Tony Awards: Biggest Snubs and Surprises

The biggest surprise at this year’s Tony Awards was that there weren’t any surprises.

Whereas last year threw some curveballs our way, this year the final tally matched up precisely with the predictions made by Variety (and a lot of other outlets, too). That gave everyone on Broadway plenty to celebrate, from the first win for an actor who uses a wheelchair to a ceremony that pushed for even greater diversity and inclusion — but it also gave pundits a little less to talk about after the curtain came down. Still, there were a handful of snubs and surprises to be found in the night’s proceedings. Here they are.

SURPRISE: “The Boys in the Band”
Variety predicted this one would win, but in the days prior to the ceremony, it still seemed a crapshoot. The starry revival of “The Waverly Gallery” — which scored a Tony for Elaine May — put up a formidable fight for the trophy, as did the Roundabout Theatre Company’s revival of “All My Sons.” In the end, the 50th anniversary revival of Mart Crowley’s landmark drama claimed the prize, abetted by a big-name cast (which included Jim Parsons, Zachary Quinto and Matt Bomer) and a production (directed by Joe Mantello) that found as much humor as heartbreak in this pre-Stonewall snapshot of gay life in Manhattan.

SNUB: “What The Constitution Means to Me
Look, we all expected Sam Mendes’ meticulously constructed, masterfully staged production of “The Ferryman” to win the award for new play. But a lot of Broadway watchers had their fingers crossed that “Constitution,” Heidi Schreck’s smart, moving, topical memoir-cum-constitutional-debate, would pull off an upset. It didn’t.

SURPRISE: Jez Butterworth’s improvisation
Industry types who attended the Tony Awards dress rehearsal Sunday morning know “Ferryman” playwright Jez Butterworth had prepped a staid speech about his play for the telecast. But in the ceremony itself, the author went off book, turning his “Ferryman” segment into a tribute to Laura Donnelly, the Tony-nominated star of “Ferryman” (and the mother of his two children) whose real-life family history inspired the drama set in Ireland during the time of the Troubles.

SNUB: “The Prom
“Hadestown” and “Tootsie” were considered the frontrunners for the new musical award, but musical comedy “The Prom” had become a sentimental favorite for many in the industry, thanks to a storyline that lovingly skewered Broadway as it preached a heartwarming message of acceptance. In the end, the musical walked away empty-handed — but, silver lining: its segment on the Tony telecast was strong enough that it seems sure to boost sales.

RELATED CONTENT:

More Legit

  • Mark Rylance Oscars 2016

    'Bridge of Spies' Actor Mark Rylance Leads Union Drive for Coronavirus Relief Donations

    U.K. entertainment industry union Equity has pledged £1 million ($1.2 million) to support its members who have been affected by the pandemic-induced industry shutdown. Equity is asking for more donations, stating that the vast majority of its 47,000 members earn modest sums and do not have savings as a fall-back option. The appeal for further [...]

  • Directors Coronavirus

    Economic Package For Freelancers Elicits Mixed Response From U.K. Industry

    The long-awaited economic measures for the self-employed revealed by U.K. Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak on Thursday have elicited mixed response from the film and TV industry’s predominantly freelance workforce. Self-employed individuals can claim 80% of their average income over the last three years up to £2,500 ($3,000) a month, which is taxable. To [...]

  • The Inheritance review

    Critic’s Notebook: The Night Before Broadway Went Dark

    Let me preface this by saying the story I’m about to tell is not the smartest thing I’ve ever done. Two weeks ago, I rushed to New York City to catch “The Inheritance” before it closed on Broadway. I’d been tracking the play by Matthew Lopez — a multigenerational, six-and-a-half-hour monument that resurrects E.M. Forster [...]

  • Mark Blum dead

    Mark Blum, 'Desperately Seeking Susan' Star, Dies From Coronavirus Complications

    Actor Mark Blum, who appeared in “Desperately Seeking Susan,” “Crocodile Dundee” and the TV series “You,” has died due to complications from coronavirus. He was 69. The Playwrights Horizons theater group and SAG-AFTRA executive vice president Rebecca Damon confirmed the news on Thursday. It is with such deep sorrow that I’m writing to share the news [...]

  • U.K. Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi

    U.K. Chancellor Announces Emergency Measures for Freelancers

    The U.K. has finally announced an economic relief package for freelancers not in employment after much of the country’s creative industries shuttered due to the coronavirus pandemic. Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak announced a new self-employed income support scheme on Thursday. Self-employed individuals can claim 80% of their average income over the last three [...]

  • Celia Keenan-Bolger73rd Annual Tony Awards, Show,

    Tony Awards Postponed Due to Coronavirus Pandemic

    The Tony Awards are the latest industry event to be postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic. The American Theatre Wing, which backs the show, announced on Wednesday that the 74th edition of the annual celebration of the best of theater will be pushed back indefinitely. The ceremony was originally scheduled to air live on CBS, [...]

  • Debra Messing Golden Globes

    'Caroline, Or Change,' 'Birthday Candles' Postpone Broadway Runs Due to Coronavirus

    Roundabout Theatre Company is moving its hotly anticipated revival of “Caroline, Or Change” to the fall, as well as its upcoming production of “Birthday Candles” with Debra Messing. The shifts are an acknowledgment of a painful reality. Theaters in New York City have been closed due to the coronavirus pandemic and with the rate of [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content