Tony Nominations Snubs and Surprises: Steve Carell and ‘The Wiz’ Miss Out


That’s why we often argue here for a new category that honors ensembles. And Actors’ Equity, the national union representing actors and stage managers, goes further, with its annual award for Broadway choruses. Of the 23 musicals that opened this season, 21 are eligible; the winner will be notified on June 15 — pointedly, one day before the Tonys.

In the history of the awards, only 10 women, beginning in 1998, have won prizes for directing. This year that number seems likely to rise, with seven of the 10 possible directing slots filled by women. Anne Kauffman, Lila Neugebauer and Whitney White have been nominated for best direction of a play, and Maria Friedman, Leigh Silverman, Jessica Stone and Danya Taymor (the niece of Julie Taymor, the first woman to win for direction of a musical) are in contention for best direction of a musical.

The Tony nominating committee said “I do” to two pairs of actors playing married characters: Brian d’Arcy James and Kelli O’Hara as lovers undone by alcoholism in “Days of Wine and Roses,” and Maryann Plunkett and Dorian Harewood as an older couple grappling with dementia in “The Notebook.” But the shows did not receive the same love. Neither was nominated for best musical, though “Days of Wine and Roses” did pick up a nomination for score and “The Notebook” for book. Guess you can’t always have your wedding cake, and eat it too.

Rebecca Frecknall’s crepuscular revival of Kander and Ebb’s “Cabaret” was celebrated when it opened on the West End in 2021, eventually winning seven Olivier awards. But its Broadway transfer received a more muted response. (“Too often a misguided attempt to resuscitate the show breaks its ribs,” The New York Times wrote.) So who cares? Not the Tony nominators, who recognized the show with a nomination for best revival of a musical and gave nods to the actors — Eddie Redmayne, Gayle Rankin, Bebe Neuwirth and Steven Skybell — in all four categories.

The much-anticipated revival has been one of spring’s early hits, but Tony nominators followed the lead of critics, not audiences, who didn’t have much nice to say about the show’s look, script and performances. “The Wiz,” which earned seven Tony awards when it arrived on Broadway in 1975, didn’t get a single nod this time around.



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