As Broadway’s recovery from the pandemic shutdown gathers pace, Tony nominees have increasingly focused on variety shows.
Nominators chose five different contenders for what traditionally has the most financial impact — best new musical: “& Juliet,” which combines pop songs with an alternate story arc for Shakespeare’s star-crossed lovers; “Kimberly Akimbo,” about a high school student with a life-changing genetic condition and a criminally dysfunctional family; “New York, New York,” a dance-driven tuner about a pair of young musicians searching for success and love in a postwar city; “Shocked,” a humorous country comedy about a rural community facing a corn crisis; and “Some Like It Hot,” a jazz-age show about two performers who witness a mob kill and dress up as women to escape the mob.
Two of those musicals — “New York, New York” and “Some Like It Hot” — are big-budget adaptations of movies. One, “& Juliet,” is inspired by existing pop songs written by Max Martin, one of the most successful contemporary hitmakers, and the other, “Shaked,” features a new song by two acclaimed Nashville songwriters, Brandi Clark and Shane McAnally. . “Kimberly Akimbo,” considered by many in the industry as a front-runner to win based on its originality and strong reviews, was adapted from a play of the same name.
Best Musical was one of six nominees on Tuesday morning’s “CBS Mornings”; The network was allowed to air the news because of its longtime role as the broadcaster of the Tony Awards.
Notable performers receiving nominations include Sarah Bareilles, Jessica Chastain, Jodie Comer, Josh Groban, Sean Hayes, Ben Platt and Wendell Pierce, as well as perennial Broadway favorite Audra MacDonald.
Competing in another prestigious category, for best drama, the nominees chose “Ain’t No Mo,” Jordan E. Cooper’s wild comedy that imagines the moment America decides to solve its racial problems and offers all black residents one-way tickets to Africa; “Between Riverside and Gracie, ” Stephen Atlee Gurkis’ drama about a retired police officer trying to hang on to his apartment; “The Cost of Living,” Martina Majok’s drama about care and disability; “Fat Ham,” a riff on James James’ “Hamlet,” set in the North Carolina backyard of a family that runs a barbecue restaurant. ; and “Leopoldstadt,” Tom Stoppard’s autobiographical drama about a European Jewish family before, during, and after World War II. Three of Tony’s nominated plays, “Between Riverside and Gracie,” “The Cost of Living” and “Fat Ham” already won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. have won the prize.
The full nomination list will be published today at 9 am Tony Awards YouTube page. For more news on the Tony Awards, check back here throughout the day, including nominees’ reaction, as well as reporters’ analysis and critics’ commentary.