John Cameron Mitchell and “Wicked” composer Stephen Schwartz will win special 2015 Tony Awards, with Mitchell earning the recognition for his head-turning return to the lead role of the musical that he co-created, “Hedwig and the Angry Inch,” and Schwartz scoring the Tonys’ honor for humanitarian or charitable organizations.
Mitchell originated the title role in the show’s 1998 Off Broadway premiere, but as one of the replacement actors who has followed Neil Patrick Harris into the current Broadway production, he isn’t eligible for consideration in this year’s competitive acting race at the Tonys. During last year’s awards season, fans of Mitchell and of “Hedwig” registered dissatisfaction with the fact that the actor-writer-director wasn’t eligible as one of the co-creators of the show since the production was considered a revival rather than a new musical (although the title had never before played Broadway).
The special Tony award corrects that. It’ll also give a nice publicity boost to “Hedwig,” in which Darren Criss recently began his starring stint following Mitchell’s run.
Meanwhile, Schwartz, the composer whose string of enduring musical titles includes “Pippin” and “Godspell,” will take home the Isabelle Stevenson Tony Award for his work supporting artists and emerging creatives with the ASCAP Musical Theater Workshop, the ASCAP Foundation and the Dramatists Guild. Schwartz was president of the Dramatists Guild for six years before recently stepping down.
Mitchell and Schwartz will receive their Tonys as part of the 2015 Tony Awards ceremony, set to be broadcast live June 7 from Radio City Music Hall. The nominees for this year’s competitive categories will be announced April 28.