Bob Crowley, for Aida
Set and costume designer Bob Crowley has earned Olivier and Tony Awards during his long career. His work includes London West End stagings of When She Danced, The Importance of Being Earnest and The Cryptogram, as well as some 25 productions for The Royal Shakespeare Company. Crowley did the Almeida Theatre and Broadway productions of The Judas Kiss and The Iceman Cometh as well as the film, "The Crucible."
Constance Hoffman , for The Green Bird
Costume designer Constance Hoffman, who has collaborated with award winning director Julie Taymor (on OB's "Titus"), has worked on The Flying Dutchman, as well as the operas Tosca, Madama Butterfly, The Abduction from the Seraglio, and Lizzie Borden. A talented newcomer, her work at regional theatres includes various productions at Center Stage, Hartford Stage and the Alley Theatre.
William Ivey Long , for The Music Man
William Ivey Long's list of costume design credits includes Contact, Epic Proportions, The Civil War, Annie Get Your Gun, The Mystery of Irma Vep, Cabaret, Chicago, Steel Pier, 1776, Smokey Joe's Cafe, and Crazy for You, which netted him Tony, Dora and Outer Critics Circle awards. Other awards include a 1991 Obie for Assassins and Tony, Drama Desk and Maharam honors for Nine. Long also worked with the late director Mike Ockrent on Madison Square Garden's annual A Christmas Carol and has worked twice this year with Ockrent's widow, the quadruple 2000 Tony nominee, director and choreographer Susan Stroman.
Martin Pakledinaz, for Kiss Me, Kate
With two productions this season, the other being The Wild Party at the Manhattan Theatre Club, Martin Pakledinaz wraps a busy season by coming within reach of the brass ring—his first Tony Award. An experienced costume designer, Pakledinaz won an Obie for The Misanthrope, and has earned prior Tony nominations for his work on Golden Child and The Life, which also brought him a Drama Desk nomination.
Analysis: Broadway costume designer Jane Greenwood (Moon for the Misbegotten) spoke to Playbill On-Line about this year's Tony nominees for costume design and said that trying to pick a front runner would be difficult. How right she is. Veterans like William Ivey Long are going up against relative new talent like Constance Hoffman. Looking deeper, one wonders if Tony voters will consider specific production histories in this (nearly) all-musical crop? Remember, Bob Crowley was brought in by Disney following a creative team change with Aida and after the mouse house had seen what visionary Julie Taymor was able to do with The Lion King. Then again, it may be time for Martin Pakledinaz to take home his first Tony award. A Kiss Me, Kate sweep wouldn't hurt his chances. -- By Murdoch McBride