Highlights of the 2022 Tony Nominations: ‘A Strange Loop’ Has a Strong Showing

Critic’s notes

credit…Sarah Kluwich / The New York Times

In the case of the list of Tony Award Candidate Announced on Monday looks even stranger and more random than usual, well, it was a strange and random season. By the way, it wasn’t really the season. This year, many categories, which usually feature five nominations, have an excess of nods that feature six or seven nominations, which is inferior to the range of eligible works.“Girl in the North Country”) Opened in March 2020, just before the pandemic blew the 18-month hole on Broadway. If my math is correct, it was 100 years ago.

The season-distorting pandemic also distorted the award process. Of the 34 works that 29 nominees were allowed to consider, 15 opened in April and 6 were only in the last week of the month. It wasn’t easy. For critics, it’s an annoying game of Whac-A-Mole, popping up before it suddenly disappears, and I know I tried to hit each show before it was filled with shutdowns and the absence of stars. In the end, I missed two. “Saturday Night”, which received five nominations, and was ineligible I don’t understand all accounts.

No recommender probably missed it, and of those 34 eligible works, they praised a whopping 29. “Musical, Diana” Even though it contained some terrible good plays, it was hated “Passover Festival” When “Is this a room?” I realized that we were forgotten. Was it because they were one of the first to step up hoping for the reopening of Covid Broadway, which began in August? Probably too early to open, they definitely closed too fast.

credit…Sarah Kluwich / The New York Times

However, these shows are more cutting-edge than knowing how commercial awards usually deal with, and present difficult dramatic material using downtown theatrical formats. (“Pass Over” is a surrealistic view of violence against young black men. “Is This a Room” is a record of cross-examination of government secrets.) Nominations are only one of these challenges. Suggests a willingness to accept. On the other side of the spectrum, they seemed ready to welcome plays whose form or content was hackney but not both. The resurrection of Neil Simon’s “Plaza Suite” starring Matthew Broderick and Sarah Jessica Parker received one nomination for Jane Greenwood’s costume design.

Still, I was impressed by the recommender’s determination to spread the wealth by taking a closer look at the personal Tonys spreadsheet stored in a special airlock vault with original cast vinyl recordings and a playbill printed on papyrus. I did.

Of course, there are many familiar names, including Mary-Louise Parker, the former Tony winner. LaChanzeHugh Jackman, Sutton Foster, Phylicia Rashad, Patti LuPone — The last two tops of support, not the protagonist.

However, there are also many groundbreaking names. A contest for the best performances by the leading actors in the musical could face Broadway novice Miles Frost (the star of “MJ”). Jaquel Spivey (Star of “Strange Loop”) — Don’t worry about Jackman and Billy Crystal in the same category.First candidate Sharon D. Clarke ((((“Caroline, or change”) When Hoakina Whiskas ((((“Paradise Square”) Similarly, it is a pair that the actress who is a leading musical person defeats for the best performance. Don’t worry about Foster.

That the four main candidates are black Tony AwardsAs with the season itself, efforts are underway to increase diversity. In my number, more than one-third of the 136 nominations honored shows and people that I hadn’t seen much before on the Great Whiteway. I think we can finally stop calling it by that name.

We still do not “see” all of that diversity. There is also a behind-the-scenes variety of directors, designers, choreographers, etc. behind “For Colored Girls Who Think of Suicide / When the Rainbow is Enf”, “Paradise Square”, and “Tooth Skin”. I am also benefiting from. If it is simply facing the public, inclusion is inadequate.

Thanks to the black writers, directors and producers who prioritized diverse recruitment, many of Broadway’s newcomers’ talents arrived in bulk rather than individually. As a result, this is the season for ensembles, the six “thoughts” and “thoughts” featured in “A Strange Loop.”The idea of ​​a colored manAnd “for color girls” 7 colors.

credit…Sarah Kluwich / The New York Times

Some of these shows, as well as “Six,” “The Minutes,” “Clyde’s,” “Skeleton Crew,” and “POTUS,” have no protagonists. The group is a star. In that case, picking one performer from a carefully balanced company may seem daunting, but the nominees are Kenita R. Miller of “For Colored Girls” and Rachel Dratch of “POTUS”. Nodded to Julie White. , “And John Andrew Morrison and L. Morgan Lee in a” strange loop. “

Those performers deserved their nomination, but so did many of their castmates. So, as critics and others have repeatedly argued, the Tony Awards need to create a pair of best ensemble categories for musicals and theater, which are awarded when it makes sense. I have. Especially this year it will make sense.

That’s not what Tony Award nominations usually do.I am not a believer SnabExcept at that time, I wasn’t invited to my birthday party for some reason, but the randomness inherent in the process involving very few recommenders covering so many areas is an effort. Leaves me mixed feelings about.

Of course, I’m thrilled to see many of the really new works that were featured in the nominations. But even unfriendly critics do not seem to be the only indicator of excellence at this time. It may sound like a polyannish, but everything that managed to open during this busy, often horrifying season, everyone who went on stage in front of a shining spectator with a masked face, nodded. Needless to say, I think it’s worth bowing.

But I think it’s “Diana”.


May 9, 2022

In previous versions of this article, the month was wrong “Girl in the North Country” It opened. It was March 2020, not February 2020 (when the show started previewing).

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