Here are more reader reactions to the May 4 nominations for the 1998 Tony Awards.
Owing to the great volume of responses, we have created this fourth file of opinions. Playbill On-Line thanks all of those who took the time to write.
From Resal 007:
All I have to say is that I am thrilled RAGTIME got 13 nominations. The show was AMAZING and I hope they win at least 10, if not all 13 of the Tonys it deserves. The show is awesome and I will be happy to see it succeed !!!! I can't wait for the Tonys!
SIDE SHOW was a surprise to me. The New York Times loved it, but I found that although there was a story there, the music was forgettable and the direction boring. Nevertheless, I am rooting for Skinner and Ripley to get the Tony , they deserve. I am also rooting for RAGTIME as best musical and DOUGLAS SILLS of PIMPERNEL as best actor in a musical. I wish all of the nominees well. Broadway should have something for everybody.
From Sk8terAndi (Sk8terAndi@aol.com):
Overall, I thought the Tony Awards Committee did an OK job. What I CANNOT understand is why *Victor Garber* wasn't nominated for Best Leading Actor in a Play. He's a brilliant actor and he was DEFINITELY over-looked!! "Art" is an amazing show and how they could over-look such a wonderful performance by this talented man...I dunno. I mean, c'mon--even us viewers could have done a better job on voting with some of these nominations!
O.K., all I have to say is Patti LuPone was completely ripped off. I came all the way from Michigan twice and saw her in The Old Neighborhood, and let me tell you it was more than worth all the money. She totally made the show. Also, I was happy to see Triumph of Love get one nomination, but I thought it was more deserving...um, hi Susan Egan. Urrrrrr... I'm still flamed about the Patti thing...
From Mark Cibulka:
I am very happy to see Side Show getting 4 nominations. I think Norm Lewis was snubbed, but it's Okay. I don't think the show itself has a chance but Skinner/Ripley I hope it they win. Cabaret I predict will win best revival. I love the choices this year and I can't wait till June 7th.
From AnnMarie Schneider:
I was ecstatic to see Douglas Sills in the Best Actor in a musical category! I will be cheering for him..but I was disappointed about not seeing Liam Neeson on the list for Best Actor in a Play. I have not been fortunate enough to see "The Judas Kiss", but I have had people tell me that he was phenomenal in it. You wouldn't have to persuade me into thinking that he deserved a nomination, he is one of my favorite actors! Slainte mhaith, Liam!
From Jonathan A. Rybka:
I am so glad I am not the one voting....Marin & the twins? AAGGHH!!I am surprised about THE SCARLET PIMPERNEL.I hope that RAGTIME wins the most (except for supporting actress in a musical and costumes, scenery that LION KING will win) .
I'm so happy that SIDESHOW has 4 noms. including best musical! I'm also pleased with the best actress noms. along with best actor and feature actress for RAGTIME. It is going to be tough with voting but I think Ragtime will win everything. My second choice is Sideshow. I AM TRULY HAPPY THIS YEAR.
The Tony Committee overall did a good job in representing the 1997-98 season. CONGRATS TO . . .
Everyone nominated & especially SIDESHOW and Betty Buckley. However, a few points to ponder: Liam Neeson excluded in THE JUDAS KISS? What does Frank Wildhorn have to do to receive a nomination? The score to THE LION KING sounds so familiar. . . wasn't it a movie?
From Rod Taylor (firstname.lastname@example.org):
1776 is fabulous and deserves the best revival of a musical nomination and hopefully the award. I think Brent Spiner was overlooked and his replacement Michael McCormick, even though he was not eligible was wonderful too. Also, Paul Michael Valley as Thomas Jefferson should have been nominated for best featured actor in a musical. Congratulations to Gregg Edelman and Scott Ellis for their well deserved nominations.
From Eric Moore:
First, kudos to the nominating committee for having the courage to nominate The Scarlet Pimpernel for Best Musical. It is a wonderful show, beautifully written and acted, and it is a true evening of enjoyable musical theater. However, big thumbs down to the same committee for their second straight snubbing of composer Frank Wildhorn in the Best Score department. Both years, the critics have railed his musicals, but railed even harder on his choice of book writer and lyricist. However, the Tony committee nominates BOTH his shows' lyricists: Bricusse for J/H, and Nan Knighton for SP. she deserves a nom, I have no doubt, but Wildhorn's music is the show.
One other big thumbs down for shutting out Patti LuPone. I just get the feeling they don't like her.
Here's to Douglas Sills for Best Actor in a Musical, Marin Mazzie for Actress, and Audra McDonald for featured!
...and please, for the love of God, don't let Lion King win Best Musical OR Best Score (or the dreadful Capeman).
Well, I won't call myself an expert, and I know several friends will disagree, but the biggest shame was Liam Neeson's omission in the Best Actor in a Play category. His portrayal of Oscar Wilde was powerful and heartbreaking (that's a good thing, folks). As much as the whole cast of "Art" deserved nods, Alfred Molina was wonderful, and he just might steal it. (I won't ruin it for anyone, but for anyone who has seen "Art" already..."the invitation" must have been the deciding factor!)
As far as musicals...well, I can predict SOME joy in the Neeson-Richardson household on June 7th. Natasha Richardson and Alan Cumming are phenomenal in "Cabaret," and my fingers are crossed for them (as well as Ron, Mary Louise, and the rest of the cast and crew).
But no matter who takes home an award, we are ALL winners for having such a fabulous year's worth of theater!
I was thrilled at the TONYnominations. LINDA LAVIN GOT NOMINATED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That's all I care about. Enough with RAGTIME though.......Okay ..we get the point....its a good show. Linda Lavin will definitely win!!!!!! She was incredible!!!!!! I was also happy that Douglas Sillls got nominated for THE SCARLET PIMPERNEL. But the one person I felt should have been nominated was Brent Spiner from 1776. I'm going to the TONYS. We will see. June 7th here I come.
Recently we had the opportunity to see the revival [of "A View From the Bridge"], and though it had a number of positive aspects to it, it was one of the worst things we've seen on Broadway in a long time. The staging and sets were excellent. Mr. La Paglia and excellent. The lady playing his wife, Beatrice was right on the money. But the actress whom played the niece was just down right awful. I've seen better performances in community theater productions. She played the part as if she were retarded, and I don't think that is what Mr. Miller intended. And the two Italian immigrants, the night we saw the production, one minute the sounded Swedish, then they sounded German, and I happen to be Italian, something they even rarely got close too. The direction was excellent, except whomever decided the characterization of the niece was way off. The character is young and naive, not bordering on mentally disabled.
But the redeeming part of the evening is being able to listen to Mr. Miller's dialogue, to watch it flow, to see the characters build through his words. It's just a shame a Broadway production couldn't get accents right, and settled for less. And that the director pushed a character that is supposed to be sweet, naive, gentle, into a shrieking crazy. And if she slapped her hands together in what she thought was an Italian gesture one more time, I was tempted to get out of the audience run up there and restrain her. If an actress wants to emphasize a character she should try doing it through the characterization not through some silly side business that is over done and begins to look ridiculous. Best Revival. . . not even close. . .
From Thomas Lister:
I just moved to New York from San Francisco a few days before the Tony nominations, and couldn't think of a better welcome than to see Side Show receive four nominations!!! I am especially pleased that Alice Ripley and Emily Skinner were both nominated together, and that Side Show was nominated for Best Musical (YEAH!!!) and Score! I will be at the Tony Awards rooting for Side Show. I'm even going out on a limb and predict an upset in the Lead Female Category, Best Musical, and score for this wonderful musical that touches the heart and soul. Bravo!!!
I could really care less what critics say! I did find it quite amazing that Melissa Errico did not get nominated, I know she can be difficult and I know her mouth can get her in trouble sometimes. But she is amazing. She commands the stage every moment she is on it! What true Diva doesn't have a story to go along with all her success. Then they go and nominate Natasha Richardson who yes is a good actress but it's a musical. It would be great if she could actually sing. And as far as Capeman that thing should have been shut out completely, the score was okay for an album not a Broadway Show. And as for the set it wasn't all that. I know there were a lot of choices this year but it.
Just one question. Why wasn't Steven Sutcliffe (Ragtime) nominated for best featured actor? He was brilliant in Ragtime.
Also, congratulations to The Scarlet Pimpernel and Side Show (2 of my favorite shows) for all their nominations.
Well, I must say - this is gonna be a competitive year! But one would wonder why Melissa Errico, Rebecca Luker and Patti LuPone were OVERLOOKED!!! I recently witnessed Melissa Errico in High Society and she was beyond great! I've seen clips from The Sound of Music and must say its great also (why was it overlooked in EVERY category but Best Revival of a Musical) - and have heard that Patti got raves for her performance in The Old Neighborhood. I would've nominated Melissa or Rebecca over Natasha Richardson.....! Without those two, I want the Side Show twins to win! However, I was soooo happy to see Anna Kendrick nominated in High Society - she was WONDERFUL in it - and I hope she wins! As for Best Musical - I'm rooting for Pimpernel, or Side Show - I have the CD to Lion King and it BORES ME TO DEATH!! The CD to Pimpernel isn't entertaining, but Pimpernel features an overlooked actor who DESERVED a nomination - Terrence Mann! Why he was overlooked - I'll never know. He's the highlight of the CD! But one MAJOR disappointment was Cabaret getting TEN nominations. I didn't expect it to get much. I just hope 1776 or THE SOUND OF MUSIC can win Best Revival (frankly, I think 1776 will win). I could complain more, but I'm not gonna. Other than my "few" complaints, I am anticipating the ceremony - and best of luck to all the nominees! I know I'll be on pins and needles throughout the whole show!
From Lady of NY:
I don't see how the nominating committee could have missed Michael Cumpsty and Brent Spiner of 1776! These two men played off of each other in this production with an electricity and verve that is rarely seen on ANY stage. Unfortunately, Mr. Spiner is no longer in the show (I hear he's back "Star Treking") but DON'T miss the chance to see Michael Cumpsty before some other venue takes his performance away from Broadway!!!
From Robert P. Schneider:
I thought the Tony committee did a pretty good job--but, of course, I have some quibbles. I think the most undeserving nomination is for Mary Louise Wilson in Cabaret, a thoroughly inadequate performance- Michele Pawk would have been a much better choice from that production. I would not have nominated Capeman for anything except Scenic Design, which was the only remarkable thing about the show. I thought the music and orchestrations were second-rate; I would have preferred Scarlet Pimpernel get the nod, even though the show is distinctly unmemorable. Very happy about Side Show nominations and Betty Buckley, even though I thought her performance should have been in the featured category, since she really didn't have that much to do.
I was appalled that the amateurish and inept Side Show was nominated for anything. Ditto the dated, sophomoric, overproduced and poorly acted The Chairs. I'm sorry there weren't nominations for the performances of Tsai Chin, Kim Miyori and Randall Duk Kim in The Golden Child as well as for Laila Robbins' luminous performance in The Herbal Bed or Susan Egan in The Triumph of Love. But in general this year's nominees were well chosen in a season that has been the best we've seen in at least a decade.
In some categories there is an embarrassment of riches -- Best Musical Actor, for example. I really think Friedman's was a supporting role, but ANY of the other three nominees would be a deserving winner of the Tony. My personal choice is Douglas Sills even though I was dazzled by Alan Cumming's superb performance. I really believe though that Brian Stokes Mitchell will be the winner, even though I personally feel that he was somewhat miscast. But he has a solid body of outstanding work on Broadway for the last decade (Mail, Oh Kay, Jelly's Last Jam, Kiss of the Spider Woman) and his award will be as much for that as for his performance in Ragtime.
I want The Lion King to win sets, costumes, orchestration, choreography and lighting. (I think Julie Taymore will win director of a musical, but my personal choice would be the Cabaret team.) I want Ragtime to win best musical, best book and best score. I'm rooting for the three Irish actors in The Beauty Queen of Leenane and the extraordinary Marin Mazzie in Ragtime and Tsiidi LeLoka in The Lion King. I now have to run out and get my tickets for John Leguizamo, Forever Tango and A View from the Bridge!
Re the glaring Tony omissions, what about Kevin Kline's wonderful Ivanov, Terrence Mann's complicated good-guy/bad guy amalgam in The Scarlet Pimpernel and Peter Riegert in search of his past in The Old Neighborhood? And yes, Brent Spiner did not make me forget the unforgettable William Daniels but he did manage to make me forget Data--and that certainly counts for something. At least one of my all-time favorites, John McMartin, got a nod for High Society. Now he's playing dirty old men? Boy, where did the years go? Too bad he's not recreating the role of Ben Stone in the Paper Mill's Follies this month.
All I have to say is Brian Stokes Mitchell! Brian Stokes Mitchell! he is the reason musical theatre is becoming a powerful asset again in American culture. Brian Stokes Mitchell! Brian Stokes Mitchell! Congratulations!
From HARRY YOUNG:
I think the committee didn't overlook many things in fact, I think they did a great job choosing. But I don't understand why they didn't nominate the David Mamet play "THE OLD NEIGHBORHOOD." He has such an element of realness in his writing, I would think it would be considered one of Broadway's gems. But, I think by not nominating it, we are losing a fine piece of theater that probably won't be back. It's a shame.
In a season so blessed with Broadway talent, although some folks and shows may have been snubbed, I applaud the nominating committee for being able to narrow the fields as they did.
All I have to say is YEAH BETTY!!!!!! It's about time!!