The 2014 Tony Awards and the Toronto Connection
Last year BroadwayWorld Toronto brought you the Toronto Tony Awards Connection - recapping which Tony nominated performances our local audiences may have seen. I've decided we're going to continue that tradition this year.
Two Tony Award nominated productions had pre-Broadway engagements in Toronto this year: LES MISERABLES and Disney's ALADDIN.
Ramin Karimloo led the Toronto production of LES MISERABLES as Jean Valjean prior to heading to New York to play the role on Broadway at the Imperial Theatre. Karimloo received much critical aclaim in for his performance in Toronto, as well as in New York. In Toronto, Karimloo also won the Toronto Theatre Critic's Association Award for Best Leading Actor in a musical. He is also nominated for a Dora Mavor Moore Award for Outstanding Male Performance. The Toronto production is also nominated for Dora Awards in the categories of Outstanding Production and Outstanding Ensemble - and many more, for a total of 11 nominations.
Karimloo is nominated for a Tony Award for Best Leading Actor in a Musical, and the 25th Anniversary Production of LES MISERABLES is nominated for Best Revival of a Musical.
Disney's ALADDIN had a pre-Broadway tryout in Toronto's Ed Mirvish Theatre. The show, which was still under development while playing here opened to mixed reviews, but the critics agreed that the show had promise and could be re-worked for Broadway. A new incarnation of the show opened on Broadway to generally positive reviews.
One thing critics in both cities were able to agree on was the incredible performance put on every night by James Monroe Iglehart (Genie), who won the Toronto Theatre Critic's Association Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Musical. Inglehart was not nominated for a Dora Award, but is nominated for a Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Musical.
ALADDIN on Broadway is also nominated for Best (New) Musical at the Tony Awards.
Will Toronto audiences have a stake in next year's Tony Awards? At the time of publishing Toronto isn't expecting any pre-Broadway tours or engagements for the 2014-2015 season.
Could the reception of these productions and performers in Toronto be indicative of if they will win big at the Tony's? Watch with me live to find out!
Tweet me your thoughts to @alanhenryTO and the hashtag #TonyAwards before and during the awards!
The Tony Awards will air in Canada simulcast with the American Broadcast on CBS live on Sunday June 8th at 8PM EST on CHCH. Check local listings for full details.