Tony season is upon us! This morning brought the announcement for the nominees for the annual Broadway awards show, and it is looking to be very Jewish this year.
In terms of musicals (the reason most people watch the telecast), The Band’s Visit, based on the Israeli film, has 11 nominations, including Best Musical. This includes nods to leads Tony Shalhoub and Katrina Lenk, as well as a surprise nomination for Ari’el Stachel, a Jewish actor of Yemenite and Ashkenazi descent who plays a non-Jewish Egyptian in the show. (Jewish songwriting team David Yazbek and Itamar Moses are both nominated as well.)
Plus, shout out to Camp Ramah alum Ethan Slater, nominated for Best Actor in a Musical for his titular role in Spongebob Squarepants: The Musical.
Musical revivals, as they usually do, represent Jewish theater greats of yore; Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Carousel has 11 nominations, Lerner & Loewe’s My Fair Lady has ten, and Ahrens and Flaherty’s (though Flaherty isn’t Jewish) Once on This Island has eight.
If this year isn’t terribly exciting for new plays (and Ayad Akhtar is the only American playwright in the bunch), it’s a great year for revivals. Angels in America, back on Broadway for the first time since its original run, is as dominant in play categories as it can be, with a whopping 11 nominations (take that, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, with your measly ten! Angels isn’t even eligible for Best Play!). Nominations include Andrew Garfield as Best Actor, Nathan Lane as Featured Actor (for playing Roy Cohn), and even Best Score, where it’s the only play amongst a group of musicals.
Beyond that, the original work’s legacy is felt this award season. Out of the five nominees for Best Director of a Play, three are Angels-related. Marianne Elliott has a nod for this production, of course. But also, the play’s original Broadway director, George C. Wolfe, and one of the actors from that run, Joe Mantello are both nominated for directing this year as well.
In other play news, Amy Schumer is nominated for her first Tony! Hers was the only nomination for Meteor Shower. Also, three and four respective nominations go to the revivals of Kenneth Lonergan’s Lobby Hero and Tom Stoppard’s Travesties (both playwrights are Jewish).
The 72nd Annual Tony Awards are Sunday, June 10th, at 8 pm. Hosts are Josh Groban and Sara Bareilles, neither of whom are Jewish, but who respectively has a Jewish father and is often mistaken for being Jewish. It’s gonna be a helluva show.