Tony nominations: Denzel Washington, 'American Idiot,' 'Fela!', and 'La Cage' earn nods

Musicals Fela! and La Cage aux Folles got some nice early morning love today, leading all Tony Award nominees with 11 nods each. Memphis followed close behind with eight nominations, including Best Musical. As for the plays, Fences lead the pack with 10 nominations, including Best Performance nods for stars Denzel Washington and Viola Davis. The 64th Annual Tony Awards will air on June 13, 2010.  See the nominees below, and get our expert commentary on this year’s surprises and snubs.

Best Play

In the Next Room or the Vibrator Play, Sarah Ruhl

Next Fall, Geoffrey Nauffts

Red, John Logan

Time Stands Still, Donald Margulies

Best Musical

American Idiot



Million Dollar Quartet

Best Book of a Musical

Everyday Rapture, Dick Scanlan and Sherie Rene Scott

Fela!, Jim Lewis & Bill T. Jones

Memphis, Joe DiPietro

Million Dollar Quartet, Colin Escott and Floyd Mutrux

Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) Written for the Theatre

The Addams Family, Music & Lyrics: Andrew Lippa

Enron, Music: Adam Cork, Lyrics: Lucy Prebble

Fences, Music: Branford Marsalis

Memphis, Music: David Bryan, Lyrics: Joe DiPietro, David Bryan

Best Revival of a Play


Lend Me a Tenor

The Royal Family

A View from the Bridge

Best Revival of a Musical

Finian’s Rainbow

La Cage aux Folles

A Little Night Music


Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Play

Jude Law, Hamlet

Alfred Molina, Red

Liev Schreiber, A View from the Bridge

Christopher Walken, A Behanding in Spokane

Denzel Washington, Fences

Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Play

Viola Davis, Fences

Valerie Harper, Looped

Linda Lavin, Collected Stories

Laura Linney, Time Stands Still

Jan Maxwell, The Royal Family

Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical

Kelsey Grammer, La Cage aux Folles

Sean Hayes, Promises, Promises

Douglas Hodge, La Cage aux Folles

Chad Kimball, Memphis

Sahr Ngaujah, Fela!

Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical

Kate Baldwin, Finian’s Rainbow

Montego Glover, Memphis

Christiane Noll, Ragtime

Sherie Rene Scott, Everyday Rapture

Catherine Zeta-Jones, A Little Night Music

Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Play

David Alan Grier, Race

Stephen McKinley Henderson, Fences

Jon Michael Hill, Superior Donuts

Stephen Kunken, Enron

Eddie Redmayne, Red

Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Play

Maria Dizzia, In the Next Room or the Vibrator Play

Rosemary Harris, The Royal Family

Jessica Hecht, A View from the Bridge

Scarlett Johansson, A View from the Bridge

Jan Maxwell, Lend Me a Tenor

Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical

Kevin Chamberlin, The Addams Family

Robin De Jesús, La Cage aux Folles

Christopher Fitzgerald, Finian’s Rainbow

Levi Kreis, Million Dollar Quartet

Bobby Steggert, Ragtime

Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical

Barbara Cook, Sondheim on Sondheim

Katie Finneran, Promises, Promises

Angela Lansbury, A Little Night Music

Karine Plantadit, Come Fly Away

Lillias White, Fela!

Best Scenic Design of a Play

John Lee Beatty, The Royal Family

Alexander Dodge, Present Laughter

Santo Loquasto, Fences

Christopher Oram, Red

Best Scenic Design of a Musical

Marina Draghici, Fela!

Christine Jones, American Idiot

Derek McLane, Ragtime

Tim Shortall, La Cage aux Folles

Best Costume Design of a Play

Martin Pakledinaz, Lend Me a Tenor

Constanza Romero, Fences

David Zinn, In the Next Room or the Vibrator Play

Catherine Zuber, The Royal Family

Best Costume Design of a Musical

Marina Draghici, Fela!

Santo Loquasto, Ragtime

Paul Tazewell, Memphis

Matthew Wright, La Cage aux Folles

Best Lighting Design of a Play

Neil Austin, Hamlet

Neil Austin, Red

Mark Henderson, Enron

Brian MacDevitt, Fences

Best Lighting Design of a Musical

Kevin Adams, American Idiot

Donald Holder, Ragtime

Nick Richings, La Cage aux Folles

Robert Wierzel, Fela!

Best Sound Design of a Play

Acme Sound Partners, Fences

Adam Cork, Enron

Adam Cork, Red

Scott Lehrer, A View from the Bridge

Best Sound Design of a Musical

Jonathan Deans, La Cage aux Folles

Robert Kaplowitz, Fela!

Dan Moses Schreier and Gareth Owen, A Little Night Music

Dan Moses Schreier, Sondheim on Sondheim

Best Direction of a Play

Michael Grandage, Red

Sheryl Kaller, Next Fall

Kenny Leon, Fences

Gregory Mosher, A View from the Bridge

Best Direction of a Musical

Christopher Ashley, Memphis

Marcia Milgrom Dodge, Ragtime

Terry Johnson, La Cage aux Folles

Bill T. Jones, Fela!

Best Choreography

Rob Ashford, Promises, Promises

Bill T. Jones, Fela!

Lynne Page, La Cage aux Folles

Twyla Tharp, Come Fly Away

Best Orchestrations

Jason Carr, La Cage aux Folles

Aaron Johnson, Fela!

Jonathan Tunick, Promises, Promises

Daryl Waters & David Bryan, Memphis


Comments (40 total) Add your comment
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  • chelsea

    No John Gallagher Jr. for lead actor in a musical???

    • Katie

      That was exactly what i thought when i saw the nominations!!

  • Jason

    Two PLAYS were nominated for best score — if that’s not a sign of a weak season on Broadway, I don’t know what is!

    • Amy


    • paige


  • Jane

    im sorry..but..Scarlett Johansson? that is terrible.

    • jennrae

      I heard she was great.

    • dave

      Did you even see the show? She was fantastic and absolutely deserves the nod.

      • Evan

        I saw the show and found her very one-note (as always).

  • H.T.

    It seems like the best way to get a Tony is to go to Hollywood, become insanely famous, and then come back to get a Tony. Kudos, Tony Nominators for becoming just another Awards show rather than celebrating the theatre.

    • Maureen

      I co-sign on this.

    • Flyer

      That’s Tracy Jordan’s plan to get the T in his EGOT bling!

    • dave

      No, it seems like you didn’t see the performances. Some of them are completely worthy and “screen actor” does not always mean “second rate.” You’re an elitist idiot.

    • Strepsi

      No dave, while I agree some are brilliant performances, and while some TV actors are originally Broadway actors, H.T. is right overall: this nomination list looks more like the Emmys than the Tonys. And with the pressure on producers to get a “name” in the cast, a fantastic Broadway actor who does NOT have mass media credentials has little to no hope of a lead anymore…

    • paige

      um Hugh Jackman & Daniel Craig starred in the biggest show of the year and they still didnt get nominated— so your theory is kinda wrong.

    • Thom Geier

      There are a bunch of TV and movie stars who did not get nominations: In addition to Jackman, Craig, Lane, and Neuwirth, the list includes Kristin Chenoweth, James Spader, Kerry Washington, Carrie Fisher, Sam Rockwell, Vanessa Williams, Alicia Silverstone, Tony Shalhoub, etc. In fact, many of those folks gave very good performances. But the Tony nominators chose a lot of unsung performers and shows, even rewarding Broadway vet Jan Maxwell with two noms for two different shows. You have to wonder if snubbed, star-driven shows that are still running (like Addams Family and Promises, Promises) will get a chance to perform during the Tony broadcast. Traditionally, the answer is no. But that has been relaxed in the last couple years.

      • sssss

        um kristen chenoweth started on broadway and reviews have been lukearm for her part on promises promises

  • Moe

    I think I speak for everyone when I say:
    WHO CARES!!!

    • Jack

      You don’t.

    • dave

      um… no, you speak for YOU.

    • Mark S

      Hey Moe, you don’t speak for everyone. You’re just still bummed that Curly is more popular than you.

      • C.K. Dexter

        Dear Moe-
        Please stop speaking for everyone. I understand the Tony’s aren’t as exciting to some as, say…your favoriet awards show, the MTV movie awards, but some of us do care.

  • RtG

    I’m so excited for Fela! It’s the best thing I’ve ever seen on B’way. Just amazing.

  • Curious

    I noticed that Jan Maxwell was nominated in the leading and the featuring categories. Does anyone know when the last time that happened for an actress was?

  • bigvig

    Definitely a weak year for broadway.
    IT’S A CRIME THAT TWO PALYS GET NOMINATIONS FOR BEST MUSICAL SCORE. I know that FELA, AMERICAN IDIOT and COME FLY WITH ME were all disqualitfied in this category because the music wasn’t written originally for Broadway…so that leaves the lame ADAAMS FAMILY and the bloated MEMPHIS in the running…watch best musical score will go to a dramatic play…that’ll be a first in Tony history.

    • Dan

      Question: Is “Enron” a play or musical? I heard it was a musical and it was nominated for Best Score, but its other nominations have it listed as a play.

      • Thom Geier

        Enron is a play, with some musical elements. The London production was sometimes billed as “Enron, the Musical” but it is officially considered a play.

  • cranky

    So does Angela Lansbury have her EGOT yet, or what?

    • Thom Geier

      Alas, Ms. Lansbury has no Oscars, Emmys, or Grammy awards.

      • kim in kentucky

        but she did win several Golden Globes – maybe that could count for the G ??

  • Kay

    Barbara Cook vs. Angela Lansbury! Now that is old school!

  • anonymous

    “No dave, while I agree some are brilliant performances, and while some TV actors are originally Broadway actors, H.T. is right overall: this nomination list looks more like the Emmys than the Tonys. And with the pressure on producers to get a “name” in the cast, a fantastic Broadway actor who does NOT have mass media credentials has little to no hope of a lead anymore…”

    I’m sure that some of the tv/movie actors are talented and deserve their nomination but I have such a hard time that the best stage actors consists largely of actors mostly known for movies and tv.

  • anonymous

    “um Hugh Jackman & Daniel Craig starred in the biggest show of the year and they still didnt get nominated— so your theory is kinda wrong.”

    Well there are only five possible nominations.

  • Liz

    I have to admit I’m surprised that John Gallagher Jr. was snubbed. I was very impressed with American Idiot.

    I am also THRILLED that Ragtime got nominated for Best Revival of a Musical. That was a fantastic production that closed before its time.

    • bwana

      Liz (1204 PM) is exactly right. We saw it at the Kennedy Center before the Broadway run began, and it was marvelous and emotional without the ponderous sets of the original Broadway run…

  • ia

    All the plays, whether they be musicals, dramas or comedies, were strange this year with THE VIBRATOR PLAY, A BEHANDING IN SPOKANE, RED, FELA the exceptions. I really wish The Tony Committee would eliminate its Best Revival Category. And Broadway would not produce anymore revivals…it’s like watching remade movies. Been there, done that. Why is “the well so dry” when it comes to original dramas, comedies, musicals? Where are the original playwrights of long ago? Those who try to write something original, direct something original, act in something original struggle to get on Broadway? And if they succeed, they have a limited run on Broadway. I love theatre and long for the days of SONDHIEM, WEBBER/RICE, ALBEE, MILLER, BENNETT, SIMON…and their originality. Sad to say but Broadway is not like it used to be. It is nice, however, to see a few women get Tony nods in categories that have been predominantly occupied by men.

  • Mac

    I posted my predictions before the nominations came out, but I’ll post them again:

    My Tony Predictions for the Win: Musicals

    Best Musical: American Idiot

    Best Revival: La Cage aux Folles

    Best Lead Actor: Douglas Hodge – La Cage aux Folles

    Best Leading Actress: Sherie Rene Scott – Everyday Rapture

    Best Featured Actor: Levi Kreis – Million Dollar Quartet

    Best Featured Actress: Katie Finneran – Promises, Promises

    All in all, this has been a pretty ho-hum season. I thought last year was weak (Billy Elliot and Next to Normal being the only exceptions) but this season has been worse. I thought AI was going to be the Spring Awakening cum Jersey Boys of its year– but it looks like the Tony’s aren’t as enthralled with it as I thought they would be.
    My runner up for Best Musical and Best Actor would be Fela! and Ngaujah, respectively. Its director has a shot at taking home the Tony too, but I have a feeling that “La Cage” will win that award— the Tony’s have had a long love affair with La Cage.
    The Lead Actress category is déjà vu from last year, with Scott in Alice Ripley’s shoes. Sherie Rene Scott’s performance is the most lauded and heavily praised performance of the bunch; and like Ripley, she’s against several other ladies who just come up short. Zeta-Jones is fine, but I don’t think she understands Desiree. Baldwin and Noll have the disadvantage being nominated for shows that closed months ago, and Glover does the best she can with the mediocre material handed to her. There just isn’t much buzz for the last three ladies.
    If Lansbury hadn’t taken home her 5th Tony just last year, I’d put her as the front runner. As it stands, I’ll leave Finneran as the front runner and let Barbara Cook and Angela Lansbury to duke it out as to who is the sentimental favorite among Tony voters.
    Overall, if I had to grade this season, I’d give it a C-. There were some pretty good new shows (American Idiot, Fela) but mostly bad (Memphis, Addams Family, that horrendous Bye Bye Birdie revival) a few good revivals that closed too soon (Ragtime, Finian’s Rainbow) and a few productions that are just middle of the road (A Little Night Music, Million Dollar Quartet, Promises, Promises, Come Fly Away).

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