2016 Tony Award Nominees

nycgo.com staff

On May 3, the American Theatre Wing and the Broadway League announced the 2016 Tony Award nominees. They’ll crown the winners—Broadway’s best plays, musicals, performers and behind-the-scenes creative teams—on June 12 at the Beacon Theatre. To no one’s surprise, Hamilton leads the pack with a record-breaking 16 nominations, followed by Shuffle Along, Or the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followedwith 10 and She Loves Me with eight.

Read on for details of the contenders, and then see the shows for yourself. (Shows whose titles are not linked have finished their Broadway runs.)

"Eclipsed." Photo: Joan Marcus

Best Play

Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o stars in Nigerian-American playwright Danai Gurira’s devastating lamentation on the high price of war.

The Father
French playwright Florian Zeller’s The Father centers on 80-year-old Andre, whose vision of the world has been warped by dementia. Frank Langella (Frost/Nixon) stars.

The Humans
Pulitzer Prize finalist (for Sons of the Prophet) Stephen Karam wrote this drama, in which one family’s long-standing resentments, secrets and grudges pour forth over the course of one Thanksgiving dinner.

King Charles III
Last year’s Olivier Award winner for Best New Play is a "future history play" that imagines life with King Charles III many years from now.

"Waitress." Photo: Jeremy Daniel

Best Musical

Bright Star
Steve Martin (yes,that Steve Martin) and Edie Brickell brought their banjo and folk songwriting skills to the fore in crafting this show, which is based on real events and set against the backdrop of the American South in the 1920s and ’40s.

This multilayered hip-hop musical about founding father Alexander Hamilton won the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for drama and has achieved full-fledged phenomenon status. Lin-Manuel Miranda, who wrote the music, book and lyrics, plays the title character who goes from orphan child to war hero to political mastermind.


School of Rock
Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Broadway version of the popular Jack Black movie features kids (some of whom attend actual School of Rock afterschool music programs) chosen from casting calls all over the country.

Shuffle Along, Or the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed
Back in 1921, Shuffle Along was a debt-saddled, all-black revue that made its way to Broadway and managed to reverse its fortunes, becoming a hit and launching the career of a young Josephine Baker. This mixes the original production with a behind-the-scenes look at how it all happened.

Based on a 2007 movie of the same name, Waitress follows the story of a put-upon Southern server (Tony winner Jessie Mueller) with a special gift for making pies; the music is courtesy of Sara Bareilles. In a fun twist, you can smell the scent of pie wafting through the theater.

"A View from the Bridge." Photo: JanVersweyveld

Best Revival of a Play

Una (Michelle Williams) confronts a predator (Jeff Daniels) who molested her when she was a young girl.

The Crucible
Arthur Miller’s 1953 anti-McCarthyism play dramatizes the Salem witch trials, during which pervasive fear-mongering ensured no one was safe from suspicion in a small Massachusetts town.

Long Day’s Journey Into Night
Members of the Tyrone family, highlighted by the drug-addicted matriarch (Jessica Lange), struggle with themselves, one another and the world around them.

Noises Off
Starring Tony winner Andrea Martin (Pippin) and Campbell Scott (The Amazing Spider-Man), this comedy follows a director trying his best to control a group of eccentric stage actors.

A View from the Bridge
It’s an Arthur Miller kind of year. This one is about a Brooklyn longshoreman who’s obsessed with his 17-year-old niece.


"The Color Purple." Photo: Matthew Murphy

Best Revival of a Musical

The Color Purple
This iteration of Alice Walker’s Pulitzer Prize–winning 1982 novel features a star-studded ensemble cast—including Jennifer Hudson—and a score with a rich array of music from the jazz era.

Fiddler on the Roof
The story of Tevye and his struggle to maintain his Jewish customs in a changing world is one of Broadway’s best-known musicals. This revival is the fifth time the show has played the Great White Way.

She Loves Me
Based on the classic 1940 romantic comedy The Shop Around the Corner (which also inspired the film Youve Got Mail), this musical follows two sparring coworkers who have no idea they’re falling in love via anonymous letters.

Spring Awakening
Duncan Sheik’s rock music and Steven Sater’s book and lyrics tell the story—from Franz Wedekind’s 19th-century German drama—of teenagers grappling with their emerging sexuality.

"King Charles III." Photo: Johan Persson

Best Direction of a Play

Rupert Goold—King Charles III
Jonathan Kent—Long Day’s Journey Into Night
Joe Mantello—The Humans
Liesl Tommy—Eclipsed
Ivo van Hove—A View from the Bridge

"Spring Awakening." Photo: Kevin Party

Best Direction of a Musical

Michael Arden—Spring Awakening
John Doyle—The Color Purple
Scott Ellis—She Loves Me
Thomas Kail—Hamilton
George C. Wolfe—Shuffle Along

Frank Langella. Photo: Nigel Parry

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play

Gabriel Byrne—Long Day’s Journey Into Night
Jeff Daniels—Blackbird
Frank Langella—The Father
Tim Pigott-Smith—King Charles III
Mark Strong—A View from the Bridge

Sophie Okonedo (left). Photo: Jan Versweyveld

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play

Jessica Lange—Long Day’s Journey Into Night
Laurie Metcalf—Misery
Lupita Nyong’o—Eclipsed
Sophie Okonedo—The Crucible
Michelle Williams—Blackbird


Lin-Manuel Miranda and Leslie Odom Jr. (second and third from the right). Photo: Joan Marcus

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical

Alex Brightman—School of Rock
Danny Burstein—Fiddler on the Roof
Zachary Levi—She Loves Me
Lin-Manuel Miranda—Hamilton
Leslie Odom Jr.—Hamilton

Cynthia Erivo. Photo: Matthew Murphy

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical

Laura Benanti—She Loves Me
Carmen Cusack—Bright Star
Cynthia Erivo—The Color Purple
Jessie Mueller—Waitress
Phillipa Soo—Hamilton