How Do This Year’s Tony-Nominated Revivals Stack Up Next to Their Original Productions?

Tony Awards   How Do This Year’s Tony-Nominated Revivals Stack Up Next to Their Original Productions?
 
From Angels in America to Carousel, we compare this year’s productions to the nominations earned by their original counterparts.
Angels_in_America_Broadway_Production_Photo_2018_0883-Nathan-Stewart-Jarrett-Denise-Gough-in-AIA-_Millenium_Photo-by_BrinkhoffMögenburg_HR.jpg
Nathan Stewart-Jarrett and Denise Gough Brinkhoff-Moegenburg

With the May 1 announcement of the 2018 Tony nominations, we examine how this season’s revivals—both plays and musicals—fared in comparison to the show’s previous Broadway productions. Of the 20 plays produced on Broadway this season, nine were revivals, and of the ten musicals that bowed on Broadway this season, three were revivals. So how did these production do compared to their counterparts?

Read: TONY AWARD TRENDS, BREAKING DOWN THE 2018 NOMINATIONS

Stephen Spinella and Ellen McLaughlin in Angels in America.
Stephen Spinella and Ellen McLaughlin in Angels in America. Joan Marcus

Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes
Original Millennium Approaches: 9 nominations
Original Perestroika: 6 nominations
2018 revival: 11 nominations
The biggest moment for any revival production at the 72nd Annual Tony Awards Nomination Announcement was for Angels in America. With 11 nominations, the production now holds the record for being the most Tony nominated play in history—revival or otherwise. (It beat the record held jointly by 2007’s The Coast of Utopia and 2010’s Fences, both of which received ten nominations).

Looking at the original production of Angels is a unique situation because the two-part work premiered on Broadway as two separate plays; Millennium Approaches (the first part) was eligible for the 1993 Tony Awards, while Perestroika (the second part) was eligible for the follow year’s ceremony.

The original Millennium Approaches, which ran from May 4, 1993, to December 4, 1994 (367 performances), was nominated for nine Tony Awards and won four. The production won Best Play, Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Play (Rob Leibman as Roy Cohn), Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Play (Stephen Spinella as Prior Walter), and Best Direction of a Play (George C. Wolfe). Nominations also included Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Play (Joe Mantello as Louis Ironson), Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Play (Kathleen Chalfant as Hannah Pitt and others), Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Play (Marcia Gay Harden as Harper Pitt), Best Scenic Design (Robin Wagner), and Best Lighting Design (Jules Fisher).

The original Perestroika, which ran from November 23, 1993, to December 4, 1994 (217 performances), was nominated for six Tony Awards, and won three. The production won Best Play, Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Play (Stephen Spinella as Prior Walter), and Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Play (Jeffrey Wright as Belize). Nominations also included Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Play (David Marshall Grant as Joe Pitt), Best Lighting Design (Jules Fisher), and Best Direction of a Play (George C. Wolfe).

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Nathan Lane Brinkhoff-Moegenburg

The current revival is nominated for 11 Tony Awards. Performance nominations for Andrew Garfield (Prior Walter), Nathan Lane (Roy Cohn), Susan Brown (Hannah Pitt and others), and Denise Gough (Harper Pitt) echo the original production’s nominations for performances in the same roles, though several have been newly ruled eligible in different categories—featured vs. leading. The production also received nominations for its director (Marianne Elliott), sound design (Ian Dickinson for Autograph), lighting design (Paule Constable), costume design (Nicky Gillibrand), and scenic design (Ian MacNeil and Edward Pierce), and for Best Revival of a Play.

Read: WHY ANDREW GARFIELD SAYS ANGELS IN AMERICA IS THE PRIVILEGE OF HIS LIFE

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Glenda Jackson and Laurie Metcalf Brigitte Lacombe

Edward Albee’s Three Tall Women
Original production: Off-Broadway
2018 production: 6 nominations
This work was ruled a revival by the Tony Awards administration committee due to its long production history Off-Broadway and around the country, but this production is actually the work’s Broadway premiere. (This ruling is typical for works receiving their first Broadway production after existing in the canon for a considerable amount of time).

Three Tall Women’s Off-Broadway premiere production at the Vineyard Theatre ran from January 27, 1994 to March 13, 1994 (47 performances), and won three Lucille Lortel Awards for Outstanding Play, Director (Lawrence Sacharow), and Actress (Myra Carter as A).

The current revival has been nominated for six Tony Awards, including Best Revival of a Play, Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play (Glenda Jackson as A), Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play (Laurie Metcalf as B), Best Scenic Design of a Play (Miriam Buether), Best Costume Design of a Play (Ann Roth), and Best Direction of a Play (Joe Mantello).

Read: WHY GLENDA JACKSON RETURNED TO BROADWAY FOR EDWARD ALBEE’S THREE TALL WOMEN

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Denzel Washington Julieta Cervantes

Eugene O’Neill’s The Iceman Cometh
Original production: 0 nominations
2018 production: 8 nominations
The current revival of The Iceman Cometh is Broadway’s fifth production of the work. The original production, which ran from October 9, 1946 to March 15, 1947 (85 performances), would have been eligible for the 1st Tony Awards ceremony in 1947, but won no awards—the first Tonys did not announce any nominees. A 1973 revival fared similarly with the Tonys, but a 1985 revival was nominated for four awards, including Best Scenic Design (Ben Edwards), Best Lighting Design (Thomas R. Skelton), Best Direction of a Play (José Quintero), and Best Reproduction (analogous to today’s Best Revival categories). A 1999 revival was nominated for five Tonys, including Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Play (Kevin Spacey as Hickey), Best Scenic Design (Bob Crowley), Best Lighting Design (Mark Henderson), Best Direction of a Play (Howard Davies), and Best Revival of a Play.

The current production is nominated for eight Tony Awards, including Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play (Denzel Washington as Hickey), Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Play (David Morse as Larry Slade), Best Scenic Design of a Play (Santo Loquasto), Best Costume Design of a Play (Ann Roth), Best Lighting Design of a Play (Jules Fisher + Peggy Eisenhauer), Best Sound Design of a Play (Dan Moses Schreier), Best Direction of a Play (George C. Wolfe), and Best Revival of a Play. If the production wins any Tonys June 10, it will be the first win for this work in Tony history.

Lobby_Hero_Broadway_Production_Photos_2018_0088_Michael Cera, Brian Tyree Henry in LOBBY HERO, Photo by Joan Marcus, 2018_HR.jpg
Michael Cera and Brian Tyree Henry Joan Marcus

Lobby Hero
Original production: Off-Broadway
2018 production: 3 nominations
Like Three Tall Women, this current production is Lobby Hero’s first on Broadway, but the Tony Awards ruled the production a revival following its 2001 Off-Broadway premiere at Playwrights Horizons. This production ran from February 16, 2001 to March 25, 2001, later transferring to the John Houseman Theatre for a 136 performance commercial run. This current production was nominated for four Lucille Lortel Awards, including Outstanding Director (Mark Brokaw), two Outstanding Featured Actor nods (Tate Donovan as Bill and Dion Graham as William), and Outstanding Actor (Glenn Fitzgerald as Jeff).

The current production is nominated for three Tony Awards, including two for Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Play (Michael Cera as Jeff and Brian Tyree Henry as William), and Best Revival of a Play. The dual featured actor nomination coincidentally mirrors the work’s dual Lortel nomination in the comparable category, though this time for different roles.

Read: KENNETH LONERGAN EXPLORES WHAT’S CHANGED AND WHAT HASN’T SINCE LOBBY HERO FIRST PREMIERED

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Tom Hollander Joan Marcus

Travesties
Original production: 3 nominations
2018 production: 4 nominations
This Tom Stoppard play premiered on Broadway in 1975, running from October 30, 1975 to March 13, 1976 (156 performances). The production was nominated for three Tony Awards, and won two of them. The show won Best Play and Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Play (John Wood as Henry Carr), and was additionally nominated for Best Direction of a Play (Peter Wood).

The current revival is nominated for four Tonys, including Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play (Tom Hollander as Henry Carr), Best Sound Design of a Play (Adam Cork), Best Direction of a Play (Patrick Marber), and Best Revival of a Play. Only the sound design nomination lacks precedence for the work—understandable since that category did not exist in 1976.

Once_on_This_Island_Broadway_Production_Photo_2017_01_HR.jpg
Hailey Kilgore Joan Marcus

Once On This Island
Original production: 8 nominations
2018 production: 8 nominations
The original production of Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty’s musical ran on Broadway from October 2, 1990 to December 1, 1991 (469 performances), and was nominated for eight Tony Awards. Nominated categories included Best Musical, Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical (LaChanze as Ti Moune), Best Costume Design (Judy Dearing), Best Lighting Design (Allen Lee Hughes), Best Choreography (Graciela Daniele), Best Direction of a Musical (Graciela Daniele), Best Book of a Musical (Lynn Ahrens), and Best Original Score (Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens).

The current revival is also nominated for eight Tony Awards, a unique achievement considering a revival is not eligible for categories like Best Book and Best Score. Nominations include Best Revival of a Musical, Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical (Hailey Kilgore as Ti Moune—now ruled as Leading), Best Scenic Design of a Musical (Dane Laffrey), Best Costume Design of a Musical (Clint Ramos), Best Lighting Design of a Musical (Jules Fisher + Peggy Eisenhauer), Best Sound Design of a Musical (Peter Hylenski), Best Direction of a Musical (Michael Arden), and Best Orchestrations (AnnMarie Milazzo and Michael Starobin).

Though the original production earned eight nominations, it did not take home any wins. If the production wins any awards June 10, it will be the first win for this work in Tony history.

Read: FINDING THE HUMAN HEART OF ONCE ON THIS ISLAND

Carousel_Broadway_Production_Photo_2018_Jessie Mueller and Joshua Henry in CAROUSEL.Photo by Julieta Cervantes_HR.jpg
Jessie Mueller and Joshua Henry Julieta Cervantes

Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Carousel
Original production: Pre-dates the Tony Awards!
2018 production: 11 nominations
The current revival of this classic is Broadway’s sixth production of the work. The premiere production ran from April 19, 1945 to May 24, 1947 (890 performances), pre-dating the first Tony Awards ceremony by two years. Brief 1949 and 1954 revivals were not recognized by the Tonys, but a 1957 revival received a nomination for Best Scenic Design (Oliver Smith). The 1994 revival was nominated five Tonys and won all of them: Best Revival of a Musical, Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical (Audra McDonald’s first of six career Tony Awards as Carrie Pipperidge), Best Scenic Design (Bob Crowley), Best Choreography (Sir Kenneth MacMillan), and Best Direction of a Musical (Nicholas Hytner).

The current production is nominated for 11 awards—the most of any revival this season tied with the revival of Angels in America. Carousel has been nominated for Best Revival of a Musical, Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical (Joshua Henry as Billy Bigelow), Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical (Jessie Mueller as Julie Jordan), Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical (Alexander Gemignani as Enoch Snow), two for Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical (Renée Fleming as Nettie Fowler and Lindsay Mendez as Carrie Pipperidge), Best Costume Design of a Musical (Ann Roth), Best Lighting Design of a Musical (Brian MacDevitt), Best Sound Design of a Musical (Scott Lehrer), Best Choreography (Justin Peck), and Best Orchestrations (Jonathan Tunick). These nominations make this revival the most Tony-nominated production of Carousel in Broadway history.

Harry Hadden-Paton and Lauren Ambrose
Harry Hadden-Paton and Lauren Ambrose Joan Marcus

My Fair Lady
Original production: 10 nominations
2018 production: 10 nominations
This Lerner and Loewe musical premiered on Broadway in a production that ran from March 15, 1956 to September 29, 1962 (2,717 performances). The original production was nominated for ten Tony Awards, winning six. Wins included Outstanding Musical, Distinguished Musical Actor (Rex Harrison as Henry Higgins), Outstanding Director (Moss Hart), Conductor and Musical Director (Franz Allers), Scenic Designer (Oliver Smith), and Costume Designer (Cecil Beaton). The production was additionally nominated for two Distinguished Supporting or Featured Actors (Robert Coote as Colonel Pickering and Stanley Holloway as Alfred P. Doolittle), Distinguished Musical Actress (Julie Andrews as Eliza Doolittle), and Outstanding Choreographer (Hanya Holm).

The 1976 revival was nominated for two Tony Awards, and garnered one win for George Rose (Alfred P. Doolittle). Rose and Ian Richardson (Henry Higgins) were each nominated for Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical—though Rose won out. A 1981 revival was nominated for Best Reproduction (a.k.a. Revival), but didn’t win. A 1993 revival was not Tony-nominated.

The current production has ten nominations, including Best Revival of a Musical, Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical (Harry Hadden-Paton as Henry Higgins), Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical (Lauren Ambrose as Eliza Doolittle), Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical (Norbert Leo Butz as Alfred P. Doolittle), Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical (Diana Rigg as Mrs. Higgins), Best Scenic Design of a Musical (Michael Yeargan), Best Costume Design of a Musical (Catherine Zuber), Best Lighting Design of a Musical (Donald Holder), Best Direction of a Musical (Bartlett Sher), and Best Choreography (Christopher Gattelli). There’s Tony nomination precedence for most of these categories—a notable exception the nod for the non-singing role of Mrs. Higgins. Still, this production has the potential to bring the first-ever Tony win for an Eliza Doolittle.

Read: BARTLETT SHER DIRECTS MY FAIR LADY FOR 2018 AUDIENCES

Other Nominations
There are a handful of productions that received nominations despite their exclusion from the Best Revival categories. Children of a Lesser God’s Lauren Ridloff, nominated for her leading performance as Sarah Norman, follows in the footsteps of original star Phyllis Frelich, who won a Tony for the role in 1980. Condola Rashad, nominated for her performance in the title role of Saint Joan, is the first actor to be Tony-nominated in that role, following nine Broadway productions of the George Bernard Shaw play since 1923 (seven of which have been Tony eligible).

Logan Culwell-Block is a musical theatre historian, Playbill's manager of research, and curator of Playbill Vault. @loganculwell

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