Tony Awards: Wendell Pierce, Jessica Chastain Among Snubs as Lone Winners for ‘Shucked,’ ‘Sign in Sidney Brustein’s Window’ Surprise

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When the nominations for the 2023 Tony Awards were announced in May, Ain’t No Mo’ earned a pleasantly surprising six nominations, despite fears that the Tonys would forget about the play that closed months earlier despite a star-studded campaign to save it.

But when the 2023 Tony Awards were handed out Sunday night, Ain’t No Mo’ failed to win a single award for which it was nominated.

Other multiple nominees shut out include nine-time nominee & Juliet, six-time nominee Into the Woods and the Jessica Chastain-fronted A Doll’s House.

Even Chastain didn’t win the best actress Tony some experts expected her to take home, losing to fellow Hollywood star Jodie Comer (Prima Facie).

And in the best lead actor in a play category, Wendell Pierce was similarly snubbed for his role in Death of a Salesman, a project often popular with Tony voters but that didn’t perform as well this time, even in terms of nominations.

In a year with multiple Hollywood nominees, most went home empty-handed, with Samuel L. Jackson (August Wilson’s The Piano Lesson), Sara Bareilles (Into the Woods) and Josh Groban and Annaleigh Ashford (Sweeney Todd) not winning the awards for which they were nominated.

Overall, the Groban- and Ashford-led Sweeney Todd revival fared rather poorly, winning only two awards from its eight nominations. Similarly, New York, New York won only one award, for scenic design, which was presented in the Tonys’ Act One preshow. Still, the show got some airtime via a performance in the main CBS ceremony and legendary composer John Kander receiving a lifetime achievement award from his New York, New York collaborator Lin-Manuel Miranda.

In terms of surprises, Alex Newell made history by becoming the first openly nonbinary actor to win a Tony (J. Harrison Ghee became the second openly nonbinary acting winner shortly after), but Newell’s win was the only one for corn-centric musical Shucked, which got nine nominations.

Additionally, after voters failed to nominate The Sign in Sidney Brustein’s Window stars Rachel Brosnahan and Oscar Isaac, it was a surprise that one of the play’s few nominees, Miriam Silverman, won.

Similarly, Brandon Uranowitz’s win for featured actor in a play for Leopoldstadt was somewhat of a surprise when it was announced. But the victory may have signaled the strong showing for Leopoldstadt, which won four awards, including best play.

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