Not a ‘Play’ Tony decrees

Legit org puts forth its rules on eligibility

The Tony Awards administrative committee held court Thursday to make a few eligibility decrees.

Watch out, “Def Poetry Jam”! That Tony for best special theatrical event is not a given. And the committee decided that “The Play What I Wrote,” despite its title, is not a play. It will be placed in the special-event category, as will Jackie Mason’s one-man “Prune Danish.”

The featured actor categories will be filled to the brim with eligible candidates this season. None of the actors in Richard Greenberg’s “Take Me Out,” including Daniel Sunjata, have been deemed lead actor worthy. Those 11 thesps are eligible in the featured-actor slot. Same goes for the women of “Nine,” including Chita Rivera. Only Antonio Banderas is considered a lead thesp there. Linda Emond and Brent Spiner of “Life (x) 3” have also been deemed featured players.

Surprisingly, Whoopi Goldberg in “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” is eligible in the lead actress slot. Her predecessor, the late Theresa Merritt, took a Tony nom for featured actress when the August Wilson play first appeared on Broadway, during the 1984-85 season.

As for those many rotating casts of “La Boheme,” they will have to wait until May 8 when the Tony committee takes up their eligibility. In the past, only actors who perform on a show’s opening night have been deemed eligible for noms.

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