Despite some disappointments at the announcement of the Tony Award nominations this morning (no Best Musical for Spider-Man, Turn Off the Dark?), Washington companies won big, with the Kennedy Center’s production of Follies (which last year transferred to Broadway) receiving eight nods, including Best Musical Revival. But the big surprise recipient was DC’s Shakespeare Theatre Company, which won the 2012 Tony Award for Regional Theatre. Clybourne Park, which debuted in New York before gaining accolades during its 2010 run at Woolly Mammoth, garnered four nominations for its Broadway run at the Walter Kerr Theatre, including one for Best Play.
The regional award for Shakespeare Theatre is the second time in three years that the Tonys have recognized a Washington theater company--in 2009, the same award went to Arlington's Signature Theatre. "I am so honored to have the work of the Shakespeare Theatre Company recognized in this way," said artistic director Michael Kahn in a statement. "This is a very touching tribute to have the work of all the artists and staff who have been a part of our 25-year history acknowledged." The award comes at an auspicious time for STC, which is currently celebrating its 25th anniversary with Kahn at the helm (in October, he was honored in a star-studded gala at the Harman Center). The award also comes shortly after STC was mostly snubbed at the Helen Hayes Awards, taking home only two prizes (one for acting and one for set design) for its homegrown productions.
The KenCen's production of Follies, which was mostly praised during its Washington run before opening to greater acclaim in New York, had a star-studded cast, featuring Bernadette Peters, Jan Maxwell, Elaine Paige, Danny Burstein, Ron Raines, and more. In addition to its Best Revival nod, the show was nominated for two best actor performances (Burstein and Raines), best actress (Maxwell), best featured actress (Jayne Houdyshell), best costume design (Gregg Barnes), best lighting design (Natasha Katz), and best sound design (Kai Harada). Follies starts a Los Angeles run this week.
For a full list of the Tony nominations, visit the Tony Awards website.