And here I thought “Mean Girls” opened last season!
The 2019 Tony Award nominations were announced Tuesday morning, and instead of its usual Celebration of Theater mood, we were treated to a series of catty snubs and wrist-slaps.
The shocks were in such abundance that the announcement event’s host Gayle King went rogue and began asking actors Bebe Neuwirth and Brandon Victor Dixon how they felt about “To Kill a Mockingbird” and “Network” — two major contenders — being left out of the Best Play category. As Oprah would say, “GAYLE!”
The exclusion of “Mockingbird” from the top spot was the cruelest page ripped from the Tony Committee’s Burn Book. Aaron Sorkin’s drama, which before 8:30 a.m. was the favorite to win, otherwise managed a hefty nine nods including Actor (Jeff Daniels), Featured Actor (Gideon Glick) and Featured Actress (Celia Keenan-Bolger).
The most likely Best Play winner is now the British import “The Ferryman.”
The next cold shoulder was for Glenda Jackson — the British stage legend who won Best Actress in a Play last year — going unrecognized for taking on the title role in “King Lear.” That production’s only nom was Ruth Wilson for Featured Actress. The revival of a play race is now between “The Waverly Gallery” and “Torch Song,” both of which closed months ago, and a different icon, Elaine May, should go home with the trophy for Leading Actress in a Play.