Thursday, June 20, 2024

Tony Awards Snub Morticia, Gomez But Cite Rhoda, Frasier


Rhoda Morgenstern has finally gotten her great citation. Valerie Harper, very deservedly, has been nominated for a Tony Award for Lead Actress in a Play, in “Looped.”  It’s a nice vindication.

She won’t win; that distinction will go to Viola Davis, in “Fences.” But still: Harper is in pretty swell company, with Laura Linney, Linda Lavin, and Jan Maxwell.

And Frasier Crane, aka Kelsey Grammer, is in for Lead Actor in a Musical, with his colleague Douglas Hodge in “La Cage Aux Folles.”

But there’s no love from the Tony’s for “The Addams Family,” a critic proof musical that’s making millions even as we sit here snapping fingers to the TV theme song. Nathan Lane and Bebe Neuwirth were each skipped over, as was the show. Go figure: the rotten score by Andrew Lippa did get nominated. In “Full Disclosure”: it shouldn’t have.

Also completely overlooked: last fall’s “A Steady Rain,” which had very good performances by Daniel Craig and Hugh Jackman. That’s too bad, because Craig especially deserved it.

But the rest of the Tony nominations are in sync with the prior Outer Critics Circle, which turned out to be a good predictor. The OCC remembered Jude Law for “Hamlet” and cited Jan Maxwell twice. So did the Tonys. The kooky Drama Desk, however, simply nominated everything — just to cover themselves.

This year’s Tony Award show on CBS–Sunday, June 13th–should be pretty good. In addition to Harper and Grammer, the other well known faces will be Jude Law, Liev Schreiber, Scarlett Johansson, Denzel Washington, Viola Davis, Catherine Zeta Jones, Angela Lansbury, and so on. Lots and lots of stars should produce some good ratings. Maybe Green Day will appear for “American Idiot.” Cool.

PS The original musical category is a mess. “American Idiot” is in my opinion the Best New Musical. But its director, Michael Mayer, wasn’t nominated. Instead, the most deserving director of a Musical who was nominated should be Marcia Milgrim Dodge. She made the revival of “Ragtime” important and moving. She reinvented the show entirely from its original laborious production.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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