Tony Rulings: Brief Encounter and Long Story Are Best Plays; Daisy and Life Are Revivals

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09 Dec 2010

The Tony Awards Administration Committee assembled Dec. 9 for the first time of the 2010-11 season to discuss the eligibility of 12 Broadway productions for the 2011 Tony Awards, presented by The Broadway League and the American Theatre Wing.

The 12 shows discussed include Brief Encounter, The Pitmen Painters, Mrs. Warren’s Profession, Time Stands Still, A Life in the Theatre, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, La Bête, Lombardi, Driving Miss Daisy, The Scottsboro Boys, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown and Colin Quinn Long Story Short. (The Pee-wee Herman Show was not discussed during this first meeting.)

The committee's rulings follow.

On the play front:
Playbill.com has learned that Long Story Short, former "Saturday Night Live" cast member Colin Quinn's one-man comedy about the decline of the world's great empires, will be eligible for a Best Play nomination.

Brief Encounter will also be considered eligible in the Best Play category. Author credit will be: Noël Coward and adapted by Emma Rice. Tristan Sturrock and Hannah Yelland, who are part of the Brief cast, will be considered eligible in the categories of Best Performance by an Actor/Actress in a Leading Role in a Play, respectively.



Christina Ricci will be considered eligible in the Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play category for her performance in Time Stands Still. (Ricci is the only person eligible from the production because the play was seen on Broadway last season; Ricci's role was played in that initial staging by Alicia Silverstone.)

Boyd Gaines will be considered eligible in the Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Play category for his performance in Driving Miss Daisy. The production, which co-stars Vanessa Redgrave and James Earl Jones, will be eligible for nomination in the Best Revival of a Play category, according to a Tony spokesperson.

David Mamet's A Life in the Theatre, which, like Daisy, had not been seen on Broadway previously, will be eligible in the Best Revival of a Play category.

Joanna Lumley will be considered eligible in the Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play category for her performance in La Bête.

Judith Light will be considered eligible in the Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play category for her performance in Lombardi.

On the musical front:
Benjamin Walker will be considered eligible in the Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical category for his performance in Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson.

Joshua Henry will be considered eligible in the Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical category for his performance in The Scottsboro Boys. 

Sherie Rene Scott will be considered eligible in the Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical category for her performance in Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown.

All other decisions were consistent with the opening-night credits. That is, only actors whose names appear above the title are eligible for nomination in the Leading Actor/Actress categories. Producers must petition the Administration Committee in order to change actors' eligibility status.

The Tony Awards Administration Committee includes ten members designated by the Wing, ten by the League, and one each by the Dramatists Guild, Actors' Equity Association, United Scenic Artists, and the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers. This committee "determines eligibility for nominations in all awards categories, reviews the rules governing the awards, and appoints the Nominating Committee. It may, at its discretion, bestow [four] non-competitive Tony Awards: Special Tony Awards and the Regional Theatre Tony Award; as well as Tony Honors for Excellence in the Theatre and the Isabelle Stevenson Award."

The 2010-2011 committee comprises Emanuel Azenberg, Roger Berlind, Ted Chapin, Bill Craver, Dasha Epstein, Cecilia Friederichs, Philip Getter, Jeffrey Eric Jenkins, Doug Leeds, Paul Libin, Margo Lion, Jo Sullivan Loesser, Kevin McCollum, James L. Nederlander, James M. Nederlander, Enid Nemy, Laura Penn, Michael Price, Charlotte St. Martin, Ralph Sevush, Howard Sherman, Philip Smith and David Stone. Alan Eisenberg also currently represents Actors' Equity at these meetings.

The American Theatre Wing's 65th Annual Tony Awards will air on CBS June 12, 2011, at 8 PM ET live from the Beacon Theatre in New York City. 

The awards, Broadway's highest honor, have been broadcast on CBS since 1978.  This will be the first year that the show will be broadcast from The Beacon Theatre, which is part of the Madison Square Garden portfolio of venues. (As previously reported, Radio City Music Hall, the home of the Tony Awards for the past several years, is unavailable for this year's awards show.)

Broadway productions must open by April 28, 2011, to be eligible for nomination in the 2010-2011 season.

The Tony Awards are presented by the American Theatre Wing and The Broadway League.

For more information visit www.TonyAwards.com.