Reversed Decision on “1984,” Now Considered Eligible
A stage adaptation of George Orwell’s novel 1984, written and directed by Robert Icke and Duncan Macmillan, played Broadway this past fall from May 18, 2017, opening on June 22, 2017, and closing on October 8, 2017. While fall shows can often seem long-ago by the time Tony nomination season rolls around, they are certainly part of the season. In the case of 1984, it was announced in November 2017 that the show would not be eligible for Tony Awards consideration. At first, the reasoning was vague: that “the show did not fulfill all of the eligibility requirements, as outlined by the Tony Rules and Regulations.” But then, it emerged through reporting with Broadway insiders that the reason was that one Tony nominator, Jose Antonio Vargas, was not allowed into the production. The producers – Scott Rudin and Sonia Friedman – did not acknowledge whether or not they knew this to be true, but in any case, it appeared for many months that this play would go down in history without the benefit of Tony Awards consideration. However, in the latest round of Tony Award eligibility consideration, it was deemed eligible in a reversal of their previous decision. The reasoning for this reversal was not disclosed, but one can assume that the producers did their fair share of lobbying, and ultimately got their way. Whether this hullaballoo will disadvantage the show in the nominations process remains to be seen.
Also in its latest round of discussions, the Tony Awards Administration Committee concluded several determinations related to performer categories. For their respective performances in Escape to Margaritaville, Paul Alexander Nolan and Alison Luff will be considered eligible in the Best Performance by an Actor/Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical categories. As for Frozen, both Caissie Levy and Patti Murin will be considered eligible in the Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role category. For Angels in America, Andrew Garfield will be considered eligible in the Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Play category. For Edward Albee’s Three Tall Women, Laurie Metcalf and Alison Pill will be both considered eligible in the Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Play category, while Glenda Jackson is eligible for the Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Play category. As for 1984, Tom Sturridge will be considered eligible in the Best Performance by a Leading Actor in Play category for his performance.
Other Creative Team Determinations
In addition, it was determined that John Lithgow: Stories by Heart will be eligible in the Best Play category, despite the fact that it is arguably not quite a play. Also in discussions about Frozen, it was determined that the score, with music and lyrics by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez, will be eligible in the category of Best Original Score, even though some of the songs derive from their score for the animated film. Also for Frozen, both Christopher Oram and Finn Ross will be considered eligible in the Best Scenic Design of a Musical category. Similarly, for Angels in America, Ian MacNeil and Edward Pierce will be considered jointly eligible in the Best Scenic Design of a Play category. Finally, also for Angels in America, Finn Caldwell, Steven Hoggett and Robby Graham will be considered jointly eligible in the Best Choreography category for their work on the show, even though it is usually musicals that are in contention for this category. Interestingly, Finn Caldwell is credited for Puppet Design as well as for Puppetry Director and Movement, while Robby Graham is credited for Original Movement, and Steven Hoggett as the Movement Consultant.
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