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Tony Nominees 2012: The Good

OMG, the Tony nominations are officially decided! Here’s our take on what we loved, what we hated, and who got massively left out of the fun. First, we give you…

Porgy & Bess Is Good, Duh
You know what’s super crazy? The pre-opening brouhaha over Porgy & Bess — wherein Stephen Sondheim expressed his displeasure with a show he’d never even seen — genuinely affected the conversation surrounding the show. Given Sondheim’s cache as a theatrical genius, lots of smart people read his comments and assumed he was right. Well… he wasn’t. Beautifully directed and filled with incredible performances, it was one of this year’s strongest offerings. And it was pretty awesome to see the Tonys acknowledge that. With 10 nominations, it’s one of this year’s top Tony contenders. Thumbs up to the nominating committee for ignoring the static.

Judas Makes It to the Church on Time
You guys–we’ve been holding our breath for weeks, and this morning, there his name was: Josh Young. Up for his introspective, smoldering, beautifully sung performance as Judas in Jesus Christ Superstar, the craziest part of this story is how it almost didn’t happen. Vocally incapacitated by illness at the eleventh hour, Young missed a bunch of previews, and almost didn’t get the all-clear to perform on opening night, which would have lost him any shot at a nomination. Now it’s time to start daydreaming about what he’ll be wearing on the red carpet to offset those beautiful curls…

Laura Osnes Is Here! Let’s Party!
Our favorite out-of-nowhere nod is this one. Bonnie & Clyde wasn’t exactly the season’s best musical, but Laura’s performance — and especially her sing-your-face-off delivery of Frank Wildhorn’s songs — was totally Tony-nom-worthy. If Jeremy Jordan is Broadway’s reigning crown prince, Laura Osnes is so the princess. Gorgeous and sweet as pie, she seems poised to be a major star. And we cannot wait to see what she wears to the ceremony.

Extra, Extra! Jeremy Jordan Is So Badass and So Is Newsies
We’re obsessed with this show for its tuneful songs and its dreamy cast, sure. But really, our fixation is fully rooted in the sweet sense of nostalgia this show holds for us. That’s our childhood up there, you guys! So of course we’re rooting for Newsies, which garnered eight nominations this morning. We’re especially hopeful for Jeremy Jordan, who is so much more than your average Broadway prettyboy. His Jack Kelly is a genuine, rafter-shaking force. Give the boy his Tony! Before Hollywood figures it out and snatches him away forever…

Once is Never Enough When it Comes to Tony Nominations
Score one — or eleven — for smart, nuanced, brave theater. And for little shows that dream really big and the gutsy folks who take the risk to produce them. With zero show-stopping production numbers, a cast of theater actors instead of famous names, and no easy, pat ending in sight, Once isn’t your traditional Tony-nominated show, or your traditional Broadway musical, and yet, it scored more nominations than any other show this season. We love it — the Great White Way should be home to shows of all shapes and sizes and flavors — and we hope everyone at the onstage pub in the Jacobs tonight raises an extra glass in celebration.

Andrew Garfield Has the Swagger
Hollywood stars totally can’t cut it onstage, right? Well… wrong. Especially in the case of Andrew Garfield, who’s tearing up the stage eight times a week as Biff in Death of a Salesman — and more than holding his own opposite the formidable Philip Seymour Hoffman. His mournful/forceful performance was a shoe-in for a nod. It might even be worthy of a win, and his moviestaaah cred could certainly help. We wouldn’t be sad if it happened. And we wouldn’t ever be sad to see his pretty mug on our TV.

Peter and the Starcatcher Rakes In the Treasure Hand Over Fist
Move the fuck over, War Horse, there’s a new family friendly play steamrolling its way to the Beacon Theater. Decidedly low on flashy stagecraft, Starcatcher’s genius lies in how simply and authentically it tells audiences its tale — like the Broadway version of the best backyard summer production you ever managed in grade school. Neither too sophisticated for children nor too juvenile for adults, Starcatcher panders to exactly zero people, which makes its 9 nominations (more than any other play) feel so good. Especially exciting are nods for the show’s stars: Christian Borle, Celia Keenan-Bolger, and for directors Roger Rees and Alex Timbers, the latter of which is the hottest director on Broadway in all senses.

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