Take pity on Daniel Radcliffe, the hardworking star of the top-selling Broadway revival of “How to Succeed in Business Without really Trying.”
In what was perhaps the most noticeable snub of the 2011 Tony Award nominations, which were announced Tuesday morning from the Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center, Radcliffe was not nominated for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical, an admittedly crowded category this year.
Josh Gad and Andrew Rannells, the two male leads of “The Book of Mormon,” were nominated in the category, alongside Norbert Leo Butz (“Catch Me if You Can”), Joshua Henry (“The Scottsboro Boys”) and Tony Sheldon (“Priscilla Queen of the Desert”). Noticably absent in this category in addition to Radcliffe were Aaron Tveit (“Catch Me if YouCan”) and Benjamin Walker (“Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson”).
“The Book of Mormon,” the critically lauded satire of religion by “South Park” creators Matthew Stone and Trey Parker, took home a whopping total of 14 nominations spanning a variety of categories.
“The Scottsboro Boys,” a hard-hitting musical about a famous case of racism that was framed as a turn of the century minstrel show, impressively received 12 nominations including Best Musical in spite of having closed after a disappointingly brief run in the fall.
The nominees for Best Musical included “The Book of Mormon,” “The Scottsboro Boys,” “Sister Act” and “Catch Me if You Can.” It had been generally assumed that the Australian drag spectacle “Priscilla Queen of the Desert” would merit the final nomination over “Catch Me if You Can,” which received poor reviews and was previously snubbed by the Outer Critics Circle and Drama Desk.
Other new musicals snubbed in this category included “Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson,” “Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown,” “Baby Its You!,” “Wonderland” and “The People in the Picture.” “Wonderland,” an updated adaptation of “Alice in Wonderland with a pop score, received no nominations at all.
Best Play nominees included “Good People,” “Jerusalem,” “The Motherf**ker with the Hat” and “War Horse,” leaving out the Iraq War drama “Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo,” which stars Robin Williams and was a finalist for last year’s Pulitzer Prize for Drama.
“The Importance of Being Earnest,” “The Merchant of Venice,” “The Normal Heart,” and “Arcadia” received nominations for Best Revival of a Play, shutting out 1940s comedy “Born Yesterday.” “Anything Goes” and “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying” garnered the only two nominations for Best Revival of a Musical, as they were the only eligible nominees.
Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play nominees included Brian Bedford (“The Importance of Being Earnest”), Bobby Cannavale (“The Motherf**ker with the Hat”), Joe Mantello (“The Normal Heart”), Al Pacino (“The Merchant of Venice”) and Mark Rylance (“Jerusalem”), leaving out James Earl Jones (“Driving Miss Daisy”) and Jim Belushi (“Born Yesterday”).
The race for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play will be mainly between Nina Arianda (“Born Yesterday”), Frances McDormand (“Good People”), Lily Rabe (“The Merchant of Venice”), with Vanessa Redgrave (“Driving Miss Daisy”) and Hannah Yelland (“Brief Encounter”) filling out the remaining slots.
The number of performers eligible for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical was so small – merely six – that just four women were nominated instead of the usual five, including Sutton Foster (“Anything Goes”) and Patina Miller (“Sister Act”).
The Tony Awards will be held June 12 at 8 p.m. at the Beacon Theatre and broadcast live on CBS.