Costumes deemed too similar to original production

In what looks like the aftermath of an administrative mixup, Tony Awards Prods. has announced that the nominated costume designs for the revival of “Ragtime” have been declared ineligible.

“It was affirmed to Tony Award Prods. that Santo Loquasto’s designs for the revival of ‘Ragtime’ are predominantly those from the original 1998 production, and therefore do not meet the Tony rule which states, work that ‘substantially duplicate(s)’ work from a prior production is ineligible,” the org said in a statement.

The revival’s costume-design debt to the tuner’s initial Broadway production was never a matter of secrecy. It was always openly acknowledged that many of the clothes for the 2009 staging (which originated at the Kennedy Center in D.C.) were drawn directly from the closet of outfits used for the original.

Loquasto designed those original costumes, for which he was nommed for a 1998 Tony. (Julie Taymor’s costumes for “The Lion King” won that year.)

According to the statement, the Tony org learned of the design similarities too late to cross them off the list for consideration by this year’s nominators. So it’s only now that “Ragtime” will be removed from contention in the costume category; no candidate will take its place.

The move brings the nomination tally for “Ragtime,” which shuttered in January after logging disappointing sales, down to six.

Tony voters will choose from among the three remaining tuner costume-design candidates: Marina Draghici for “Fela!,” Paul Tazewell for “Memphis,” and Matthew Wright for “La Cage aux Folles.” Trophy will be handed out at the annual ceremony June 13.

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