First came the expected news Tuesday morning: The Stratford Shakespeare Festival’s Broadway transfer of Jesus Christ Superstar is in the race for the Tony Award for best musical revival.
Then came the miraculous news. Despite struggling through opening night with a respiratory infection, Stratford regular Josh Young managed to grab a nomination for best actor in a featured role in a musical for his brooding portrayal of Judas.
“Somebody pinch me,” Young tweeted shortly after his nomination was announced.
For those not watching to see how Stratford did, however, the real superstars of the Tony announcement were long-dead songwriting duo, George and Ira Gershwin. Two Gershwin shows – one new, one old – dominated the musical theatre categories.
Nice Work If You Can Get It, which is based around old Gershwin hits, picked up 10 nods, including one for book writer Joe DiPietro.
Meanwhile, director Diane Paulus’s revival of The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess also picked up 10 nominations, including best musical revival and acting nods for leads Norm Lewis and Audra McDonald. Paulus, whose new Cirque du Soleil show Amaluna is currently playing in Montreal, was nominated for best direction of a musical, where she will be competing with Kathleen Marshall (Nice Work If You Can Get It), John Tiffany ( Once) and Jeff Calhoun ( Newsies).
Jesus Christ Superstar’s faces other tough competition in the musical revival category from the Kennedy Centre for the Performing Arts’ production of Stephen Sondheim’s Follies, which picked up eight nominations in total despite having closed in the fall, and Evita, another Andrew Lloyd Webber show currently back on Broadway.
Evita received nods for choreographer Rob Ashford and actor Michael Cerveris for best performance in a featured role in a musical, but pop star Ricky Martin, who plays Che, was snubbed.
The Tony Award winners will be announced on June 10 in a ceremony broadcast on CBS. For the full list of nominations, visit www.tonyawards.com.