2013 Tony Award Nomination Snubs — And Why They Shouldn’t Be Considered Snubs

Tony Snubs 2013Here are celebrities eligible for the 2013 Tony Award nominations who were not nominated: Alec Baldwin, Bobby Cannaval, Jessica Chastain, Alan Cumming, Katie Holmes, Scarlett Johansson, Patti LuPone, Bette Midler, Al Pacino, Jim Parsons, Paul Rudd, Dan Stevens, Sigourney Weaver, and Vanessa Williams.

Here are the  shows that got shut out from any nominations in any category:  The Anarchist, Breakfast At Tiffany’s, Cat On A Hot Tin Roof, Dead Accounts, An Enemy of The People, Glengarry Glen RossGrace, Harvey, I’ll Eat You Last, Jekyll and Hyde, Macbeth, and Picnic.

(Several shows that ran on Broadway this year were not eligible for any nominations, most of them  because they ran an insufficient number of performances:  Elf, Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons on Broadway, Manilow on Broadway, Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth, The Performers, The Rascals: Once Upon A Dream.)

Here are the individuals and shows that I saw most often cited yesterday as being snubbed  after the Tony nominations were announced:

Bette Midler as actress in a leading role in a play for her solo show “I’ll Eat You Last: A Chat With Sue Mengers”

Fiona Shaw as actress in a leading role in a play for her solo show “The Testament of Mary”

Alan Cumming as actor in a leading role in a play for his solo “Macbeth”

Yvonne Strahovski as featured actress and Seth Numrich as leading actor for their roles in “Golden Boy”

Rachel Bay Jones as featured actress in “Pippin”

“Motown The Musical” for not being nominated as best musical. (It did receive four nominations in other categories.)

“The Nance” for not being nominated as best play. (It did receive five nominations in other categories.)

I personally would have liked to have seen Jessica Hecht nominated as leading actress for “The Assembled Parties” and Vanessa Williams as featured actress for “The Trip to Bountiful.” I also regretted that Alan Cumming wasn’t nominated and that the Tony nominating committee didn’t like “The Nance” as much as I did.

This year, though, I found little room for outrage. I just didn’t think these un-nominated shows or individuals were “egregiously overlooked” (in Julie Andrews’ memorable phrase about her cast-mates after she received the only Tony nomination that “Victor/Victoria” got.)

Now, granted, last year only seven of the 37 eligible shows were completely shut out of the Tony Awards, while this year, it was 12 out of 38. But when I heard anybody complaining yesterday about a snub, I asked the complainer: Which of those that did get nominated in the category would you have bumped in order to make room for the one you think snubbed? Invariably, they wouldn’t answer with a choice, but with some variation of “I see your point.”

Some of those performers who were not nominated gave fine performances; some of them didn’t. But, for example, which of the following would you have bumped to make room for Bette Midler?

Laurie Metcalf The Other Place
Amy Morton Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
Kristine Nielsen Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike
Holland Taylor Ann
Cicely Tyson The Trip to Bountiful
Some of these actresses aren’t as well-known as Bette Midler, but they all in my view give first-rate performances — dare I say it, better performances, in what are mostly far better plays.
And why would anybody feel an injustice has been committed in omitting “Motown: The Musical” from the list of best musicals, when even many of those who enjoyed it (such as me) cannot defend Berry Gordy Jr.’s banal, self-aggrandizing book?
But one need not find fault with a show or an individual to reject the idea that they were “snubbed.” As I wrote last year in “Snubbed by The Tonys and by Life” the problem that the Tony nominating committee faces is
that there are always way more performers, designers and directors who are deserving of recognition than there are slots in which to recognize them.

Author: New York Theater

Jonathan Mandell is a 3rd generation NYC journalist, who sees shows, reads plays, writes reviews and sometimes talks with people.

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