Entertainment & Arts

Tony Awards 2012: No clear front-runners for Tuesday’s nominations

Foxwoods Theatre
The marquee for the Broadway musical “Spider-Man Turn: Off the Dark” at the Foxwoods Theatre in New York.
(Charles Sykes / Associated Press)

This story has been updated.

If there’s one thing that Broadway insiders can agree on this season, it’s that there is no clear front-runner for the Tony Awards. The season lacks the blockbuster Tony magnets of recent years, such as “The Book of Mormon,""War Horse” or “Billy Elliot.”

The Tony nominations are scheduled to be announced early Tuesday morning in New York. Perhaps the biggest source of suspense will be how “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark” will fare. Although the musical began previews in 2010, this season marks the first time that the troubled production -- which is directed (sort of) by Julie Taymor and features a score by U2’s Bono and The Edge -- is eligible for awards consideration.

Other new musicals this season include “Once,” “Newsies,” “Ghost” and “Leap of Faith” -- though none of them has generated much critical or awards excitement.


The most crowded category this year is for new play. The leading contenders are Bruce Norris’ “Clybourne Park,” Jon Robin Baitz’s “Other Desert Cities,” Theresa Rebeck’s “Seminar,” David Auburn’s “The Columnist,” David Ives’ “Venus in Fur” and Richard Bean’s “One Man, Two Guvnors.”

Competition could also come from Katori Hall’s “The Mountaintop,” Nicky Silver’s “The Lyons,” David Henry Hwang’s “Chinglish” and Lydia R. Diamond’s “Stick Fly.”

In the revival categories, the surest bet is Arthur Miller’s “Death of a Salesman,” starring Philip Seymour Hoffman and Andrew Garfield, which has been generating healthy business at the box office, thanks to its considerable star power. The production, directed by Mike Nichols, has also been the season’s biggest critical success. Among musical revivals, the strongest contenders are “Jesus Christ Superstar,” “Follies,” “The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess” and “Evita.”

The acting nominees likely will feature many familiar names. Among the strong contenders are: Hoffman and Garfield for “Salesman”; Cynthia Nixon for “Wit”; Audra McDonald for “Porgy and Bess”; Stockard Channing and Rachel Griffiths for “Other Desert Cities”; and John Lithgow for “The Columnist.”


The Tonys ceremony is scheduled to take place June 10 at the Beacon Theatre in New York and will be broadcast live on CBS, with a delay for the West Coast. Neil Patrick Harris is once again to serve as host for the ceremony.
[Updated: A previous version of this story referred to “Peter and the Starcatcher” as a musical. It is in fact a “play with music.”]


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