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Jewish Actors and Writers Score Big in Tony Award Nominations

It was a good year for Jews in theater as indicated by the just-released 2016 Tony Award nominations.

Though “Hamilton” swept a record-breaking 16 nominations, Jewish plays and actors earned several notable nominations, including “Fiddler on the Roof” and two Arthur Miller plays.

“Fiddler” was nominated for Best Revival of a Musical and both “The Crucible” and “A View from the Bridge” are competing for Best Revival of a Play.

Danny Burstein, who plays Tevye in Fiddler, was nominated for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical for the sixth time. He is up against Lin-Manuel Miranda and Leslie Odom, Jr. of Hamilton and yet has to win an award.

Sheldon Harnick, who wrote the songs in “Fiddler” and “She Loves Me” (also a nominee for Best Revival) was the recipient of the award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre.

Other notable Jewish nominees include Alex Brightman for his leading role in “School of Rock – The Musical,” Sophie Okonedo for “The Crucible,” Hofesh Schechter for his choreography in “Fiddler,” and Daveed Diggs for his featured role in Hamilton as Thomas Jefferson, which he won a Grammy for in 2015.

Here is a complete list of nominees:

Best musical:


“School of Rock – the Musical”

“Bright Star”

“Shuffle Along, or the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed”


Best play:

“Eclipsed” by Danai Gurira

“The Father” by Florian Zeller

“The Humans” by Stephen Karam

“King Charles III” by Mike Bartlett

Best revival of a musical:

“She Loves Me”

“Fiddler on the Roof”

“Spring Awakening”

“The Color Purple”

Best revival of a play:


“Long Day’s Journey Into Night”

“Arthur Miller’s The Crucible”

“Arthur Miller’s A View From the Bridge”

Best performance by a leading actress in a musical:

Laura Benanti, “She Loves Me”

Carmen Cusack, “Bright Star”

Cynthia Erivo, “The Color Purple”

Jessie Mueller, “Waitress”

Phillipa Soo, “Hamilton”

Best performance by a leading actor in a musical:

Alex Brightman, “School of Rock – The Musical”

Danny Burstein, “Fiddler on the Roof”

Zachary Levi, “She Loves Me”

Lin-Manuel Miranda, “Hamilton”

Leslie Odom Jr., “Hamilton”

Best performance by a leading actress in a play:

Jessica Lange, “Long Day’s Journey Into Night”

Laurie Metcalf, “Misery”

Lupita Nyong’o, “Eclipsed”

Sophie Okonedo, “Arthur Miller’s The Crucible”

Michelle Williams, “Blackbird”

Best performance by a leading actor in a play:

Gabriel Byrne, “Long Day’s Journey Into Night

Jeff Daniels, “Blackbird”

Frank Langella, “The Father”

Tim Pigott-Smith, “King Charles III”

Mark Strong, “Arthur Miller’s A View from the Bridge”

Best book of a musical:

“Bright Star”


“School of Rock – the Musical”

“Shuffle Along, or the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed”

Best original score:

“Bright Star”


“School of Rock – the Musical”


Best choreography:


“Shuffle Along, or the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed”

“Fiddler on the Roof”

“Dames at Sea”

“On Your Feet! The Story of Emilio and Gloria Estefan”

Britta Lokting is the Forward’s culture fellow.




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