The Show Must Go On, 2020 Tony nominees announced


Broadway’s biggest night just got a whole lot smaller. The 74th annual Tony awards were originally scheduled for June 7th, 2020, but When the Broadway shut down began in mid-march, they opted to postpone the ceremony. In August, they announced that the Tony’s would be going digital, with a limited number of shows eligible. These include 13 plays and 4 musicals, however “The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical” was snubbed. Scrolling through the announcement posts and seeing the same three shows in the “best … in a musical” category makes each nomination feel less personal and unearned. Instead of celebrating the areas in which these shows excelled, It feels like they are handing out participation trophies. Don’t get me wrong, these are fantastic shows, they wouldn’t have come home empty handed if the awards went on as planned. Which is exactly why the Tonys should have been postponed to uphold the prestige and status that comes with being a Tony winner.


The three nominated musicals were Moulin Rouge, Jagged Little Pill and Tina, the Tina Turner musical. Moulin Rouge is a jukebox musical adaptation of the iconic movie by the same name. It received at least one nomination in every eligible category for a total of 14. Aaron Triveit, who leads the company as Christian is the only person nominated in the category of “best performance by an actor in a leading role in a musical.” He had a high chance of winning this category before, through his stellar performance, it feels like a much smaller accomplishment to win by default. The next musical is Jagged Little Pill which shines a light on modern issues through Alains Morsettie’s groundbreaking album of the 90’s. This show has been history-making from the get go, putting issues that are often swept to the side like rape, seuxal orintenation and addiction centre stage. However they received 15 nominations, nearly on par with Hamilton’s 16 noms. That doesn’t quite add up. Hamilton wasn’t just a show, it was a once in a lifetime phenomenon that paved the way for expermatial shows, like JLP, to break into the snobby, elitist world of broadway. Everything JLP accomplished was made possible by Hamilton.  They are both fantastic shows, but Hamilton has had a much larger cultural impact. Tina, the Tina Turner musical starring Adeline Warren tells the story of Tina Turner’s journey from small town girl to rock-n-roll icon, though Tina’s music This show received 12 nominations, with no eligible leading male to give them nominations in all categories.


Tony season is meant to be an exciting time, full of theories and anticipation, leading up to the Sunday at Radio City Music Hall. It feels like all the allure has been stripped away in favor of going through the motions. It doesn’t matter how long it takes, theatre will be back. Broadway is home to some of the most creative minds on this planet. They can outthink this and bring the arts back to us. Then, we can give the shows the celebration they deserve.