Tony Rulings: ‘1984’ Can Vie for Best Play; Andrew Garfield and Nathan Lane Avoid Showdown

Tony Rulings: ‘1984’ Can Vie for Best Play; Andrew Garfield and Nathan Lane Avoid Showdown


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Reed Birney, second from right, and Tom Sturridge, kneeling, in the Broadway production of “1984.”

Credit
Sara Krulwich/The New York Times

The Tony Awards had some doubleplusgood news for the producer Scott Rudin on Thursday.

Five months after having declared last summer’s production of “1984” ineligible for awards consideration because Mr. Rudin had denied a member of the Tony nominating committee access to the show, awards administrators said it was back in contention.

They offered no explanation for the change.

The play initially was barred from consideration after Mr. Rudin, one of the lead producers, had declined to allow the nominator Jose Antonio Vargas, an immigration rights activist and writer, to see the show, apparently because of concern about Mr. Vargas’s prior writings.

But Mr. Vargas has since recused himself from this year’s voting because he missed another show, which appears to explain the decision to allow “1984” back in the race. The play is Robert Icke and Duncan Macmillan’s adaptation of the George Orwell novel.

The action on “1984” was the most dramatic move taken by the Tony Awards administration committee at its regularly scheduled meeting, but other rulings are also likely to have an impact on several key contests.

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Nathan Lane as Roy Cohn in “Angels in America.”

Credit
Sara Krulwich/The New York Times

The committee averted a likely showdown between actors giving blistering performances in the revival of Tony Kushner’s two-part “Angels in America,” deciding that Nathan Lane, as the lawyer Roy Cohn, would be eligible in the featured actor category. Andrew Garfield, as Prior Walter, a gay man with AIDS who is left by his lover, remains in the running for a lead actor nod.

That is a change from 1993, when “Millennium Approaches,” the first part of “Angels,” took the best play Tony. Ron Leibman won for leading actor, as Roy Cohn, and Stephen Spinella won for featured actor as Prior Walter. (The next year, in 1994, Mr. Spinella won for leading actor, playing the same character in “Perestroika,” the second part of “Angels.”)



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