This morning the American Theatre Wing and The Broadway League (now with critics!) announced the nominees for the 2010 Tony Awards, the U.S.’s Oliviers, Broadway’s Academy Awards, tourist theater’s, um, ticket sales-boosting seal of approval. As usual, musicals lead the pack, with Fela! and La Cage Aux Folles both earning eleven nominations, and the top-nominated drama, the revival of August Wilson’s Fences, getting ten nods.
Some surprises: Nathan Lane not nominated for the lead in critically panned, tourist-adored Addams Family; Stanley Tucci not given a director nomination for the raucous Lend Me a Tenor revival; David Mamet’s Race not nominated for Best Play. Meanwhile, it’s worth noting that star-hungry Broadway producers managed to make the Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Play category read like an Oscar lineup: Jude Law (Hamlet), Alfred Molina (Red), Liev Shreiber (A View from the Bridge), Christopher Walken (A Behanding in Spokane) and Denzel Washington (Fences). The best we can hope for on June 13 is a Fela! sweep. In the meantime, less than two weeks till the Obies!