Tony Award nominations react: Big surprises, shocking snubs

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Image Credit: Richard Termine

Please cry for Ricky Martin and Elena Roger in the Broadway revival of Evita. The truth is, the Tony nominators didn’t love you. Those stars were two of the biggest snubs at this morning’s announcement of the 66th annual Tony Awards.

One of the biggest shockers? It seems that Angela Lansbury will have to wait for her chance to win a record-breaking sixth Tony Award. Despite critical acclaim for her role as a Southern political doyenne in Gore Vidal’s The Best Man, Lansbury was passed over for Featured Actress in a Play. The surprise nominee in that category — which looks to be a showdown between Death of a Salesman‘s Linda Emond and Other Desert Cities’ Judith Light — is Condola Rashad (daughter of Tony-winning Cosby mom Phylicia) for the short-lived Stick Fly.

While the new musical Once led with a total of 11 nominations, some of the season’s starriest productions fell short. Among the shows completely shut out: the revival of Godspell led by Weeds star Hunter Parrish (and now Corbin Bleu), the Alan Rickman-topped comedy Seminar, and The Mountaintop, last fall’s high-profile drama starring Samuel L. Jackson and Angela Bassett. And this spring’s A Streetcar Named Desire starring Blair Underwood and Nicole Ari Parker earned only a nod for costumes. (Master Class, a show that closed last September, earned the final nomination for Best Revival of a Play.)

The hit London import One Man, Two Guvnors, which had tried (unsuccessfully) to be considered in the revival category since the show is loosely based on a commedia dell’arte classic, failed to make the cut for Best Play. Following one of the strongest seasons in recent memory for new plays, the nominees are Clybourne Park, Other Desert Cities, Venus in Fur, and Peter and the Starcatcher, whose nine nominations might provide the show a much-needed box office boost.

Speaking of shows on the commercial bubble… There was mixed news for Leap of Faith, which last week earned a paltry $225,000 at the box office, 17 percent of its potential gross. The bad news: It picked up only one nomination. The good news: It was for Best Musical (joining Newsies, Once, and Nice Work If You Can Get It). Time will tell if that high-profile recognition will be enough to stave off an imminent closing notice.

There was a surprising amount of love for performances in shows that have gone dark. Frank Langella picked up a Best Actor in a Play nod for Man and Boy, beating out Alan Rickman in Seminar and Stacy Keach in Other Desert Cities. Follies‘ Ron Raines joined Danny Burstein as a nominee for lead actor in a musical despite competition from perennial Tony faves Raul Esparza (Leap of Faith) and Matthew Broderick (Nice Work If You Can Get It). And Laura Osnes, who first emerged five years ago on the NBC reality series Grease: You’re the One That I Want, snagged a surprise nomination as the female lead of the long-shuttered musical Bonnie & Clyde, beating out both Elena Roger and Bernadette Peters (Follies). Peters can at least console herself with the Isabelle Stevenson Award, a special Tony announced yesterday.

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