Playbill Poll: Readers React to the Tony Nominations

Tony Awards   Playbill Poll: Readers React to the Tony Nominations
The 1998 Tony nominations have been announced. Please share your feelings about particular categories, or about the nominations as a whole.

The 1998 Tony nominations have been announced. Please share your feelings about particular categories, or about the nominations as a whole.

Email your comments to Playbill On-Line Managing Editor Robert Viagas at by May 6. Playbill On-Line thanks all who took the time to write. Here are the results so far:

From R Stack 1:
I think the committee did an outstanding and intelligent job, particularly in a year with something like 31 or 32 new shows to consider. My biggest surprise was the shut-out of The Judas Kiss, notably Liam Neeson in the acting category. (I have not as yet seen Golden Child, so I can't comment on whether I think Judas Kiss was unfairly overlooked for Best Play.) I was very pleased to see Side Show getting the four nominations it richly deserved. In fact, if I was a voter, I would pick it for Best Score without hesitation.
My only disagreement with the nominations are in two acting categories. Good that the dreadful Ivanov (one of my top five losers of the year) got only one nod. But Max Wright who did get nominated was hammy and abominably insufferable.
My other gripe is Peter Friedman in Ragtime, who I thought turned a potentially interesting character into a stock figure. Brent Spiner of 1776 deserved that slot.
I agree completely with the non-nominations for Melissa Errico and Rebecca Luker. They would have placed about sixth and seventh in my tabulations for that category.
And if I may predict some winners on June 7th: The Lion King will get seven Tonys, including Best Musical. Ragtime will get only 3 (score, book, orchestrations). Musical actors will be: Alan Cuming, Natasha Richardson, Greg Edelman and Tsidii Le Loka.
Well that's one man's opinion.

All I can say is yes Yes YEs and YES !!!! for the four nominations that the wonderful, and defunct, SIDE SHOW received today!
If only they had been able to hold out until the nominations came through so many more people would have been able to enjoy this wonderful show, possibly the best new musical I have seen in years.

From Ditdahdit8:
I can't understand how "Side Show" got 4 nominations. Emily Skinner and Alice Ripley getting one nomination made me mad to begin with. It almost made me laugh that they got best score. I can't understand how they got nominated for Best Musical. The show was terrible. "High Society" should have gotten nominated before that horrible musical. Well, anyway, while they were snubbing "High Society" at least they didn't snub Anna Kendrick.

From Katie Goodman:
Snubbed! Brent Spiner Brent Spiner Brent Spiner! He was brilliant in 1776. Kudos to Greg Edelman, but the overlooking of Spiner is ridiculous!

Ok, what happened to Victor Garber (ART), Harris Yulin (Diary of Anne Frank), Patti LuPone (Old Neighborhood), Brent Spiner (1776), James Lapine (Diary..), and John Lee Beatty's beautiful Set for "Proposals". They really missed the boat on these. Though I do give the thumbs up on, Alfred Molina (ART), Marie Mullen (Beauty Queen), Alan Cumming (Cabaret), and the twins Alice Ripley and Emily Skinner (Side Show).

From Michael A. Son (The Philippines):
I was saddened that Patti LuPone's dramatic work was overlooked but perhaps she is best with singing and not acting alone. I generally liked this year's nominative results. I was particularly surprised with Ragtime's double nomination for best leading actor for Peter Friedman and Brian Stokes Mitchell. I really would want Ragtime to set a Tony-winning record and surpass A Chorus Line. Though I am afraid that they may suffer the same fate of last season's Steel Pier. I also like the show Lion King very much but why was there only one lion nominated for the acting categories? I think that this show has a lead in the artistic categories because it is much more difficult to recreate a jungle, lions and trees than turn-of-the-century houses and people. Just like Beauty and the Beast, perhaps this other Disney show would get the best costume, scenic and lighting design. Are there possible ties or even triple-ties? With Betty Buckley, the Twins and Marin Mazzie's performances all competing for one award, this will be a very exciting category for me on Awards night. More power to Marin, Audra, Peter, "Stokes", Lynn, Stephen, Terrence and the rest of Ragtime!!!

From Halhillco:
It's so interesting to me that when the Tony committee gets together they often invalidate what the general consensus of the critics has been. I'm not arguing that THE OLD NEIGHBORHOOD got snubbed for Best Play. I didn't care for it.
But there's no question that the show was an unqualified critical hit. Obviously, the only thing to conclude, is that the Tony committee doesn't share the overall feelings of the critics-at-large. Could this be that there are only two critics on the committee?

From JM (a/k/a Nydiva):
While it was a year of great theatre, it's also a year of no great surprises. Once again, what they really need is a category for the egregiously overlooked!
The nominations (in alphabetical order) are:
Michael Cumpsty, 1776
Judy Kaye, Ragtime
Robert Foxworth, Honor
Tuck Milligan, Herbal Bed,
Brent Spiner, 1776
among others I'm sure that deserve to be on this list.

From Connelly, Chris:
one major omission from the list of nominees - Norm Lewis for Supporting Actor in a Musical for "Side Show".

From daniel g romzek:
Thank God for a year of theater worth receiving awards!!!!!! One question.......scenic design for The Capeman? Cool wall in prison.....but a I remember is a really silly looking bus. Oh well, I guess they had to try to appease Mr. Simon and his attempt to fix musical theater.

From Rosenthal_S:
The one good thing that came out of the Tony flap a couple of years ago is that in the last two years, the Tony people have gotten their act together. There's really nothing most reasonable people could yell or scream about. One jump for joy is the nomination for Side Show. This was a tremendously moving show that, while flawed, deserved to have a longer run. Hopefully, this nomination will help it get performed by other theater groups. The only show that I saw that was unjustly ignored was The Old Neighborhood. Sure, it was a difficult play, but it was one that was thought-provoking and lasted with you long after the curtain call. That's something you rarely get in a play on Broadway.

From DGoSaxPro:
While reading the Tony Nominations this morning, I was greatly disappointed with the category for Best Featured Actor in a Musical. Steven Sutcliffe as Younger Brother in RAGTIME was sadly left out. His performance is brilliant and so deserving of the nomination. Perhaps he will win the Drama Desk later this week.

From DavidG:
I think that the nominations as a whole were representative of a very strong season on Broadway. One glaring omission, however, was Susan Egan in Triumph of Love. Although Buckley was good, it was Egan's show and she was spectacular. Anyway, I'll be rooting for Natasha Richardson, Allan Cumming, Marie Mullen, Tom Murphy and Tsidii LeLoka on Tony night.

From grabina2:
I was so happy to see the nominations for Side Show. The music and show are absolutely wonderful and I am sorry that it is not coming [back] to Broadway. I hope that Emily Skinner and Alice Ripley win for best actress because they did a fantastic job. Congratulations to Side Show for its tony nominations.

From KKightM:
I am happy with the nominations, except for THE SCARLET PIMPERNEL's nomination for Best Musical. What is that about?
I want Betty Buckley to win Best Actress, I've didn't see or hear- her in TRIUMPH OF LOVE- but she deserved a Tony for CARRIE!
...but then again- I love Alice Ripley and Emily Skinner.

From Tony (Lucky277):
Did none of the voters see the diary of anne frank? i flew all the way from michigan to see it and it was the most amazing play i have ever seen. in my opinion i expected it to walk with 8 nominations. best actress natalie portman, best actor george hearn, best featured actress linda lavin (hooray they got one), best featured actor austin pendelton, best play(make that two), best scenic design, best director.
I hope others feel the same. i would love to let the cast and crew know just how much they deserved these but it's too bad no one else agrees.
Thank you for letting me vent.

From Rachel:
I for one am thrilled with the Tony award nominations. I was a bit surprised at some of the people who weren't nominated, but in such an unbelievably competitive season, it is to be expected. Boy did I smile when I saw that Side Show got four nominations!! I hope Alice and Emily get to walk on that stage more than anything. I was also quite pleased to see Douglas Sills and of course Brian Stokes Mitchell and Peter Friedman. I think this years Tonys will be so exciting, especially since I will be there to watch them!! That is the best part of this years Tonys, and lasts for that matter. I think that selling the tix to the public is the best idea ever!!! I can't wait.

From Kevin Keane:
Leaving Liam Neeson off the list is a travesty. He is remarkable in the play. Shame on the Tony nominees!

From Delegentry:
Well, let me first say, I am very happy Ragtime got so many nominations!!! I'm really disappointed Proposals and Jackie: An American Life got no nominations!!! They were two of the best plays of the season, and no nominations!!!! And then, Triumph on got one, which was Betty Buckley, while happy she got it, I thought it was much better than some of the other musicals nominated in certain categories! Hurray!!!! You go girls, Alice Ripley and Emily Skinner....What a combo!!!! I'm very excited to see that Side Show got as many nominations as it did!! And then there is The Chairs!!! A glorious show, and what a nice job the Tony nominators did honoring it!!! Speaking of Honour...what happened to Laura Linney??? Oh well, I hear Jane Alexander is amazing!!!! Please excuse me, but The Lion King-best score???? Triumph of Love was better. I really like some Lion King songs, but as an overall score, Triumph was just better. All in all, I am pretty happy with the Tony nominations this year...we'll just have to see about the winners now!!!! And to the amazing Margaret Colin, who was wonderful as JAckie and got no nomination . . . I love you, think you are amazing, and you have won that category in my Tonys!!!!!

From PontMarie:
Loy Arcenas's sets for High Society were witty and wonderfully evocative, as well as very subtle. But subtlety is apparently an alien concept to the Tony nominators. That Arcenas wasn't nominated is just silly.

From Michael Shapiro:
All I have to say is that the results are what I expected. I knew when I saw Ragtime in LA that it would sweep the Tony's this year just because it had that all-American, flawless musical theater quality about it. Lion King didn't surprise me either considering it's a spectacle show and that everyone who I know has seen it has raved about it. As for Patti, I'm disappointed she wasn't nominated, but I haven't seen the show so who am I to criticize. I'm just happy that i'll be able to see her in the beginning of the awards teaching rosie how to be a diva. ah, i couldn't ask for a better opener!

From Elenor:
Overall, I am very pleased with the Tony nominations. As a bit SIDE SHOW and SCARLET PIMPERNEL fan, I was glad to see that they were not left out completely. The double nomination for Ripley/Skinner is odd, but very well deserved.
I can imagine a sweep for RAGTIME on Tony's night, however it may lose out for best Musical to THE LION KING. As shown with RENT and TITANIC in the last 2 years, the committee likes innovation and new ideas. That is THE LION KING. We shall see! The count down to June 7th begins today!

From Leon Williams:
What about the nominations for Best Ensemble in a Musical? Will this ever be a category in the Tony Awards? Ensembles are often such an integral part of the piece. Not only that, one of the ensemble's primary functions , dramatically and musically, in many shows is to provide cohesion and support for the interaction taking place amongst the protagonists portrayed by the leading actors who are nominated.
I think this is the biggest snub of all .
Does anybody care?

From David Franklin (
I am really surprised that Patti LuPone was overlooked for THE OLD NEIGHBORHOOD--although that is all I expected Mamet's production to be recognized for. Was not IVANOV worthy of something? SIDE SHOW's nods were most deserving.
And since my recommendation for a special Tony arrived too late, I want to mention who I consider most deserving--KIM STANLEY--America's greatest living lady of the stage--Actors Studio's greatest product of them all! Miss Stanley's contributions in the 1950's and 60's stagger the imagination- from THE TRAVELING LADY to PICNIC to BUS STOP et al. No doubt Stanley is in distinguished company among great living actresses in the Broadway Hall of Fame but she towers above them all.

From Anthony Dee:
I am glad Scarlet Pimpernel was nominated.

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