For those who were worried that Broadway would be overtaken by Hollywood names, this morning’s nominations show that A-listers don’t necessarily fare well come Tony Awards season.
The committee failed to nominate veteran stage performer Al Pacino for his work in David Mamet’s China Doll. A two-time winner for Does a Tiger Wear a Necktie? And The Basic Training of Pavlo Hummel, Pacino was last nominated in 2011 for his performances as Shylock in The Merchant of Venice (which had transferred from the Public’s Delacorte Theater).
Also overlooked: Clive Owen for his performance as Deeley in Roundabout Theater Company’s Old Times and Keira Knightly in Roundabout’s Thérèse Raquin.
The Big Bang Theory’s big moneymaker, Jim Parsons, failed to earn recognition for his portrayal of the Big Man in An Act of God, which bowed May 28, 2015 on Broadway, so the committee would have had to reach back into the memory bank for this one. The actor has appeared twice before on the Main Stem, in Harvey and The Normal Heart.
Bruce Willis did not earn a nod in his Broadway debut as an author held captive in Misery. His co-star, Laurie Metcalf, will represent the show with her nomination for her performance as his captor in the Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Play category.
Jesse Tyler Ferguson came back to Broadway this season after a ten-year hiatus. The Modern Family actor takes on approximately 40 characters in the one-man show, Fully Committed. Despite a touching and comedic performance, Ferguson was not nominated.
Oscar-winner Jennifer Hudson bowed on Broadway as Shug Avery in the revival of The Color Purple. One of three Broadway debuts in main roles (alongside leading actress Cynthia Erivo and featured actress Danielle Brooks), the actress/recording artist was not nominated this year. She departs the show on May 8, but with the amounts of applause she and her cast receive nightly, you never know when she’ll be back on The Street.
Saoirse Ronan burst onto the scene this year with her Oscar-nominated performance in Brooklyn. Making her Broadway debut as Abigail Williams in The Crucible, the young Irish-American actress failed to win over the Tony nominating committee.
It sadly wasn’t a huge surprise that Forest Whitaker, did not get nominated for his work in the 50-minute Hughie. The revival of Eugene O’Neill’s two-hander (though really more like a monologue with a couple of key inserted phrases) played for only 37 total performances. Hopefully, this won’t discourage the actor—who started in theatre, but quickly moved to the screen—from returning to the stage.
Ruthie Fierberg is the Features Editor at Playbill.com. She has also written for Backstage, Parents and American Baby, including dozens of interviews with celeb moms and dads for parents.com. See more at ruthiefierberg.com and follow her on Twitter at @RuthiesATrain.