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Showbuzzness: And the nominees are…

Posted Thursday, May 15th, 2008 at 12:45 pm by Mardie in Cultural Bees. More in 10016

Well, it’s that time again: this past Tuesday morning, the 2008 Tony Award nominations were announced. As usual, there were a few surprises. The expected critically-acclaimed shows led the nominations (In the Heights with 13, South Pacific with 11) but a few noteworthy performances were definitely left unrecognized.

After the jump, a complete list of the musical nominations (we’ll tackle the plays next week) and a brief roundup of the deserving nominees, the snubs, and my picks for the win.

In the Heights

Lin-Manuel Miranda (center) leads In The Heights. Photo: AP

BEST MUSICAL
Cry-Baby
In the Heights
Passing Strange
Xanadu

The big surprise to many people is that Catered Affair was snubbed in favor of Cry Baby. I think that decision raised a lot of eyebrows, but I’m not sure either choice is the winner anyway so it doesn’t particularly matter in the long run. My pick is In the Heights, though I wouldn’t be completely shocked if the win went to the entertaining rock autobiography Passing Strange.

BEST REVIVAL OF A MUSICAL
Grease
Gypsy
South Pacific
Sunday in the Park With George

No surprises here. It’s South Pacific‘s to lose, though Gypsy and Sunday are both perfectly respectable choices. Grease is just there to fill a slot.

BEST PERFORMANCE BY A LEADING ACTOR IN A MUSICAL
Daniel Evans, Sunday in the Park With George
Lin-Manuel Miranda, In the Heights
Stew, Passing Strange
Paulo Szot, South Pacific
Tom Wopat, A Catered Affair

Woohoo Lin-Manuel! I’m rooting for the adorable Uznavi from In the Heights, though this may be anyone’s game. The noteable snub here is Cheyenne Jackson from Xanadu. I guess rollerskating around in Daisy Dukes doesn’t make you a shoo-in for a nomination.

BEST PERFORMANCE BY A LEADING ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL
Kerry Butler, Xanadu
Patti LuPone, Gypsy
Kelli O’Hara, South Pacific
Faith Prince, A Catered Affair
Jenna Russell, Sunday in the Park With George

There are some very strong contenders here, though I think Patti LuPone should definitely take home the prize. I was a little sad to see Sierra Boggess left off the list, since her delightfully pitch-perfect Ariel is one of the few saving graces of the, um, mediocre Little Mermaid.

BEST PERFORMANCE BY A FEATURED ACTOR IN A MUSICAL
Daniel Breaker, Passing Strange
Danny Burstein, South Pacific
Robin De Jesus, In the Heights
Christopher Fitzgerald, Young Frankenstein
Boyd Gaines, Gypsy

Always a fun category. Robin De Jesus cracked me up throughout In the Heights, but I think that Danny Burstein’s perfect take on the adorably gruff Luther Billis in South Pacific should land him the win.

BEST PERFORMANCE BY A FEATURED ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL
de’Adre Aziza, Passing Strange
Laura Benanti, Gypsy
Andrea Martin, Young Frankenstein
Olga Merediz, In the Heights
Loretta Ables Sayre, South Pacific

Another nice list of talent. I’m not even sure who to root for at this point as they all are justifiably nominated! I love Loretta Ables Sayre’s success story (she’s a native singer from Hawaii making her big break as Bloody Mary on Broadway.) Olga Merediz stole my heart as the comforting abuela in In the Heights, Andrea Martin is uber-talented and always hilarious, Laura Benanti brings a whole new level to Louise. This one will be interesting…

South Pacific

Loretta Ables-Sayre whooping it up with the sailors in South Pacific. Photo: Joan Marcus


Here’s a list of the rest of the musical nominations. Stay tuned for next week’s discussion of the nominees in the play categories!

BEST BOOK OF A MUSICAL
Cry-Baby
In the Heights
Passing Strange
Xanadu

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE
Cry-Baby
In the Heights
The Little Mermaid
Passing Strange

BEST DIRECTION OF A MUSICAL
Sam Buntrock, Sunday in the Park With George
Thomas Kail, In the Heights
Arthur Laurents, Gypsy
Bartlett Sher, South Pacific

BEST CHOREOGRAPHY
Rob Ashford, Cry-Baby
Andy Blankenbuehler, In the Heights
Christopher Gattelli, South Pacific
Dan Knechtges, Xanadu

BEST ORCHESTRATIONS
Jason Carr, Sunday in the Park With George
Alex Lacamoire and Bill Sherman, In the Heights
Stew and Heidi Rodewald, Passing Strange
Jonathan Tunick, A Catered Affair

BEST SCENIC DESIGN OF A MUSICAL
David Farley and Timothy Bird & The Knifedge Creative Network, Sunday in the Park With George
Anna Louizos, In the Heights
Robin Wagner, Young Frankenstein
Micheal Yeargan, South Pacific

BEST COSTUME DESIGN OF A MUSICAL
David Farley, Sunday in the Park With George
Martin Pakledinaz, Gypsy
Paul Tazewell, In the Heights
Catherine Zuber, South Pacific

BEST LIGHTING DESIGN OF A MUSICAL
Ken Billington, Sunday in the Park With George
Howell Binkley, In the Heights
Donald Holder, South Pacific
Natasha Katz, The Little Mermaid

BEST SOUND DESIGN OF A MUSICAL
Acme Sound Partners, In the Heights
Sebastian Frost, Sunday in the Park With George
Scott Lehrer, South Pacific
Dan Moses Schreier, Gypsy

SPECIAL TONY/LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT IN THE THEATER
Stephen Sondheim

REGIONAL THEATER TONY AWARD
Chicago Shakespeare Theater

SPECIAL TONY AWARD
Robert Russell Bennett

 
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