×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

The 7 Biggest Tony Nomination Snubs and Surprises

In a busy Broadway season that encompassed a slew of well-received productions but no clear juggernaut, there was an anything-goes element to prognosticating the nominations for the 2015 Tony Awards. Still, every awards maven had expectations, and, as happens every year, plenty of deserving work didn’t make the cut. Here are the biggest snubs and surprises that have gotten Tony-watchers talking.

SURPRISE: “An American in Paris”

After the show opened (less than three weeks ago), everyone had come to anticipate that “An American in Paris” would do well with nominators. But the musical, which tied with “Fun Home” as this year’s most-nominated title, must be acknowledged as the surprise of the season. Going into the spring, no one knew enough about the production to expect much. Sure, it had earned good reviews in a Paris tryout, but shows that do well overseas don’t always translate to Broadway successes (see: “Rocky”). It also had to wade into a crowded season where it risked getting confused with another dance-heavy show, the modestly selling “On the Town,” or with that other musical prominently set in Paris, “Gigi.” But reviews and strong sales helped make Broadway, and the Tony nominators, sit up and pay attention.

SNUB: “Finding Neverland”

Conspicuously absent from the nominations list is “Finding Neverland,” which didn’t get a single nod despite a high-profile creative team and lead producer, and a strong start at the box office. Broadway favorites including Tony-winning director Diane Paulus (“Pippin”), actor Matthew Morrison (a stage talent before he found TV fame on “Glee”) and Kelsey Grammer (a TV actor who’s earned Broadway respect with a Tony-nominated turn in “La Cage aux Folles”) were all overlooked, and the production overall was left out of the race for best new musical, the only Tony award that consistently has the power to boost sales.

The omission is an upset for Harvey Weinstein, who makes his debut as a lead producer on the show. The production earned mixed reviews in a season jammed with worthy work. Regardless, “Neverland” seems to be proving popular with audiences, to judge from its weekly box office reports, leading producers to think the play can succeed even without the stamp of Tony approval.

“With 27 nominations today for ‘Fun Home,’ ‘Elephant Man,’ ‘The Audience’ and ‘Wolf Hall,’ shows that we either co-invested or co-produced, we couldn’t be more thrilled,” said Weinstein. “As for ‘Finding Neverland,’ our passion for it remains unwavering. I could not be more proud of the magic created on our stage by Diane Paulus and the entire ‘Neverland’ team night after night, which has made this show a smash hit.”

SNUB: Jake Gyllenhaal and Hugh Jackman

Gyllenhaal, who missed an Oscar nomination for his work in “Nightcrawler” earlier this year, was left out of this year’s Tony race too. He earned strong reviews for his time-fractured pas de deux with Ruth Wilson in “Constellations,” but while Wilson scored a nod, he didn’t.

Jackman, meanwhile, has been a Broadway favorite, not only at the box office but with the New York theater industry at large, since his Tony-winning turn in “The Boy From Oz.”  But in a crowded field of leading play actors, his work in “The River” earlier this season couldn’t secure a spot in the category.

SNUB: “Constellations,” “The Audience” and other new play contenders

Anyone arguing that new plays are dead on Broadway should take another look: A dozen of them opened this season alone. Among the shows left off the nominations list were “Constellations,” Nick Payne’s well-reviewed mindbender; “The Audience,” a return to the queen of England for writer Peter Morgan (“The Queen,” “Frost/Nixon”); and “The River,” Jez Butterworth’s Broadway follow-up to “Jerusalem.”

Some see a bias against British imports in the nominees list, and it’s certainly true that the Tonys like to reward homegrown talent. Two spots on the play list this year went to “Hand to God” and Pulitzer winner “Disgraced,” both by American writers. To be fair, though, “Airline Highway,” the play by American Lisa D’Amour that earned four noms, also didn’t claim a spot in the new play race.

SURPRISE: Geneva Carr and Micah Stock

Who? Exactly. These two actors each stood out in a sea of famous faces. Carr, playing a mother pushed to her comical breaking point by a satanic handpuppet in “Hand to God,” finds herself competing for lead actress in a play with well-known heavyhitters Helen Mirren (“The Audience,” in which she revisits the role that won her an Oscar), Carey Mulligan (“Skylight”), Elisabeth Moss (“The Heidi Chronicles”) and Wilson (“Constellations”). Stock, meanwhile, is the sole nominee from “It’s Only a Play,” the backstage Broadway comedy that, in its original cast, was so starry (Nathan Lane, Matthew Broderick, Megan Mullally, Rupert Grint) that there was only one guy in it you’d never heard of. He’s that guy.

SNUB: “Side Show”

This revival of a cult Broadway musical — which proved as short-lived as its original incarnation — earned plenty of admirers for the significant revisions made to the show by a creative team led by Bill Condon. Audiences, however, didn’t take the bait — and neither did Tony nominators.

SNUB: “Honeymoon in Vegas”

For a while there, observers thought “Honeymoon” might turn out to be a popular hit for composer Jason Robert Brown, whose ambitious, challenging work has included “Parade” and “The Bridges of Madison County.” (He won Tonys for both.) “Honeymoon” earned unexpected raves in its premiere just across the river at New Jersey’s Paper Mill Playhouse, and garnered strong reviews here in New York too. But ticket buyers didn’t go for it, and the field was too crowded for Tony nominators to find a place for the show on the list.

More Legit

  • To Kill a Mockingbird review

    Broadway Review: 'To Kill a Mockingbird'

    Against all odds, writer Aaron Sorkin and director Bartlett Sher have succeeded in crafting a stage-worthy adaptation of Harper Lee’s classic American novel “To Kill a Mockingbird.” The ever-likable Daniels, whose casting was genius, gives a strong and searching performance as Atticus Finch, the small-town Southern lawyer who epitomizes the ideal human qualities of goodness, [...]

  • Isabelle HuppertIsabelle Huppert Life Achievement Award,

    Isabelle Huppert, Chris Noth to Appear on Stage in 'The Mother'

    Isabelle Huppert will appear opposite Chris Noth in the Atlantic Theater Company’s production of “The Mother.” It marks the U.S. premiere of the show. “The Mother” was written by French playwright Florian Zeller and translated by Christopher Hampton. Huppert, an icon of European film, was Oscar-nominated for “Elle” and appears in the upcoming Focus Features [...]

  • Could Anyone Follow ‘Springsteen on Broadway’?

    Could Anyone Follow 'Springsteen on Broadway'? Here Are Five Things They'd Need (Guest Column)

    After 235-odd shows, with grosses in excess of $100 million, a Special Tony Award and a hotly anticipated Netflix special debuting Sunday, “Springsteen on Broadway” is an unprecedented Broadway blockbuster. As with any success in entertainment, the rush to replicate The Boss’ one-man show reportedly is under way, with a consortium led by Live Nation, CAA [...]

  • Clueless review

    Off Broadway Review: 'Clueless' the Musical

    How does a musical stage adaptation of Amy Heckerling’s 1995 film comedy of oblivious privileged teens, “Clueless,” play in the era of female empowerment and millennial engagement? True, the principal skills of lead teen Cher Horowitz are the superficial ones of mall shopping and makeovers. But her sweet spirit and independence, plus some added P.C. relevance, [...]

  • Ley Line Unveils Brian Wilson Documentary,

    Ley Line Unveils Brian Wilson Documentary, 'Hugo Cabret' Musical

    Producers Tim Headington and Theresa Steele Page have unveiled Ley Line Entertainment with a Brian Wilson documentary and a “Hugo Cabret” musical in the works. Ley Line said it’s a content development, production, and financing company with projects spanning film, television, stage, and music. Headington financed and produced “The Young Victoria,” “Argo,” “Hugo,” and “World [...]

  • Daniel Radcliffe

    Listen: How Broadway Made Daniel Radcliffe a Better Actor

    Acting onstage has been a regular part of Daniel Radcliffe’s career for more than a decade — and the “Harry Potter” star says there’s a good reason for that: It’s made him better. “It gives me a lot of confidence as an actor, which is not always something that I’ve felt,” Radcliffe said on the [...]

  • The Jungle review

    Off Broadway Review: 'The Jungle'

    With the rumbling of semis careening by and the sound of Middle Eastern music in the distance, “The Jungle” aims to vividly immerse audiences into the world of the real-life migrant and refugee camp of the same name. By telling the story of the Jungle’s creation in Calais, France, in 2015, and its eventual destruction [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content