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re: lack of nom for Jon Jon Briones was criminal
Last Edit: WaymanWong 01:37 am EDT 06/23/22
Posted by: WaymanWong 01:26 am EDT 06/23/22
In reply to: lack of nom for Jon Jon Briones was criminal - Chazwaza 11:29 pm EDT 06/22/22

Jon Jon Briones was electrifying as the Engineer in ''Miss Saigon'' and deserved much better from the Tony nominators.

In London, he received rave reviews and an Olivier Award nomination for ''Miss Saigon.'' In New York, the Drama Desk nominated Briones for Outstanding Actor in a Musical, and it would be the ONLY Drama Desk nomination that that revival got. Plus, he earned a Theatre World Award for his Broadway debut. In light of all that, it's sad that the Tony nominators didn't even think he was worth NOMINATING. ... As an ironic footnote, what does it say when a white actor in ''yellowface'' can WIN for the same role that an Asian-American actor can't even be nominated for?

True, if he were nominated, Briones probably wouldn't have beat Ben Platt in ''Dear Evan Hansen.'' (By the way, the Drama Desk didn't even nominate Platt the year before.) However, I believe Briones was worthier of a Tony nomination than Christian Borle (''Falsettos''), Josh Groban (''The Great Comet'') and David Hyde Pierce (''Hello, Dolly!''). However, I've always believed that it's easier for Tony nominators to vote for people they know or recognize. And Borle, Groban and Hyde Pierce were far better-known than some unknown Filipino-American actor, so Briones lost out.

Alas, the same thing happened to Briones on Ryan Murphy's mini-series ''The Assassination of Gianni Versace'' (2018). Darren Criss, a Filipino-American best known for ''Glee,'' was playing Andrew Cunanan, and he recommended Briones to play Cunanan's dad, Modesto. Murphy raved about Briones' tour de force, and Murphy wondered: ''Who are you? How come I don't know you?'' And Criss had to explain to Murphy that Asian-American actors rarely get opportunities at such juicy roles, so they're seldom known. By all rights, Briones should've gotten an Emmy nomination for Supporting Actor, but nope; Emmy voters passed him over for his more famous co-stars in ''Gianni Versace,'' like Edgar Ramirez and Ricky Martin.
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