Tony Who? A Preview of Nominations

Lily McMahon, Staff Writer

Buy your Sprite in bulk now, theater kids, the Tony’s are on the horizon. For those who don’t know, the Tony Awards are an award show for Broadway musicals and plays. It’s like the Oscars or Grammys, but instead of Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga singing about being in the shallows, it’s Lin-Manuel Miranda rapping with a group of 20 people in very sparkly outfits dancing in the background. All jokes aside, it’s one of my favorite nights of the year, and with James Corden coming back to host, it should be an entertaining evening.

The Tony nominations came out on April 30th, and with the show coming up in a few  weeks I thought it might be a good idea to give a quick synopsis of all the nominated shows for those who want to watch but may not have heard of each show.

Hadestown (14 nominations): A musical retelling of the ancient Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice. The main character Orpheus goes to the underworld to save Eurydice, his fiancee. This is my personal favorite musical of the season.

Ain’t Too Proud-The Life and Times of the Temptations (12 nominations): A jukebox musical about the popular Motown vocal group of the same name.

Tootsie (11 nominations): A musical based on the 1982 movie of the same name. It’s about an actor who becomes a woman in hopes of getting a job. Pretty dumb of them to assume that women get better jobs.

The Ferryman (9 nominations): A play about the family of a former IRA activist who lives in northern Ireland.

To Kill a Mockingbird (9 nominations): A play based on the classic novel by Harper Lee. I’m not going to even explain this plot because hopefully everyone has read this book by now. The guy from Dumb and Dumber stars as Atticus Finch, which is weird because Dumb and Dumber features a car that looks like a dog and To Kill A Mockingbird is about racism.

BeetleJuice (8 nominations): A musical based on the Tim Burton movie with the same title. It’s about a dead guy named Beetlejuice who doesn’t want to be dead and a living girl named Julia who wants to be dead. As Beetlejuice says in the opening number “welcome to a show about death”.

Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Oklahoma! (8 nominations): A classic musical about a town in Oklahoma where, “the cowboys and the farmers should be friends” and the different situations, usually involving love, the young people in the town are faced with. We’re in a big Cowboy moment right now (ex: Old Town Road, Buster Scruggs, etc), and I’m glad Broadway knows it too.

Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus (7 nominations): As the title suggests this play is a sequel to play Titus Andronicus written by that hack Billy Shakes. It follows two servants who are in charge of cleaning up the bodies left after Titus’s killing spree.

The Prom (7 nominations): A musical about a high school lesbian who wants to take her girlfriend to prom. When the school shuts down the prom because of her, four D-list broadway actors come to her rescue. You may remember this show from its, for some, controversial Thanksgiving Day Parade performance.

Ink (6 nominations): A play about Rupert Murdoch and his purchase of the struggling newspaper, The Sun.

Network (5 nominations): A play based on the 1976 movie of the same name. It’s about news media and the blurring of fact and fiction within the news. *A CNN joke*

Choirboy (4 nominations): A play about a young gay black man who is torn between his identity and his community.

Kiss Me, Kate (4 nominations): A musical about divorced broadway stars who star in a musical version of Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew alongside two other young broadway actors. Romantic hijinks ensue.

Arthur Miller’s All My Sons (3 nominations): A play about a businessman who was blinded by lust during the war and faced social consequences afterwards.

Burn This (3 nominations): A play that follows the life of Anna after she attends the funeral of her friend, a young gay dancer, who died with his partner Dom in a boating accident.  

The Cher Show (3 nominations): A jukebox musical about the life of the superstar Cher. With Cher comes an expected two hours of bedazzled outfits and a ton of  full company dance numbers. This is the only show of the season that I’ve seen in person and it was a lot of fun.

King Kong (3 nominations): A musical based on the 1933 film, which is about, as my brother Charlie puts it,  “a big friggin gorilla who destroys New York City.” Profoundly put Charlie.

Bernhardt/Hamlet (2 nominations): A play about 19th century French actress Sarah Bernhardt grappling with her portrayal of Hamlet in Hamlet.

The Boys in the Band (2 nominations): A play about a group of gay men at a birthday party. Or as I call it, last Tuesday.

Torch Song (2 nominations): A play about Arnold Beckoff and his journey of finding love and happiness in New York.

The Waverly Gallery (2 nominations): A play about a feisty Grandmother and her fight with her Alzheimer’s. Not an adaptation of the Selena Gomez Disney Channel sitcom from the early 2000s, big mistake.

What the Constitution Means to Me (2 nominations): A play about 15-year-old Heidi Schreck who earns her college tuition by winning debate competitions.

Be More Chill (1 nomination): A sci-fi musical about a boy named Jeremy who longs to be cool, so he takes a pill called the “SQUIP,” which is a computer that implants itself into Jeremy’s brain and teaches him how to become popular. This show is known for their annoying extra fan base of 12-year-old girls and moms on facebook.

Hillary and Clinton (1 nomination): A play that centers around Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign in an alternate universe.

King Lear (1 nomination): A tragedy written by Shakespeare about King Lear’s gradual descent into madness.

Those were all 24 Tony nominated shows of the 2019 season. My condolences to The Herd editors who have to read this and ask themselves why they chose this life for themselves.

I’ll write a recap of the night afterwards for those who don’t feel like watching but want to know why 20 theater kids are very angry on June 6th.