Live Tony Award 2020 Nominations: “Jagged Little Pill” and “Slave Play” Lead The Race

‘Jagged Little Pill’ leads the race for finest new musical, adopted carefully by ‘Moulin Rouge!’

“Jagged Little Pill,” a rousing, of-the-moment present a couple of suburban household grappling with dependancy, sexual assault, transracial adoption and marital strife — amongst different points — scored 15 Tony Award nominations Thursday, essentially the most of any present from the truncated 2019-20 Broadway season.

“Jagged,” impressed by the blockbuster 1995 Alanis Morissette album, will likely be in a decent race with “Moulin Rouge! The Musical,” a lush stage manufacturing a couple of louche nightclub in turn-of-the-century Paris, which acquired 14 nominations. “Tina — The Tina Turner Musical,” is the third contender in the most effective musical race.

This yr’s much-delayed awards cycle comes at an enormously attempting time for the theater trade, when skilled productions across the nation are virtually solely shut down, leaving most theater artists unemployed, due to the coronavirus pandemic.

But trade leaders have determined to proceed with an awards ceremony, deciding that they wished to honor the most effective of the 18 exhibits that opened between April 2019 and February this yr.

“History has shown us that every great society has had theater at its core,” Iglehart said in the livestream. “Theater has always and will always survive. Theater is constant.”

Here’s a situation you don’t see very often: In the race for leading actor in a musical, Aaron Tveit, who plays a lovestruck writer in “Moulin Rouge!,” is competing against … no one.

But the award is not quite in the bag. He must get support from 60 percent of the ballots cast to take home the trophy. (Well, there’s a pandemic, so presumably the trophies will actually be delivered, not handed out.)

While best actor in a musical nominees were scant, the Tonys recognized a wealth of riches among actors in plays, listing six (not the usual four or five) nominees, including the film star Tom Hiddleston in “Betrayal,” and both Jake Gyllenhaal and Tom Sturridge, who teamed up for the monologues “Sea Wall/A Life.”

Best actress is a play shapes up as a battle that includes three stage veterans: Audra McDonald, a record-holder with six Tonys; Laura Linney; and Mary-Louise Parker. Vying with them is Joaquina Kalukango, who joined the cast of “Slave Play” for its Broadway run in the grueling role of Kaneisha.

As always the Tonys took notice of beloved veterans, including the 80-year-old Jane Alexander (“Grand Horizons”), a former head of the National Endowment for the Arts; and 89-year-old Lois Smith, who appeared late in the two-part “The Inheritance.”

Breakout performers were recognized as well, including Adrienne Warren in the title role of “Tina”; Lauren Patten, who thrilled audiences with her barn-burning rendition of “You Oughta Know” in “Jagged Little Pill”; and Andrew Burnap, as the ambitious writer Toby Darling in “The Inheritance.”

This year’s Tony Awards ceremony was originally slated for June 7 at Radio City Music Hall, and to be broadcast on CBS. None of that is happening anymore.

So what is the plan? We don’t know yet.

The awards administrators are hoping to hold the ceremony in December or January, but expect to wait until after next month’s presidential election before setting a date. They have not described the format, but have indicated that the ceremony will be virtual, rather than in person. And they have not yet said how it will air, although they expect it to be streamed online, not broadcast on television.

There are about 800 Tony voters, most of whom work in the theater industry as producers, actors, designers and so on; only those who have seen each nominated show in a category can vote in that category. Tony officials say every nominated show was seen by several hundred voters, at a minimum, and that the number of qualified voters for each category is similar to that in other years. Awards administrators have not yet said when the voting will take place.

The Tonys, founded in 1947 and formally called the Antoinette Perry Awards, are presented by the American Theater Wing and the Broadway League. The awards honor plays and musicals that are staged in the 41 Broadway theaters, each of which has at least 500 seats, and most of which are around Times Square.

This could be the last Tony Awards for a while. It’s unlikely that there will be a 2020-21 Broadway season, given that the Broadway League has canceled performances at least through May 30, which is after the traditional season ends.

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