2015 pop culture is best summarized using four words: Star Wars. Adele. Hamilton.* With a cast recording that graced Billboard charts as the #1 rap album and #9 album for top sales, an indefinite sold-out run and multiple presidential visits, Hamilton is an unstoppable phenomenon. Sure, Book of Mormon, Wicked and the Lion King won over the hearts of theatre-going audiences, but it has been nearly 20 years since a show as culturally and socially significant as Hamilton has graced a Broadway stage** and challenged perceptions of what Broadway and musical theatre is (and could be).
However, 2015 also saw a new normal emerge on the professional New York theatre scene, to which Hamilton was but one contributor: an embrace of diversity in both story-telling and casting. In addition to Lin-Manuel Miranda’s hip-hop infused vision of Revolutionary War-era America, Allegiance, with a predominately Asian-American cast, presented the story of Japanese Americans interned during WWII, the predominately Latin American cast of On Your Feet! celebrated Gloria Estefan’s successes in the music industry, the cast of Fun Home stunned audiences with a beautiful story of sexuality, self-discovery and family relationships, the creative team behind off-Broadway’s Eclipsed highlighted the horrors of war for African women, and the revival cast of Deaf West’s Spring Awakening proved that an ensemble can have a powerful and beautiful dialogue with audiences without making a sound.
In total, it was an exciting year on stage and this list of nominees is but a small glimpse of the tremendous work done both on and off-Broadway in 2015.***
*Sorry, Jurassic World. Ditch Bryce Dallas Howard’s high heels next time.
**That show was Rent. But you already knew that, right?
Please note that, in order to be nominated for a 2015 MyTheatre Awards, a show must have been seen by at least one staff writer for My Entertainment World. Productions that were previously nominated off-Broadway are not eligible for nomination if they transferred to Broadway in 2015.
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After careful consideration, here are the productions and actors in New York being considered for a 2015 MyTheatre Award…
Best Revival (Musical)
The King & I
The Color Purple
Fiddler on the Roof
Best Revival (Play)
A View from the Bridge
Best Supporting Actor (Musical)
Brad Oscar (Something Rotten!)
Jonathan Groff (Hamilton)
Daveed Diggs (Hamilton)
Christopher Jackson (Hamilton)
George Takei (Allegiance)
Alex Boniello (Spring Awakening)
Most Memorable Broadway Debut
Daveed Diggs (Hamilton)
Cynthia Erivo (The Color Purple)
Ruthie Ann Miles (The King & I)
Phillipa Soo (Hamilton)
Ana Villafañe (On Your Feet!)
Mark Strong (A View from the Bridge)
Most Overrated Productions
On the 20th Century
Play or Musical You Are Most Excited to See in 2016
American Psycho (musical)
The Humans (play – Broadway transfer)
Eclipsed (play – Broadway transfer)
The Crucible (play)
Shuffle Along Or The Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed (musical)