The 2020 Pulitzer Prize-winning drama “A Strange Loop” topped the 2022 Tony Awards nominations with 11 nods including best musical, best direction, best lead actor (Jaquel Spivey), best featured actor (John-Andrew Morrison), best featured actress (L. Morgan Lee), best original score, best orchestrations and best book, best scenic design, best lighting design and best sound design of a musical.
Written by Michael R. Jackson, who wrote the music, story, and lyrics, the play follows an African American LGBTQ+ queer man trying to write a musical about writing a musical, as he fights his desires and questions his identity and instincts.
The musical about the late, great Michael Jackson, MJ, earned 10 nods tying with “Paradise Square” for the second most nominations. Other top nominees are “Company” (nine noms); “The Lehman Trilogy” and “SIX: The Musical” (eight nods each); “for colored girls who have considered suicide when the rainbow is enuf” and “Girl from the North Country” (seven noms each); “The Music Man” and “The Skin of Our Teeth” (six noms each); and “Clyde’s,” “Hangmen” and “Mr. Saturday Night” (five noms each).
Oscar winner and Tony nominee Ariana DeBose is set to host this year’s 75th annual Tony Awards, which returns to Radio City Music Hall in New York City on Sunday, June 12, and will air live coast-to-coast as a four-hour presentation split between streaming service Paramount+ and CBS.
The awards show will continue at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT live on CBS and streaming live and on-demand on Paramount+.
Here’s what Tony Award nominees of color had to share about their nominations.
SHARON D. CLARKE / Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical (“Caroline, or Change”)
“A Tony Award nomination for my Broadway debut? Am I dreaming? I am elated! The fact that Broadway has said to this a British actor from Tottenham, North London ‘We See You’ is humbling and such an honor. My journey with this magnificent character and this thought-provoking, uplifting, ever-timely show, has been nothing but the deepest of joys for many years now, and today I am feeling incredibly proud and very moved by this recognition. I must thank our director Michael Longhurst, and the brilliant Jeanine Tesori and Tony Kushner for gifting me with the role of a lifetime. I share this with the entire “Caroline, or Change” company and creatives, and cannot wait to be back in New York City to celebrate our work. A special thank you to the Roundabout Theatre for sticking by our show when the pandemic made the future so uncertain. It was such a gift to bring it to Broadway, and I couldn’t be more thrilled. Thank you!”
LACHANZE / Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play (“Trouble in Mind”)
“I’m thrilled! Thrilled to be nominated for Best Leading Actor in a Play with these outstanding women! Thrilled for our company to receive the Best Play Revival nomination, but mostly thrilled that Alice Childress is finally being recognized for her work! Just thrilled!”
RUTH NEGGA / Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play (“Macbeth”)
I am beyond thrilled and grateful for this acknowledgement…a dream come true for me to perform on the Broadway stage and in such incomparable company…I am deeply indebted to Daniel who is the best scene partner another actor could have asked for—it is a privilege to share the stage with him. I am so moved by the relentless work of this entire cast and crew whom I ADORE beyond words. And of course to Sam Gold for his leadership and wisdom and integrity and trust. And to Barbara for being the kindest and biggest champion. Feel truly blessed to be surrounded by this gang! So thrilled for the recognition of Mikaal and Jane’s hard work as well!
CAMILLE A BROWN / Best Direction of a Play, Best Choreography (“for colored girls who have considered suicide/ when the rainbow is enuf”)
“I am extremely honored to receive these two nominations! I never thought I would ever get the opportunity to direct on Broadway so to be recognized in this way is beyond what I ever imagined. Special thanks to the producers, cast, creatives, crew, and everyone at the Booth Theatre who made our show come to life. Lifting up Ntozake Shange and grateful for her choreopoem.”
KENITA R. MILLER / Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play (“for colored girls who have considered suicide/ when the rainbow is enuf”)
I’m sitting here in the doctor’s office pinching myself. This feels like a dream! It has definitely been a dream for the majority of my life! But, I would have never dreamt of it happening while being with child, working on a show that is extremely important to me, with a family/tribe of sisters that mean the world to me. So grateful to Camille A Brown for this experience and for her belief in me. I’m just grateful beyond grateful.
LYNN NOTTAGE / Best Play (“Clyde’s”)
“I’m thrilled to be recognized for my work during this historic year on Broadway, I want to acknowledge my fellow travelers who weathered this difficult moment to bring back theater. I had the joy of working with amazing collaborators, like Kate Whoriskey and Christopher Wheeldon, who infused the work with passion, love, and joy.”
JAQUEL SPIVEY / Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical (“A Strange Loop”)
“This type of stuff doesn’t happen for folks like me. Or so I thought. Until today…I’ve put the possibility of even a Tony nomination out of my mind because I never believed it was possible for a person like me. I thought I had to be skinny, I thought I had to be masculine, I thought I had to be from a wealthy family, and I thought I had to be ‘perfect.’ Turns out all I needed to be was Jaquel and that feels good as hell right now.”
L. MORGAN LEE / Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical (“A Strange Loop”)
“My mind isn’t processing that this is real. I can’t stop crying. To specifically be a Trans actress in the company of these incredible women that I respect and have enjoyed for many years…This nomination is SO much bigger than me. I hope someone will see this moment and feel like they can go on. No matter what the world, or school, or people tell them they are ‘supposed’ to be, how they are ‘supposed’ to sound…that they will keep striving to love and embrace the fullest version of who they ARE. That they can safely find breath in choosing truth. That they will keep studying and working and dreaming the biggest dreams. I’m so full of gratitude this morning that I’m likely to burst! But first, an iced coffee and I’ll probably watch ‘The View.’”
JOHN-ANDREW MORRISON / Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical (“A Strange Loop”)
“I was trying to pretend like I wasn’t going to watch and something forced me out of bed and in front of the TV. I’m in shock but I’m thrilled. I’m thrilled for our show, and for all the folks that got nominated. It’s been a journey and I’m so very proud of us. I don’t know what to do with myself and my phone is going nuts. I keep telling myself to breathe and remember where my feet are. This is amazing. I want a latte.”
Click here for the full list of Tony Award 2022 nominees https://www.tonyawards.com/news/2022-tony-awards-nominations/