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Tonys rule on eligiblity

'One Man' is new play, committee decides

The Tony Awards Administration Committee’s fourth and final meeting of the season yielded kudo eligibility decisions including nixing musical “Once” from the pool of potential score nominees, deeming “One Man, Two Guvnors” a new play and pegging topliner Ricky Martin as a featured actor in “Evita.”

Rulings were among the decisions that were closely watched by legiters, although none of the outcomes were surprises.

Since the majority of the score for critical-fave musical “Once” was penned for the 2006 film on which the show is based rather than specifically for the stage show, the songs by Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova weren’t expected to make the cut.

Among industry watchers there was some question whether “One Man, Two Guvnors,” based on an 18th century Goldoni comedy, could qualify as a revival, but the show will instead be considered a new play as its London incarnation was during awards season in Blighty. “One Man” therefore joins a crowded pool of potential play nominees that also includes “Other Desert Cities” and “Clybourne Park.”

Because Martin is an above-the-title thesp in “Evita,” the Tony rule of thumb would categorize him as a lead actor. But instead he’ll be considered a featured player, as was Mandy Patinkin, who originated the role on Broadway and won a Tony for it in 1980. Co-star Michael Cerveris also will be in the running as featured, with Elena Roger in the title role tagged as a lead.

In other decisions related to thesping categories, Linda Emond and Andrew Garfield, both in “Death of Salesman,” are on tap for a potential featured nom, leaving Philip Seymour Hoffman up for a lead nod. In the starry cast of “Gore Vidal’s The Best Man,” James Earl Jones, John Larroquette and Eric McCormack were named leads, with featured slots going to co-stars Candice Bergen and Angela Lansbury, among others.

For three titles in which projections play a major role in production design — “Ghost,” “Newsies” and “Magic/Bird” — each projection designer will be eligible for a shared nom with the show’s respective set designer.

Tony admin committee meets four times over the course of the season to determine answers to eligibility questions that arise. The final meeting, which considered a whopping 18 new shows, comes just days prior to the announcement of the Tony nominations May 1.

Awards are set to be handed out June 10 in a ceremony broadcast live on CBS from Gotham’s Beacon Theater.

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