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Tony Nominees 2013: The Left Field

Kinky Boots Dominates Everyone
Since basically September, anyone who was anyone viewed the Tonys as the race for second place to Matilda. In basically all relevant categories. And then, Ben Brantley jizzed all over it, and that seemed like a done deal. Matilda for everything. Until yesterday morning. When somehow, Kinky Boots dominated EVERYONE with 13 Nominations. Even if the Matlida girls had been eligible for Lead Actress it wouldn’t have beat Kinky Boots. How did this even happen, nominating committee? And can we have some of whatever you were on when you saw Kinky Boots? We bet it was fun.

Stark Sands earns Lead Actor in a Musical (And there go Billy Porters hopes and dreams)
We’ve been smitten with Stark Sands since the moment we first saw him sing–in The Twelfth Night–and were totally thrilled to see him nominated for a Tony this morning. But where the hell did he come from? In the lead up to the nominations, homeboy’s name was on nobody’s lips. Any talk of actor nods for Kinky Boots was almost exclusively about Billy Porter, who’d actually seemed like the season’s most credible competitor to Bertie Carvel (already an Olivier winner for this role). Too bad he’s likely to split the Kinky vote with Stark, now. Looks like Bertie’s all but locked this shit up.

Anthony Warlow
So, let’s get this straight. You ship Anthony Warlow all the way over here from Australia. He gives the most solidly charming performance in a somewhat tedious musical about and for screaming young children. He’s benevolent and handsome and he’s in all these stupid ads all over town that are weirdly sexual in a way that we kind of appreciate, but that still make us vaguely uncomfortable. And you’re not giving this man a Tony nomination? Are you joking? No wonder we can’t get Ramin Karimloo over here for more than a week at a time.

Where Are You, Daniel Sullivan?
Nowhere near the Tony nominations, it turns out. With two high-profile shows this season, Sullivan couldn’t squeeze out a single nomination anywhere. It’s a bit of a shame, too. We kind of loved his sparse, jerky Glengarry, Glen Ross, and his paranoid, Archie-Bunker-meets-Headbangers-Ball take on Orphans. Plus, isn’t the deal that if Daniel Sullivan shows up, he should get nominated for something, whether he totally deserves it or not? Isn’t that usually how the Tonys work?

Also, Bette Midler? Bueller?
Not an ounce of love for Midler in her well-reviewed performance as Hollywood agent Sue Mengers. This just wasn’t the year for solo shows, apparently. Or famous people. Or known quantities. You know, all the things that Broadway has been busting its collective ass to produce for the last six years.

So Much Cinderella
Much as we love its stellar cast, we’re sort of breaking our brains over how this frustrating revival (or whatever it is…) has somehow found itself nominated for nine Tonys. William Ivey Long’s costumes dazzle, but you’ve seen them all before, from Disneyland to Sex and the City to Whoville. Best book? Totes no effing way, as the characters themselves would say, in totally anachronistic fashion. Best revival? Sound design? Lighting? Maybe we’re as grumpy and jaded as the wicked stepsisters… except they’re not grumpy and jaded any more. Get with the times, dudette. Cinderella is modern now! So let’s give her some Tonys and stuff.

Stephanie J Block for Lead Actress in a Musical, Drood
Her performance in Drood was, admittedly, great. And without the Matlidas, the Lead Actress in a Musical category had certainly opened up, but Stephanie J Block’s name still came out of nowhere. Drood has been closed for months and sadly, even Lilla Crawford seemed to have more awards buzz than Block. That being said, we’re stoked to see a woman, and not an insufferable stage child, snag the fifth slot. That she’s a hardworking, genuine theater star, only makes us happier. Can’t wait to see this beautiful lady and her handsome husband Sebastian Arcelus hit the red carpet in June.

{ 6 comments… add one }

  • Mari May 1, 2013, 12:12 pm

    I’m guessing the Craptacular really doesn’t like child actors and musicals featuring many kids.
    Or maybe it’s just Annie.

    • Matt May 2, 2013, 9:32 am

      No, I’m getting a vibe that they definitely despise children in general.

      • lucky May 2, 2013, 10:11 am

        To take my comments on a Broadway musical and then extrapolate that I despise children is a pretty big jump, for starters.

        But to be clear: The trend in recent years has been to make musicals about and for children because they sell like gangbusters. Wicked. Cinderella. Every Disney musical. Spider-Man. There’s nothing wrong with that, but I like my theater smart, grownup, and about things that are relevant to my life. I also recognize that it’s risky and difficult to make serious theater for adults, but when it works, it’s my favorite kind of theater. We’re just expressing personal preference here. To qualify or dilute those kinds of statements is… not in our DNA. To say the least.


  • Phil May 1, 2013, 12:12 pm

    And yet you still fail to mention the shows and people that truly deserve to be nominated for outstanding work – Have you SEEN Macbeth? Sure, it gets a little muddy at times, but why don’t YOU try doing that show (essentially) on your own?
    And the same goes for Fiona Shaw – a brilliant actress already – in The Testament of Mary. If anything, I thought the Tonys committee got it backwards by nominating the show and not the actress.

  • Davey May 1, 2013, 12:26 pm

    I am sick of the putdowns of Cinderella. Despite the problematic book, which drags down the pace of the show. I enjoyed this musical every bit as much as Matilda and Pippin, which by the way, seems far more desperate to dazzle on a third viewing. Pippin was a bit more charming in Boston.

    As far as Stephanie Block goes, I thought there was a lot of talk online about her getting nominated since there were so many strong lead female performances in a musical this year. Though she seems part of the ensemble to me.

  • Kyle May 1, 2013, 12:45 pm

    I don’t understand how the nominating committee put Block in the lead actress category. Yes, she plays the title role, but Will Chase is on stage just as much, and he is nominated for feature. It seems odd.

    And the Special Tony for the four Matildas (who are only doing two shows a week) is ridiculous.

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