Ladies and Gentlemen, we’re not just going to have a race for Best Play at this year’s Tonys, there’s going to be a multi-car pileup.
This week producers announced that two plays rumored to be opening would in fact make their premieres in the 2011-2012 Broadway theater season. The Pulitzer-winning Clybourne Park will make it’s Broadway bow April 12 at the Walter Kerr and the prequel adventures in Neverland of Peter and the Starcatcher will follow closely behind (and onward til morning) April 15 at the Brooks Atkinson.
Beyond having two very exciting and previously acclaimed shows to see on the Great White Way, it means that this year’s Tony for Best Play (as well as all awards associated with Plays) will be hotly contested. Depending on the eligibility of a few plays (will they rule that Wit and The Road to Mecca are new?), there are a whopping sixteen eligible nominees by my (admittedly quick) count. Of those, I see only one that leaps out as highly unlikely to be in the race: the recently closed triptych of short plays Relatively Speaking. Let’s break the rest down…
Of the plays that we’ve seen so far this year, I’d say those with the strongest shot at a nomination are:
- The Mountaintop (Olivier Award for Best New Play!)
- The Road to Mecca (it will be hard to resist honoring esteemed playwright Athol Fugard)
- Stick Fly
- Clybourne Park (Pulitzer!)
- One Man, Two Guv’nors (a farce but if Boeing! Boeing! won Best Revival why can’t this be in the hunt for Best Play…if it’s deemed “new”)
- Peter and the Starcatcher (might figure more in directing and design but…)
- Wit (Pulitzer!)
Hard to know at this point but possible: