NewMusicalTheatre.com’s 2015 Tony Playlist
I don’t know about you, but I’m so ready for the Tony Awards. (Here at NMT, Andrea and I will be live-tweeting the awards tonight with the hashtag #NMTonys – join us!) Though too many of the nominees (and many non-nominees, too!) are deserving of recognition for the awards to be any kind of objective judgment, it’s still fun to celebrate all of the work that has gone into making the past theatre season.
To help you count down the hours until you start streaming the red carpet arrivals, here’s the 2015 #NMTonys Playlist, a collection of NMT songs performed by this year’s nominees.
Brian d’Arcy James is nominated for Best Leading Actor in a Musical for his performance as Nick Bottom in Something Rotten! Here he is singing “Sonnet 29” – music by Georgia Stitt, lyrics by none other than William Shakespeare. Nick might be mortified to so blatantly support the Bard, but fortunately for the rest of us, we get to enjoy James’s beautiful recording.
Kristin Chenoweth is nominated for Best Leading Actress in a Musical for her portrayal of Lily Garland/Mildred Plotka in the revival of On the Twentieth Century. She was singing NMT songs before NMT even existed: here she is performing Marcy Heisler & Zina Goldrich’s song “Taylor, The Latte Boy,” as recorded on her 2005 (!) album, As I Am.
In the same category is Kelli O’Hara, nominated for her portrayal of Anna Leonowens in the revival of The King And I. O’Hara is a longtime friend of NMT and even performed at our launch concert back in 2010. Here she is singing Kerrigan-Lowdermilk’s “Not A Love Story,” which she also recorded on their 2010 album, Our First Mistake.
Often, performers we all know and love for their musical theatre work get nominated for their star turns in plays, and this year is no exception. Annaleigh Ashford is nominated for Best Featured Actress in a Play for her performance as Essie in the revival of You Can’t Take It With You. Also a frequent performer of contemporary music, Ashford collaborates often with Will Van Dyke, and her performance of his song “Come Home” is not to be missed – a beautiful dramatic turn from an actress so known for her comedic work.
Joining her in the same category is Sarah Stiles, nominated for her performance of Jessica in the new play Hand to God. Since Jessica is a character who’s basically ashamed of nothing, it seemed only fitting to feature Stiles’s performance of “Sing, But Don’t Tell” by Carner & Gregor:
Andy Karl is nominated for Best Featured Actor in a Musical for his performance of Bruce Granit in On the Twentieth Century. I haven’t seen the show yet, but I’m consistently impressed with Karl’s charisma and commitment to all of the roles he takes on – a quality you can see in his performance of “Never Added Up” by Michael Patrick Walker:
Victoria Clark is nominated for Best Featured Actress in a Musical for her portrayal of Mamita in the revival of Gigi. Her performance of Jeff Blumenkrantz’s “I Won’t Mind” is an NMT classic:
Joining Clark in the same category is Ruthie Ann Miles, nominated for her portrayal of Lady Thiang in the revival of The King and I. Miles more recently performed in Drew Fornarola and Scott Elmegreen’s Tiananmen at 54 Below, but a few years before, she performed this song that might be familiar to you if you’ve been watching this list. (#whosangitbetter?)
One of my favorite things about putting together this list is to really get a sense of how collaborative our community is. Though six of the eight performers on this list are nominated for their work in revivals, they’re all on this list because they have performed new work. And no matter how you feel about the Tonys, that is something to celebrate.