Sets, costumes, lighting.
These are the theatrical design elements that are in the running for a Tony Award and that will be recognized at the June 11 ceremonies at Radio City Music Hall (and televised on CBS).
Sometimes these stand out so much that you can't help but notice them. At other times, they work quietly and efficiently in support of the action onstage but without calling a lot of attention to themselves. Neither approach is better than the other. What is important is that the design elements contribute to the overall enjoyment of watching a play or musical.
Next time you see a show, it might be worth spending at least a part of your time thinking about how the set, the costumes, and the lighting contribute to your enjoyment. I have been doing this all year, and now I am prepared to make my predictions.
But first, let's take a look at some images from the nominated shows.
|Anastasia: Nominated for Best Costume Design for a Musical (Linda Cho)|
|Jitney: Nominated for Best Set Design (David Gallo), Best Costume Design (Toni-Leslie James), and Best Lighting Design (Jane Cox) of a Play|
|Come From Away: Nominated for Best Lighting Design of a Musical (Howell Binkley)|
|Dear Evan Hansen: Nominated for Best Lighting Design of a Musical (Japhy Weiderman)|
|A Doll's House, Part 2: Nominated for Best Costume Design (David Zinn) and Best Lighting Design |
(Jennifer Tipton) of a play.
|Hello Dolly: Nominated for Best Set Design (Santo Loquasto), Best Costume Design (Santo Loquasto), |
and Best Lighting Design (Natasha Katz) of a Musical
|The Little Foxes: Nominated for Best Costume Design of a Play (Jane Greenwood)|
|The Front Page: Nominated for Best Set Design of a Play (Douglas W. Schmidt)|
|Groundhog Day: Nominated for Best Set Design of a Musical (Rob Howell)|
|Indecent: Nominated for Best Set Design of a Play (Christopher Akerlind)|
|Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812: Nominated for Best Set Design (Mimi Lien),|
Best Costume Design (Paloma Young), and Best Lighting Design of a Musical (Bradley King)
|Oslo: Nominated for Best Set Design (Michael Yeargan)|
and Best Lighting Design (Donald Holder)
|Present Laughter: Nominated for Best Costume Design of a Play (Susan Holferty)|
|The Play That Goes Wrong: Nominated for Best Set Design of a Play (Nigel Hook)|
|War Paint: Nominated for Best Set Design (David Korins) and Best Costume Design (Catherine Zuber) of a Musical|
And Now, my predictions:
For Best Set Design of a Play: Nigel Hook - The Play That Goes Wrong
WHY: The set is truly a part of the play. It self-destructs over the course of the performance. The others are attractive, but static.
For Best Set Design of a Musical: Mimi Lien for Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812
WHY: The highly original stage design is stunning and encompasses much of the entire theater, bringing the show out into the audience.
For Best Costume Design of a Play: Jane Greenwood for The Little Foxes
WHY: The costumes are so in keeping with the characters and the place and time of the play, and they really enhance the viewers' experience.
For Best Costume Design of a Musical: Catherine Zuber for War Paint.
WHY: As with the costumes for the best play, the many costume changes for its stars do, indeed, enhance the experience of viewing the play.
For Best Lighting Design of a Play: Christopher Akerlind for Indecent.
WHY: The play has an other-worldly quality to it that is notably supported by the lighting.
For Best Lighting Design of a Musical: Bradley King for Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812
WHY: The lighting works hand-in-hand with the entire staging to make this one of the more original and exciting productions to come along for some time.
Note: Link to my predictions for all of the other Tony Award categories (HERE)
Feel free to share this blog with your friends, and to offer up your own theater stories by posting a comment. I also invite you to check out the website Show-Score.Com, where you will find capsule reviews of current plays from Yours Truly and many other New York critics.