Which Jews Should You Watch at the Tony Awards? by the Forward

Which Jews Should You Watch at the Tony Awards?

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The story, as it goes, is that tonight’s Tony awards will be all about the Brits, and this past season’s so-called British Invasion. And not a very Jewish one.

The favorite for best play is the London National Theatre import, “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.”

And then there are the likes of Dame Helen Mirren, up for “Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play” as the Queen in “The Audience.” Mirren may have a played a Mossad agent, but she’s not a member of the Tribe.

It almost seems that the only major event on the Tony menu (CBS, 8pm-11 pm) is the appearance of two of its presenters, Larry David and Jason Alexander.

Alexander (you know, George, Seinfeld, yada yada) is replacing David (Seinfeld co-creator) in David’s “Fish in the Dark.”

Both David and the smash comedy were snubbed.

Speaking of snubs, so was Harvey Weinstein and his “Finding Neverland,” a musical version of the 2004 Best Picture nominee that received no Tony love. Zilch.

But much of the nominated work does have Jewish talent backing, writing or starring in it.

Our favorite? “Fun House” in the musical category, which tied for most nominations this year — 12 in all — with “An American in Paris.”

Among its Jewish nominees is Lisa Kron, for Best Book.

Kron is the daughter of a Holocaust survivor, Walter Kron, a retired lawyer born in Germany in 1922. Her paternal grandparents were reportedly killed in Chelmno.

“Fun Home” is based on the autobiographical graphic novel by Alison Bechdel. She comes out as a lesbian and that doesn’t sit so well with her father. He’s in the closet. Oy!

The critics love it.

Then there is “Hand to God,” whose playwright is the Jewish Plays Project’s Robert Askins.

It’s up for five Tonys, including Best Play.

Among its stars not nominated is three-time Tony nominee Mark Kudisch, who plays Pastor Greg, the head of the musical’s Christian Puppet Ministry (one of the puppets is possessed by a demon).

Kudisch, who is Jewish, noted in a funny Jewish Channel Row J , that he has now played five ministers in his professional career. And a rabbi once. In college.

Go figure.

The 2015 Tonys will be broadcast live from Radio City Music Hall. The hosts are Kristin Chenoweth and Alan Cumming. A full list of nominees can be found on the Tony site.

Find John A. Oswald on Twitter @nyc_oz


John A. Oswald

John A. Oswald

John Oswald is The Forward’s deputy digital media editor.

Which Jews Should You Watch at the Tony Awards?

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