Black News and Black Views with a Whole Lotta Attitude
We may earn a commission from links on this page.
Black News and Black Views with a Whole Lotta Attitude

A Strange Loop, MJ Lead 75th Annual Tony Award Nominations

Ruth Negga, Uzo Aduba, Ron Cephas Jones, Jesse Williams are among performance nominees.

We may earn a commission from links on this page.
(L-R) Myles Frost and Whitney Bashor take part in the curtain call following “MJ” The Michael Jackson Musical Opening Night at Neil Simon Theatre on February 01, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images)
(L-R) Myles Frost and Whitney Bashor take part in the curtain call following “MJ” The Michael Jackson Musical Opening Night at Neil Simon Theatre on February 01, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images)
Photo: Michael Loccisano (Getty Images)

After an especially tough season full of closures, cancellations and delays, Broadway is looking to celebrate its return to form with the 75th Annual Tony Awards. This year’s show takes place Sunday, June 12 with Oscar-winner Ariana DeBose hosting.

Though the list features big name performers and productions, the American Theatre Wing—the group behind the Tonys—seems to be making an effort to deliver a more diverse crop of nominees. Per Variety, A Strange Loop leads all shows with 11 nods, followed by Paradise Square and MJ with 10.

According to the official description, Pulitzer Prize-winning musical A Strange Loop is a meta story following lead character Usher, a “Black queer writer writing a musical about a Black queer writer writing a musical.” Star Jaquel Spivey is nominated for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical. He is joined by co-star John-Andrew Morrison, who is nominated for Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical.

Advertisement

In addition to A Strange Loop, the other nominees for Best Musical include Michael Jackson jukebox musical MJ; the story of Henry VIII”s wives Six: The Musical; Billy Crystal movie adaptation Mr. Saturday Night; Depression era story Girl From The North Country and Paradise Square, “a look at the Five Points area of Manhattan and the tensions that erupted in the violent Draft Riots of 1863.” For A Strange Loop and Paradise Square, the nominations are great news as they may lead to bigger ticket sales for the smaller productions, which need the attention to stay open.

The diversity continues in the play categories with familiar faces like Jesse Williams (Grey’s Anatomy), Uzo Aduba (In Treatment), Ron Cephas Jones (This is Us) and Tony-winner Phylicia Rashad recognized for their performances. Fresh off the bad news that for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf is closing early, the play received seven nominations, including Best Revival of a Play.

Advertisement

Broadway is still struggling to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic as stars miss dates because of positive tests and shows are prematurely closing due to slow ticket sales. Theater owners and producers can tout “a new stage of the pandemic” all they want, but COVID isn’t going anywhere, so unfortunately these issues will be an ongoing problem for the theater community. That being said, nobody knows that “the show must go on” better than Broadway.

Ariana DeBose will host the 75th Annual Tony Awards live Sunday, June 12 at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on CBS and Paramount+.

Advertisement

Here are notable nominees for the 75th Annual Tony Awards:

Best Play

  • “Clyde’s”
  • “Hangmen”
  • “The Lehman Trilogy”
  • “The Minutes”
  • “Skeleton Crew”

Best Musical

  • “Girl From The North Country”
  • “MJ”
  • “Mr. Saturday Night”
  • “Paradise Square”
  • “Six: The Musical”
  • “A Strange Loop”

Best Revival of a Play

  • “American Buffalo”
  • “for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf”
  • “How I Learned to Drive”
  • “Take Me Out”
  • “Trouble in Mind”

Best Revival of a Musical

  • “Caroline, or Change”
  • “Company”
  • “The Music Man”

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play

  • Simon Russell Beale, “The Lehman Trilogy”
  • Adam Godley, “The Lehman Trilogy”
  • Adrian Lester, “The Lehman Trilogy”
  • David Morse, “How I Learned to Drive”
  • Sam Rockwell, “American Buffalo”
  • Ruben Santiago-Hudson, “Lackawanna Blues”
  • David Threlfall, “Hangmen”

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play

  • Gabby Beans, “The Skin of Our Teeth”
  • LaChanze, “Trouble in Mind”
  • Ruth Negga, “Macbeth”
  • Deirdre O’Connell, “Dana H.”
  • Mary-Louise Parker, “How I Learned to Drive”

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical

  • Billy Crystal, “Mr. Saturday Night”
  • Myles Frost, “MJ”
  • Hugh Jackman, “The Music Man”
  • Rob McClure, “Mrs. Doubtfire”
  • Jaquel Spivey, “A Strange Loop”

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical

  • Sharon D Clarke, “Caroline, or Change”
  • Carmen Cusack, “Flying Over Sunset”
  • Sutton Foster, “The Music Man”
  • Joaquina Kalukango, “Paradise Square”
  • Mare Winningham, “Girl From The North Country”

Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Play

  • Alfie Allen, “Hangmen”
  • Chuck Cooper, “Trouble in Mind”
  • Jesse Tyler Ferguson, “Take Me Out”
  • Ron Cephas Jones, “Clyde’s”
  • Michael Oberholtzer, “Take Me Out”
  • Jesse Williams, “Take Me Out”

Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play

  • Uzo Aduba, “Clyde’s”
  • Rachel Dratch, “POTUS: Or, Behind Every Great Dumbass are Seven Women Trying to Keep Him Alive”
  • Kenita R. Miller, “for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf”
  • Phylicia Rashad, “Skeleton Crew”
  • Julie White, “POTUS: Or, Behind Every Great Dumbass are Seven Women Trying to Keep Him Alive”
  • Kara Young, “Clyde’s”

Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical

  • Matt Doyle, “Company”
  • Sidney DuPont, “Paradise Square”
  • Jared Grimes, “Funny Girl”
  • John-Andrew Morrison, “A Strange Loop”
  • A.J. Shively, “Paradise Square”

Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical

  • Jeannette Bayardelle, “Girl From The North Country”
  • Shoshana Bean, “Mr. Saturday Night”
  • Jayne Houdyshell, “The Music Man”
  • L Morgan Lee, “A Strange Loop”
  • Patti LuPone, “Company”
  • Jennifer Simard, “Company”

Best Direction of a Play

  • Lileana Blain-Cruz, “The Skin of Our Teeth”
  • Camille A. Brown, “for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf”
  • Sam Mendes, “The Lehman Trilogy”
  • Neil Pepe, “American Buffalo”
  • Les Waters, “Dana H.”

Best Direction of a Musical

  • Stephen Brackett, “A Strange Loop”
  • Marianne Elliott, “Company”
  • Conor McPherson, “Girl From The North Country”
  • Lucy Moss & Jamie Armitage, “Six: The Musical”
  • Christopher Wheeldon, “MJ”

Best Book of a Musical

  • “Girl From The North Country” - Conor McPherson
  • “MJ” - Lynn Nottage
  • “Mr. Saturday Night” - Billy Crystal, Lowell Ganz & Babaloo Mandel
  • “Paradise Square” - Christina Anderson, Craig Lucas & Larry Kirwan
  • “A Strange Loop” - Michael R. Jackson

Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics)

  • “Flying Over Sunset” - Music: Tom Kitt Lyrics: Michael Korie
  • “Mr. Saturday Night” - Music: Jason Robert Brown Lyrics: Amanda Green
  • “Paradise Square” - Music: Jason Howland Lyrics: Nathan Tysen & Masi Asare
  • “Six: The Musical” - Music and Lyrics: Toby Marlow & Lucy Moss
  • “A Strange Loop” - Music & Lyrics: Michael R. Jackson

Best Choreography

  • Camille A. Brown, “for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf”
  • Warren Carlyle, “The Music Man”
  • Carrie-Anne Ingrouille, “Six: The Musical”
  • Bill T. Jones, “Paradise Square”
  • Christopher Wheeldon, “MJ”

Best Orchestrations

  • David Cullen, “Company”
  • Tom Curran, “Six: The Musical”
  • Simon Hale, “Girl From The North Country”
  • Jason Michael Webb and David Holcenberg, “MJ”
  • Charlie Rosen, “A Strange Loop”