Saturday, April 13, 2024

Broadway: Outer Critics Circle Weird Nominations, Snubs Josh Groban, Annaleigh Ashford, Wendell Pierce Among Others


Last year I wrote about the Outer Critics Circle and how they lost all credibility with their kooky nominations. A couple of their members actually sent me hate mail. So what will they do this year?

The OCC is now composed of people you’ve never heard of, for the most part. They had weird ideas about who’s eligible for their awards. Fine. If their members want to pay for this, it’s their business. But the awards are negligible now, which is too bad.

So this year their “snubs” are similar to last year: with the exception of Sean Hayes and Jessica Chastain, they do not like “stars,” no matter how good they are. Last year Hugh Jackman led the list. This year, their biggest omission is Wendell Pierce as Willy Loman in “Death of a Salesman.” They should be arrested on the spot.

The OCC also left out Josh Groban, Annaleigh Ashford, and Gaten Matarazzo from “Sweeney Todd.” They nominators must be smoking crack. They cut everyone who isn’t “famous” from “The Piano Lesson” including John David Washington and Samuel L. Jackson. “The Piano Lesson” wasn’t even nominated for Outstanding Revival of a Play. There’s only one nominated actor from “Leopoldstadt,” Brandon Uranowitz. That’s insane. They also thumbed their noses at Yahya Abdul-Mateen II from “Top Dog/Underdog.”

So, who cares? The OCC’s newest administrative problem is gender-free nominations, and limiting each category to five nominees. Last night I heard one of them, sitting behind me at “New York, New York,” which received 12 nominations, saying it was their “second time” at this show. Hmmm.

The only important awards on Broadway are the Tonys. The Obies are Off Broadway. Everything else is just subjective nonsense.

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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