And as much as I adored the performances of Ryann Redmond and Gregory Haney in Bring It On, I truly enjoyed Chaplin much more, and would have given Chaplin a nod for Best Musical. Rob McClure was nominated for his performance as Charlie Chaplin though, so all was not lost. Truth be told, I also preferred Hands on a Hardbody to Bring It On (and to Motown the Musical as mentioned above).
For Best Musical: Chaplin; Hands on a Hardbody
For Best Play: Grace
For Best Actor in a Lead Role in a Musical: Matthew Thomas for Pippin
For Best Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical (but this is a really crowded category already): Ryann Redmond for Bring It On; Rachel Bay Jones for Pippin
For Best Actress in a Lead Role in a Play: Fiona Shaw for The Testament of Mary; Bette Midler for I'll Eat You Last
For Best Actor in a Lead Role in a Play: Alan Cumming for Macbeth
For Best Scenic Design of a Musical: Beowulf Borritt for Chaplin
For Best Costume Design of a Musical: William Ivey Long for The Mystery of Edwin Drood
For Best Orchestrations: Larry Hochman for Pippin
However, despite the well-known, marquee-ready names not being nominated, I thought most gave admirable performances that I enjoyed a great deal. It is certainly satisfying that almost every acting nomination went to actors primarily working in theater, but a great performance is a great performance and, as an audience member, I don't begrudge a well-known star the part or the nomination if they give a deserving performance. My experience is that the recognizable name in a show may make permanent theater fans of new audience members drawn in by the "name;" those new fans might then see more theater down the road, while also becoming fans of the actors whose names and faces they didn't know beforehand.
By the way, one of my favorite categories this year is Best Lighting Design of a Musical, in which 3 of the 4 nominees are, in fact, the same person: Kenneth Posner for Kinky Boots, Pippin and Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella. The fourth nominee is Hugh Vanstone for Matilda The Musical, and I think he'll give Mr. Posner a run for his money-the lighting in Matilda was amazing!
In the end, I'm thrilled for all the nominees and can't wait for the awards ceremony! TonyAwards.com offers a viewer's guide section, and a printable ballot so that you can play along. CBS will telecast the awards from Radio City Music Hall, Sunday evening, June 9 at 8:00/7:00 central.