The Tony Awards: How COVID Has Affected the Nominations

2020 has been a crazy year full of unknowns and a lot of change. New York was one of the hubs of this intense change, being one of the states hit hardest with COVID cases in the US. The state of New York shut down, along with Broadway stages.  The plays and musicals that were currently performing have been called to a halt since March, postponing the annual Tony Award Ceremony. Shows have shut down through the rest of the summer because the owners were unable to front the cost of holding the theater without gaining revenue. In summary, these examples have led to one of the most interesting Tony Award Nominations in history.

Only three musicals are being considered for both Best Book of a Musical and Best Musical: Jagged Little Pill, Moulin Rouge! The Musical and Tina- The Tina Turner Musical. Although the Broadway season was shortened because many shows closed, not all of the musicals shown were nominated. Although The Lightning Thief: A Percy Jackson Musical had one of the only original scores, it was sadly left out of all nominations. The Tony awards did not see that it fit into what was “Tony worthy,” even though there were not many other options.

As a result of the Tony Award’s refusal to nominate the Percy Jackson Musical for any awards, there is only one actor nominated in the “Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical,” Aaron Tveit. Mr. Tveit, of Les Misérables (2012) and Next to Normal (2008), has been nominated for his performance as Christian in Moulin Rouge! The Musical. Since all the other musicals only have women in lead roles, this category nomination was originally between Aaron Tveit and Chris McCarrell, who plays the titular role of Percy Jackson. Since The Lightning Thief Musical was not nominated for anything, the category went to Tveit. Even though he is the only person nominated in his category, there is still a chance that he will not win the Tony for his performance, as he still needs to get over 60% of the ballots cast by Tony award voters. Since this is Tveit’s first Tony nomination, we wish him the best of luck in claiming his category.

Theatre Broadway Photo by Kilyan Sockalingum from Unsplash Another musical has taken the spotlight in the Tony awards, Jagged Little Pill. This musical has accumulated 15 Tony nominations. This places it right behind Hamilton, which received 16 Tony nominations, and ties it with Billy Elliot and The Producers as the second most nominated musical in Broadway history. Whether this number of nominations is due to COVID or due to the true nature of the show is up to the Tony ballot casters, for they hold the power to decide what is worthy of a Tony during the 74th Annual Tony Awards.

Many notable performers have been nominated in other categories, including Jake Gyllenhaal, Tom Hiddleston, Audra McDonald, Karen Olivo, Derek Klena and Tom Kitt. To see more nominees and learn more about the shows, click here. This year’s Tony Awards will be hosted virtually in the fall or winter of this year. Be sure to tune in to watch what true Broadway history will be made.

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