The Fairy Princess and most of Broadway is still reeling from the announcements of our highest theatrical honor – The Antoinette Perry Awards.

This week were the TONY Award Nominations, which were both thrilling, and devastating to the Broadway Theatrical Community. Shows close as a consequence of the nominations, and the first casualty was Jason Robert Brown & Marsha Mason’s The Bridges of Madison County. You can catch it till May 18th. Also, it is going on tour, and there has been a Cast recording, so if you miss it on Broadway, you may be able to catch it soon near you.

While The Fairy Princess is but a casual observer of the TONY Nominations this season, not quite in a tree, but…

oh, Theatrical Producers if you want me to shut up all you have to do is employ me to do 8 shows a week, because one doubts that The Fairy Princess would be able to hold down that schedule, raise a toddler, and blog

but till then, she could not help but notice that in a Season with no Asian Americans nominated in the Performance Category (and yes, there were people around to be nominated in the Cast of Aladdin), the TONY Committee had Film and Television Star, Ms. Lucy Liu announce the awards with James Franco.

James Franco, TONY Host Hugh Jackman, and Lucy Liu

James Franco, TONY Host Hugh Jackman, and Lucy Liu

I suppose that is supposed to give The Tony Awards a bit of Diversity?

Or because May is Asian American month?

It seems a weird misfire – after all, no better way to point out that there are no Asian Americans in leading roles to nominate than to have an actual Asian American announce said nominations?

Perhaps it means that Ms. Liu is considering a stage role? One can only hope.

The Fairy Princess did not miss the irony of this, and she is sure she is not alone.

There was one API nominated for Best Costume Design of a Musical, Linda Cho for A Gentlemen’s Guide to Love and Murder. Congratulations! I saw it, and the Costumes were fantastic. So was everything else. That show has 10 TONY nominations, and deserves every single one and could have actually had a few more in my opinion.

There was one Performance Nominee who is Asian, but not from America.  Mr. Ramin Karimloo, who is Canadian and of Iranian aka Persian descent, and yes, that is considered Asian. He is nominated for Best Performance by an Actor in a Lead Role in a Musical for his Jean ValJean in Les Miserables.

Congratulations Mr. Karimloo!

Ramin Karimloo, TONY Nominee from the Revival of Les Miserables

Ramin Karimloo, TONY Nominee from the Revival of Les Miserables

What IS it about Canada that their Asian heritaged Actors do so well?

Canada also has this lady:

Canadian Actress, Sandra Oh, who created one of the fiercest television Doctors the world has seen, Dr. Christina Yang

Canadian Actress, Sandra Oh, who created one of the fiercest television Doctors the world has seen, Dr. Christina Yang

Sandra Oh – dealing another deathblow to Asian representation on American television, by departing Grey’s Anatomy after 10 excellent seasons. The Fairy Princess tips her tiara to Ms. Oh and hopes her journey will take her next, perhaps, to Broadway?

One can dream.

Maybe I should move?

But back to the main point, which is that the Tonys were announced, and people are puzzled with how some of the ‘nods’ came down. I supposed ‘egregiously overlooked‘ is not just for Julie Andrews anymore….

 

Seems as if the nominations this year are a bit xenophobic this year, a bit anti-Hollywood, and a bit…frustrating. How do you not use all five slots in your BEST MUSICAL category when there are a plethora of musicals this season? The Fairy Princess could go on and on, but we all have to Sondheim it.

 

 

The hard part about these nominations is that they have direct influence on whether or not shows stay open, whether or not several hundred people stay employed, and whether or not new ‘stars’ are made.

However, I’m going to go a bit Anne of Green Gables here, it is not my usual M.O., but here it is:

If you are in a Broadway show, making a living, having 8 opportunities per week to perform the craft you love so well, then you have already won – regardless of what any Nomination is given or not given.

As Patti LuPone once said, when cheering up Ken Page for not receiving a nomination for his role as Old Deuteronomy in CATS – The Base of the TONY is plastic, let’s go have lunch!”

The way to keep shows open – with or without nominations is simple – you ‘vote’ with your dollars. You buy a ticket.

If you have a favorite play or musical this season – go see it again. If you have a favorite Actor or Actress, make sure you catch them in their show. This is one of the strongest seasons in a really long time – get out and go see something you will enjoy, go out and see something that will challenge you, go out and see….something.

Because although the TONY base is plastic, the People of Broadway are not – and they need you, the audience, more than anything else. A show can survive without nominations, it cannot survive without audiences.

Congrats to all the Nominees – may the odds be ever in your favor.

And for those who have been ‘egregiously overlooked’ – let’s remember:

“Time heals everything” – Jerry Herman.

 

PS:

It is kind of giving me the giggles to think how much Hugh Jackman is probably sweating it trying to come up with something to beat this opening last year:

 

Go Hugh, Go!

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