As we head into Tony’s weekend, it’s time to take a serious look at this year’s nominees.
So today we’re diving into the details with a Tony Awards #FlashbackFriday, featuring the 2017 nominated revivals.
There’s never any shortage of nostalgia on Broadway (the Phantom knows what I’m talking about), and that sentiment soars as beloved classics return (sometimes over and over again) to the Great White Way. So, without further ado, let’s step back into some old favorites with this year’s musical and play revivals.
Best Revival of a Play
Full disclosure, I’m opening with this farce because I had the good fortune to see this show, which includes an unreal performance from (likely winner on Sunday night) Kevin Kline. While it’s unlikely to take home the top prize, this story of the offstage shenanigans of a star in the midst of a mid-life crisis (which also happens to be the only comedy in this category) earned this nomination through peals of laughter.
This story of a group of men trying to make a living by driving unlicensed cabs, or jitneys, is the eighth in August Wilson’s “Pittsburgh Cycle,” and the last of August Wilson’s plays to make it to Broadway. How it could possibly be a revival then, you ask? Sometimes the Tony’s have weird rules. **cough**Cinderella**cough**
But regardless, this is the favorite Sunday night, and given these incredible performances, paired with the power of August Wilson’s legacy, it’s hard to see anyone besting this show.
“The Little Foxes”
Greed, ambition, and family are at the heart of this 1939 play by Lillian Hellman is the story of a woman before her time fighting the good fight against the patriarchy.
But wait, there’s more…This show gets two videos because there’s a twist. While Laura Linney got a nod for the lead and Cynthia Nixon a nod for being featured, they both play both roles in alternating performances. If you’re a theater nerd, you probably just shouted out: “Like National Theatre’s ‘Frankenstein’!” And yes, it’s exactly like that.
The real crime here is that if the predictions are correct, only one of these talented ladies will take home a Tony on Sunday night, but we’ll always have these fabulous performances. (I’ve also linked to Ms. Linney and Ms. Nixon each in the role of Birdie here as well.)
“Six Degrees of Separation”
No, this is not a show about Kevin Bacon (I checked). But it is an insane cast and an incredible story.
Best Revival of a Musical
I’m going to show my cards a couple days early and say that this is the show I think should win the Tony…but not necessarily that one that I think will. It also features one of the incredible Featured Actress performances of the year, from Stephanie J. Block. There’s a quick peak in the video here…and the full production will air on PBS later this summer.
I love “Hello, Dolly!” Seriously, it’s one of my favorite shows of all time. I love Bette Midler. The fact that combining the two created an absolute frenzy around this particular production that has more to do with Bette Midler and her fandom than the show itself, I could do without. (And the drama around “will they, won’t they” perform at the Tonys is not quite my cup of tea.) But I digress. This show is pure joy and for that reason, I can’t help but agree that it’s taking the top Tony.
If I’m being honest, it’s always kind of bothered me that this show is mostly remembered for one moment of stagecraft (yes, the helicopter) because there’s an incredible (sob-inducing) story here. And while it may still hav a few plot issues, this less remembered, but equally epic musical from the guys who brought us “Les Miserables” is well worth a second look.