Tony Awards Organizers Make Eligibility Decisions for ‘Hamilton,’ More

Hamilton Tony eligibility
Joan Marcus

It’s early yet in the 2015-16 Broadway season, but the Tony Awards Administration Committee has already made decisions that will influence the 2016 trophy race, including which performers will be deemed lead actors in shows including the ultrahot “Hamilton.”

To no one’s surprise, “Hamilton” creator-star Lin-Manuel Miranda, who plays Alexander Hamilton in the founding-father musical, will be in the race for a lead actor nomination, but he could face competition from Leslie Odom Jr., whose role as Hamilton’s foil Aaron Burr also will be considered a lead. Phillipa Soo, who plays Hamilton’s wife, will be eligible for lead actress.

The Tony admin committee meets periodically throughout the season make awards eligibility decisions for cases that deviate from the norm, which slots above-the-title performers in lead acting categories and below-the-title cast members in featured races. Among the other performances deemed leads were those given by Keira Knightley and Matt Ryan in “Therese Raquin,” Austin P. McKenzie  and Sandra Mae Frank of “Spring Awakening,” Matthew Broderick and Annaleigh Ashford in “Sylvia” and Cary Tedder and Eloise Kropp in “Dames at Sea.”

Musical “Dames” and plays “Sylvia” and “Fool for Love” will compete in revival categories despite never having appeared before on Broadway, since those shows — all 20 years old or older — previously entered the theater canon thanks to noteworthy Off Broadway runs.

In recent years the Tonys have made a habit of considering projection designers eligible for set design nominations, and that’s the case this year with “An Act of God” (with set by Scott Pask and projections by Peter Nigrini) and “Spring Awakening” (Dane Leffrey for set and Lucy Mackinnon for projections).

The Nov. 12 meeting of Tony admin committee, which made rulings on the first 10 productions to open on Broadway so far this year, is the first of four meetings scheduled throughout the season. Subsequent meetings will consider eligibility specifics for upcoming shows including “School of Rock,” “The Color Purple” and “A View from the Bridge,” which opens tonight.

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