As the Tony Award nominations were announced early Tuesday, many nominees took only a brief pause to receive the news before resuming a hectic schedule.
There were cast recordings to finish, readings of new work to attend or direct and, for many, an eight-show week ahead of them. Luckily, the nominees had publicists, advertising agencies and producers prepared to capitalize on the moment and shout it from the rooftops.
“Hadestown” topped the Tony Awards list with 14 nominations, including Best Musical, Best Score and Best Director. The cast and creative team had been recording a cast album until the early morning hours of Tuesday, so director Rachel Chavkin caught a few hours of sleep before seeing her name flash on the screen.
She texted each nomination to “Hadestown” composer and book writer Anaïs Mitchell, who reacted to each with a celebratory emoji. Both were thrilled (“I’m so frickin’ proud of the whole shebang,” Chavkin said), but soon, Mitchell planned to head back to the studio to oversee more work on the album, and Chavkin was headed to rehearsal for “Continuity,” the off-Broadway play she is directing, before preparing for the “Hadestown” cast’s appearance on the Today Show early Wednesday.
“It’s like the easiest thing is to just keep working on the stuff,” Mitchell said.
Similarly, Alex Brightman, nominated for his role as the titular character in “Beetlejuice,” had little time to revel in his nomination as he planned to spend the majority of his day at the Winter Garden Theatre rehearsing for his show’s performance on the Today Show Thursday. He is also slated to make an appearance on Late Night with Seth Meyers on Monday.
“I’ll sleep when I am actually dead,” said Brightman, who plays an undead demon eight times a week.
Warren Carlyle, the choreographer of “Kiss Me, Kate,” found out about his nomination while he was in the middle of tech rehearsals in northern England for the upcoming Hugh Jackman world tour. Surrounded by 193 crew members, with his reaction caught on film by Jackman, Carlyle soon headed to Heathrow Airport to catch a flight to New York for Wednesday morning’s Meet the Press Day. He plans to head back to England later Wednesday.
“I love being part of this community and it’s really important that I’m there tomorrow,” Carlyle said.
In addition to the added press events and interviews that follow a Tony nomination, the actors still had to be prepared for a show Tuesday night.
Ephraim Sykes, nominated for his role in “Ain’t Too Proud,” found out about his nomination and then went to a scheduled massage therapy appointment, with a voice lesson planned for later that afternoon. The demanding role requires these steps as well as weekly acupuncture, nightly hot Epsom salt baths, and strict physical and mental discipline.
“Now’s the time to really take care of ourselves,” Sykes said. “Continue to up the ante.”
Of course, receiving the Tony nomination added a positive jolt to the workweek (“I couldn’t have dreamt it,” Sykes said) and for many, called for a moment of celebration, wherever it could be scheduled.
For Robert Horn, the book writer of “Tootsie,” receiving the Tony nomination was the culmination of a lifelong goal. He found out about the nomination while watching the Tony Awards announcement on multiple computers, two laptops and an iPad, to ensure that none of the feeds cut out.
“This has been at the top of my bucket list my entire life,” said Horn, who planned to celebrate with the cast of “Tootsie” Tuesday night after shopping for outfits for upcoming Tony Awards events.
This was the first year that three-time Tony nominee Brandon Uranowitz watched the announcement live. The actor is nominated for his role in “Burn This,” which is the first non-musical role he has played on Broadway.
“It feels really great to have made the leap from a musical to a play and know that my work is still resonating without singing,” Uranowitz said.
After a surprise celebration with bagels, mimosas and noise makers courtesy of Robbie Fairchild and some of his other former “An American in Paris” castmates, Uranowitz planned to head to the theater for the cast’s weekly 3 p.m. rehearsal to re-acclimate the actors with the play after a day off.
Sergio Trujillo, Tony-nominated for choreographing “Ain’t Too Proud,” had auditions to hold and meetings for other projects during the day Tuesday, but he looked forward to ending his night at the theater where the cast planned to have a post-show party to celebrate their 12 nominations.
After all, the shows had to go on.