TONY TALK #2: Snubs of this Season's Tony Awards

The most hard thing to do as someone who hasn't seen any of the shows on Broadway this season is to assess who was snubbed when it came to being nominated for a Tony Award; it's hard enough to make a judgement on who should win, so it's even harder to critique on who should have been nominated. But much like how I've compiled my list of predictions, I can base this list almost entirely on critical opinion and audience reception to their performances and it's a long one indeed.

Perhaps the most surprising "not-minated" person this year was six time Tony Award-winner Audra McDonald, who is currently giving a stellar performance in Shuffle Along at the Music Box.  Not only is the fact she was overlooked surprising because of her previous success when it comes to the Tony Awards, but her performance is critically acclaimed and celebrated very highly, so it's strange to not see her be up for the award this year. In fact, McDonald didn't recieve a Drama Desk nod for her performance either, which also seems surprising. Regardless, the show has been nominated for a fantastic 10 Tony Awards tonight which, in any other year that isn't in the shadow of Hamilton's many nominations, is typically the highest amount of nominations a good show would get.

Six time Tony Award-winner Audra McDonald stars in Shuffle Along at the Music Box Theatre

Another already well celebrated musical that had a performer overlooked this year was the critically acclaimed revival of The Color Purple as audience members and fans were surprised to see Jennifer Hudson's name not be up there beside Cynthia Erivo's and Danielle Brooks'. In fact, Hudson was just as surprised as she infamously took to Twitter on nomination day to say that she was "only hired for her celebrity, not for her talent". Slightly butthurt perhaps and most definitely untrue as replacement Heather Headley is wowing audiences just as much despite her Broadway-exclusive fan base. Hudson was nominated for the prestigious Distinguished Performance Drama League Award, though.

A show that was almost entirely overlooked was the Broadway transfer of American Psycho that recently closed on Broadway due to a lack of critical success. Following a positive and promising run at London's Almeida Theatre a few years back, it was poised to be even more successful upon its Broadway arrival earlier this year. Unfortunately, the show didn't manage to pick up steam and critics failed to see the artistry behind the Avant Garde direction by Rupert Goold. Not only is it surprising for some that it didn't get a Best Musical nod, but they're even more surprised that superstar Benjamin Walker wasn't given a nomination for his turn as Christian Bale, but perhaps the lukewarm critical reception had something to do with that.

Benjamin Walker and the ensemble of the now-closed American Psycho musical on Broadway

Other big musicals failed to be remembered at the Tony Awards this year, too. On Your Feet! - the musical about Emilio and Gloria Estefan - was also surprisingly overlooked for a Best Musical nomination and a Best Leading Actress in a Musical nomination for Ana Villafane. Despite critics' lack of adoration for the show, it's still widely accepted that these were snubs. Tuck Everlasting also failed to garner Tony attention this season with only one Tony nod, as well as plays like Fully Committed starring Jesse Tyler Ferguson which were totally forgotten. The Broadway revival of Dames At Sea was also almost entirely forgotten despite it being celebrated by critics and fans alike, but it was supported by a nod for Best Choreography.

A few other shows from late last year also proved that it's hard to be remembered if you're closed around Tony nominations time. The Roundabout Theatre Company revival of Old Times at the American Airlines Theatre was a huge critical success, but even I had forgotten about it until I took to Google a while ago; their revival of Therese Raquin the same. Manhattan Theatre Club's Fool For Love was also a massive critical success despite closing early, but was also forgotten this year at the Tonys. The Gin Game starring Cicely Tyson and James Earl Jones has been forgotten in the same way, much like Sylvia starring Matthew Broderick and Annaleigh Ashford and the new musical by George Takei Alleigance, also starring Lea Salonga and Telly Leung.

Lea Salonga, George Takei and Telly Leung starred in Allegiance on Broadway at the Longacre

At the end of the day, it's hard to say well done to everyone for their efforts when it comes to working in the theatre. Each and every show - despite the length of its run or the accolades it recieves (or doesn't) from the critics - is successful because it managed to make it to Broadway, it's just that some are remembered enough to take home awards for it. It's been a fantastic season of theatre in New York and I can't wait to see what comes in to play next year.

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