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Tony Baloney

Forget the fact (mentioned below) that the Tonys will probably get whacked in the ratings by The Sopranos this year -- who whacked the Tony nominators? Truly, it is a strange list of nominations. Sitting there at Lincoln Center as the nominations are announced is always a little bit surreal -- you can sort of tell for whom the announcement represents Very Important News (high emotional investment), for whom the announcement represents Moderately Important News ("it's my job, it's fun, it's 7:45am and where my coffee???), and for whom the announcement represents Not Important News ("Hey, do you think Hairgel will get nominated again this year?"). OK, I exaggerate. Still, it seemed to me that some people are just way overinvested in someone's else fortune and/or misfortune.

Speaking of misfortune, you'd think an industry that grosses nearly a billion dollars annually would figure out how to rig up a miking system for the announcement of the nominations that doesn't blow choppy feedback back at everyone who speaks into the mike. Now, I really never thought I'd ever be saying this, but poor Gerald Schoenfeld -- yes, I know that's oxymoronic. But still, there he was, the 80-something head of the Shuberts, speaking in his capacity as the chairman of the League of American Theatres and Producers, and every time he uttered a plosive -- his p's, his t's -- they sort of popped backed out at him like a hail of bullets in the middle of Journey's End.

As for the nominations, well, it looks like the end, perhaps, for The Pirate Queen, which was shut out of the nominations entirely. (Those blimey nominators! Next time, I'll stick in twice as much boring Riverdance dancing!) Now, if you don't mind, I'd just like to pause for a moment as I need a tissue to soak up the tsunami of tears flowing out of my eyes at the mere writing of a sentence that reads "it looks like the end, perhaps, for The Pirate Queen..."

(Pause. From far off, the sound of wailing, screaming, sobbing, and general discombobulation.)

Thanks. Much better.

So anyway, Legally Blonde snagged a whole bunch of noms, but not one for best musical. Personally, I think the nominating committee read Michael Riedel's column the other day talking about how the producers of LB desperately wanted that Best Musical nom in order to be able to promote the show, and when the time came to decide the nominations, they basically sat in the room and went "Oh yeah? Well, nyah nyah," and gave a nomination to Curtains instead. Broadway: the land of logic and fairness, at least according to the Marquis de Sade.

Meantime, there was palpable weirdness in so many of the nominators' choices: lots of nominations for LoveMusik, including nods to Donna Murphy and Michael Cerveris, but a big scary zip to legendary director Harold Prince and an even bigger zip to book writer Alfred Uhry. Julie Andrews, where are you when we need you to complain about the "egregiously overlooked"!

Also snubbed was:
Hugh Dancy of Journey's End
Kristin Chenoweth of The Apple Tree

And Rebecca Luker got a nomination for Mary Poopins (sorry, I love the pun) and not the very lovely Lauren Pritchard. I adore Rebecca, but it makes no sense.

The awards are on June 10 on CBS. I'll be watching...unless Carmela tells me otherwise.

--Leonard Jacobs

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