Imagine if there was an awards show where every nominee in every category truly deserved to win. 2016 delivered that kind of season on Broadway. Yes, it was the season of Hamilton, but it was also the season of many other strong performances, designs and shows. With so much creativity, the Tony Award nominating committee was bound to overlook some stellar potential winners. Here are a few categories that could easily have added another nomination…
Disaster! and American Psycho were very different musicals, in their subject, their approach to the material, and their areas of originality. In any other season, either would have received a nomination (and the ticket-buyers that go with it).
Best Book of a Musical
Waitress’s Jessie Nelson, who adapted the story from the 2007 movie of the same name by Adrienne Shelly, was overlooked. Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa’s effective and innovative book for American Psycho also deserved a nod.
For American Psycho, Duncan Sheik composed one of the most exciting scores of the season. He is still represented, however, by the nomination of his Spring Awakening in the Best Revival of a Musical category.
Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play
Making his Broadway debut, Ben Whishaw was ignored for his portrayal of John Proctor in The Crucible.
Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical
This category could easily have added two nominations: Austin P. McKenzie’s touching performance and gorgeous vocals in Spring Awakening and Benjamin Walker star-affirming performance as the title character in American Psycho.
Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical
Six-time Tony Award winner Audra McDonald wasn’t on the list, but she gives yet another memorable performance in Shuffle Along.
Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in Play
Oscar-nominee Satires Ronan overcame questionable direction in her graceful Broadway debut in The Crucible.
Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical
Hamilton took three of the five spots in this category, edging out Gavin Creel in She Loves Me and Daniel Durant in Spring Awakening.
Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical
Keala Settle and Kimiko Glenn as Jessie Mueller’s co-workers in Waitress both deserved nominations.
Best Scenic Design of a Musical
The pie shop of our dreams (and the proscenium made of pies) in Waitress deserved a nod.
Spencer Liff’s moving (in both senses) choreography in Spring Awakening. It merged motion, emotion and American Sign Language, and it renews hope for Broadway seasons still to come.
The 70th annual Tony Awards will be broadcast live from the Beacon Theater on CBS, on June 12th.