By: Ainsley Northrop
On May 2, Broadway actors Lea Michele and Myles Frost revealed the American Theatre Wing’s 76th Annual Antoinette Perry Tony Award nominees. The Tony awards have been a long-standing tradition since the American Theatre Wing (ATW) founded them in 1947. Ever since, the award show has served as a symbol of glory for those in the theatrical business. Fostering the success of both new and old actors, directors, composers, choreographers, and more, the Tony Awards have proven their influence on the theater world. This year, they announced the nominations on two platforms: live on CBS, and on a livestream of the Tony Awards’ YouTube page.
In order for a broadway musical to qualify for a nomination, it must have opened between Apr. 29, 2022, and Apr. 27, 2023. This left 38 plays and musicals as contenders. With the most of any show this year, Some Like it Hot took 13 nominations. Some Like it Hot takes inspiration from the 1959 film of the same name, following the plot of jazz musicians struggling through Prohibition. Featuring contemporary jazz music written by Scott Wittman and Marc Shaiman, this musical emerged as a fan favorite and is projected to have major wins at the awards ceremony on Jun. 11. Another musical with a lot of nominations is Shucked. Shucked follows the story of Maizy and Beau—two midwestern residents—as they are forced to postpone their wedding after a failed crop of corn. This lighthearted musical-comedy received a total of nine nominations, including one for Best Musical.
This year, some common themes between musical nominees are inclusivity, social change, and kindness. Ben Platt, who received a nomination for his performance in the musical Parade detailed, “I think the pandemic put a lot of things in perspective, both in terms of improvements we needed to make in the community and also just the way that everybody’s feeling about the world and about being a human.”
In addition to the nominations for shows, the committee also selected various actors and actresses for individual awards such as Best Leading Actress in a Play and Best Featured Actor in a Musical. Among the nominees is Ruthie Ann Miles, who received a nomination for Best Featured Actress in a Musical for her performance as the Beggar Woman in Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street.
The 2023 Tony Awards will air live from the United Palace Theater on Sun. Jun. 11 on both CBS and Paramount Plus and will be hosted by Ariana Debose. Although this is only Debose’s second time hosting the production, she has Broadway experience including being a member of the original cast of Hamilton, as well as her nomination for the 2018 Tony Award of Best Featured Actress in a Musical.
(Sources: PBS, Tony Awards, The New York Times, Wikipedia)