PLAYBILL.COM'S THEATRE WEEK IN REVIEW, April 27-May 3: Tony and Drama Desk Nominations, Plus Good News for The Nance and Lucky Guy

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03 May 2013

Billy Porter and Stark Sands star in <i>Kinky Boots</i>, which earned 13 Tony nominations.
Billy Porter and Stark Sands star in Kinky Boots, which earned 13 Tony nominations.
Matthew Murphy

The big news in the theatre this week—in case you spent Tuesday under a rock—was the announcement of the 2013 Tony Awards nominations. The honors were done by Tony winner Sutton Foster and Jesse Tyler Ferguson, who seems to have come up in the world. (My stage brain remembers when he was fourth or fifth banana in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. But I guess he has a TV show or something now...?)

Collecting the most nominations were two new musicals, the Cyndi Lauper-Harvey Fierstein effort Kinky Boots and the lauded British import Matilda the Musical, which earned 13 and 12 nods, respectively. Two musical revivals also fared well: Stephen Schwartz's Pippin nabbed 10 nominations (one less that it received when it first premiered back in 1972), while Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella received nine nominations.

Leading the plays were the revival of Golden Boy with eight nominations, the late Nora Ephron's Lucky Guy and Christopher Durang's Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, with six nominations apiece. The latter two were nominated for Best Play, as was The Assembled Parties by Richard Greenberg and The Testament of Mary by Colm Toibin. That last nomination, however, didn't stop the producers of Mary from announcing that the show would end its Broadway run May 5 after 16 regular performances at the Walter Kerr Theatre.

The other nominees for Best Musical were Bring It On: The Musical and A Christmas Story, The Musical. The Best Score nominees matched the Best Musical foursome, except that Bring It On wasn't recognized and the quick-to-shutter Hands on a Hardbody was.

Other notable details: three members of Chicago's Steppenwolf Theater CompanyTracy Letts, Amy Morton and Laurie Metcalf—were nominated for acting awards; Carolee Carmello, star of the ill-fated Scandalous, didn't do all that work for nothing—she won a nod; Judith Light got her third Tony nomination in as many years with her nod for The Assembled Parties; rising star Condola Rashad received her second Tony nom. in a row; after many years on the boards, Will Chase got his first Tony nomination, for The Mystery of Edwin Drood; stalwart Terrence Mann got his first Tony nomination in 20 years, for Pippin; and this is Christopher Durang's first nomination in 35 years!—the last was in 1978 for his book for A History of the American Film.



Finally, a note to producers who want Tony nominations: Cast Andrea Martin, currently starring in Pippin. In the six Broadway shows in which she has originated roles, she has been nominated five times. You've gotta like those odds.

The Tony Awards will be broadcast in a live three-hour ceremony from Radio City Music Hall, on the CBS television network, June 9.

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Announced on April 29 were the nominations for the 2013 Drama Desk Awards, which honor both Broadway and Off-Broadway.

Underdogs were decidedly championed by the nominators. Two new musicals, which are both now closed, received nine nominations each, the most of any production of the season: the Off-Broadway musical Giant, seen at the Public Theater, and the short-lived Broadway musical Hands on a Hardbody. Three other musicals, Matilda and The Mystery of Edwin Drood and the Off-Broadway revival of Passion, earned six nominations apiece.

Special awards given out this year will go to The New York Musical Theatre Festival; Wakka Wakka, for sophisticated puppet theater; actress Jayne Houdyshell; The Whale playwright Samuel D. Hunter; and lighting designer Maruti Evans.

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Douglas Carter Beane's The Nance wasn't nominated for Best Play, but it got some good news anyway: The Broadway production extended its run at the Lyceum Theatre through Aug. 11.

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Finally, Nora Ephron's final piece of writing is officially a hit. Lucky Guy, starring Tom Hanks as Pulitzer Prize-winning tabloid writer Mike McAlary, recouped its $3.6 million capitalization in eight weeks of performances, producers announced May 2.