My reaction to today’s Tony Award nominations.

Well I got a Satisfactory “C” or 75% on my Tony Award nomination predictions.  How did you do?

I missed one in the Best Play nomination category and one in the Best Musical category.

In Best Play, I went with the almost-Pulitzer Bengal Tiger, which was pushed out by The “Mother” With The Hat (as Matthew Broderick called it on the Tony Awards live stream).  MF with the Hat has had quite a ride, with a first weekly gross of only $217k, a Michael Riedel article saying it was going to close in a week, and now . . . grosses of $600k-plus and a chance at Tony Gold!

In Best Musical, I tried to outsmart the Tony Award nominators, and got outsmarted in return.  Rather than go for two artistic choices, they stuck with just one, Scottsboro Boys, and gave the fourth and final spot to the original Sister Act. (I assume Sister’s original score is what gave it the advantage over Priscilla and its jukebox score.)

What else surprised me?

– My jaw is still on the floor that Daniel Radcliffe was snubbed for his superstar turn in How To Succeed.  Honestly, I don’t think I’ve ever been so disappointed that someone’s hard work and all around awesomeness wasn’t rewarded.  Was this a response to last year’s backlash that too many Hollywood stars were given award attention over Broadway stars?  That would explain the lack of noms for the star-driven, Oceans 11-like cast of That Chamionship Season.  (Now, will Radcliffe prove the better man and host/present anyway?  I’d bet yes.  But nominators?  Be on the look out, he just might throw a Furunculus Curse spell on you)

– Many a show and a performer were affected by something I’m now calling “The Scottsboro Syndrome.”  It’s when a closed but critically acclaimed show sneaks back in and gets a lot more nominations that anyone ever expected.  Catch Me’s score and choreography were just a few that were felled by “The Syndrome.”

– In this incredibly crowded season, a lot of shows were left without even a single nomination including Wonderland, Pee Wee, Elf, Ghetto Klown, Rain, A Free Man of Color, and a bunch more . . . most of which would have been included if we still had a Special Theatrical Event category (hint, hint).

What surprised you?

Now that the nominations are out, it’s time to start handicapping the actual awards!  I mean, come on, is there anything more exciting for a theater fan than the 6 weeks between nominations and the big day?

And it’s also time to try and win stuff!  Look for the announcement of our Tony Award Pool later this week!  Big prizes!  Big fun!

Click here for a complete list of The 2011 Tony Award Nominations.

 

(Got a comment?  I love ’em, so comment below!  Email subscribers, click here, then scroll down, to say what’s on your mind!)

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Comments
  • Jack says:

    I couldn’t agree with you more about Dan Radcliffe getting snubbed. I am so upset about that.

  • Kevin says:

    I am just SHOCKED beyond belief at Daniel Radcliffe being snubbed. I think it’s because the committee didn’t want to pick only ONE of the leads from BOOK OF MORMON? I don’t know. But Dan was stupendous. They should have just given him two Tony awards, one for each hand.

  • Jesse North says:

    Great reactions, Ken! I was really interested to read how strongly you felt about Daniel Radcliffe’s performance and subsequent snub. I definitely see what you mean.
    Here are my reactions:
    http://www.stage-rush.com/2011/05/2011-tony-awards-nominees-and-reactions/
    Jess

  • Holli says:

    I was most disappointed by Priscilla not being included in Best Musical. I haven’t seen Catch Me yet, but from word of mouth, I’m not running to the theatre. Sister Act was cute, but I enjoyed Priscilla so much more. I was surprised Radcliffe wasn’t nominated and that Nick Adams was snubbed in the Featured category. I really thought they both deserved recognition for their work. Happy for Scottosboro Boys & Josh Henry. In the past the Tonys have been (IMO) about money, so the # of noms for Scottsboro (which closed) was surprising. Are the Tonys actually awarding based on the work now? Wow!

  • Amyleigh1982 says:

    Does this new make Dan Radcilffe the Johnny Depp of Broadway? (Snub, snub, snub.) Some of the Tony magic started getting sacrificed when PBS stopped airing those beautiful design montages. Things have been sliding into disappointment ever since, especial last year when Hollywood swept the awards. I’m happy that some 2010 shows even got remembered, through.

  • Im so impressed with Daniel Radcliffe and his dancing. He’s crazy running around that stage. amazing!!!! it is sad. At least he gets rewarded with his paycheck every week.

  • Jared Bradshaw says:

    Ken- love the blog. The Catch me if You Can score not getting nominated really was a low blow. I think Scottsboro was a given there, though. I think this is where a smart producer, composer, or boutique record company gets a “leg up” for putting the cast album out asap.
    Women on the Verge- while blurred in the theatre- really is a sophisticated score- that was released this past month digitally, and I’m sure sent to nominators.
    Catch me if you can, is not living up to it’s title, and may have an album out by June- which is too late.
    If I wrote or produced a musical- ( easy for me to say) I’d make sure that $250K+ was part of my $12 million budget, and have the cd in peoples hands asap.
    How did they drop the ball?
    In other news- yes- Radcliffe is the reason that revival is happening- and he’s great! Tragedy.
    Wish I could raise a glass in Minneapolis Sunday. Jersey Boys tour leaves Minneapolis that afternoon.

  • Jay Clark says:

    I agree about Dan. I also thought James Earl Jones was Tony worthy…alas, a very crowded category already. Thanks for your thoughts Ken.

  • Broadwayjayb@aol.com says:

    I Was Really Happy For The Scottsboro Boys ! Joshua Henry, Colman, And Forrest!
    And The Best Performance Of The Year Eizabeth Rodriguez (The Viola Davis Of 2011)
    I’m Sorry Dan Was Not Great! With All Respect Any Chorus Boy Could Have Been 10 Times Better! J

  • Broadwayjayb@aol.com says:

    I Thought JEJs’ Performance With Respect To Ms. Redgrave’s Performance was way better! J

  • doug m says:

    Hey Ken – maybe you’ve done this before – i didn’t check – – who EXACTLY does the nominating? Is it a committee of 12? A larger group? The entire Tony voting bloc? And after the nominations – who votes? How many eligible voters are there and what organizations do they belong to? I don’t know all the specifics but heard many times that the population is small – and VERY slanted toward regional theater types. Do you know the scoop? Can you enlighten us all?

  • Here’s a list of the 2010-11 Tony Nominators:
    http://tinyurl.com/2dn5fua

  • Anita says:

    Ken, what would it mean for The Scottsboro Boys if it were to win for Best Musical?
    It had been doing so well before it opened on Broadway, would you expect it to be revived on Broadway?

  • I wouldn’t expect it to be revived in the near term, but the value of the subsidiary rights would be increased significantly.

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Ken Davenport
Ken Davenport

Tony Award-Winning Broadway Producer

I'm on a mission to help 5000 shows get produced by 2025.

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