A reimagining of Some Like It Hot, the classic film about two musicians on the run, dominates this year’s Tony Awards nominations, receiving 13 nods.
The comedy tells the story of two friends who disguise themselves as women and join an all-girl band to flee Chicago after witnessing a mob hit. The show’s stars, Christian Borle and J Harrison Ghee, along with songwriters Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman all received nominations.
Three shows tied with nine nominations each: & Juliet, which reimagines Romeo and Juliet and has some of the biggest pop hits of the past few decades; New York, New York, which combined two generations of Broadway royalty in John Kander and Lin-Manuel Miranda; and Shucked, a musical comedy studded with corn puns.
Betsy Wolfe, in her eighth Broadway show, earned her first nomination in & Juliet, playing Anne Hathaway, Shakespeare's wife.
In the musical, playwright David West Read took an original story using Romeo and Juliet as a launch pad and mixed in hits by Swedish super-producer Max Martin, including Britney Spears’s Oops! … I Did It Again, Katy Perry’s Roar and Bon Jovi’s It’s My Life. The musical has a happier ending for Juliet after a journey of self-discovery.
Musical Kimberly Akimbo, with Victoria Clark playing a teenager who ages four times faster than the average human, rounds out the Best Musical category, and earned a total of eight nominations. Clark was also nominated for Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical for the role.
In the Best Play category, nods were distributed to Tom Stoppard’s Leopoldstadt, which explores Jewish identity with an intergenerational story, and Fat Ham, James Ijames’ Pulitzer Prize-winning adaptation of Shakespeare’s Hamlet set at a black family’s barbecue in modern Southern America.
The rest of the category is made up of Ain't No Mo', the short-lived but critically applauded work by playwright and actor Jordan E Cooper, Stephen Adly Guirgis’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play Between Riverside and Crazy and Cost of Living, parallel stories of two caretakers and their respective patients.
Ain't No Mo', which earned six nominations, begins with the US government emailing every black citizen with the offer of a free plane ticket to Africa, and each scene explores how various personalities respond to the offer. Cooper was nominated as best playwright and as lead actor.
Parade, a doomed musical love story set against the real backdrop of a murder and lynching in Georgia in pre-First World War, earned six nods, including for Platt, hoping to win a second Tony after his triumph in 2017 with Dear Evan Hansen, and rising star and first-time nominee Micaela Diamond.
Jessica Chastain, an Oscar-winner for The Eyes of Tammy Faye, received her first Tony nomination for a stripped-down version of A Doll’s House and Wendell Pierce, who won a Tony for producing Clybourne Park, earned his first nomination as an actor on Broadway for a blistering revival of Death of a Salesman.
Pierce will face off against both stars of Suzan-Lori Parks’s Topdog/Underdog — Yahya Abdul-Mateen II and Corey Hawkins — as well as former Will & Grace star Sean Hayes from Good Night, Oscar, and Stephen McKinley Henderson, who earned his second nomination for Between Riverside and Crazy, having received one in 2019 for Fences.
Jodie Comer, the three-time Emmy nominated star of Killing Eve, earned a nomination in her Broadway debut — although her play, Prima Facie, did not receive a Best Play nod — and Audra McDonald, who has won six Tony Awards, can extend her reign if she beats Comer as Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Play for Ohio State Murders. The last slot in the category went to Jessica Hecht, starring in the play Summer, 1976.
Another show that closed quickly nevertheless picked up nominations — Kpop, which put Korean pop music on Broadway for the first time. Kpop received three — including Best Original Score.
Andrew Lloyd Webber's frothy and widely panned Bad Cinderella earned zero nods, as did A Beautiful Noise, The Neil Diamond Musical, a stage biography of the singer-songwriter who has had dozens of top 40 hits. Hollywood's Oscar Isaac and Rachel Brosnahan in The Sign in Sidney Brustein’s Window were left off the list of nominees, but Samuel L Jackson earned his first Tony nod for August Wilson’s The Piano Lesson.
Two well-received revivals from the late Stephen Sondheim — Sweeney Todd with Annaleigh Ashford and Josh Groban, and a star-studded Into the Woods — were recognised. Sweeney Todd received eight nominations including for Groban and Ashford, and Into the Woods earned six, including for Brian d’Arcy James and Grammy Award-winning Sara Bareilles, her third Tony nomination.
Almost Famous, the stage adaptation of Cameron Crowe’s autobiographical coming-of-age story, earned one nomination — for music by Tom Kitt and lyrics by Crowe and Kitt. And choreographer Jennifer Weber earned nominations for & Juliet and Kpop, her first Broadway shows.
Ariana DeBose will host the awards celebration on June 11 from New York City's United Palace theatre.
- Additional reporting by Associated Press