Three Tonys, One Award: The Billy Elliots’ Joint Nom


We just came across a post on the New York Times Arts Beat blog that explained that due to a ruling by the Tonys committee, the three boys who rotate the role of Billy Elliot “would be considered jointly for a single nomination for leading actor in a musical.” They are not eligible as individuals.

Our reaction? Well, that just doesn’t seem fair. There’s no way David Alvarez, Trent Kowalik, and Kiril Kulish — aka the three Billys — deliver the exact same performances, even if they are treated as equals by the producers and the creative team. Note: if they win all three will get their own statue.

According to the Times, there’s precedent:

“A spokeswoman for the Tony Awards Administration committee, which made the decision, said on Thursday evening that the ruling had some precedent: Emily Skinner and Alice Ripley, who played the Siamese twins in Side Show, received a joint nomination for lead actress in a musical in 1998, and all of the children in the 1960 production of The Sound of Music were nominated for featured actress in a play (even though some of the children were boys).”

OK, well neither of those examples seem very fair to us either. And important to note, none of these oddball nominations resulted in a win. Maybe someone was trying to make sure they didn’t have a fighting chance. Can you imagine this kind of thing happening with an Academy Award? Or even an Emmy?

On a random note, is there anyone else who loved the film version of this story but finds the idea of the musical completely annoying? Maybe we’ve just grown more jaded over the past nine years, but we can’t get psyched enough to pay 100 bones to see it.