The 1996 Tony Award Nominations

Tony Awards   The 1996 Tony Award Nominations The Antoinette Perry (Tony) Awards turned their back on big splashy musicals by declining May 6 to nominate Big or Victor/Victoria for Best Musical (though both were nominated in other categories).
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The Antoinette Perry (Tony) Awards turned their back on big splashy musicals by declining May 6 to nominate Big or Victor/Victoria for Best Musical (though both were nominated in other categories).

The awards will be given June 2 in a ceremony to be televised on CBS. Nominations for Best Musical went to modest-sized experimental works Rent, Bring in 'Da Noise, Bring in 'Da Funk and Chronicle of a Death Foretold, plus the short-run revue Swinging on a Star.All the nominees for Best Musical were developed at not-for-profit theatres. The traditional independent Broadway productions were the ones passed over for Best Musical.

The alternative-rock musical Rent, which already won the Pulitzer Prize and the Drama League Award as Best Musical, led in nominations (with 10) for the 50th annual Tony Awards. The nominations arrived the same morning that the new Newsweek hit the stands (the oddly dated May 13 issue) with nominees Adam Pascal and Daphne Rubin-Vega on the cover.

Savion Glover's Bring in 'Da Noise, Bring in 'Da Funk was second, with nine nominations.

The nominations in the Best Musical category raised another question as well. Which shows will do scenes on the June 2 Tony broadcast? Traditionally, each of the four Best Musical nominees get one scene each. Will TV audiences tune in if they can't see Julie Andrews sing "Le Jazz Hot," or see the Big scene ("Fun") where Josh dances on the giant piano? News of the Big non-nomination reportedly was announced to the cast as it was recording its original cast album at the Hit Factory in New York City May 6. The atmosphere was reported as "glum."

Here is a complete list of nominations, as announced by Matthew Broderick and Patti LuPone at Sardi's restaurant in Manhattan May 6:

BEST PLAY
Master Class by Terrence McNally
Seven Guitars by August Wilson
Buried Child by Sam Shepard
Racing Demon by David Hare

BEST MUSICAL
Chronicle of a Death Foretold
Bring in 'Da Noise, Bring in 'Da Funk
Swinging on a Star
Rent

BEST REVIVAL OF A PLAY
A Delicate Balance
A Midsummer Night's Dream
An Ideal Husband
Inherit the Wind

BEST REVIVAL OF A MUSICAL
A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum
Hello, Dolly!
The King and I
Company

BEST ACTRESS IN A PLAY
Zoe Caldwell in Master Class
Rosemary Harris in A Delicate Balance
Elaine Stritch A Delicate Balance
Carol Burnett in Moon Over Buffalo

BEST ACTOR IN A PLAY
George Grizzard in A Delicate Balance
Martin Shaw in An Ideal Husband
Philip Bosco in Moon Over Buffalo
George C. Scott in Inherit the Wind

BEST ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL
Julie Andrews in Victor/Victoria
Crista Moore in Big
Donna Murphy in The King and I
Daphne Rubin-Vega in Rent

BEST ACTOR IN A MUSICAL
Savion Glover in Noise/Funk
Nathan Lane in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum
Adam Pascal in Rent
Lou Diamond Phillips in The King and I

BEST FEATURED ACTOR IN A PLAY
James Gammon in Buried Child
Reg Rogers in Holiday
Roger Robinson in Seven Guitars
Ruben Santiago-Hudson in Seven Guitars

BEST FEATURED ACTRESS IN A PLAY
Viola Davis in Seven Guitars
Audra McDonald in Master Class
Lois Smith in Buried Child
Michele Shay in Seven Guitars

BEST FEATURED ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL
Veanne Cox for Company
Idina Menzel for Rent
Ann Duquesnay for Bring in 'Da Noise, Bring in 'Da Funk
Joohee Choi in The King and I

BEST FEATURED ACTOR IN A MUSICAL
Wilson Jermaine Heredia in Rent
Brent Tabisel in Big
Scott Wise in State Fair
Lewis J. Stadlen in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum

BEST DIRECTOR OF A MUSICAL
Jerry Zaks for A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum
Michael Greif for Rent
Christopher Renshaw for The King and I
George C .Wolfe for Noise/Funk

BEST CHOREOGRAPHY
Graciela Daniele for Chronicle of a Death Foretold
Savion Glover for Noise/Funk
Marlies Yearby for Rent
Susan Stroman for Big

BEST DIRECTOR OF A PLAY
Gerald Gutierrez for A Delicate Balance
Peter Hall for An Ideal Husband
Lloyd Richards for Seven Guitars
Gary Sinise for Buried Child

BEST SCENIC DESIGN
Scott Bradley for Seven Guitars
John Lee Beatty for A Delicate Balance
Anthony Ward for A Midsummer Night's Dream
Brian Thomason for The King and I

BEST LIGHTING DESIGN
Jules Fisher and Peggy Eisenhauer for Noise/Funk
Blake Burba for Rent
Nigel Levings for The King and I
Christopher Akerlind for Seven Guitars

BEST COSTUME DESIGN
Jane Greenwood for A Delicate Balance
Roger Kirk for The King and I
Allison Reeds for Buried Child
Paul Tazewell for Noise/Funk

BEST BOOK OF A MUSICAL
Graciela Daniele, Michael John LaChiusa, and Jim Lewis for Chronicle of a Death Foretold
Jonathan Larson for Rent
Reg E. Gaines for Noise/Funk
John Weidman for Big

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE FOR A MUSICAL
Daryl Waters, Zane Mark, Ann Duquesnay, Reg. E. Gaines and George C. Wolfe for Bring in 'Da Noise, Bring in 'Da Funk
Jonathan Larson for Rent
David Shire and Richard Maltby Jr. for Big
Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein for State Fair*

* The Tony Committee added this note to the State Fair nomination: "When considering the score of State Fair, please consider only the following 'Original songs written for the Theatre' as eligible: 'Driving at Night', 'You Never Had It So Good', 'When I Go Out Walking With My Baby', 'Boys and Girls Like You and Me'."

OUTSTANDING REGIONAL THEATRE
Alley Theatre, Houston

SPECIAL AWARDS
The Tony Committee opted to give no special awards in 1996.

The 1996 Tony Awards nominating Committee consisted of Jon Robin Baitz (playwright), Donald Brooks (costume designer), Marge Champion (choreographer), Betty L. Corwin (theatre archivist), Gretchen Cryer (composer), Thomas Dillon (administrator), Brendan Gill (historian, writer), Jay Harnick (artistic director), Charles Hollerith (producer), Barnard Hughes (actor), Ming Cho Lee (set designer), Robert McDonald (union administrator), Douglas Watt (critic) and George White (administrator).

Tony Awards will be voted by 720 members of the theatre profession. Ballots will be mailed by May 11.

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