The Tony Awards, for excellence in the Broadway theater, will air here at 8 p.m. Sunday, June 9 on CBS. Here are the confirmed Jewish nominees in all but the technical categories. This is an atypical year in that no Jewish playwrights were nominated for best new play.
Actress Elaine May, 87, was nominated for her leading role in the play “The Waverly Gallery.” She co-stars in the revival of the 2001 play by Oscar-winner Kenneth Lonergan, 56. May plays the Jewish owner of a Manhattan art gallery who has Alzheimer’s and is gradually declining. May became famous in the late ’50s as the partner of the late Mike Nichols in the brilliant comedy team of Nichols and May. Later, she wrote and directed the film “The New Leaf” and she directed “The Heartbreak Kid.” Her life partner of 20 years, the great director and choreographer Stanley Donen (“Singin’ in the Rain,” “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers”), died in February at age 94.
Brandon Uranowitz, 32, was nominated for best featured supporting actor in a play (“Burn This,” a 1987 play with gay themes). This is the third Tony nomination for Uranowitz. Nominated in the same category is Gideon Glick, 30, who plays the child character “Dill” in the new stage version of “To Kill a Mockingbird.”
Best director, musical: Rachel Chavkin, 38, “Hadestown.” This musical grabbed the most Tony nominations of any show this year. It’s a retelling of a Greek myth, reset in the 1930s. Chavkin won in the same category in 2015.
Sam Mendes, 53, was nominated for best director of a play, “Ferryman.” The British director won an Oscar for directing “American Beauty”; he also directed the James Bond films “Skyfall” and “Spectre.”
David Yazbek, 58, was nominated for his original score for “Tootsie,” a musical adaptation of the classic film. Last year, he won a Tony for his score for the “The Band’s Visit,” a musical about the interaction of Egyptians and Israelis that swept the Tony awards in 2018. Yazbek this year competes for original score with his old friend Adam Guettel, 54, who wrote the score for “To Kill a Mockingbird.” In the ’90s, Guettel and Yazbek played in a band together. In 2000, Guettel declined an offer to write the score for “The Full Monty” and gave Yazbek his big career break, recommending him for the job instead. Guettel is the grandson of the late, great composer Richard Rodgers. Adam’s mother, the late Mary Rodgers, also composed (“Once Upon a Mattress”) and wrote the novel “Freaky Friday.” Guettel won the best score Tony in 2005 for “The Light in the Piazza.”
Yazbek and Guettel compete with Matthew Sklar, 45, who wrote the music for “The Prom,” a show about a lesbian teen going to a prom in a conservative Midwest town. Sklar’s longtime professional partner, Chad Begulin, wrote the lyrics.
“Oklahoma!” a 1943 musical co-written by Richard Rodgers, received a Tony nomination in the best musical revival category. “Oklahoma!” vies with “Kiss Me, Kate” for this Tony. Larry Hochman, 65, was nominated for his “Kiss Me, Kate” orchestration. He’s won four Emmys for his compositions and a Tony for orchestration (“Book of Mormon”). His works include orchestrating a Hanukkah album and composing the song poem “In Memoriam” in commemoration of the Holocaust.
Ben Platt, 25, who won the 2017 Tony for best actor in a musical (“Dear Evan Hansen”), is now on a limited tour in which he is promoting his debut solo album, “Sing to Me Instead.” It consists of 12 songs, all written by Platt. Many of the tunes are soulful pop ballads detailing his journey as an openly gay man searching for love. Platt, who came out publicly this year, came out as gay to his parents when he was 12. At a recent concert, he told the crowd that he told them on the phone, when he was in Israel and his parents were at home in Los Angeles.