2024 Tony Awards nominations breaks record for most female director nods

2024 Tony Awards nominations breaks record for most female director nods
  • PublishedMay 1, 2024

This year’s Tony Awards — which recognise excellence in live Broadway theatre — are all about sonic creation, with Alicia Keys’s Hell’s Kitchen nabbing 13 nominations.

Keys said she “couldn’t even formulate words” after a morning where the show, loosely based on her life, was nominated for best new musical.

“This is totally crazy. It took me about an hour to get myself together,” Keys said.

“I am totally at a loss for words. Don’t ask me to write a song.”

It was also nominated for four acting awards as well as best scenic design, costumes, lighting, sound design, direction, choreography and orchestrations.

Keys’s semi-autobiographical musical tied for the most 2024 nominations alongside the play Stereophonic, about a 70s rock band recording a star-making album.

Stereophonic also gained the honour of being the play (as opposed to musical) with the most nominations ever.

Australian producer Robert Rigby secured his fourth Tony nomination for Water for Elephants, which also had seven nominations altogether. 

There are multiple high-profile, first-time nominees on this year’s list — most notable, perhaps, being Hillary Clinton who, along with Malala Yousafzai, was a producer for a play about the American women’s suffrage movement called Suffs.

Angelina Jolie also got a nod for her producing role in The Outsiders, which nabbed 12 nominations. Sarah Paulson was nominated for best actress in Appropriate, and Rachel McAdams was nominated in the same category for her work in Mary Jane.

Fatboy Slim got a music nomination for their work on Here Lies Love, and Succession star Jeremy Strong also got his first ever nomination, for a revival of An Enemy of the People.

Daniel Radcliffe yelling shirtless
Daniel Radcliffe made his adult stage debut in a 2007 production of the play Equus on London’s West End.(AFP)

Despite being a stage stalwart and featuring in his fifth Broadway show, Daniel Radcliffe only won his first nomination this year, for a revival of Stephen Sondheim’s Merrily We Roll Along (which had seven nominations).

Record breaking year for female directors

Like a lot of Hollywood awards ceremonies *cough* Oscars *cough*, the Tony’s has lagged in nominations for female directors.

But this year’s nominations smashed the Tony record for most women directors named in a single season.

The 2022 Tony Awards had held the record, with four total across the two races — musical and play.

Only 10 women have ever gone on to win a directing crown, but this year, seven women took the 10 directing nomination slots.

Three women were nominated for best play direction — Lila Neugebauer (Appropriate), Anne Kauffman (Mary Jane) and Whitney White (Jaja’s African Hair Braiding) — while four were nominated in the musical category — Maria Friedman (Merrily We Roll Along), Leigh Silverman (Suffs) Jessica Stone (Water for Elephants) and Danya Taymor (The Outsiders).

“The one thing I feel is it’s starting to feel less remarkable, which is great news,” Water for Elephant’s Jessica Stone said after her nomination.

A caucasian woman in a peach blazer stands in front of a blue backdrop.
Water For Elephants director Jessica Stone at the opening night of the Broadway production.(Getty: Marleen Moise)

“We are directors and not women directors. I’m noticing it more and more and that’s a wonderful thing to think about. It’s a wonderful place to be.”

When are the 2024 Tony awards?

Ariana DeBose will return to this year’s Tony Awards to do the thing as host for a third time, with the awards being held at Lincoln Center’s David H. Koch Theatre in New York City on June 16.

You can watch the ceremony on the Tony Awards YouTube Channel.

2024 Tony nominations

Best Musical

  • Hell’s Kitchen
  • Illinoise
  • The Outsiders
  • Suffs
  • Water for Elephants

Best Play

  • Jaja’s African Hair Braiding
  • Mary Jane
  • Mother Play
  • Prayer for the French Republic
  • Stereophonic

Best Revival of a Play

  • Appropriate
  • An Enemy of the People
  • Purlie Victorious: A Non-Confederate Romp Through the Cotton Patch

Best Revival of a Musical

  • Cabaret at the Kit Kat Club
  • Gutenberg! The Musical!
  • Merrily We Roll Along
  • The Who’s Tommy

Best Actor in a Leading Role in a Play

  • William Jackson Harper — Uncle Vanya
  • Leslie Odom Jr. — Purlie Victorious: A Non-Confederate Romp Through the Cotton Patch
  • Liev Schreiber — Doubt: A Parable
  • Jeremy Strong — An Enemy of the People
  • Michael Stuhlbarg — Patriots

Best Actress in a Leading Role in a Play

  • Betsy Aidem — Prayer for the French Republic
  • Jessica Lange — Mother Play
  • Rachel McAdams — Mary Jane
  • Sarah Paulson — Appropriate
  • Amy Ryan — Doubt: A Parable

Best Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical

  • Brody Grant — The Outsiders
  • Jonathan Groff — Merrily We Roll Along
  • Dorian Harewood — The Notebook
  • Brian d’Arcy James — Days of Wine and Roses
  • Eddie Redmayne — Cabaret at the Kit Kat Club

Best Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical

  • Eden Espinosa — Lempicka
  • Maleah Joi Moon — Hell’s Kitchen
  • Kelli O’Hara — Days of Wine and Roses
  • Maryann Plunkett — The Notebook
  • Gayle Rankin — Cabaret at the Kit Kat Club

Best Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical

  • Shoshana Bean — Hell’s Kitchen
  • Amber Iman — Lempicka
  • Nikki M. James — Suffs
  • Leslie Rodriguez Kritzer — Monty Python’s Spamalot
  • Kecia Lewis — Hell’s Kitchen
  • Lindsay Mendez — Merrily We Roll Along 
  • Bebe Neuwirth —Cabaret at the Kit Kat Club

Best Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical

  • Roger Bart — Back to the Future: The Musical
  • Joshua Boone — The Outsiders
  • Brandon Victor Dixon — Hell’s Kitchen
  • Sky Lakota-Lynch — The Outsiders
  • Daniel Radcliffe — Merrily We Roll Along
  • Steven Skybell — Cabaret at the Kit Kat Club

Best Actress in a Featured Role in a Play

  • Quincy Tyler Bernstine — Doubt: A Parable
  • Juliana Canfield — Stereophonic
  • Celia Keenan-Bolger — Mother Play
  • Sarah Pidgeon — Stereophonic
  • Kara Young — Purlie Victorious: A Non-Confederate Romp Through the Cotton Patch

Best Actor in a Featured Role in a Play

  • Will Brill — Stereophonic
  • Eli Gelb — Stereophonic
  • Jim Parsons — Mother Play
  • Tom Pecinka — Stereophonic
  • Corey Stoll — Appropriate

Best Direction of a Play

  • Daniel Aukin — Stereophonic
  • Anne Kauffman — Mary Jane
  • Kenny Leon — Purlie Victorious: A Non-Confederate Romp Through the Cotton Patch
  • Lila Neugebauer — Appropriate
  • Whitney White — Jaja’s African Hair Braiding

Best Direction of a Musical

  • Maria Friedman — Merrily We Roll Along
  • Michael Greif — Hell’s Kitchen
  • Leigh Silverman — Suffs
  • Jessica Stone — Water for Elephants
  • Danya Taymor — The Outsiders

Best Choreography

  • Annie-B Parson — Here Lies Love
  • Camille A. Brown — Hell’s Kitchen
  • Rick Kuperman and Jeff Kuperman — The Outsiders
  • Justin Peck — Illinoise
  • Jesse Robb and Shana Carroll — Water for Elephants

Best Book of a Musical

  • Hell’s Kitchen — Kristoffer Diaz
  • The Notebook — Bekah Brunstetter
  • The Outsiders — Adam Rapp and Justin Levine
  • Suffs — Shaina Taub
  • Water for Elephants — Rick Elice

Best Original Score

  • Days of Wine and Roses — Music and lyrics: Adam Guettel
  • Here Lies Love — Music: David Byrne and Fatboy Slim, lyrics: David Byrne
  • The Outsiders — Music and lyrics: Jamestown Revival (Jonathan Clay and Zach Chance) and Justin Levine
  • Stereophonic — Music and lyrics: Will Butler
  • Suffs — Music and lyrics: Shaina Taub


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