Award committee issues eligibility decisions

Julie Taymor will be eligible for a 2012 directing Tony for her work in “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark,” according to a recent decision from the Tony Awards Administration Committee.

The committee, which meets four times per season to answer any nomination and eligibility questions that arise, only discussed the first three productions of the season: “Spider-Man,” “Master Class” and “Follies.” “Spider-Man” gave the administrators the most to talk about, given its long, rocky preview period that included the late addition of a new director and a new book writer.

Taymor, who staged the original version of “Spider-Man” but stepped away from the show prior to opening, is credited with “original direction” in the opening night playbill. New helmer Philip William McKinley, who came aboard the show last spring, won’t also be eligible for the director nod due in part to the fact that he’s listed in the program as “creative consultant.”

On the other hand, the production’s newly added scribe, Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, will be eligible for book, since he’s credited alongside Taymor and Glen Berger.

Tony admin committee’s rulings often concentrate on which thesps are eligible for lead and featured trophies, beyond the Tonys’ general guideline of classifying above-the-title performers as leads and below-the-title as supporting players.

For “Spider-Man,” Reeve Carney (who plays wallcrawler Peter Parker) and Jennifer Damiano (who appears as Spidey’s gf) will be in the mix for lead thesping nominations. Tyne Daly, meanwhile, will be considered a lead performer for her starring role in the Manhattan Theater Club’s Rialto revival of “Master Class.”

Tony committee will have a heavier workload in later meetings, as the season gets rolling and more shows open — including two tuner revivals, “On a Clear Day You Can See Forever” and “Porgy and Bess,” whose extensively retooled books could make some production elements eligible for kudos outside the Tony norms for Broadway revivals.

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