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

  • Bryan Cranston First Time in Variety

    Bryan Cranston on His Early Roles, Dealing With Rejection and His 'Erasable Mind'

    Following his 2014 Tony Award for best actor as President Lyndon B. Johnson in Robert Schenkkan’s play “All the Way,” Bryan Cranston is looking to add to his trophy collection this year with his performance as Howard Beale in “Network.” The deranged anchorman — who’s famously “mad as hell and not going to take this [...]

  • Ink Play West End London

    Wary Theater Rivalry Between London and New York Gives Way to a Boom in Crossovers

    Give or take a little tectonic shift, the distance between London and New York still stands at 3,465 miles. Arguably, though, the two theater capitals have never been closer. It’s not just the nine productions playing in duplicate in both locations — believed to be the most ever — with three more expected in the [...]

  • Alex Brightman Beetlejuice Broadway

    How Alex Brightman Brought a Pansexual Beetlejuice to Life on Broadway

    Alex Brightman gives the deadliest performance on Broadway — in a good way — in “Beetlejuice.” The big-budget musical adaptation of the 1988 film directed by Tim Burton has scored eight Tony nominations, including best actor. To play the frisky role, Brightman (“School of Rock”) dons Beetlejuice’s striped suit and an assortment of colorful wigs [...]

  • Santino Fontana Tootsie Broadway Illustration

    'Tootsie' Star Santino Fontana on the Challenges of His Tony-Nominated Dual Role

    Santino Fontana is doing double duty on Broadway this year. The “Tootsie” star scored his second Tony Award nomination this month for his hilarious portrayal of struggling actor Michael Dorsey and Dorothy Michaels, the female persona that Dorsey assumes to win a role in a play. The musical, based on the 1982 comedy starring Dustin [...]

  • Dear Evan Hansen

    Broadway Cast Albums Find Fresh Footing With Hip New Sounds, Viral Outreach

    Mixtapes. YouTube videos. Dedicated playlists. Ancillary products. Viral marketing. Epic chart stays. These are things you expect to hear from a record label discussing Cardi B or Beyoncé. Instead, this is the new world of a very old staple, the Broadway original cast recording. Robust stats tell the tale: Atlantic’s “Hamilton” album beat the record [...]

  • Ali Stroker Oklahoma

    Ali Stroker on 'Oklahoma!': 'This Show Doesn’t Follow the Rules and That Is So Who I Am'

    Ali Stroker is no stranger to rewriting history. With her 2015 Broadway debut in “Spring Awakening,” she became the first actor in a wheelchair to perform on the Great White Way. Three years later, she’s back onstage in Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Oklahoma!” as Ado Annie, the flirtatious local who splits her affections between a resident [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content