In the 2016-2017 season, 37 new shows opened on Broadway. Of those 37 productions, 25 earned Tony nominations when the announcements were made May 2; and if you’re doing the math, that means 12 shows were left out of the recognitions. This season’s revival of Sunday in the Park with George was not considered by the Nominating Committee at the producers’ request, but as previously reported in Playbill’s Trends and Tallies, 11 shows were overlooked.
Five original musicals—A Bronx Tale, In Transit, Amélie, Cirque du Soleil’s Paramour, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory—were shut out come Tuesday morning. While In Transit closed April 16 at the Circle in the Square Theatre and Paramour closed April 16 at the Lyric Theatre (and are the two shows in this breakout list not adapted from a movie), the other three productions continue their Broadway runs. In fact, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory has already announced the launch of its national tour in 2018, and has extended its Broadway run to April 2018.
In the musical revival category, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cats and Sunset Boulevard walked away empty-handed. While Glenn Close’s Norma Desmond was deemed ineligible, many believed Michael Xavier was a contender for Featured Actor in a Musical as her boytoy Joe Gillis.
Also in revival-land, Jon Jon Briones (who was nominated for an Olivier Award for the show’s London engagement) did not receive recognition for his kinetic performance as The Engineer in Miss Saigon.
Expectations were high for playwright Joshua Harmon’s Significant Other, which came to Broadway after a sold-out Off-Broadway run in 2015. While the Best Play category was highly competitive this year, it was surprising that Leading Actor Gideon Glick was left out of the nominations for his performance as a young, gay twentysomething struggling to hold onto his friendships and hope for love as his three best girlfriends find love and marriage. Director Trip Cullman was left out, although he was eligible for his work on both Significant Other and Six Degrees of Separation—which was nominated for Best Revival of a Play.
Speaking of Six Degrees of Separation, previous Tony nominee Allison Janney was excluded from Best Leading Actress in a Play for her critically acclaimed performance as Ouisa Kittredge. Janney earned Tony nominations in 2009 and 1998 for her performances in 9 to 5 and A View From the Bridge, respectively.
Anastasia, one of the most anticipated new musicals of the season (and with one of the healthiest box office advances), received only two nominations: Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role (Mary Beth Peil) and Best Costume Design of a Musical (Linda Cho). Overlooked were the show’s veteran writing team, book writer Terrence McNally and the songwriting team of Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty, who penned nearly 19 additional songs for the Broadway adaptation of their 1997 animated film. Also left off the nominations was leading lady Christy Altomare who soars with the show’s stand-out number “Journey to the Past.”
While Bandstand did earn two nominations (Best Choreography and Best Orchestrations), it didn’t fare as well as its competitors. Leading Actor Corey Cott failed to garner the attention of the Nominating Committee despite his moving performance (and impressive vocals) as war veteran Donny Novitski. His co-star Laura Osnes, who was nominated for a Drama Desk Award this season for her role, also went unnoticed by the Committee despite her touching portrayal. The duo behind the book and score for the new American musical (the first stage production to be certified an authentic representation of war veterans by Got Your 6) was nominated only for their orchestrations—despite earning Drama Desk nominations for Book of Musical and Original Score. (It should be noted that this year’s Drama Desks did not consider Dear Evan Hansen or The Great Comet due to Off-Broadway productions of those musicals considered in previous years.)
It’s important to note the category for Best Sound Design of a Play and of a Musical will not be reinstated until the 2018 Tony Awards, yet there could have been strong contenders this year. (After all, the immersive staging of The Great Comet sieged the full house of the Imperial as their playing space.) And, as of now, projection design does not have its own category—though numerous shows this season prominently featured projections such as Anastasia, Amélie, Dear Evan Hansen, Sunset Boulevard, Oslo, Indecent and more.