A look at all the Broadway shows eligible for 2020 Tony Awards
For the first time in Tony Awards history, the ceremony will take place virtually this fall.
The show must go online, and the 74th annual Tony Awards are taking place virtually this fall. While The Broadway League and the American Theatre Wing have not announced an official date for the ceremony, the awards will recognize a season cut short by the Covid-19 theatrical shutdown.
Voting for the 74th annual Tony Awards will take place between March 1 - 15, 2021, marking the one year anniversary since Broadway theaters were shut down.
The season’s eligibility cut off was initially set for Apr. 28, 2020, but the season’s end will now be considered Feb. 19, 2020. Any show that opened prior to that date will be eligible for this year’s awards. This new date accommodates as many nominators and voters as possible, though it’s possible that not everyone has seen every eligible show.
With this shortened season, there will likely be some cut categories -- and possibly some new categories -- but categories and nominees will be announced at a later date. A ceremony date, time, and streaming platform will also be released at a future time.
The Tony Awards administration comittee met for the final time today to rule on which shows are elligible, and here’s a look at the contenders for this year’s Tony Awards.
What Broadway shows are eligible for 2020 Tony Awards?
What shows are eligible for Best Musical at the 2020 Tony Awards?
What shows are eligible for Best Play at the 2020 Tony Awards?
What shows are eligible for Best Revival of a Musical at the 2020 Tony Awards?
What shows are eligible for Best Revival of a Play at the 2020 Tony Awards?
What Broadway shows are not eligible for 2020 Tony Awards?
There are 18 shows eligible at the 2020 Tony Awards, and all the productions are part of the truncated 2019-2020 Broadway season. There are four musicals and 14 plays.
Here are all of the shows who are eligible for 2020 Tony Awards:
- Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune - Opened on May 20, 2019
- Moulin Rouge - Opened on July 25, 2019
- Sea Wall/A Life - Opened on Aug. 8, 2019
- Betrayal - Opened on Sept. 5, 2019
- Slave Play - Opened on Sept. 6, 2019
- The Height of the Storm - Opened on Sept. 24, 2019
- The Great Society - Opened on Oct. 1, 2019
- Linda Vista - Opened on Oct. 10, 2019
- The Rose Tattoo - Opened on Oct. 15, 2019
- The Lightning Thief - Opened on Oct. 16, 2019
- The Sound Inside - Opened on Oct. 17, 2019
- Tina: The Tina Turner Musical - Opened on Nov. 7, 2019
- A Christmas Carol - Opened on Nov. 20, 2019
- The Inheritance - Opened on Nov. 17, 2019
- Jagged Little Pill - Opened on Dec. 5, 2019
- My Name Is Lucy Barton - Opened on Jan. 15, 2020
- A Soldier’s Play - Opened on Jan. 21, 2020
- Grand Horizons - Opened on Jan. 23, 2020
Four new musicals opened during the 2019-2020 Broadway season. Three of the productions featured a score of existing popular music, with songs by the likes of Tina Turner and Alanis Morissette. With only one musical with an original score (The Lightning Thief), there will likely be no Best Score category this year.
Here are the new musicals that are eligible for 2020 Tony Awards.
The classic Baz Luhrmann film finally made it to the stage this season in an eye-popping production directed by Alex Timbers and featuring a pop-tastic score with tunes by Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, The Postal Service, Sia, and many more. Aaron Tveit stars as the writer and hopeless romantic Christian who falls for the dazzling courtesan played by Karen Olivo. Danny Burstein might earn his seventh nomination and first Tony win for playing the master of ceremonies Harold Ziegler, while Tam Mutu offers a new brooding and sexy taste on the Count. Derek McClane’s immersive set was the subject of many Instagram feeds, with its windmills and elephants, and Catherine Zuber designed the period-bending costumes. Hopefully the Tonys can find a way to showcase Sonya Tayeh’s choreography during the virtual broadcast.
This new musical based on the popular Percy Jackson novel is the only one with an original score, which likely means there won’t be a category for this musical to compete in. With a book by Joe Tracz and a score by Rob Rokicki, the musical follows a teenager who discovers he’s a demi-god and goes on a question to recover Zeus’s missing lightning bolt and prevent a war between the gods. The production was directed by Stephen Brackett and landed on Broadway in the fall after two off-Broadway runs and two national tours.
The bio-musical is the ultimate vehicle for star Adrienne Warren, who is a frontrunner in the race for Best Actress in a Musical for her portrayal of the titular icon. Tina premiered in the West End in 2018, also featuring Warren who earned an Olivier nomination for her work, and the production, directed by Phyllida Lloyd, debuted on Broadway in the fall featuring a book by playwright Katori Hall and Frank Ketelaar and Kees Prins.
Alanis Morissette’s iconic album finally made it to Broadway almost 15 years after it first came out. However, the original musical does not chronicle the musician’s life and rather features a new story by Diablo Cody about a family struggling to communicate with each other and themselves. Diane Paulus directed the production, which premiered as American Repertory Theatre before coming to Broadway. Elizabeth Stanley stars as the pill-addicted mother Mary Jane alongside Celia-Rose Gooding as her daughter Frankie, Derek Klena as her son Nick, and Sean Allan Krill as her husband Steve. Lauren Patten won the Drama Desk Award for Featured Actress in a Musical for her portrayal of Frankie’s friend Jo, while Kathryn Gallagher and Antonio Cipriano round out the cast as Bella and Phoenix.
The Best Play category is likely to be one of the more competitive at the 2020 Tony Awards, as 10 plays, more than half of the total shows eligible, are up for a nomination. Here’s a close look at the 2020 contenders for Best Play.
Jake Gyllenhaal and Tom Sturridge both starred in one-man shows for this double bill of plays about fatherhood and family by Simon Stephens and Nick Payne. Sturridge performed Stephens’s Sea Wall, a searing portrait of loss and love, while Gyllenhaal took on Payne’s A Life, an intimate look at a man exploring parenthood for the first time. Directed by Carrie Cracknell, the play ran at the Hudson Theatre at the beginning of the season.
Playwright Jeremy O. Harris took Broadway by storm when his provocative drama made the transfer from off-Broadway at New York Theatre Workshop to the Main Stem. Directed by Robert O’Hara, the play had everyone talking about topics of race, sexuality, and more. The Broadway cast featured Joaquina Kalukango, Paul Alexander Nolan, Sullivan Jones, Annie McNamara, James Cusati-Moyer, Ato Blankson-Wood, Chalia La Tour, and Irene Sofia Lucio.
This intimate drama by Florian Zeller premiered on Broadway with Manhattan Theatre Club and starred legends Jonathan Pryce and Eileen Atkins. The story follows a couple looking back on their long marriage, and Atkins won an Olivier Award for her performance when the play was in the West End.
Brian Cox made his long-awaited return to Broadway as President Lyndon B. Johnson in Robert Schenkkan’s follow up to his Tony-winning play All the Way. The play follows Johnson’s landslide election and the new domestic programs, “the great society,” that he instituted in his final term as the war in Vietnam spins out of control. The play premiered at Lincoln Center Theatre in the fall.
The first of two Tracy Letts plays set to premiere on Broadway during the 2019-2020 season (and the only one eligible for Tonys this year) follows a man having a mid-life crisis as he struggles to find himself in the wake of his divorce. The play started at Steppenwolf Theatre Company, where Letts is an ensemble member, and moved to Broadway, in a production directed by Dexter Bullard, with Second Stage Theatre.
Mary Louise Parker was also supposed to be on Broadway twice this season, but with the unforeseen shutdown, her performance in Adam Rapp’s The Sound Inside was her only outing. The gripping play follows a creative writing teacher and one of her students after she receives a life-altering diagnosis. Directed by David Cromer, the production also starred Will Hochman as her student.
Charles Dickens’s classic Christmas story never gets old and Jack Thorne’s inventive adaptation directed by Matthew Warchus definitely brought the holiday spirit to the stage. Campbell Scott starred as Ebeneezer Scrooge alongside LaChanze as the Ghost of Christmas Present and Andrea Martin as the Ghost of Christmas Past.
Matthew Lopez’s sweeping drama, inspired by E.M. Forster’s Howard's End, came to Broadway after an acclaimed run in the West End. The two-part, six-hours-long play follows generations of gay men in New York City and the legacy they leave and the one they inherit. The 27-person cast featured Kyle Soller, Andrew Burnap, Samuel H. Levine, Paul Hilton, Lois Smith, John Benjamin Hickey, and more. Directed by Stephen Daldry, the play swept the 2019 Olivier Awards, winning statues for Lopez, Soller, Daldry, and lighting designer Jon Clark. While the play closed prematurely on Broadway just before the shutdown took effect, it’s certain to be a contender at the Tonys.
Another West End transfer, My Name Is Lucy Barton is a one-woman show adapted from Elizabeth Strout’s acclaimed novel of the same name. Strout and playwright Rona Munro will be eligible together for Best Play, and four-time Tony nominee Laura Linney could be up for her fifth nomination for her portrayal of a woman exploring her complicated relationship with her mother.
Bess Wohl’s ensemble play completed its limited run on Broadway at the beginning of 2020 before the shutdown, and this family dramedy follows a group of adult children grappling with their elderly parents deciding to get divorced. Directed by Leigh Silverman, the play premiered at the Williamstown Theatre Festival before coming to Broadway. The cast featured Jane Alexander, James Cromwell, Priscilla Lopez, Ben McKenzie, Maulik Pancholy, Ashley Park, and Michael Urie. Each of the cast members will be eligible in the Feature Actor and Actress in a Play categories.
There are no musicals eligible for Best Revival of a Musical at the 2020 Tony Awards. The new Feb. 19, 2020 cut off date marks the day before the Ivo Van Hove-directed revival of West Side Story opened at the Broadway Theatre, and the show was one of two musical revivals that was in performances when Broadway shut down including Marianne Elliott’s revival of Company. The revival of Caroline, or Change was also set to start performances in March, but has now been postponed. There will be no musical revival category at this year’s awards ceremony.
While there might not be any musical revivals in the 2019-2020, there are enough play revivals to fill a category at the virtual ceremony. Four play revivals opened during the season, and here’s a look at the contenders.
Audra McDonald and Michael Shannon starred in this classic Terrence McNally play, which now marks the last performance of the prolific playwright’s work on Broadway before he died due to complications from the coronavirus in March. Directed by Arin Arbus the play follows a one-night stand that becomes deeper and more intimate than expected. Will the play earn McDonald her seventh Tony Award?
Director Jamie Lloyd brought his inventive take on the Harold Pinter classic to Broadway from the West End this season in a production starring Tom Hiddleston, Zawe Ashton, and Charlie Cox. Told in reverse, the play follows an extra-marital affair, and this production marks the fourth time the play has been on Broadway.
Marisa Tomei starred in this Roundabout Theatre Company revival of one of Tennessee Williams lesser-known dramas about a grieving widow who withdraws from society only to come out of her shell when a new man comes to town. Directed by Tripp Cullman, the production ran on Broadway in the fall.
Although Charles Fuller’s A Soldier’s Play had never played on Broadway before this season, it will likely be considered in the revival category as it premiered off-Broadway in 1981 and won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. Blair Underwood and David Alan Grier led the cast of the Roundabout Theatre Company production, and the timely story follows a group of Black soldiers in a segregated Army in 1944 and the investigation into the murder of their seargeant.
Several shows were in previews or rehearsals when Broadway cancelled performances on March 12, 2020, and these productions are not contenders for nominations for this year’s awards. Here’s a look at the shows that were set to open during the original 2019-2020 season and were either postponed or cancelled due to the Broadway shutdown.
- West Side Story - postponed
- Company - postponed
- Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? - cancelled
- SIX - postponed
- The Minutes - postponed
- Plaza Suite - postponed
- Hangmen - cancelled
- American Buffalo - postponed
- Birthday Candles - postponed
- Take Me Out - postponed
- Caroline, or Change - postponed
- Flying Over Sunset - postponed
- How I Learned to Drive - postponed