The Super Bowl of Theater is officially on its way with Tuesday morning’s Tony Award nominations, and we’re happy to say the queers and queer-friendly have a pretty good chance — I mean, it is Broooaadwaaay, right?
While there is plenty to celebrate, we want to bring your attention to a few of the folks and shows we’re rooting for. Stay tuned to see if they win come Sunday, June 9. And check out the full list of nominations here.
Tarell Alvin McCraney, Choir Boy
Oscar-winning Moonlight co-writer Tarell Alvin McCraney made his Broadway debut earlier this year with a rousing show about a queer, Black boy at an all-boys prep school. I had the opportunity to see it and called it, “an unabashed and unapologetic interrogation of Black masculinity, queer antagonism, and the redemptive powers of (self) love [that] is exactly what Broadway, and the greater world, needs.” The play is nominated in four categories, including best play, best sound design (Fitz Patton), lead actor in a play (Jeremy Pope), and best choreography (Camille A. Brown). Might McCraney be on his way to that coveted EGOT?
Bob Mackie, The Cher Show
Cher’s legendary designer Bob Mackie was brought in to do the costumes for the Broadway musical about her last year, and from the announcement alone, we knew he’d bring his signature style to the stage. After all, he was the one who created many of Cher's most cherished looks over the past decades, including that 1986 feathered Oscars ensemble and all of the costumes for her recent Las Vegas residencies. He’s having a little more time in the spotlight as one of five nominees for best costume design of a musical. The legend deserves — and the show has two other noms: best lighting design (Kevin Adams) and leading actress (Stephanie J. Block) in a musical.
Robin De Jesús, The Boys in the Band
I remember De Jesús slaying me to pieces as Michael in the 2003 independent film Camp, where he plays a gay teen who gets beat up for wearing a dress to his prom. For that alone, he deserves every award he’s nominated for — including this one for best performance by an actor in a featured role. It’s one of the play’s two noms (the other is for best play revival) and a perfect way to celebrate producer Ryan Murphy bringing this very story to Netflix next year. And yes, De Jesús is in that one too!
We’ve got to be sure to highlight Pope as he is nominated twice this year. He’s nominated for lead actor in a play, for his Choir Boy role, as well as actor in a featured role in a musical, for playing Eddie Kendricks in The Temptations jukebox musical, Ain't Too Proud - The Life and Times of the Temptations. He’s one of the musical's 12 noms.
The legendary Harvey Fierstein’s Torch Song is nominated for best revival of a play and best costume design for Clint Ramos’ work. It won two Tony’s during its original run in 1983 for best play and best actor.
Ali Stroker, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Oklahoma!
Stroker made history in 2015 by being the first actress in a wheelchair to perform on the Broadway stage. Stroker, who identifies as bisexual, made even more history with her Tony nomination. She’s a queer, disabled actress playing a non-queer, non-disabled character — the man-obsessed Ado Annie in Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Oklahoma! — and her performance has led her to one of the show’s 8 nominations.
Be More Chill
While our reviewer had mixed thoughts on Be More Chill — noting how an inconsistent tone, making a joke of bisexuality, and more are bugs in its system — the show nabbed a single nomination for its original score (Joe Iconis). Of the score, our reviewer said it was “memorable and catchy.”
Gideon Glick, To Kill a Mockingbird
The Broadway prognosticators were right when they predicted Glick would earn a nomination for his featured role in the play To Kill a Mockingbird, written by Oscar-winner Aaron Sorkin. He plays Dill, best friend to Jem and Scout and his nomination is one of nine for the play, including best direction (Bartlett Sher), original score (Adam Guettel), and scenic design (Miriam Buether).
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