The just-announced Tony Award nominations for Broadway theater contain some surprises. Here are just a few:
—No Best Musical nomination for "Bullets Over Broadway," although Woody Allen did manage to land one for Best Book. Even more insulting is the fact that there were only four nominated Best Musicals and two of them, like "Bullets," do not have original scores.
—The lack of Best Musical noms for "Bullets," "Bridges of Madison County," and "Rocky" leaves the door open for "A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder," the critical favorite, to take the prize. For me, "Gentleman" was fun but not outstanding (see my review of it and more of this season's Broadway show's here).
—Sorry to see nothing for Will Eno's "The Realistic Joneses." To be fair, though, I haven't seen or read the other nominated plays.
—Idina Menzel, nominated for Best Actress in a Musical for "If/Then," has the worst head shot at www.tonyawards.com. The Best Director nominees have better photos.
—An award for worst poster would have to go to "Violet." It looks more like a sequel to Stephen King's "Christine" than a deeply felt musical drama.
—Daniel Radcliffe, for the third time, was ignored for an acting nomination. But he's not the only one in "Cripple of Inishmaan" to be passed on. Only Sarah Greene was picked from the outstanding ensemble. She gave, maybe, my seventh-favorite performance in that wonderful production. In other celebrity non-nom news, neither Denzel Washington (for "A Raisin in the Sun") or James Franco (for "Of Mice and Men") were nominated. More surprisingly, the dynamic duo of Ian McKillan and Patrick Stewart failed to land nominations for their performances in "No Man's Land" and "Waiting for Godot."
—Ramin Karimloo is nominated for "Les Miserables," but I was more impressed with its Javert, Will Swenson. Crazy trivia: There have been 47 cast recordings of "Les Miserables."
—For the first time, the Tony Award for Best Regional Theatre goes to a New York City-based company, Signature Theatre. The rules changed this year to allow Off-Broadway theaters a shot provided that the company doesn't also own a Broadway theater or have a show that was moved to Broadway that season (which eliminates the Roundabout, Lincoln Center Theatre, and Manhattan Theatre Club from consideration). For the record, I'm a member of the American Theatre Critics Association, which recommends theaters to the Tony committee for this award. No, I'm not telling you which theater I recommended.
—The best Tony Award speechmaker, if there was such an award, would go to Mark Rylance (nominated this time for "Richard III). I'm rooting for him just to hear what poetry he spouts this time. Here was his first.
—I'll be live tweeting the Tony Awards June 8. Join me @ibjarts.