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I hope the Tonys remember Arielle Jacobs of 'Here Lies Love'
Last Edit: WaymanWong 10:05 am EDT 04/20/24
Posted by: WaymanWong 09:50 am EDT 04/20/24
In reply to: re: I don’t think she even sings in the show. - Thom915 10:56 pm EDT 04/19/24

I suspect you're right. Plunkett got the best notices of the show, and she's a past Tony winner (and it seems like Tony nominators like to lean into that). I assumed Plunkett was a slam-dunk for a Featured Actress nomination, but ''The Notebook'' calculation might be that bumping her to Leading, opens a slot in Featured and improves the chances for her co-star, like Joy Woods as Middle Allie, who sings ''If This Is Love,'' to make the cut.

This year's Leading Actress in a Musical hasn't seemed to have a front-runner yet ... unlike next year, which already seems to have one in Nicole Scherzinger in ''Sunset Boulevard.'' I'd assumed that the slam-dunks for this season are Kelli O'Hara (''Days of Wine and Roses'') and Gayle Rankin (''Cabaret''). And now Plunkett. Does the fourth slot go to two-time Tony nominee Eva Noblezada (''The Great Gatsby'')? If it does, that only leaves one more slot for Eden Espinoza (''Lempicka''), Shaina Taub (''Suffs''), Isabelle McCalla (''Water for Elephants'') or Maleah Joi Moon (''Hell's Kitchen''), etc.

As a champion of ''Here Lies Love,'' I'm rooting for Arielle Jacobs, who was so phenomenal and fierce as the iron butterfly that was Imelda Marcos. I loved her singing of the title tune and her Cinderella rise from pretty, poor peasant girl to betrayed rich wife (''Why Don't You Love Me?''). Jacobs also had one of the most physical and exhausting roles of the season: She had to traverse back and forth from the front of the proscenium to the back of the orchestra, sometimes climbing up and down stairs to the mezzanine, all the while singing and acting. And amid the obstacle course, Jacobs was ducking in and out, making 18 costume changes during the 90-minute show. If there were a Tony for Best Cardio Workout, Jacobs definitely deserves it.

If, by some miracle, Noblezada and Jacobs are both nominated, it'll mark only the second time two Asian/Asian-American women have been both up for Leading Actress in a Musical in Tony's 76-year history. The first time was 1991, with June Angela (''Shogun'') and Lea Salonga (''Miss Saigon''), who won.

Previous: re: I don’t think she even sings in the show. - Thom915 10:56 pm EDT 04/19/24

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