Local Spotlights at the Tonys

Last night’s Tony Awards offered more excitement and competition among the nominations than it had in years, with several local connections in the spotlight. 

Bloomfield native Michael McGrath won best performance by an actor in a featured role in “Nice Work If You Can Get It.” We wrote about McGrath in 2005 when he received a Tony nomination for his performance as Patsy in “Spamalot.” McGrath also won a Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical for his role as Cookie McGee in “Nice Work If You Can Get It”, a musical comedy set during Prohibition in Long Island.

Nina Arianda, who was born in Manhattan but grew up in Clifton, won best performance by an actress in a leading role in a play. Arianda stars in “Venus in Fur,” a two-person play by David Ives. She dominates as an eager young actress in an audition that becomes an exploration of sexuality, control and desire.

“Newsies”, which had its start at the Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn, was nominated for eight Tonys and took home two – Original Score (Music/Lyrics) Written for the Theatre and Choreography.

“Newsies” proved to be tough competition for the best musical winner, “Once,” an adaptation of the award-winning 2006 film that tells the story of an Irish street musician and a young Czech immigrant who meet, collaborate and record and album together.

“Clybourne Park” won for best play. Written by Bruce Norris in response to Lorraine Hansberry’s play, “A Raisin in the Sun,” “Clybourne Park” deals with issues of racism, housing inequality and aspiration.

For a complete list of the nominations and winners, visit the official Tony Awards website. 

And here’s Neal Patrick Harris’ delightful opening song and dance number, in case you missed it.


What did you think of think of the nominations and winners this year, Baristaville? Any surprises?

Photo: Wikipedia

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