The nominees for the 74th Annual Tony Awards have been revealed, and it appears we already know of a (possible) winner!
Announced on Thursday, October 15, by previous Tony Award winner James Monroe Iglehart, there was one category that seemed different from the rest. Broadway and film actor Aaron Tveit, the star of Moulin Rouge! The Musical, was the only nominee for Best Actor in a Musical, almost solidifying his title as the winner.
Though many expect Tveit to win without any competition, the Tonys aren't making it that easy to take home the trophy. According to the official award rules: "If the Tony Awards Nominating Committee has determined that if there is only one nominee in a category listed, such category shall be submitted to the Tony Voters which may, by the affirmative vote of 60 percent of the total ballots cast, grant an Award in that category." Therefore, if the accomplished actor receives less than 60% of the votes from the 800 Tony Award voters, the category won't have a winner.
This is the first time in history that only one person has been nominated in an acting category (however, in early years, a winner could be announced without naming any nominees at all). In 1995, Sunset Boulevard was the only show up for Best Book of a Musical and Best Original Score Written for the Theatre in 1995.
The award show — which is typically held in June — was delayed due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Despite the small hiccup, the Tony Awards plans to continue on. Since Broadway closed down in early March, only 18 shows were eligible for the awards.
The other performer who would've been eligible for the win in Tveit's category was Chris McCarrell, who starred in The Lightning Thief, a stage adaptation of the first novel in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians book series by Rick Riordan. The critically acclaimed show opened in October, but was ultimately not nominated for a Tony.
While many were happy for the almost-guaranteed winner, others felt the Tonys snubbed the The Lightning Thief. One user took to Twitter and wrote, "very happy for Aaron and glad he finally gets the win he truly deserves, but Chris was RIGHT THERE for a nomination," while another added, "Wow, I guess Lightning Thief didn't exist. Why snub one of the only other plays eligible? Really supporting the theater community right now."
I know that the Tonys aren't participatory awards, and I know most theater people didn't care for The Lightning Thief on Broadway, but what kind of message does it send to not even recognize the one (1) original musical-theater score written for the theater that opened this year?— David Gordon (@MrDavidGordon) October 15, 2020
A date for the 74th Annual Tony Awards has yet to be announced. Broadway theaters are also not expected to reopen until at least June 2021.