After a live stream — announced by Jane Krakowski and Christopher Jackson — earlier this morning, the list of 2017 Tony nominees is complete, and it features, you’ll never guess: shows! And actors!
Only one of the shows (Groundhog Day the Musical) nominated in the musical category also falls into the “Adaptation of a Film That Maybe Didn’t Need to Become a Broadway Musical But Is Actually Somehow Supposed to Be Good” category. The show that received the most nominations is actually pretty weird for Broadway — it is still an adaptation, but one based on a bit of the otherwise damn unadaptable-as-a-whole War and Peace. The Ars Nova-incubated immersive pop opera (I can see where to some that combination of words might elicit a pained grimace) starring Josh Groban (perhaps another grimace?) and Denée Benton, Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812, earned 12 nominations, with Groban and Benton earning actress and actor in a musical nominations.
Dear Evan Hansen, about a teenage suicide, and another high schooler who gets caught in increasingly elaborate lies about his friendship with the boy who died, also scored a number of nods, and the Washington Post deemed it the frontrunner for the Best Musical category due to its critical success. Come From Away, likewise nominated for Best Musical, is also an unexpected story to set to showtunes, based on the events following September 11 in the small Newfoundland town of Gander, where 38 planes had to land following the attacks in the States.
The recent, Bette Midler-starring revival of Hello Dolly landed a close second, following Great Comet, with 10 nominations. (Hilton Als’ piece on the musical rightfully focused on Midler’s skill over the revived show itself: “The role of Dolly isn’t necessarily tailor-made for Midler—she’s infinitely more complicated and funny and there isn’t a corny bone in her body—but she has remade the character in her own image: as a scrappy trickster with needs and vulnerabilities,” he wrote.”)
As for plays in which people don’t break out into song, Lynn Nottage’s Sweat, which just earned her the Pulitzer, was nominated for Best Play, and also scored Best Actress nominations for its two leads, Johanna Day and Michelle Wilson (playing old friends, hanging in a bar, who used to work in a factory together; and who’ve been subtly driven apart by matters of poverty, race, and other hardships beleaguering America’s neglected working class.) Paula Vogel, another Pulitzer winner (for How I Learned to Drive), got a nod for best play for Indecent, her Broadway debut about the 1922 play God of Vengeance, a Yiddish piece of theater that caused a scandal in New York due to an onstage kiss between two women. Notable among the nominees for theatrical revivals were Ruben Santiago-Hudson’s production of August Wilson’s Jitney (also nominated for best director, best featured actor for John Douglas Thompson, and a bunch of technical awards), the Alison Janney-starring Six Degrees of Separation, and the production of Lillian Helman’s The Little Foxes, in which Cynthia Nixon and Laura Linney rotate characters on different evenings. (Linney scored a nomination for “Best Lead Actress,” while Nixon got one for “Best Featured Actress.”)
Cate Blanchett won a nomination for her lauded performance in the otherwise panned Chekhov adaptation, The Present. The perennially amazing Laurie Metcalf and Chris Cooper were both nominated for their lead performances in the Sam Gold-directed production of A Doll’s House, Part 2, a sequel of sorts to Henrik Ibsen’s classic, written by Lucas Hnath. That play was also nominated for Best Play, and Condola Rashad earned a features actress nom for it.
James Earl Jones will be taking home an immensely deserved lifetime achievement award.
Here’s the full list of nominees (h/t Washington Post):
Best play A Doll’s House, Part 2 Indecent Oslo Sweat
Best musical Come From Away Dear Evan Hansen Groundhog Day The Musical Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812
Best book of a musical Come From Away, Irene Sankoff and David Hein Dear Evan Hansen, Steven Levenson Groundhog Day The Musical, Danny Rubin Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812, Dave Malloy
Best original score (music and/or lyrics) written for the theatre Come From Away, Music and lyrics: Irene Sankoff and David Hein Dear Evan Hansen, Music and lyrics: Benj Pasek & Justin Paul Groundhog Day The Musical, Music and lyrics: Tim Minchin Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812, Music and lyrics: Dave Malloy
Best revival of a play Jitney The Little Foxes Present Laughter Six Degrees of Separation
Best revival of a musical Falsettos Hello, Dolly! Miss Saigon
Best performance by an actor in a leading role in a play Denis Arndt, Heisenberg Chris Cooper, A Doll’s House, Part 2 Corey Hawkins, Six Degrees of Separation Kevin Kline, Present Laughter Jefferson Mays, Oslo
Best performance by an actress in a leading role in a play Cate Blanchett, The Present Jennifer Ehle, Oslo Sally Field, The Glass Menagerie Laura Linney, Lillian Hellman’s The Little Foxes Laurie Metcalf, A Doll’s House, Part 2
Best performance by an actor in a leading role in a musical Christian Borle, Falsettos Josh Groban, Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812 Andy Karl, Groundhog Day The Musical David Hyde Pierce, Hello, Dolly! Ben Platt, Dear Evan Hansen
Best performance by an actress in a leading role in a musical Denée Benton, Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812 Christine Ebersole, War Paint Patti LuPone, War Paint Bette Midler, Hello, Dolly! Eva Noblezada, Miss Saigon
Best performance by an actor in a featured role in a play Michael Aronov, “Oslo” Danny DeVito, “Arthur Miller’s The Price” Nathan Lane, “The Front Page” Richard Thomas, “Lillian Hellman’s The Little Foxes” John Douglas Thompson, “August Wilson’s Jitney”
Best performance by an actress in a featured role in a play Johanna Day, Sweat Jayne Houdyshell, A Doll’s House, Part 2 Cynthia Nixon, Lillian Hellman’s The Little Foxes Condola Rashad, A Doll’s House, Part 2 Michelle Wilson, Sweat
Best performance by an actor in a featured role in a musical Gavin Creel, Hello, Dolly! Mike Faist, Dear Evan Hansen Andrew Rannells, Falsettos Lucas Steele, Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812 Brandon Uranowitz, Falsettos
Best performance by an actress in a featured role in a musical Kate Baldwin, Hello, Dolly! Stephanie J. Block, Falsettos Jenn Colella, Come From Away Rachel Bay Jones, Dear Evan Hansen Mary Beth Peil, Anastasia
Best scenic design of a play David Gallo, August Wilson’s Jitney Nigel Hook, The Play That Goes Wrong Douglas W. Schmidt, The Front Page Michael Yeargan, Oslo
Best scenic design of a musical Rob Howell, Groundhog Day The Musical David Korins, War Paint Mimi Lien, Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812 Santo Loquasto, Hello, Dolly!
Best costume design of a play Jane Greenwood, Lillian Hellman’s The Little Foxes Susan Hilferty, Present Laughter Toni-Leslie James, August Wilson’s Jitney David Zinn, A Doll’s House, Part 2
Best costume design of a musical Linda Cho, Anastasia Santo Loquasto, Hello, Dolly! Paloma Young, Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812 Catherine Zuber, War Paint
Best lighting design of a play Christopher Akerlind, Indecent Jane Cox, August Wilson’s Jitney Donald Holder, Oslo Jennifer Tipton, A Doll’s House, Part 2
Best lighting design of a musical Howell Binkley, Come From Away Natasha Katz, Hello, Dolly! Bradley King, Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812 Japhy Weideman, Dear Evan Hansen
Best direction of a play Sam Gold, A Doll’s House, Part 2 Ruben Santiago-Hudson, August Wilson’s Jitney Bartlett Sher, Oslo Daniel Sullivan, Lillian Hellman’s The Little Foxes Rebecca Taichman, Indecent
Best direction of a musical Christopher Ashley, Come From Away Rachel Chavkin, Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812 Michael Greif, Dear Evan Hansen Matthew Warchus, Groundhog Day The Musical Jerry Zaks, Hello, Dolly!
Best choreography Andy Blankenbuehler, Bandstand Peter Darling and Ellen Kane, Groundhog Day The Musical Kelly Devine, Come From Away Denis Jones, Holiday Inn, The New Irving Berlin Musical Sam Pinkleton, Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812
Best orchestrations Bill Elliott and Greg Anthony Rassen, Bandstand Larry Hochman, Hello, Dolly! Alex Lacamoire, Dear Evan Hansen Dave Malloy, Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812