“Rainbow High” with a full slate of queer contenders for the 76th annual Tony Awards.Forty productions opened — and a handful closed or were limited runs — during the 2022-23 Broadway season, which includes shows that opened between May 5, 2022, and April 27, 2023.
Among them were nine new musicals, six musical revivals, 17 new plays, six play revivals, and two wildcards (the Jonas Brothers in concert and a return engagement of last season’s Take Me Out).Considered one of the theater’s highest honors (unless you count actually landing a gig), this year’s Tony Awards will be vacating its recent home at Radio City Music Hall and heading uptown to the historic United Palace for the June 11 ceremony and live broadcast on CBS.
But the big question is, who’s invited?This year’s nominees include both perennial favorites and newcomers and plenty of queer talent, which has historically been welcomed by the theater community with open arms.
But the awards themselves have yet to catch up to the nonbinary times. One notable — and purposeful omission — is Justin David Sullivan’s performance in & Juliet.Sullivan, who identifies as trans nonbinary and uses he/she/they pronouns, plays Juliet’s best friend May in a musical that images what the star-crossed lover’s life could be through the songbook of hitmaker Max Martin.“I felt I had no choice but to abstain from being considered for a nomination this season,” Sullivan said in a statement released on February 1. “I hope that award shows across the industry will expand their reach to be able to honor and award people of all gender identities.”While Sullivan opted out, others opted in — perhaps using their potential time in the spotlight to advocate for renamed performance categories.J..