BootLeg Betty

The Tony’s Snub The Hollywood Connection

Los Angeles Times
By Steven Zeitchik
April 30, 2013, 9:59 a.m.

Bette with Ali MacGraw
Bette with Ali MacGraw

NEW YORK — When Shia LaBeouf dropped out of the Broadway revival “Orphans” because of a tiff with Alec Baldwin, only to be replaced by Ben Foster, the question became: Which of the two actors might take the Tony love from LaBeouf?

As it turns out, it was a moot point.

The show did get an acting Tony nomination, but it was for Tom Sturridge, a little-known actor who had done mostly screen work in his native Britain. And even Sturridge was the exception.

Most of the actors who landed nominations Tuesday morning have been toiling in theater in recent years. The Hollywood actors who made up the 2012-2013 Broadway class? They were almost nowhere to be seen. There was no Tony nomination for Al Pacino in “Glengarry Glen Ross,” nada for Scarlett Johansson in “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof,” nothing for Cuba Gooding Jr. in “A Trip to Bountiful,” nor Sigourney Weaver in “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike” nor Bette Midler in “I’ll Eat You Last.” That last one, which traffics in Hollywood themes, is perhaps most notable.

This on top of the actors who never stood a chance coming in to the nominations: Katie Holmes in the long-gone “Dead Accounts,” or Jessica Chastain for the equally done “The Heiress.” Sure, there was Tom Hanks, but in Nora Ephron’s final work — and with a film career that’s been in a bit of an odd place for the past few years—making him sui generis in more ways than one.

So what does the Hollywood-Broadway nexus become from here? Big actors like to head to the stage because prestige movies are harder than ever to get, and because it establishes acting chops (even if it also, er, causes them some issues).

And Broadway producers still like stars: though some of these shows flopped, there’s no question that productions like “Glengarry” were sustained because of known names. But after a year when so many stars didn’t find the accolades they wanted, don’t be surprised if the Hollywood movement to Broadway tapers off, if only slightly, if only for a minute.

Hollywood still will make its presence felt on Broadway in other ways. A couple of new shows, after all, are derived from movies. But you wouldn’t exactly call it Hollywood glitz: “Kinky Boots,” which led all Tony nominations with 13, was a quirky film that made just $2 million at the U.S. box office.

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7 thoughts on “The Tony’s Snub The Hollywood Connection

  1. The competition was pretty fierce just to get nominated, but I wouldn’t have a problem with them inventing a second special Tony to give her.

  2. They tried that , Don. It was called Best Special Theatrical Performance. Before that those in one person shows COULD be nominated for the Acting awards and for the Best Play. But people bitched and complained it was not fair that a solo performance ( like John Leguizamo in his solo performances) was not ACTING but almost doing a stand up routine. And when the deluge of One person shows dried up and the picking for Special Theatrical Event became too slim they got rid of it and allowed the solos to be nominated again for the regular Tony ( mainly because of Doug Wright’s performance and one man show I AM MY OWN WIFE, which went on to WIN best Actor and be nominated for best Play in 2004) .

  3. I’m STUNNED Bette didn’t get nominated. I agree — go make the movie and take home that Oscar!

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