“A Strange Loop,” a new musical that explores the doubts and disappointments facing an aspiring theater writer, picked up 11 Tony nominations on Monday, more than any other show in Broadway’s first post-shutdown season.
The musical, which had already won the Pulitzer Prize in drama, was written by Michael R. Jackson, and is now a leading contender in the race for the prize with the biggest economic impact, for best new musical.
The race is likely to be hard-fought and close. “A Strange Loop” will face off against five other musicals: “MJ,” a biographical jukebox musical about Michael Jackson; “Paradise Square,” about a turning point in race relations in 19th-century New York; “Six,” about the wives of Henry VIII; “Girl From the North Country,” about a boardinghouse in Depression-era Minnesota; and “Mr. Saturday Night,” a remake of the classic Billy Crystal film.
This year’s Tony Awards are the first to recognize shows that opened following the long pandemic shutdown of theaters, and come as the industry is still struggling to recover from the damage that the shutdown caused.
“The Lehman Trilogy,” an ambitious look at the rise and fall of the Lehman Brothers financial empire, leaped to the lead in the race for best play, and “Company,” a gender-reversed revival of a musical by Stephen Sondheim and George Furth, in the race for best musical revival.
A number of well known performers also scored nominations, including Sam Rockwell, Mary-Louise Parker, Billy Crystal, Hugh Jackman, Uzo Aduba, Rachel Dratch, Phylicia Rashad, Ruth Negga and Patti LuPone. Among those overlooked by nominators: Sarah Jessica Parker, Matthew Broderick, Beanie Feldstein and Daniel Craig.
There were 34 eligible shows, 29 of which scored nominations. The nominations were chosen by a group of 29 people who saw all eligible shows and voted last Friday; next a group of 650 voters have until June 10 to vote for their favorites, and the winners will be announced at a ceremony on June 12.