What can you say about a Broadway season that was distinguished by adventurous revivals and crammed with superb performances? That it was a good year for actors and a challenging year for playwrights and musical theater composers and book-writers. The Great White Way continues to be on celebrity life-support, but, oh, who can complain about the lackluster array of new plays and musicals when
Here are my 10 takeaways from this year's Tony nominations.
1. If you still believe there's no front-runner in the mixed bag of new musicals, then you're clearly not paying close attention to the not-so-stealthy progress of "A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder," which leads the pack with 10 nominations and now has its murderous sights set on the top Tony prize.
2. If you’re an actor, it pays to put on a dress. Just ask Samuel Barnett, Paul Chahidi and Rylance of the all-male “Twelfth Night” brought from London by Shakespeare’s Globe that also picked up a nomination for
3. If you're the brilliant Rylance, it doesn't matter whether you're in drag or not. He got nominated for his lead performance in "Richard III" as well as for his featured performance as Olivia in "Twelfth Night." (Rylance's nomination in the lead actor in a play category along with that of his costar Barnett upset the predictions of pundits for this very crowded category, yet their Shakespeare work deserves to hog the laurels.)
4. If you're not Rylance, then you should dearly hope you're Audra McDonald, nominated for her magnificent transformation into Billie Holiday in "Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill." A five-time winner, McDonald will get a crack at winning for best lead performance in a play, giving her a complete set of Tony acting awards for her trophy warehouse.
5. If you’re associated with a lucrative movie franchise, don't bank on Tony love, no matter the depth of your commitment to the stage, as was discovered the hard way by
6. If you’re a TV or movie actor shopping for a part, the less experimental the play, the better, as the fine cast of “The Realistic Joneses” discovered this morning. The disappointment for me wasn’t that Will Eno’s play wasn’t nominated but that there was no room to acknowledge
7. If you’re
8. If your name is
9. If you’re an actress, it never hurts getting cast in “A Raisin in the Sun.” Kudos to
10. If you’re an actor in “A Raisin in the Sun,” it's probably best to be in the ballpark of the age of the character you’re playing, even if you’re a bona fide superstar like