Nominations for the 70th Tony Awards were announced last week. While it may seem like Broadway and PBS have little to do with each other, we all know performance, the arts and theater have always been a particular focus of public broadcasting. So it stands to reason many of the people nominated this year are known to UNC-TV viewers. Let’s look at a few, shall we?
In the Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Play category, three names were familiar.
Frank Langella, nominated for his role in The Father, has appeared on several Great Performances (The Prince Of Homburg, The Seagull, Eccentricities Of A Nightingale, Degas And The Dance).
Tim Piggott-Smith was up for King Charles III. He has guest starred in quite a few shows UNC-TV viewers might recognize (everything from Foyle’s War to Downton Abbey) but going way back he was Brendan Bracken on Winston Churchill: The Wilderness Years and Ronald Merrick on The Jewel in the Crown (both aired on Masterpiece Theatre). He also played Marco in “Masque of Mandragora” – a classic Doctor Who serial.
Mark Strong was nominated for A View From The Bridge. He was Oblonsky in a 2000 adaptation of Anna Karenina which aired on Masterpiece Theatre. He was also Inspector Larry Hall on several series of Prime Suspect.
In the Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Play category, Sophie Okonedo was nominated for her role in The Crucible. Okonedo played Nancy in a 2005 adaptation of Oliver Twist on Masterpiece Classic. She was also Maggie Gardener in The Escape Artist on Masterpiece Mystery and Queen Margaret in The Hollow Crown on Great Performances.
Lin-Manuel Miranda was nominated for Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical for Hamilton. Miranda also created the musical, which received a record 16 nominations, so he’s a pretty hot commodity right now. In the past, he lent his numerous talents to Sesame Street and The Electric Company.
Also from Hamilton, Christopher Jackson was nominated for Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical. He also worked on The Electric Company as Musical Director.
Julian Fellowes should be a familiar name. He was nominated for Best Book of a Musical for School Of Rock. Fellowes is, of course, best known to public broadcasting fans as the man behind Downton Abbey. He is also an actor and was a regular on Monarch of the Glen (he was Kilwillie).
Lastly, Savion Glover was nominated for Best Choreography for Shuffle Along. He was a regular on Sesame Street in the early 1990s, appearing as Savion.
There you have it. Broadway’s best with some very intriguing public broadcasting ties. See how they do next month. The 70th Tony Awards will be held June 12 at New York’s Beacon Theatre.