Broadway has gone meta.
“A Strange Loop,” a pioneering work about a Black queer man’s struggle to write a musical, has itself become a critically recognized musical. The show garnered 11 Tony Award nominations, making it the most recognized production in this all-important season that saw Broadway return from a long pandemic shutdown.
The 2022 Tony nominations were announced Monday morning. Other shows to garner multiple nods included “MJ” (10 nominations), a jukebox musical that tells the story of pop great Michael Jackson and features many of the artist’s hit songs; “Paradise Square” (10 nominations), a musical that chronicles life and the struggle for racial equality in 19th-century New York City; “Company” (9 nominations), a revival of the late Stephen Sondheim’s classic 1970 musical; and “The Lehman Trilogy” (8 nominations), a play about the brothers behind the legendary firm that collapsed at the start of the financial crisis in 2008.
Among other honors, “A Strange Loop,” created by Broadway newcomer Michael R. Jackson (no relation to the pop star), was nominated for best musical. It will compete in that category, which is considered Broadway’s most important honor, with “MJ,” “Paradise Square” and three other new shows: “Girl from the North Country” (based on the songs of Bob Dylan), “Mr. Saturday Night” (based on the 1992 film of the same name); and “Six: The Musical” (about the six wives of Henry VIII).
The nominations included recognition of several high-profile stars familiar to audiences for their work in film and television. Among them: Hugh Jackman, who was nominated as best actor in a musical for his lead performance in a revival of “The Music Man,” and Billy Crystal, who will compete against Jackman in the category for his work in “Mr. Saturday Night” (Crystal also played the lead in the 1992 film).
Still, there were the inevitable snubs. Daniel Craig, best known for his cinematic turns as James Bond, wasn’t nominated for his work in a production of Shakespeare’s “Macbeth,” though his co-star Ruth Negga did get a get a nod for lead actress in a play. And the husband-and-wife Hollywood power couple of Matthew Broderick and Sarah Jessica Parker, who star in a current revival of the Neil Simon comedy “Plaza Suite,” were shut out in their respective lead actor and lead actress categories.
A much-hyped revival of the musical “Funny Girl” received only a single nomination — for Jared Grimes as a featured actor. Beanie Feldstein, who tackled the leading role of Fanny Brice that made Barbra Streisand a star both in the stage and screen versions, failed to be recognized.
The Tony Awards will take place in New York City’s Radio City Music Hall on June 12 and will be televised on CBS and streamed live and on demand on Paramount+.