Tony Snubs: 5 Big Surprises From the 2017 Awards

Kevin Spacey Tonys
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In a year without a “Hamilton,” the races for the 2017 Tony Awards had seemed fraught with unpredictably. But while there were a couple of dark horses (“Come From Away,” “A Doll’s House, Part 2”) giving the frontrunners (“Dear Evan Hansen,” “Oslo”) a run for their money, the night played out largely as expected. Even so, there were a handful of snubs and surprises to keep the industry chattering at the after parties. Here are five of them.

SNUB: Kevin Spacey, by the audience in the room and online
The crowd at Radio City seemed warm enough for Spacey in the opening number, but by the end of the night, you could feel the audience lose interest in his lackluster shtick. Critics weren’t all that kind online, either.

SURPRISE: Christopher Ashley, Director of a Musical, “Come From Away”
Broadway’s kibitzers expected Rachel Chavkin to score for overseeing the transformation of the Imperial Theater for the immersive staging of “Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812.” Or if not Chavkin, it seemed likely that Michael Greif would win as part of a sweep for “Dear Evan Hansen.” Ashley, a veteran of both Broadway (“Memphis”) and the regional circuit (where he’s artistic director of the La Jolla Playhouse), wasn’t so much on the radar. But he’s well-liked in the industry, and his work on “Come From Away” is often credited for turning what could have been a small, somber show into something lively, joyous, and colorful.

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Kevin Spacey Tonys

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SNUB: Danny DeVito, Featured Actor in a Play, “The Price”
DeVito was the odds-on favorite in his category, charming audiences with his comic turn in the revival of Arthur Miller’s “The Price” (including a memorable bit with an egg) and charming Tony voters with his funny-grump demeanor. But instead the award went to Michael Aronov, who has what is the showiest role in the ensemble cast of the season’s new play winner, “Oslo.”

SURPRISE: “Indecent” gets some love
In the run-up to the Tonys, Paula Vogel’s play “Indecent” began to feel like the also-ran, ceding the conversation to showier candidates “Oslo” (which won) and “A Doll’s House, Part 2” (which gave “Oslo” some serious competition). But many in the theater community were notably moved by “Indecent’s” behind-the-scenes story of a little-known Yiddish theater play, and voters rewarded the complexity and delicacy of its interdisciplinary approach with awards for director Rebecca Taichman and lighting designer Christopher Akerlind.

SNUB: Any of the Broadway shows that could have performed instead of the Rockettes
In one of the evening’s head-scratchers, the Rockettes emerged to strut their stuff in a tribute to New York City. Sure, Tony winners Cynthia Erivo and Leslie Odom, Jr. sang, and Radio City is the Rockettes’ home base, but the link to the theater world felt tenuous at best. It would have made more sense to showcase one of the several strong-selling new titles on Broadway that didn’t get recognized by the nominations, like “Anastasia” or “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.”

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  1. pugwantstoknow says:

    I’m with Tony. No more awards shows or anything to do with Hollywood and NY until they all stop with the politics. Also, Kevin should just mince himself out of the closet already and take the consequences if there are any. He and his lifestyle are not as important to us as he thinks. You’re just an actor Kev.

  2. Tony says:

    Didn’t watch. As much as I love awards shows, I’m boycotting until Hollywood/New York stops all the political pontificating from the stage. I mean we get it. You hate Trump. Enough already

  3. noel says:

    Kevin Spacey as usual too full of himself.LOOK AT ME! LOOK AT ME! Again another tired tribute song by Bobby Darin… which he totally ignored Patti Lupone…..again with the sad old Johnny Carson impression(at a Tony Awards Show? Really?) and again the switch of toupee’s to show ” house of cards”. He was supposed to represent the theatre not himself….but like the President in the White House now residing….that seems to be the way to go……you failed Kevin. The Rockettes should have kicked you off the stage. Boring!

  4. Everyone had a fit when Finding Neverland performed without any nominations. They weren’t going to let a non-nominated show perform. Would have preferred a better number from Miss Saigon, though, and Hello, Dolly! Even if they couldn’t do certain songs because of staging, there are surely songs they could have done besides one that didn’t make the cut the first time around.

  5. LV Media says:

    Laura Linney for The Little Foxes was a sure snub in my book!

  6. Melonie says:

    I thought Spacey was not good. His whole, self-effacing, woe is me, no one wanted me was rather sad and made it all about him rather than the shows. Sure, James Corden’s opening number was also about him, but it was about how the theater shaped him as a kid — which is very relatable. Spacey’s sad sack routine just smacked of desperation. Hey, feel sorry for me and look, I can sing (sort of). I had the same problem with Seth McFarland when he hosted the Oscars because he made his opening monologue all about him and how shocked everyone was that he was hosting. Check your ego at the door, please. Also, the Carson and Clinton imitations were unnecessary and not great
    In addition, did Spacey finally come out of the closet last night? He made a couple of not so subtle references to that effect, such as when he was dressed as Norma Desmond (which is a clue in and of itself).

  7. Ralph Wilson says:

    I thought Kevin Spacey was surprisingly charming – and also a good sport in regards to those “coming out” bits.

  8. “…fraught with unpredictably…?” SERIOUSLY?

  9. Kevin Spacey was mediocre at best.Best part of the evening was Bette Midler winning..She really is divine.Her speech was both funny and touching.I was glad she told the orchestra to shut up when they tried to play her off.This is why people watch the show to see actors give great acceptances.

  10. cowgirldiva says:

    Is this snub due to an “old White guy thing”….???

  11. Kevin Spacey was great!

  12. I thought Kevin was great, did wonderfully.

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