You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Tony Awards Eligibility: Nathan Lane Deemed Lead Actor in ‘It’s Only a Play’

The Tony Awards Administration Committee has deemed Nathan Lane the lead actor in the starry cast of megaselling Broadway comedy “It’s Only a Play,” with the formidable co-stars of the production’s ensemble — including Matthew Broderick, Megan Mullally, Rupert Grint, Stockard Channing and F. Murray Abraham — classified as featured performers.

That’s one of a handful of rulings to come out of this season’s first meeting of the Tony admin committee, which meets four times per season to determine eligibility questions that deviate from the Tony standard, which slots all above-the-title actors as leads and classifies below-the-title performers as featured.

Although usually shows appearing for the first time on Broadway are considered new works, that regulation is sometimes overturned when a play has attained a significant cultural profile without a Broadway run. The admin committee made that call with “It’s Only a Play,” the 30-year-old Terrence McNally comedy that ran Off Broadway in the ’80s; it’ll be eligible for a nomination for play revival. Ditto “This Is Our Youth,” Kenneth Lonergan’s well-known title that, although it hasn’t appeared on the Main Stem prior to its current revival, became a legit-world fave thanks to its 1996 Off Broadway premiere.

Tavi Gevinson, one of the three actors in the “Youth” cast, was deemed a featured actress, with co-stars Michael Cera and Kieran Culkin eligible for the lead actor category. For the current revival of “You Can’t Take It With You,” the entire ensemble cast, including Rose Byrne and James Earl Jones, are featured players, while Blythe Danner will be considered a lead for “The Country House.”

In the musical races, Tony Yazbeck made the cut for lead actor in “On the Town”; the two thesps who play fellow sailors in the New York-set musical, Jay Armstrong Johnson and Clyde Alves, will be considered featured actors. Saul Williams of “Holler If You Hear Me” also was deemed a lead actor.

Lane will appear in “It’s Only a Play” until Jan. 4, when he’ll depart the extended run of the play in order to topline “The Iceman Cometh” at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. Martin Short will take over his role.

The Tony admin committee will meet three more times over the course of the season ahead of the announcement of the 2015 Tony nominations, set for April 28. The ceremony will broadcast live June 7 from Radio City Music Hall.

More Legit

  • Hamilton review London

    ‘Hamilton’ Helps Drive London Theater Attendance, Box Office to Record Levels

    Brits don’t just like going to the movies; they’re heading to the theater in greater numbers than before, too. “Hamilton” and other hits, particularly musicals, helped drive an uptick in box office receipts and attendance in London’s West End and across the U.K. last year, according to figures from the organizations Society of London Theatre [...]

  • Ethan Hawke

    Listen: Ethan Hawke on 'True West' and the Ghost of Philip Seymour Hoffman

    Ethan Hawke had a long relationship with Sam Shepard and his work — but he never thought he’d end up on Broadway in “True West.” That’s because Philip Seymour Hoffman and John C. Reilly had already put their stamp on the show in the 2000 Broadway revival of the play. “I kind of felt that that [...]

  • Editorial use onlyMandatory Credit: Photo by

    Kaye Ballard, Star of 'The Mothers-in-Law,' Dies at 93

    Singer-comedienne Kaye Ballard, who starred alongside Eve Arden in the 1960s sitcom “The Mothers-in-Law” and was among the stars of the 1976 feature based on Terrence McNally’s farce “The Ritz,” died Monday in Rancho Mirage, Calif. She was 93. She had recently attended a screening of a documentary about her life, “Kaye Ballard: The Show [...]

  • CAROL CHANNING HERSCHFELD. Actress Carol Channing

    Remembering Carol Channing: A Master of Channeling the Power of Personality

    There was only one Carol Channing, and her outsize personality was a source of delight to many fans — and imitators. Gerard Alessandrini’s stage spoof “Forbidden Broadway” had many incarnations over the years, including the 1994 edition when an audience member was selected every evening to come onstage and impersonate Carol Channing with the cast. [...]

  • Editorial use only. No book cover

    Viola Davis, Lin-Manuel Miranda Among Celebrities Remembering Carol Channing

    Viola Davis, Lin-Manuel Miranda and Bernadette Peters are among the slew of celebrities taking to Twitter to pay tribute to late singer, comedienne and actress Carol Channing. Known for her starring roles in Broadway’s “Hello Dolly!” and “Gentleman Prefer Blondes,” the legend of the stage and screen died Tuesday at her home in Rancho Mirage, [...]

  • What the Constitution Means to Me

    Listen: How Things Got Scary in 'What the Constitution Means to Me'

    For a decade, writer-performer Heidi Schreck had wanted to write a play inspired by her experiences as a teen debater. But over the years the show started to develop into something both urgently political and deeply personal — and things got scary. In the Broadway-bound “What the Constitution Means to Me,” Schreck reimagines her speech-and-debate [...]

  • Carol Channing Dead

    Carol Channing, Star of Broadway's 'Hello, Dolly!' and 'Gentlemen Prefer Blondes,' Dies at 97

    Larger-than-life musical stage personality Carol Channing, who immortalized the characters of Lorelei Lee in “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” and Dolly Gallagher Levi in “Hello, Dolly!,” has died. She was 97. Channing died Tuesday of natural causes at her home in Rancho Mirage, Calif. Her publicist B. Harlan Boll confirmed the news. He wrote, “It is with [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content