One of the major Broadway musicals of the spring, Shuffle Along, Or the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and all That Followed, did not appear in any of the award nominations announced this week for a simple reason, according to Showbiz411: Producer Scott Rudin asked for the show to be excused, saying it was “not ready” to be evaluated for awards. The show is scheduled to “freeze” for critics (meaning no further changes) on April 25, too late for those award nominators.
The request affected nominations for the Outer Critics Circle Awards and the Drama League Awards, which were announced April 19 and 20, respectively.
UPDATE: A production spokesperson told Playbill.com that Shuffle Along will be eligible for Drama Desk Award nominations, scheduled to be announced April 28. ”We are going to be eligible for Drama Desk Awards since their nominators’ deadline was later. Unfortunately, the other organizations’ deadlines were too early for us.”
The show is scheduled to open April 28, the last day of eligibility for the 2016 Tony Awards for which Shuffle Alone reportedly will compete in 2016.
However, The New York Times reports that producer Rudin is ”planning to argue” to the Tonys that Shuffle Along should be considered a revival, not a new musical, despite its new libretto. The show uses songs and other parts of the original groundbreaking 1921 Broadway musical as a show-within-a-show to tell the backstage story of how the show got to Broadway. The Tony Awards Administration Committee is scheduled to meet April 29 to rule on several applications for variances from shows this spring.
The article speculates that Rudin is seeking the designation so Shuffle Along will not have to compete with the juggernaut Hamilton for Best Musical.
The Tony nominations are scheduled to be announced the following Tuesday, May 3. The Tony ceremony is scheduled for June 12.