Tony Awards eligibility rulings may change the race

A scene from the 2014 Broadway revival of "Cabaret," starring Michelle Williams and Alan Cumming.  Roundabout Theatre Company

Four days before nominations for this year's Tony Awards will be announced, an administrative panel has made some decisions that will have a powerful effect on who walks away with trophies.

The panel ruled Friday that "Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill," in which Audra McDonald performs about a dozen Billie Holiday songs, isn't a musical at all, and can only be considered eligible in the Best Revival of a Play category.

The panel also ruled that "The Cripple of Inishmaan," making its Broadway debut starring Daniel Radcliffe, will be considered eligible in the Best Revival of a Play category. The decision was expected since the Martin McDonagh play had been seen in New York before -- in 2008 at the Atlantic Theater Company and in 1998 at the Public Theater.

The same logic holds true for two other shows -- "Violet" and "Hedwig and the Angry Inch," which are both considered musical revivals even though they are making their maiden voyage on Broadway this season.

"Violet," staring Sutton Foster and featuring music by Jeanine Tesori, was mounted off-Broadway in 1997, while "Hedwig," starring Neil Patrick Harris, was a cult off-Broadway hit in 1998.

The last big decision was to make Alan Cumming ineligible for a lead acting musical prize in "Cabaret," since he's already won the award for the same role in 1998. The panel also ruled that the production will be eligible as Best Revival of a Musical, but none of the production elements will be eligible since they were carried over from the previous revival.

The nominations will be announced live Tuesday morning by Lucy Liu and Jonathan Groff beginning at 8:30 a.m. ET. The awards themselves will be presented in New York on June 8, in a ceremony hosted by Hugh Jackman airing on CBS.


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