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The Tony Nominees Are Here!

Brooke Weber, Reporter

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  There are few more exciting times in a theater kid’s life than that famous day when all of their favorite productions receive the praise and credit that they deserve: the Tony Awards.

  On May 3, Broadway stars Nikki M. James and Andrew Rannells announced this season’s nominees for the heavily anticipated awards show, which will be broadcasted on June 12.

  This past year has certainly been an extraordinary one for Broadway, with the revival of some classic plays and musicals and the smash introductions of others reminding audiences of what they love most about theater. You can see a complete list here, but let’s take a look through some of the best aspects of this year’s nominations:

Senior Ryan Addotta scowls as he portrays Marshall Herrick in Susky's The Crucible.

Photo Courtesy: LifeTouch
Senior Ryan Addotta scowls as he portrays Marshall Herrick in Susky’s The Crucible.

  1. Revivals – with a twist!

  Though you might question how the resurrection of a play or musical could possibly warrant special attention, you’ve only got to take a closer look at some of the “best revival” nominees to understand what has audiences begging for an encore.

  If a musical is what you’re in the market for, you have to look no further than Deaf West’s revival of 2007 Best Musical winner Spring Awakening, a coming-of-age folk rock show concerning the topic of teen sexuality in turn-of-the-century Germany. Though this revival is astonishingly recent (its run ended only six years after the original production did the same), it was unlike anything Broadway had ever seen before – it incorporated both Deaf and hearing actors into a show; the hearing actors providing singing voices as the Deaf actors signed to the songs, and vice-versa. The result was a hybrid of two cultures that is both beautiful to watch and listen to, and the show certainly provided an avenue for a whole new group of people to truly immerse themselves in the world of Broadway musicals. It was truly a groundbreaking revival if there ever was one, though the other nominees – The Color Purple, Fiddler on the Roof, and She Loves Me – are formidable opponents in its search for a Tony.

  The nominee for Best Revival of a Play that most stands out for Susky students is, of course, the recently-opened production of Arthur Miller’s The Crucible, starring famed actress Saoirse Ronan. Incorporating the classic play, which concerns a group of teenage girls whose mysterious fates and conniving leader lead to the start of the disastrous Salem witch trials, into a more modern environment, The Crucible will surely prove a real contender for the Tony award against the plays A View from the Bridge, Blackbird, and Long Day’s Journey Into Night. The play’s ability to be applied to any point in time is just one of its many unique qualities – it was originally intended to be an allegory for the Red Scare of the 1950s, but the literal witch-hunting portrayed on stage has been interpreted today as something akin to the public’s fear of Islamic extremism. Any time that the modern world has pointed its finger at one group of people as a scapegoat for a larger problem, The Crucible has been there to force us as people to take a step back and look at ourselves under a microscope. With the success of the show as Susquehannock’s fall play this past year, one can only imagine the triumph it may yet achieve at the Tonys.

  1. Unparalleled performances will undoubtedly ensue.

  Though the performance schedule for the show has not yet been set, there are sure to be several amazing productions at this year’s awards. What with the advent of highly anticipated shows like Sara Bareilles’ Waitress and the acclaimed Shuffle Along, the performances can be nothing short of spectacular. The Best Musical nominees also include the Broadway adaptation of the 2003 movie School of Rock, written by Andrew Lloyd Webber, which could showcase its hilarious chops on the Tonys stage  If 2015’s awards gave us Kristin Chenoweth in On the Twentieth Century, Christian Borle in Something Rotten, Vanessa Hudgens in Gigi, and many more, then 2016 is sure to bless theatre lovers everywhere with its glorious dance numbers, vocal selections, and costumes, particularly those of Broadway’s most revolutionary musical…

The Richard Rogers theater is home to the most successful show Broadway has seen in years - Hamilton.

Photo Courtesy: Brooke Weber
The Richard Rogers theater is home to the most successful show Broadway has seen in years – Hamilton.

  1. Hamilton.

  Okay, let’s face it: Hamilton is the defining musical of this past year – or maybe even the past ten years – and it’s not slowing down its history-making anytime soon. Its hip-hop style, universally relatable subject matter and diverse casting have all put the show on everyone’s radar – Beyonce, Daniel Radcliffe, and Nick Jonas all have been to see the show. After being sold out for months on end, announcing a 2017 tour, and reviving its massive outdoor #Ham4Ham lotteries, this musical has already been penning its legacy on its own. However, when May 3 rolled around, its phenomenon was made official – Hamilton is now the most Tony-nominated show in history, picking up an astonishing sixteen nominations, at least one in every category that it was eligible for. Featured actors Daveed Diggs (Marquis de Lafayette/Thomas Jefferson), Christopher Jackson (George Washington), and Jonathan Groff (King George III) have all been nominated in their category, taking up three out of five potential spots. Writer and star Lin Manuel-Miranda (Alexander Hamilton) alone has been nominated for three awards. The show has nominations in every aspect of musical theater, from Best Actor to Best Lighting Design. This year’s Tonys will unmistakably be dominated by this show, which certainly, as Hamilton would put it, has got “the world turned upside down.”
  Whether you’re watching to see if your favorite revival will pull through or merely to see how many of its sixteen nominations Hamilton wins, this year’s Tony awards certainly mark a groundbreaking time in theater history. Only in 2016 could a rap musical about the founding fathers, a revival of a 1950’s play, and a musical based on School of Rock all be in the same place at once, so be sure not to miss this incredible awards show on CBS on June 12.

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The Tony Nominees Are Here!