If any industry took a greater hit this year due to the COVID-19 coronavirus, it was certainly the theater industry. Broadway shut down all the way back in March and will now stay closed until June of 2021.
Because of the closure many shows set to make their debut have been forced to push back or cancel all together, as well as shows like “Beetlejuice” and Disney’s “Frozen” not getting their proper final performances. However, the show will go on, as this year’s Tony Awards, which will be a virtual ceremony, announced its nominees.
Broadway star James Monroe Iglehart, the original Genie in “Aladdin,” announced the nominees and spoke about his history with musical theater as well as promises that Broadway would return.
The three musicals that led the nominations — in fact the only musicals that had any nominations — were “Jagged Little Pill,” “Moulin Rouge! The Musical” and “Tina: The Tina Turner Musical.”
This surprised many theater fans as many felt “The Lightning Thief” was robbed. All three shows secured nominations in every category, except one.
Aaron Tveit who plays Christian in “Moulin Rouge! The Musical” was the only actor nominated for the lead actor in a musical category, meaning he wins the award by default. However, out of all the musicals nominated it was the more dramatic “Jagged Little Pill” that ended with the most nominations — 15 in total — as it secured every nomination, excluding leading actor.
This was followed by “Moulin Rouge! The Musical with 14 nominations, “Slave Play” with 12 and “Tina: The Tina Turner Musical” with 12 nominations.
While the musical nominees seemed slim, there were a surprising number of nominations in the play category with several shows snagging in only a few categories, while others swept for each one. The big plays to look out for are “Slave Play,” “The Inheritance,” “Sea Wall/A Life,” which stars nominated actor Jake Gyllenhaal, and “Betrayal” starring nominated-actor Tom Hiddleston.
Obviously, the nominations are very scarce as this year’s musical season was completely cut in half because of the coronavirus, leaving many shows in limbo as to when they would return. Some musicals are currently still up in the air including “Mrs. Doubtfire” and “Six,” which did have preview performances but were cancelled because of the pandemic.
“The Music Man,” starring Hugh Jackman and Sutton Foster, and “Diana” will now premiere on Netflix, though a release date has not been set. If proven profitable, this could be a new age of musical pro-shots being purchased by streaming services, like “Hamilton” on Disney+.
The Tony Awards will be a virtual affair, similar to the recent Emmy Awards, but officials have not announced a date.