Monday, June 17, 2024

Tony Awards: A Desultory List of 18 Mediocre to OK Shows are Eligible, With Only Race in Best Actress in a Play


The Tony Awards are really insisting in going through with a faux awards show sometime this fall on a streaming platform. It was an aborted season that saw many terrific shows never open. The 18 shows deemed eligible are mediocre to “ok.” Not great. The only real race would be between Laura Linney in “My Name is Lucy Barton” and Mary Louise Parker in “The Sound Inside.” With this group, Adrienne Warren would easily win for “Tina: The Tina Turner Musical.” Brian Cox and Michael Shannon might compete for Best Actor in a Play.

But these are slim pickings at best. If all these shows had been mixed in with the ones that never got to open during the pandemic, then we’d have something. “Girl from the North Country” was easily Best Musical, for example. “Company” would have been Best Revival of a Musical. And so on. So is this just a dreary effort, and I don’t know why they are doing it. They should simply have waited til next June and included all the 2020 and 2021 shows. I think this is a mistake. But no one asked me.

You would have five original plays here: “The Inheritance,” “Slave Play,” “The Height of the Storm,” “Lucy Barton,” and “The Sound Inside.” I would choose “The Sound Inside.” If “Slave Play” wins Best Play we would really be in another world. But I’d bet on it happening. The fix is in. C’est la vie.

Here are the 18 titles:

Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune

Moulin Rouge! The Musical

Sea Wall/A Life


The Height of the Storm

The Great Society

Slave Play

Linda Vista

The Rose Tattoo

The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical

The Sound Inside

Tina – The Tina Turner Musical

The Inheritance

A Christmas Carol

Jagged Little Pill

My Name is Lucy Barton

A Soldier’s Play

Grand Horizons

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.

Read more

In Other News