re: Maryann and Mendez and Radcliffe and Ricamora
Posted by: Chazwaza 04:12 pm EDT 04/19/24
In reply to: re: Maryann and Mendez and Radcliffe and Ricamora - BroadwayTonyJ 03:37 pm EDT 04/19/24

Fair. Most people dont' seem to consider Brenner asian (of course they'd be wrong). Wiki says "He had Swiss-German, Russian, Buryat (Mongol), and purported Roma ancestry." I don't know how that worked out in his identity or genetics, but assuming he is considered Asian (the presumably incomplete wiki count of Asians nominated for Tonys doesn't), then of course his win counts (he was also given a Special Tony Award in 1985).

But, as I'm sure many would say, if my statement were "no Asian male actor has been nominated for a competitive acting award in a musical in the last 72 years", it would not make it much better. And I'm also sure to many, the fact that Yul was either considered ethnically ambiguous if not "white-passing" doesn't help the point of discussing what races have been nominated.

Trust me, it's not my thing to break things down this way. But I do think the notable and observable lack of Asian males in musicals being nominated could definitely play into Ricomara's possible win. I mean, Jon Jon Briones deserved to win for the Miss Saigon revival, and he wasn't even nominated, beyond the opportunity the Tonys had to balance the win of Pryce in that role (we can argue whether or not that role must be played by a fully Asian actor or not, the Asian community certainly says so and would have liked to see the incredible Asian actor playing that role in the revival at least be nominated in the role a white actor won for)... but I also totally get that nominations and wins don't work that way, nor should they. I'm just observing the optics. And no one can convince me that Horace is a Leading role in Dolly or that Pierce needed to be nominated for it (good as he was) -- the other nominees were Groban for Great Comet, Borle for Falsettos, Karl for Groundhog Day, and Platt for DEH. Of course Platt was going to win, but I absolutely would have replaced Pierce for Briones in a heartbeat, and next up would be Groban, then Borle. So this should have even been a question. Though I'm sure seeing Briones lose for the role Pyrce won for is a bad look too, but I don't think as bad as not nominating him, and most roles have MUCH more impact when the show is new than in a revival.
I don't remember if they put him in Featured to ensure his nomination, a move that's already complicated optically since Pryce won in Leading... and if so, how f*cked that it backfired, but I also would given him the win easily in Featured that year, and nominated him over any of the actors that were nominated.

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