The 2022 Tony Awards nominations were announced May 9, revealing that of the nine plays eligible for the Best Revival of a Play category, five were chosen to compete for the award: American Buffalo, for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf, How I Learned to Drive, Take Me Out, and Trouble in Mind. Several of those plays received additional nominations for performances and design.
Playbill takes a look at how this year's nominated revivals compare to their previous productions. Read on to see which of these plays has taken home a trophy or two in years past.
The David Mamet play, now running at Circle in the Square, stars Sam Rockwell as Teach, Laurence Fishburne as Donny Dubrow, and Darren Criss as Bobby—three hustlers trying to plan a coin heist. This, the fourth Broadway staging, is the most-nominated production of American Buffalo. In addition to its Best Revival nod, the play is up for three other Tonys this year: Rockwell for Best Actor in a Leading Role, Neil Pepe for Best Direction of a Play, and Scott Pask for Best Scenic Design for a Play for his junk-shop set.
The original 1977 production starred Robert Duvall as Teach, Kenneth McMillan as Donny Dubrow, and John Savage as Bobby. Ulu Grosbard was nominated for Best Direction, and Santo Loquasto received one of his many Scenic Design nominations (which that year were not separated by plays/musicals).
It was first revived in 1983 with Al Pacino, J.J. Johnston, and James Hayden, receiving a sole nomination for Best Reproduction (revival). A short-lived 2008 production starring Cedric the Entertainer, John Leguizamo, and Haley Joel Osment received no nominations.
for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf
for colored girls... had one previous Broadway production which ran at the Booth Theatre for nearly two years from September 15, 1976 to July 16, 1978. The current production won’t enjoy a run of nearly as many performances as its first iteration did, though due to the efforts of fans and Broadway producer Ayanna Prescod it will play through June 5, two weeks longer than its earlier closing date of May 22.
Ntozake Shange’s play, which has been described as a choreopoem, is structured as series of monologues with music. The 1976 production was nominated for Best Play, and Trazana Beverley, who played the role of Lady in Red, was nominated for, and ultimately won the Tony for Best Featured Actress in a Play. In addition to its Best Revival nomination, the currently production has received several design nominations (costume, lighting, and sound) as well as two historic nods for Camille A. Brown, who is the first person to receive nominations for both Best Direction and Best Choreography of a play. Like ’76 actor Beverly, Kenita R. Miller, who plays Lady in Red in the 2022 production, is nominated for best actress.
How I Learned to Drive
It made its world premiere at Off-Broadway's Vineyard Theatre in 1997, where it ran for two months before transferring to a year-long commercial Off-Broadway run. Since that 1997 production, the work has been produced many, many times at regional theatres across the country, as well as a 2012 Off-Broadway production at Second Stage. It has clearly entered the canon of American theatre and thus is considered a revival for its 2022 Broadway premiere production at Manhattan Theatre Club.
In a rare occurrence (not counting Yul Brynner's three Broadway productions of The King and I), the original Off-Broadway stars have returned for the Broadway revival. Mary-Louise Parker and David Morse recreate the complicated relationship between Li'l Bit and Uncle Peck 25 years after the play's premiere. They are also joined by the original director Mark Brokaw and onstage by original cast member Johanna Day. Both stars are nominated for Best Performance by a Leading Actor/Actress in a Play.
The 1997 premiere swept the Off-Broadway awards, earning Drama Desk Awards for Morse (Best Actor), Brokaw (Best Director), Vogel and the Vineyard (Outstanding Play); Obie Awards for Morse and Parker (Performance), Brokaw (Direction), and Vogel (Playwriting); and Lortel Awards again for both Morse and Parker, Brokaw, and a Best Play win.
Take Me Out
Richard Greenberg hit a home run with his baseball play Take Me Out, which premiered at London’s Donmar Warehouse in 2002. Following that production, the play was immediately staged at New York’s Public Theater the same year and transferred to Broadway in 2003 for a nearly year-long run. Helmed by Joe Mantello, who was nominated for and won Best Director for his work, the play also took home the award for Best Play. The cast received two Best Featured actor nominations: Denis O'Hare for the role of accountant Mason Marzac and Daniel Sunjata for playing star center-fielder Darren Lemming, with O’Hare ultimately winning the category.
In addition to its Best Revival nomination, Second Stage’s 2022 production of the play, its first Broadway revival, scored three Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Play nominations. Those nods went to Jesse Tyler Ferguson for the Maxon Marzac role and Broadway newcomer Jesse Williams for the Darren Lemming role, in addition to Michael Oberholtzer for his portrayal of relief pitcher Shane Mungitt.
Trouble in Mind
Like How I Learned to Drive, the 2021 Broadway production of Alice Childress' Trouble in Mind is the play's Main Stem premiere. It originally opened in 1955 Off-Broadway at the Greenwich Mews Theatre, co-directed by Childress and Clarice Taylor, who also played the starring role of Wiletta Mayer, an experienced Black stage actor going through rehearsals of a major Broadway production. At the time, a Broadway transfer was optioned, but white producers insisted on rewrites to make the play more palpable for a predominantly white audience. After two years of efforts, Childress stopped rewriting and the transfer fell through. Before publication, Childress restored her own original ending (which had actually already been rewritten at the insistence of the producer and included in the Off-Broadway production). That ending, the playwright's preferred, was the one seen in the Roundabout staging.
In addition to its Best Revival nod, Tony winner LaChanze is nominated for Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Play for her turn as Wiletta, Chuck Cooper for Best Featured Actor, and Emilio Sosa for Best Costume Design of a Play.