‘Fool’ feels fortunes rise with Tony ruling

Poulton's adaptation eligible in new play category

NEW YORK — There is good news for the Broadway production of “Fortune’s Fool.”

The Tony Awards administration committee announced Thursday that Michael Poulton’s adaptation of the Turgenev comedy would be eligible in the new play category. The producers had petitioned the committee to make just that decision; otherwise, the play would have gone into the more crowded field of revival of a play.

In addition, “Fool’s” Frank Langella has been put in the featured actor category, taking him out of competition with co-star Alan Bates, who is eligible for a Tony nomination as lead actor. Langella recently won the Outer Critics Circle award for featured actor in the Poulton/Turgenev play, and his performance has been nominated in that same category by the Drama Desk.

The committee also decided that Peter Ackroyd’s one-person work “The Mystery of Charles Dickens,” starring Simon Callow, was eligible to be nominated as best play, making Callow a possible lead actor nominee.

Earlier in the season, the committee voted that such one-person shows as “Elaine Stritch: At Liberty,” “Mostly Sondheim” with Barbara Cook, “Bea Arthur on Broadway” and John Leguizamo’s “Sexaholix” are eligible as special events but not plays or musicals. Those shows’ respective stars, in that case, are not eligible to be nominated as performers.

The Tony Awards nominations will be announced Monday at 8:30 a.m. at Sardi’s restaurant. The awards ceremony takes place June 2.