Posts Tagged ‘jessie mueller’

Tony Awards nominees include multiple Chicago connections!

Posted on: May 8th, 2018 by B.I. C. No Comments

Another Tony Awards season is upon us! We are looking forward to celebrating another exciting season of theatre and equally thrilled to highlight all the Chicago connections to this year’s nominees.

Perhaps one of the most anticipated shows this season is The Band’s Visit, which garnered a total of 11 nominations, including best direction of a musical by David Cromer. Before his work on Broadway, Cromer spent a large portion of his career in Chicago helming acclaimed productions of Angels in America Parts I and II at The Journeymen Theatre, The Price at Writers’ Theatre and Rent at American Theater Company.

SpongeBob SquarePants, which made its Pre-Broadway World Premiere in summer of 2016 at the Oriental Theatre, soaked up 12 nominations and is directed by Steppenwolf Theatre ensemble member Tina Landau. Also hailing from the Steppenwolf stage is Laurie Metcalf, nominated for her performance in Three Tall Women.

Additionally, David Zinn received two nominations for his dual role as both scenic and costume designer for the whimsical world of Bikini Bottom in SpongeBob SquarePants. And of course, a special shout out to the variety of artists who took home a best original score nomination for SpongeBob SquarePants including: Yolanda Adams, Steven Tyler & Joe Perry of Aerosmith, Sara Bareilles (a previous Best Score nominee for the upcoming Waitress the Musical), Jonathan Coulton, Alex Ebert of Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, The Flaming Lips, Lady Antebellum, Cyndi Lauper (a previous Best Score Tony Award winner for Kinky Boots, which also originated in Chicago) & Rob Hyman, John Legend, Panic! at the Disco, Plain White T’s, They Might Be Giants, T.I., Domani & Lil’C.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child cast its spell over the Tony Awards and earned a total of 10 nominations including Best Play. This production features several Chicago actors including Alex Weisman, Jessie Fisher, Nathan Salstone and James Romney. Weisman, a Northwestern graduate, and Romney, a graduate of Roosevelt University’s Chicago College for Performing Arts, and Salstone, the 2012 IHSMTA Best Actor winner, all made their Broadway debuts, while Fisher previously appeared on Broadway in Once and is a native of Highland Park.

Tina Fey, who got her start at Second City in Chicago, was nominated for best book of a musical for Mean Girls and Fey’s husband, former Second City musician Jeff Richmond, was nominated for best score with his co-writer Nell Benjamin. Two-time Tony winner Gregg Barnes is also nominated for his costume design work in Mean Girls. Gregg’s costume creations have been seen by Chicagoans in Disney’s Aladdin and most recently on stage at the Oriental Theatre in Pretty Woman: The Musical.

Jessie Mueller, an Evanston native and a veteran to the Chicago stage, was nominated for her leading performance as Julie in Carousel, alongside Joshua Henry, who played opposite her as Billy Bigelow. Henry appeared most recently with Broadway In Chicago as Aaron Burr in the original Chicago cast of Hamilton.

On the design front; Academy and Tony Award-winner Ann Roth is nominated for her costume design in Three Tall Women. Ann’s designs brought Mormon to the minds of Chicagoans in 2012 and will sure do the same when The Book of Mormon says “Hello” again in November.

We are also thrilled that members of the creative team for the upcoming The Cher Show have rounded up several nominations as well. Kevin Adams (Nominated for lighting design of a musical – SpongeBob SquarePants), Christopher Gattelli (Nominated for choreography – SpongeBob SquarePants) and Christine Jones (Nominated for scenic design – Harry Potter and the Cursed Child) all come together this June when The Cher Show has its Pre-Broadway Premiere at the Oriental Theatre June 12 – July 15.

Tune in to the 72nd annual Tony Awards hosted by CBS on Sunday, June 10, 2018 beginning at 7 p.m. CT!


2016 Tony Award Nominations – Best Performance by an Actor/Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical/Play

Posted on: June 7th, 2016 by B.I. C. No Comments

Broadway In Chicago is beyond excited for the 2016 Tony Awards on Sunday June 12th 7-10PM CT! We’ll be highlighting the nominees in each category and filling you in on some fun facts each week leading up to the award ceremony.

Here are the actors and actresses in musicals and plays nominated for Best Performance in a Leading Role:


Alex Brightman – “School of Rock – The Musical”

Danny Burstein – “Fiddler on the Roof”

Zachary Levi – “She Loves Me”

Lin-Manuel Miranda – “Hamilton”

Leslie Odom, Jr. – “Hamilton”

Fun Facts:

-Alex Brightman played “Zacky Price” in the original cast of Big Fish which originated here in Chicago at the Oriental Theatre April 2 – May 5, 2013.

-Although Lin-Manuel Miranda has gained so much recognition for his creation of Hamilton, he was well known before that as well for writing the music and lyrics for both In the Heights and Bring It On: The Musical, both which have toured through Chicago.


Laura Benanti – “She Loves Me”

Carmen Cusack – “Bright Star”

Cynthia Erivo – “The Color Purple”

Jessie Mueller – “Waitress”

Phillipa Soo – “Hamilton”

Fun Facts:

-Carmen Cusack was just recently in Chicago premiering the First Wives Club musical at the Oriental Theatre February 17 – March 29, 2015.

-Jessie Mueller won the 2014 Tony Award for her portrayal of Carole King in Beautiful: The Carole King Musical which was last seen at the Oriental Theatre December 1, 2015 – February 21, 2016 and will be returning to Chicago in the upcoming 2017 holiday season.


Gabriel Byrne – “Long Day’s Journey Into Night”

Jeff Daniels – “Blackbird”

Frank Langella – “The Father”

Tim Pigott-Smith – “King Charles III”

Mark Strong – “A View from the Bridge”

Fun facts:

-You may recognize Jeff Daniels from movies such as The Martian, Steve Jobs and also the classic 1994 comedy, Dumb and Dumber.

-Both Frank Langella and Anthony Hopkins received Oscar nominations for portraying Richard Nixon: Hopkins for Nixon in 1995 and Langella for Frost/Nixon in 2008.


Jessica Lange – “Long Day’s Journey Into Night”

Laurie Metcalf – “Misery”

Lupita Nyong’o – “Eclipsed”

Sophie Okonedo – “The Crucible”

Michelle Williams – “Blackbird”

Fun Facts:

-You’ll recognize Jessica Lange from movies such as Big Fish, Tootsie or Cape Fear, but most recently because of her work in the hit TV show American Horror Story.

-Lupita Nyong’o won an Oscar in 2014 for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in the movie 12 Years a Slave.

-Michelle Williams starred as Sally Bowles in the Cabaret revival on Broadway, which then toured through Chicago recently at The PrivateBank Theatre February 9 – 21, 2016 with Andrea Goss in the leading role.


2016 Tony Award Nominations – Chicago Connections!

Posted on: May 3rd, 2016 by B.I. C. No Comments

Broadway In Chicago couldn’t be more thrilled for the announcement of this year’s Tony Award nominations!  Here are a few of the amazing local ties this year:

Lin-Manuel Miranda’s “Hamilton” received a record-setting 16 nominations including Best Musical, which makes us even more thrilled that it will be premiering at The Private Bank Theatre this coming September!  Phillipa Soo, an Illinois native herself from Libertyville, was nominated in Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical for her portrayal of Eliza Hamilton. For more information about the upcoming Chicago production visit:

Sara Bareilles’ “Waitress” has been nominated for Best Original Score. She is one of the many artists whose music will be featured in the upcoming world premiere of “The SpongeBob Musical” beginning performances at the Oriental Theatre June 7th!  For more information visit:

Sergio Trujillo was nominated for Best Choreography in “On Your Feet!” which had its start here in Chicago at the Oriental Theatre on June 2nd – July 5th, 2015 before transferring to Broadway.

David Zinn was nominated for Best Scenic Design for “The Humans,” and is currently working on the design for the world premiere of “The SpongeBob Musical.”  He was also nominated last year for his design of the musical, “Fun Home,” which will also play the Oriental Theatre this fall starting November 2nd.

Chicago native Jessie Mueller was nominated for the second time in the category of Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical for her spectacular work in “Waitress.”  She won this category’s Tony Award in 2014 for her performance as Carole King in “Beautiful: The Carole King Musical” which was last seen at the Oriental Theatre December 1, 2015 – February 21, 2016 and will be returning to Chicago in the 2017 holiday season.

You may remember Carmen Cusack from her performance in “First Wives Club” which premiered here February 17th – March 29th, 2015 at the Oriental Theatre.  She was just nominated for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical in “Bright Star.”

Michael Shannon, whom you might recognize as an ensemble member from A Red Orchid Theatre in Chicago’s Old Town area, was nominated for Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Play in “Long Day’s Journey Into Night.”

Stephen Karam’s “The Humans,” which was nominated for Best Play originated at the American Theater Company and played November 14, 2014 – February 1, 2015 before moving to Broadway.

“Eclipsed” by Danai Gurira, which is also nominated for Best Play, was first seen in Chicago as well at the Northlight Theatre January 13 – February 20, 2011.

Laurie Metcalf who was nominated in the category Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play for “Misery,” is remembered well in Chicago as a Steppenwolf ensemble member.

Be sure to check out Chris Jones’ Chicago Tribune article for the full list of nominations! – See more at:


Spring Road Conference Highlights

Posted on: May 19th, 2014 by broadwayinchicago No Comments

Last week, members of our team were able to attend the Spring Road Conference in New York City.



The conference opened with a surprise appearance by Tommy Tune!


Jon Stewart (“The Daily Show”) delivered the keynote address, stating about live theatre: “Why am I here? Here’s why…I can sit. And turn next to the person next to me and say ‘That was wonderful.'”


Presentations, speeches and discussions followed with (from L to R): Tyne Daly and Bobby Steggert of “Mothers & Sons”, Chicago actress Jessie Mueller of “Beautiful: The Carole King Musical”, Audra McDonald, Idina Menzel and the creative team of “If/Then”, the creative team of Bullets Over Broadway, Bryan Cranston of “All the Way”. A performance from “Aladdin” with stars Adam Jacobs and Courtney Reed took place as well.

A fantastic time was had by all attendees and we’re excited to see some of these shows hit the road and come to Chicago in the future!