High-profile shutouts were inevitable
In a Broadway season as starry as this one, the list of thesps who didn’t make the Tony nominations ballot is as interesting as those who did. With so many multicharacter ensemble plays on the boards, some high-profile shutouts were inevitable.
The most glaring exclusion was the Brit import revival of “The Seagull,” from the start of the season; early prognostications pegged Kristin Scott Thomas to repeat her win at London’s Oliviers as self-absorbed actress Arkadina. The Tony omission demonstrates the distinct disadvantage faced by shows no longer on the boards at awards time.
The “Waiting for Godot” revival that opened to rave reviews last week drew high praise for past Tony winners Nathan Lane and Bill Irwin, as well as John Goodman, making a welcome return to the New York stage. But John Glover reaped the production’s sole nom for his turn as a mistreated slave named Lucky.
While Tovah Feldshuh had been tipped for a lead actress spot, the poor response to play vehicle “Irena’s Vow” likely nixed her chances, while the absence of Joan Allen and Jeremy Irons for the critically reviled “Impressionism” was no surprise. David Hyde Pierce and Matthew Broderick both have Tonys on their shelves for musicals, but their play forays this year, in “Accent on Youth” and “The Philanthropist,” respectively, left them unrewarded.
Also absent are Mary-Louise Parker for “Hedda Gabler” and Frank Langella in “A Man for All Seasons.”
Most of the nine-member cast of “Joe Turner’s Come and Gone” might have been viable contenders in a less competitive year, but this round, only Roger Robinson made the cut. Ditto “Dividing the Estate,” which landed a mention for Hallie Foote but left her co-stars, including grande dame Elizabeth Ashley, locked out.
Raul Esparza snagged a nom for “Speed-the-Plow,” but there was no love for co-stars Elisabeth Moss or Jeremy Piven, whose well-reviewed work has since been obscured by the sushi defense of his abrupt exit from the David Mamet revival.
Angela Lansbury’s nom was the single mention for “Blithe Spirit,” with Jayne Atkinson, Rupert Everett and Christine Ebersole excluded. Likewise Geoffrey Rush’s slot for “Exit the King” left co-stars Susan Sarandon, Lauren Ambrose and Andrea Martin in the cold.
Reflecting the sharp critical divide on two stylized stagings of vintage American texts, Carla Gugino, Pablo Schreiber and Brian Dennehy were all no-shows for Eugene O’Neill revival “Desire Under the Elms,” while the fireworks of John Lithgow, Dianne Wiest, Patrick Wilson and Katie Holmes in “All My Sons” also went unrecognized.
The two “Equus” leads, Daniel Radcliffe and Richard Griffiths, are MIA, as are Lily Rabe and Mercedes Ruehl, who were expected to figure in the noms for “The American Plan.”