reports.

More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

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