My reaction to the 2012 Tony Nominations. How were my predictions?

First of all, grrrrrrr.

Ok, now that I’ve gotten that out of the way.

Grrrrrrr . . .

Sorry, one more snuck in there.

Ok, on to it.

I scored a 75% again this year, missing the wildcard spot in all four categories.

– For Best Musical, I went with the critically adorned Fall musical, Lysistrata Jones.  I thought the reviews, plus the “original-ness”, plus Douglas Carter Beane, would add up to a nomination for LJ.  But nope . . . instead, in comes the more recently opened Leap of Faith to snag the spot, once again proving that late Spring openings are definitely more advantageous to Fall openings (expect an even greater Spring opening crunch next year than this year).

– For Best Play, I went with Seminar over Venus in Fur.  I had a feeling that One Man, Two Guvnors would be left out (partially due to the controversy over it being a New Play or a Revival, I think).  In the end, I think Venus got the edge thanks to the powerhouse performance of Nina Arianda.  A great performance can make a play even greater than it already is.

– For Best Revival of a Musical, I went with my own, Godspell, instead of JCS.  And frankly, I still think I was right, and I’m confused, concerned, and yeah, a little bit angry.  Nope, scratch that, a whole lot angry.  The creative team and the incredible cast on that stage deserved some recognition for the work they’ve done.  And I’m disappointed that the tremendous number of people that supported that show won’t be able to root for it on Tony Night, but I’ll listen to the advice of the composer of Godspell and try not to let it “weeble” me.

– For Best Revival of a Play, I got the Wit right!  But missed on the Master Class nod, which replaced my Streetcar.  I’m surprised that the Nominators stretched their minds back that far, but good for them.  It can’t be easy keepin’ all these shows straight.

Other surprises?

LJ and DCB did get a nomination for Best Book (which probably is in lieu of the big nom that I thought it would get).

– Two PLAYS got best score noms!  Peter and the Starcatcher and One Man, Two Guvnors.  What does that say about the future of original scores for the theater?  Or maybe in the future more plays will add scores to try and steal another nom?

– It was no surprise that Audra was nominated again.  It’s just fun to think about her winning a fifth . . . at only 41.

– Thrilled to see the great talents of Chris Gattelli, Celia Keenan-Bolger, Norm Lewis and Danny Burstein on the ballot this year.  Great people and great talents.  Go get ’em, guys.

So I got a 75%.  How did you do?  What were your reactions?  And yes, please feel free to express your disappointment about Godspell here (and all over social media) as well.  🙂

For a complete list of this year’s nominations, click here.


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  • Michael Reed says:

    I echo that GRRRRRR, so angry not to see Godspell among the nominees. A wonderful production that still has so much to be proud of!

  • J says:

    Leap of Faith, really?! I’m surprised the Tonys still have any credibility left.

    Sorry about Godspell Ken…

  • TJ Davis says:

    Things need to change about the way these nominations are made. I mean, to an outsider it almost seems silly that a group of amazingly talented adult professionals would allow a handful of people go into a room and pass judgement on their work, knowing that the judgement that is passed will in large measure determine the commercial success or failure of their work in the near and distant future. Who would ever agree to that? It’s offensive to everyone involved in the shows that get “snubbed”.
    Also, I’m pretty sure that the people that choose the nominees are not a good representation of how the theatregoing population in general would react if they had the chance to see all of the shows. Award shows are supposed to help the industry that they serve. It doesn’t look like the Tony’s have done that for a long time. It doesn’t matter how deeply rooted the traditions are, changes should be made in the way things are done in order to help the industry and the professional and passionate people that work in it.

  • MattChow says:

    I preferred Godspell over JCS but I preferred both of the Jesus shows over Evita. I guess it will all be moot when Follies takes home the tony.
    I’m really annoyed that music for plays is being included in the best score category. If they’re going to go that route then they should separate the music and lyric categories so those poor lyricists can get some recognition!
    In the words of Mrs. Oscar Hammerstein, “My husband wrote ‘Ol’ Man River.’ Mrs. Kern’s husband wrote ‘Da-da dee-da.’”

  • Jake says:

    Re: LJ, more than a spring opening, I think it’s advantageous for a show to still be running at Tony nom time.

  • Louis says:

    Leap of Faith??? Seriously??? Grrrrrr!!!

    I get that it needs the most “help” in the ticket sales dept. but common…..
    Even Spider Man, Ghost OR Bonnie and Clyde are more deserving…… But like I said…..Bonnie already closed………Spiderman is totally fine…..Ghost has the big Movie Box Office name draw… I “get it”……I HATE IT…..but I “get it”. The proof is the fact that it got nominated for NOTHING else….if the writing was so good or Raul was so amazing and the critics love him then why were they not nominated in those respective categories? I wanted to like it….I really did….I love Raul over all….
    The committee was clearly throwing them a bone because they knew without that nomination they close on this coming Sunday. Now at least they will run at least another month. I just feel for people like the cast of Lystretta Jones (I didn’t comment earlier on them because I didn’t get to see it) but even the Times raved about them.

    Tough break on Godspell….it was a hard year in that category….

  • Ok, this is why I rarely watch the Tonys anymore. I can’t believe that GODSPELL was locked out of all categories. I cried happy tears at the end because it was just the perfect theatre experience and epitozed what theatre is all about.

    Happy for Audra, Norm, Danny Burnstein, Michael Ceveris, Judith Light, PETER AND THE STARCATCHER, MASTER CLASS, Nina and VENUS IN FUR.

    What is up with NICE WORK IF YOU CAN GET IT? I never understood the nomination and win of CRAZY FOR YOU and I don’t understand this. How is a bunch of existing somgs strung together by a new story an “original” musical? It’s not like there was a lack of new shows and this was a “fill the slot” nod.

    I don’t understand SUPERSTAR in best revival as the book was inherently flawed from the beginning.

    And what about LYSISTRATA JONES? People were drooling over it and it’s suddenly forgotten?

    Yes, even with NPH as host, I think this a year to watch the highlights on youtube.

  • Ian says:

    I haven’t even seen Godspell and I’m angry…. it’s my favorite show and I can’t help but feel it was locked out for being to “feel good”, “tacky” ,or the fact that it used younger stars from tv. Godspell is just a show that has no respect anymore people consider it too preachy and feel good. I can understand not getting best revival, it was a tough year, but the total lockdown shows how closed minded the Tony’s have become.

  • Amy Leigh says:

    Maybe it was the fall opening that faded Godspell from people’s lips. It seemed that those who saw it all loved it – did the nominators SEE all of the shows or just let majority rule? I doubt that Spider-Man’s team ever cared about getting a top tier nom. I am glad that someone remembered Bonnie & Clyde though but, geeez, talk about an upset season!

  • Amy Leigh says:

    In addition, I find myself asking ‘WWHPD’? (What would Hal Prince do?)Turn around and have Somewhere in Time kick @$$, that’s what.

  • David says:

    Leap of Faith as best new musical takes away ALL legitimacy of the tony committee for me. It wasn’t nominated for ANYTHING else, yet its considered a best new musical?!?!

    LJ should have been nominated.

  • Jeremy says:

    I spoke to you after Nick Blaemire’s talkback in February. I saw 4 shows in NYC that week and at the top of my list of shows I’m still talking about is Godspell. The revival was fresh with great additions and interpretations. Sorry you guys weren’t recognized with a TONY nomination, but you have fans of the show who left inspired by the performances at Circle in the Square and are still talking about that night in the theatre. I wanted you to know that I’m one of those people! Best!

  • Lizbeth says:

    I was rooting for Godspell as it’s been a favorite of mine for years and is the only play I’ve actually seen many, many times and in many incarnations. I just saw Godspell in March with my daughter and friends and we all adored it. The staging was brilliant and beautiful. So glad I had the opportunity to introduce my 15-year-old to Godspell this way. It is something neither of us will forget.

  • Karlie says:

    While I enjoyed Leap of Faith for what it was, or rather is, I am honestly so surprised that it garnered a Best New Musical nomination. It has heart, but the production is messy at best.

    And Godspell. Well, let’s just say that my heart weeps today. While the show may not have been a critic favorite, it astounds me that not a single nomination was given for the incredible work that is done on stage every night (and behind the scenes). I’m not necessarily surprised because I know every year that I’m disappointed with the nominations, but this year I think I may be more hurt than ever. And the fact that JCS got a nomination over it. . . Well. Let’s just not talk about it.

  • Kathleen Hochberg says:

    I am weebled!(sorry Stephen) shocked and as angry as the prodigal son’s stay at home brother!!It is so obvious the choice was made by some whose ability to recognize real talent is sorely lacking. I am so sorry for everyone involved who, despite stupidity, rock on unweebled! You move thousands in the course of two and one half hours from laughter to tears every week. No nomination or award is more fulfilling than knowing that and that is why you do what you do… “Keep the corners of your mouth turned up”

  • Lisa B says:

    Godspell will run long after Leap of Faith closes. We just went with a group to see Godspell again this past weekend and loved it As much as the first time. The nominations didn’t surprise me, really. I did not love Nice Work if you Can get it – strong individual performances, good costumes and choreography, old standby standards and a terrible book. But it speaks to the mindset of the nominating committee – standard and comfortable – the audience might hum a tune or two as they leave, but it ultimately offers no substance. Sorry for the Godspell shut out, but the work is solid and art is made at every performance.

  • alex De Witt says:

    Yeah, Leap? No. I second whomever said “who the heck are these Tony nominators and why do they get to chose?”

    And Godspell should’ve got something!

  • Ray Quirolgico says:

    I was perplexed over: two actors got nominated for “Follies,” but Bernadette Peters did not? Sorry, I like Ron Raines and Danny Burstein a lot, but the women really carried that show, had more hauntingly beautiful performances, and I’ve always felt that the men were supporting character to the women.

    I’m mad over: no nominations for “Chinglish” or “The Mountaintop.” I won’t wave the race card here, but come on: those may have been shows with some flaws (all shows have them), but can’t we start cultivating diversity on Broadway by recognizing bold originality and creative imaginations (and people who create stories instead of just reviving them)?

    I’m sad over: snubs for “Lysistrata Jones” and “Godspell” – the former was the smartest, sassiest, smartest, and funniest theatrical joy I had seen in a long time, and the latter was simply thrilling from start to finish including the on-stage intermission, and I can still be brought to tears with just those memories. I will be loyal to the end to your revival and to a terrific and gracious cast and company. The Tonys missed out on that one in a big way.

    Don’t get me wrong: I’ll still be honoring the Gay High Holy Day with my ballot in one hand and my glass of wine in the other, but I already feel disconnected from the experience in an odd “wah-wah” mood. Oh well. I guess that’s show business?

  • Judi says:

    I’m in shock. I expected Hunter, Telly, and Uzo to be nominated. I expected the show to be nominated. We had a marathon Broadway week in Mid-March and saw Godspell, JCSS, Evita, Ghost, Wit, and Salesman. I’m sorry, I’ve ALWAYS been a JCSS fan, but Godspell FAR OUTSHINED JCSS and Evita. I thought it was a joke at first. A BAD joke.


  • Judi says:

    Ya know? I sat at the TKTS booth near the line the day after I say Godspell and people asked my opinion about what tickets to buy and I SAID GODSPELL!!! It was beyond amazing…again, I’m dumbfounded and a bit ANGRY that it was snubbed.

    The only thing I was happy about today was that Ricky Martin and Elena Rodger WEREN’T NOMINATED.

    And Josh Young got SICK 15 minutes in to the performance of JCSS and the guy who took over KILLED IT! Judas is a primo role than ANYONE who can belt out those songs can do well. I’m SOO pissed about HUNTER!!!

  • Keith M says:

    I’m so glad to see I’m not the only person supremely annoyed with both best musical and best revival of a musical. Leap of Faith? Really? I’m beyond baffled as to how they can justify nominating a show for best musical that doesn’t have a single other nomination. If it is possibly the best musical this season why is there nothing else to show for it? I’m particularly interred in your opinion of LOF getting the 4th nomination. I personally would have gone with either Spider-man or Bonnie & Clyde, maybe even Ghost. But seriously? LOF? I was trying to fall asleep at 9:15 last night but as revelations of all the poor nominations that could be made this morning I started venting and irrationally an prematurely freaking out. Needless to say some of my fears materialized others did not. Thankfully they all didn’t or I may have ripped the TV out of my wall on June 10th in protest.
    For best revival I was expecting follies evita and porgy and bess and I as well expected Godspell to fill that category. I saw the show in Dec. and literally haven’t stopped talking about it. So many innovative ideas to hold the audience and really make for an amazingly intimate theater experience. Thinking about it now is still just giving me warm fuzzies haha. So yeah. I’m here in Ohio Grrrrrrrring with you.

  • Tim Reid says:

    Can’t stop talking about Godspell and only care for the show’s sake about zero nominations. I’m sure the Tony boost would have been helpful and good for individual nominees – BUT you know you’re doing a moving and profound show that is like no other. You know the cast has crazy talent. You know the show is embossed in people’s minds and hearts as they leave. Your work has SOUL and this family felt the blessing the Tonys missed! There are thousands more like us – keep the faith!

  • ancroiait says:

    I feel better now.
    Very happy for ONCE

  • Ellen says:

    Ken-I’ve used every other medium to express my sadness (multiple times on Twitter, Facebook status, etc.) but wanted to tell you directly again what an amazing job every single human being associated with Godspell has done. This was a true collaborative celebration. As I’ve told you in person and here, you and DG had such a tough job taking care with updating this show that means so much to so many, and that is just one of the reasons Godspell deserved to be nominated. This was no ordinary revival; it was tricky and required an amazing amount of creativity, imagination and willingness to take risks. From the moment I first saw a “leak” in the ceiling through every time I’ve returned, I’ve been moved, uplifted, filled with joy and, most importantly, entertained. The cast (and band and crew) has been brilliant, and works their collective butt off each and every show.

    I saw every nominated revival and there is simply no reasonable rationale for not nominating Godspell. Although I had a pre-existing love for this show, it is that past experience that actually made me approach this revival with trepidation, and therefore increased my objectivity.

    You all have given us a great gift. Godspell should have been nominated and the committee, while it made some other good decisions, should be ashamed of themselves about this one.

    Thank you always. Ellen (@StageElf)

  • Lisa Poelle says:

    I just read all the comments above and I have to say….I LOVE being a member of this team! This is a fantastic show that deserves to keep running for years. Let’s all crank up the energy and get thousands of people out to see it. Keep the faith, Ken.

  • Alan B. says:

    Obviously, the people who picked the nominees for a Tony never bothered to actually see GODSPELL! What a farce.

  • diane uniman says:

    Please stay a weeble! You are one of the most talented theater dudes on the planet right now….such energy and consistent drive and vision and good horse sense all rolled into one. Everyone knows it!I am excited for what is next in your future!

  • Joe Katz says:

    Has it occurred to any of you that perhaps the reason Godspell didn’t get nominated is because it was universally panned and is an objectively bad production.

  • Liz Turner says:

    Ken and the cast of godspell,
    We were so shocked and upset to hear that Godspell had not been nominated this year. When we saw Godspell, we thought it was the best show all year! You guys have worked so hard and are all so very talented at your crafts, and I am sure I can find a thousand people to back me up on this, we all know you guys deserved to have a nomination, but don’t let this bring you guys down. We all know in this business, it is full of politics, unfairness, and a lot of things that are beyond our control, and we must stay strong and true to our craft, and I agree long live Godspell!

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