Surprising Snubs & Shocks At Tony Nominations 2023

The Tony Award nominees for 2023 have been announced. The Tony nominations for 2023 went mostly as expected. Pundits predicted that all five candidates for best musical and all four nominees for best revival of a Musical would be nominated. There were, however, some shocks.

Here are several snubs, shocks, and more notes on the nominations list:

Tony Nominations 2023: Snubs

A Native American Breakthrough

Tuesday morning, the producers of Larissa Fasthorse's "The Thanksgiving Play" didn't have much to be thankful for. The musical, which was thought to be the first by a Native American woman to be performed on Broadway, was completely shut down. The play is a comedy about four white Americans stumbling toward a creative performance commemorating Native American Heritage Month, but it is also a parable about Native American erasure, which makes the exclusion unsettling.

Olivier-Winning West End Faves

“Life of Pi” received five nominations and “Prima Facie” four, including one for star Jodie Comer. Both "Pi" and "Prima Facie" won Oliviers for best play in 2021 and 2022, although neither won Tony for best play. HiranAbeysekera, who won an Olivier for lead actor in "Pi," and the show's puppeteers, who received a supporting actor Olivier for bringing the story's fierce tiger (among other animals) to life, were not nominated for Tonys. However, the 2020 Olivier winner "Leopoldstadt" has become one of Broadway's longest-running hits and received six nominations, including one best play.

Mr. and Mrs. Brustein

Responding to what they regarded as pent-up demand for "The Sign in Sidney Brustein's Window" following a sellout run at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, producers surprised audiences by adding the revival of Lorraine Hansberry's 1964 drama to the Broadway season on the final feasible night. Despite this, Oscar Isaac and Rachel Brosnahan were not nominated for their seductive, emotional depictions of a disintegrating marriage in 1960s Greenwich Village. Only Miriam Silverman, who played Brosnahan's starchy sister, received an acting nomination for her supporting role.

A Beautiful Noise

The Neil Diamond jukebox musical received no nominations at all. The Michael Jackson jukebox musical MJ was nominated for 10 Tony Awards last year, including best musical, and took home four of them, including best actor in a Musical for Myles Frost, the show's leading man. A Beautiful Noise's lead actor Will Swenson was nominated for a 2009 Tony Award for his performance in Hair. Diamond and Jackson are both pop music legends, but Tony voters responded to their performances extremely differently.

Unfavorable Results for "The Piano Lesson"

Along with "Leopoldstadt," "The Piano Lesson" was one of the season's most successful plays, with a strong cast and crew that may be nominated. In a competitive Broadway play season, Danielle Brooks (featured actress), John David Washington (main actor), and LaTanya Richardson Jackson (director) were all overlooked. "Piano Lesson" won the top play revival award and a nomination for Samuel L. Jackson.

Tony Nominations 2023: Shocks

PhillipaSoo missed two nominations

The Tony nominee for "Hamilton" performed well in two musical revivals this season, "Into the Woods" as Cinderella and "Lerner and Loewe's Camelot" as Guinevere. Many of our prognosticators expected her to break through in one of the races, even if she did not in our aggregate odds. Her two Best Revival of Musical nominees, "Woods" and "Camelot," did well.

Big Love for “Ain’t No Mo'”

“Ain’t No Mo’,” Jordan E. Cooper’s scathing comedy on racial injustice in America, opened in December to excellent reviews. The musical struggled at the box office and shuttered a few weeks later, which might have put it at risk of being forgotten come awards season, especially in a crowded field. "Ain't No Mo'" was one of the season's most nominated plays with six nominations, including one for play and one for writer-performer Cooper.

Strong show for “Shucked”

Shucked, the little show that could, had a tremendous day, collecting an incredible nine nominations – more than Sweeney Todd, Into The Woods, Leopoldstadt, Parade, and a slew of other productions that were significantly less well-known heading into their opening evenings. Shucked's creators were so confident in the products that they offered low-cost tickets during the musical's preview period, hoping for word of mouth and possibly some Tony love. They appear to have gotten both.

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The Tony Nominations 2023 celebrate theater and its creators and fans. Though controversial, the nominations show the theater's complexity and diversity. As the Tony Awards approach, let us enjoy the stage's enchantment, honor the actors who have left their mark, and remember that theater's greatest power is to transport, inspire, and touch our souls.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

When Jane Greenwood won a Tony Award for Best Costume Design of a Play in 2017, she broke a record for most Tony nominations 2023 without a victory. It took the designer 52 years between her first nomination in 1965 and her 21st nomination (and maiden victory).

This honor goes to Frankie Michaels, who, a month after turning 11, competed for and won the 1966 Best Featured Actor in a Musical Tony Award for his performance as Patrick Dennis in Mame opposite Angela Lansbury.

The musical Hamilton (2016) narrowly beat out The Producers (2001; 15 nominations in 12 categories) and Billy Elliot (2009; 15 nominations in 13 categories) to claim the record for the highest Tony nominations ever garnered by a single production.

Earning an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar, and a Tony is considered the pinnacle of success in Hollywood (or an EGOT). 18 people have received all four awards: actors, producers, directors, and composers. Robert Lopez is the only person to have won the EGOT twice.

Isaac Harrington

Isaac Harrington is an active blogger who started his journey as a part-time stint but has now fallen in love with the profession. Sharing heartfelt experiences is close to his heart, and helping people with his content is something that fuels his passion.