‘Funny Girl’ snubbed, but ‘Lehman’ stock rises, in Tony nominations

Beanie Feldstein as “Fanny Brice”
Beanie Feldstein as “Fanny Brice” during the opening night curtain call for the musical “Funny Girl” on Broadway at The August Wilson Theatre in New York City, April 24, 2022. (Bruce Glikas/WireImage via JTA)

By Andrew Lapin

Some of the biggest Jewish names on Broadway weren’t shining so bright in this year’s Tony nominations.

The much-anticipated revival of “Funny Girl,” with Beanie Feldstein in the Barbra Streisand role as pioneering Jewish comedienne Fanny Brice, came up almost empty-handed.The show received only one nomination in total, for featured actor Jared Grimes.

Also snubbed: “Plaza Suite,” a revival of the Neil Simon play starring real-life Jew-ish couple Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick, only garnered one nomination, for costume design.

Jews and Jewish-themed shows were more successful elsewhere, however. “The Lehman Trilogy,” a multigenerational history of the infamous Jewish family of financiers, received eight nominations, including best play; all three lead actors were also nominated, including Adam Godley, who is Jewish.

“Girl from the North Country,” a jukebox-style production built around Bob Dylan’s songbook, received seven nominations, including Best Musical and Best Book of a Musical; the Great Depression-era orchestrations of Dylan’s tunes were also recognized. “North Country” star Mare Winningham was nominated for lead actress. Winningham was raised Catholic, but converted to Judaism in her 40s.

“Mr. Saturday Night,” Billy Crystal’s musical comedy based on his 1992 film about a fading TV comic, received five nominations, including best musical and best actor for Crystal. He also co-wrote the nominated book with Jewish writing duo Lowell Ganz and Babaloo Mandel. Featured actress Shoshana Bean, who is Jewish, was also nominated, as were the Jewish writers of the show’s music, composer Jason Robert Brown and lyricist Amanda Green.

“Company,” a gender-swapped restaging of the Stephen Sondheim classic, scored nine nominations.

“Caroline, or Change,” Tony Kushner’s Civil Rights Era-set musical about a Black maid who works for a Southern Jewish family in 1963, received three nominations.

And “American Buffalo,” a revival of caustic Jewish playwright David Mamet’s 1975 play about a junk shop, was nominated for four Tonys, as was “Take Me Out,” about a professional baseball player coming out as gay, by Jewish playwright Richard Greenberg.

“How I Learned to Drive,” a revival of the Pulitzer-winning 1997 play dealing with taboo topics such as pedophilia and incest, was nominated for three Tonys, including best revival. Its author, Paula Vogel, had a Jewish father and has also written other Jewish-themed plays.

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