THERE’S A LOT about the 2019 Tony Awards for Thespians to celebrate. Four alums earned acting nominations for their work on Broadway this year. But, if a trip to New York City isn’t in your cards, what do you need to know to watch the ceremony on Sunday, June 9, like a pro? We’ve got you covered.

Thespian connections

This year, four of the eight acting categories boast a Thespian alum in their mix of contenders.

Laurie Metcalf of Troupe 1534 from Edwardsville, Ill., earned a nomination for the third year in a row, this time as Best Leading Actress in a Play, for her role as a familiar but fictionalized former first lady campaigning for the presidency in Lucas Hnath’s Hillary and Clinton. Metcalf won last year in the featured actress category for Three Tall Women, as well as in 2017 for her leading role in A Doll’s House, Part 2. Were she to prevail again this year, it would mark the first time an actor earned a Tony in three consecutive seasons. She’ll return to television this fall in the second season of The Connors and to Broadway next spring in a revival of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

Adam Driver of Troupe 496 from Indiana’s Mishawaka High School is competing for his first Tony as Best Leading Actor in a Play for his role as Pale, a man who begins a tumultuous relationship with the roommate of his recently deceased brother, in the revival of Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Lanford Wilson’s Burn This. Driver’s previous Broadway credits include Mrs. Warren’s Profession and Man and Boy, though he is best known for work in films, including an Oscar-nominated turn in BlacKkKlansman and the reboot of Star Wars, for which he’ll reprise his role as Kylo Ren in December’s The Rise of Skywalker.

Driver’s Burn This co-star Brandon Uranowitz hails from Troupe 4253 at New Jersey’s Montclair Kimberley Academy. Uranowitz plays Larry, the roommate of Pale’s love interest, Anna. Contending this year in the Best Featured Actor in a Play category, Uranowitz has been Tony nominated twice before, for the musicals An American in Paris in 2015 and Falsettos in 2017. On television, he most recently was seen portraying actor Dustin Hoffman in the series Fosse/Verdon.

At just 23 years old, Thespian alum Eva Noblezada of Troupe 5634 from Northwest School of the Arts in Charlotte, North Carolina, has twice appeared on Broadway and twice earned a Tony nomination. In 2017, it was for her portrayal of Kim in the Broadway revival of Miss Saigon. This year, she’s recognized for playing Eurydice in the new musical Hadestown. She also can be seen on the festival circuit in the indie film Yellow Rose, for which she earned a Special Jury Prize from the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival for breakout performance.


This year’s best plays run the gamut from an intimate three-person biography to an epic family drama featuring a cast of 21. Here’s a rundown of the nominees.

Tarell Alvin McCraney’s Choir Boy is a coming-of-age story set at a boys’ prep school. Though he’s landed center stage in the school’s prestigious gospel choir, Pharus can’t escape his fellow students’ bullying about his sexuality in this examination of a black man’s struggle with identity and spirituality. The show earned a total of four Tony nominations.

Set in 1981 at the height of the Troubles political crisis in Northern Ireland, playwright Jez Butterworth’s The Ferryman is the story of the Carney family. As they gather in their rural farmhouse to bring in the fall harvest, a past association with the Irish Republican Army returns to haunt their celebration. The show is nominated for nine Tony Awards.

Taylor Mac’s dark comedy Gary is subtitled “A Sequel to Titus Andronicus.” Mac’s story picks up shortly after the conclusion of Shakespeare’s violent tale of the Roman Empire, imagining the servants tasked with cleaning up the mess of corpses left behind in the Bard’s bloody finale. Gary is nominated for seven Tony Awards.

Inspired by a true story, Ink is playwright James Graham’s vision of the rise of Rupert Murdoch’s media empire, which included The Wall Street JournalNew York Post, and Fox News. The play begins in 1969 with Murdoch’s acquisition of the struggling Sun newspaper and details efforts he and editor Larry Lamb undertake to turn it into London’s bestselling tabloid. The show received six Tony nominations.

What the Constitution Means to Me is Heidi Schreck’s autobiographical tale of the American Legion-sponsored speeches she gave across the country as a teenager to earn money for college. The play examines the relationship she’s since forged with our nation’s most important governing document, its effect on her family, and implications for future generations. The show is nominated for two Tonys.


The 2019 best musical nominees include two adaptations of popular 1980s movies, a Motown-infused bio musical, a fresh take on Greek mythology, and a comedy about young love. Here’s a recap.

With a book by Dominique Morisseau, Ain’t Too Proud traces the rise of Motown super-group The Temptations, who recorded 42 Top Ten hits in the 1960s and ’70s including “Get Ready,” “I Can’t Get Next to You,” and “My Girl.” The show highlights the musical legacy they built in spite of personal and political obstacles. It earned 12 nominations.

Based on Tim Burton’s 1988 film of the same name, Beetlejuice features music and lyrics by Eddie Perfect with a book by Scott Brown and Anthony King. In the show, Lydia is a teen obsessed with death who discovers that her new house is haunted by its former owners. Chaos ensues when the ghosts enlist the services of an outrageous demon to scare away everyone with a pulse. Beetlejuice is nominated for eight Tonys.

In traditional Greek mythology, Orpheus and Eurydice are lovers separated by the latter’s untimely death. Orpheus travels to the underworld to strike a deal with Hades to bring Eurydice back to life, but his doubts seal her fate for eternity. Anaïs Mitchell’s Hadestown weaves that couple’s romance with the myth of Hades and his wife Persephone, transferring the plot to a Depression-era underground factory. The show earned 14 Tony nominations, the most of any production this year.

The Prom is about a small-town teen forbidden from taking her girlfriend to her school’s big dance. When a group of Broadway actors hears about her plight, they travel to help her fight the system … and to garner publicity to boost their floundering careers. Featuring music by Matthew Sklar and a book by Bob Martin and Chad Beguelin, The Prom received seven nominations.

Tootsie is based on the 1982 film about a struggling actor who disguises himself as a woman to land a big job. However, things get even more complicated when he develops feelings for his leading lady. Musical writers David Yazbek and Robert Horn move the action from a television soap opera set to the Broadway stage. The show nabbed 11 Tony nominations.

View a complete list of this year’s Tony nominees online.

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