Theatre Is Easy: 2009 Tony Awards Preview

Written by Theatre, Theatre Is Easy

The Tony Awards are next Sunday, and Molly’s got reviews for most of the big nominees in this week’s Theatre is Easy post.

If you don’t love theatre or live in New York City, the Tony Awards probably don’t rev your engine the way they do mine. You probably don’t really care if one of the Mary Stuart ladies will beat out the God of Carnage broads for the Best Leading Actress award. You probably don’t stay up at night wondering if Billy Elliot will walk away with the coveted Best Musical prize or if Next to Normal will snatch it out of Sir Elton’s sparkly grip with its edgy rock musical panache. Even if the Tony Awards won’t generate exciting water cooler talk at your office, I’m sure you can still appreciate that they represent the best of the best from the 2008-2009 Broadway season. And just maybe, that little deep-down part of you that occasionally breaks out into jazz hands is a tiny bit interested in this year’s nominees.

The 2009 Tony Awards air on Sunday, June 7, at 8 PM on CBS. Here are some of this year’s nominees. Click on a link to read Theatre Is Easy’s review.

BEST PLAY
Dividing the Estate (closed 1/4/09)
God of Carnage
Reasons to Be Pretty
33 Variations

BEST MUSICAL
Billy Elliot, the Musical
Next to Normal
Rock of Ages
Shrek, the Musical

BEST BOOK OF A MUSICAL
Billy Elliot, the Musical – Lee Hall
Next to Normal – Brian Yorkey
Shrek The Musical – David Lindsay-Avaire
[Title of Show] – Hunter Bell

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE
Billy Elliot, the Musical – Elton John/Lee Hall
Next to Normal – Tom Kitt/Brian Yorkey
9 to 5: The Musical – Dolly Parton
Shrek The Musical – Jeanine Tesori/David Lindsay-Abaire

BEST REVIVAL OF A PLAY
Joe Turner’s Come and Gone
Mary Stuart
The Norman Conquests

Waiting for Godot

BEST REVIVAL OF A MUSICAL
Guys and Dolls
Hair
Pal Joey
(closed 2/15/09)
West Side Story

BEST PERFORMANCE BY A LEADING ACTOR IN A PLAY
Jeff Daniels, God of Carnage
Raul Esparza, Speed-the-Plow
James Gandolfini, God of Carnage
Geoffrey Rush, Exit the King
Thomas Sadowski, Reasons to Be Pretty

BEST PERFORMANCE BY A LEADING ACTRESS IN A PLAY
Hope Davis, God of Carnage
Jane Fonda, 33 Variations
Marcia Gay Harden, God of Carnage
Janet McTeer, Mary Stuart
Harriet Walter, Mary Stuart

BEST PERFORMANCE BY A LEADING ACTOR IN A MUSICAL
David Alvarez, Trent Kowalik, Kiril Kulish, Billy Elliot, the Musical
Gavin Creel, Hair
Brian d’Arcy James, Shrek the Musical
Constantine Maroulis, Rock of Ages
J. Robert Spencer, Next to Normal

BEST PERFORMANCE BY A LEADING ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL
Stockard Channing, Pal Joey
Sutton Foster, Shrek The Musical
Allison Janney, 9 to 5: The Musical
Alice Ripley, Next to Normal
Josefina Scaglione, West Side Story

BEST PERFORMANCE BY A FEATURED ACTOR IN A PLAY
John Glover, Waiting for Godot
Zach Grenier, 33 Variations
Stephen Mangan, The Norman Conquests
Paul Ritter, The Norman Conquests
Roger Robinson, Joe Turner’s Come and Gone

BEST PERFORMANCE BY A FEATURED ACTRESS IN A PLAY
Hallie Foote, Dividing the Estate
Jessica Hynes, The Norman Conquests
Marin Ireland, reasons to be pretty
Angela Lansbury, Blithe Spirit
Amanda Root, The Norman Conquests

BEST PERFORMANCE BY A FEATURED ACTOR IN A MUSICAL
David Bologna, Billy Elliot, the Musical
Gregory Jbara, Billy Elliot, the Musical
Marc Kudisch, 9 to 5: The Musical
Christopher Sieber, Shrek The Musical
Will Swenson, Hair

BEST PERFORMANCE BY A FEATURED ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL
Jennifer Damiano, Next to Normal
Haydn Gwynne, Billy Elliot, the Musical
Karen Olivo, West Side Story
Martha Plimpton, Pal Joey
Carole Shelley, Billy Elliot, the Musical

BEST DIRECTION OF A PLAY
Phyllida Lloyd, Mary Stuart
Bartlett Sher, Joe Turner’s Come and Gone
Matthe Warchus, God of Carnage
Matthe Warchus, The Norman Conquests

BEST DIRECTION OF A MUSICAL
Stephen Daldry, Billy Elliot, the Musical
Michael Greif, Next to Normal
Kristin Hanggi, Rock of Ages
Diane Paulus, Hair

BEST CHOREOGRAPHY
Karole Armitage, Hair
Andy Blankenbuehler, 9 to 5: The Musical
Peter Darling, Billy Elliot, the Musical
Randy Skinner, Irving Berlin’s White Christmas