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9 Non-Nominated Performances that I LOVED This Year

1. Gideon Glick in Significant Other

This. I will never understand this. Gideon Glick's performance as Jordan Berman in Significant Other was a LOCK for a Tony nomination. I mean, it was a no brainer...wasn't it? Ben Brantley himself called it an "expert performance" in his...positive-ish review of the play. Sure, a play that closes before the Tony nominations are even announced stands a smaller chance of being recognized, but this performance was a TOUR DE FORCE. Glick as Jordan was riveting. You loved him, you HATED him, you wanted to hug him, you wanted to punch him. What else did he need to do up there? Oh, and the last minute of the play was one of the most uncomfortable things I've ever watched on stage--in the best possible way. 

This. I will never understand this. Gideon Glick's performance as Jordan Berman in Significant Other was a LOCK for a Tony nomination. I mean, it was a no brainer...wasn't it? Ben Brantley himself called it an "expert performance" in his...positive-ish review of the play. Sure, a play that closes before the Tony nominations are even announced stands a smaller chance of being recognized, but this performance was a TOUR DE FORCE. Glick as Jordan was riveting. You loved him, you HATED him, you wanted to hug him, you wanted to punch him. What else did he need to do up there? Oh, and the last minute of the play was one of the most uncomfortable things I've ever watched on stage--in the best possible way. 

2. Lindsay Mendez in Significant Other

While we're at it, can we please talk about Lindsay Mendez in Significant Other? I missed the Off-Broadway run of the show and didn't know much about it when she and I discussed it at last summer's live Summer Series show. But I remember the passion and love she had for the piece when she talked about it, so it was one of this season's must-sees for me. As Jordan's best friend Laura, she delivered. One of the truly memorable moments on stage for me this season was watching Mendez listen and react silently to Jordan's climactic monologue as he railed against her as a friend, woman, and person. I thought for sure that this would be the beloved musical theater actress's first Tony Award nomination. 

While we're at it, can we please talk about Lindsay Mendez in Significant Other? I missed the Off-Broadway run of the show and didn't know much about it when she and I discussed it at last summer's live Summer Series show. But I remember the passion and love she had for the piece when she talked about it, so it was one of this season's must-sees for me. As Jordan's best friend Laura, she delivered. One of the truly memorable moments on stage for me this season was watching Mendez listen and react silently to Jordan's climactic monologue as he railed against her as a friend, woman, and person. I thought for sure that this would be the beloved musical theater actress's first Tony Award nomination. 

3. Brittain Ashford in Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812

Best Featured Actress in a Musical is often my favorite Tony Awards category and I feel like the entire category could have been filled with the women of Great Comet (Grace McLean as Myra D. and Amber Gray as Helene are equally as terrific). But there is something so spellbinding Ashford's Sonia that makes her almost impossible to look away from in this production. Also THAT VOICE! Listen, I love me some classically trained musical theater performers, but there is something very exciting about hearing a voice as unique as Ashford's on a Broadway stage. Her performance of the song "Sonya Alone" is by itself worth the price of admission. 

Best Featured Actress in a Musical is often my favorite Tony Awards category and I feel like the entire category could have been filled with the women of Great Comet (Grace McLean as Myra D. and Amber Gray as Helene are equally as terrific). But there is something so spellbinding Ashford's Sonia that makes her almost impossible to look away from in this production. Also THAT VOICE! Listen, I love me some classically trained musical theater performers, but there is something very exciting about hearing a voice as unique as Ashford's on a Broadway stage. Her performance of the song "Sonya Alone" is by itself worth the price of admission. 

4. Caesar Samayoa in Come From Away

Come From Away is an ensemble piece for sure. Despite the fact that it takes place (mostly) on September 11, 2001, the show is very much a feel-good true story about people coming together to take care of each other other in a time of crisis. Samayoa primarily plays two roles in the show--Kevin, a gay man in an on-the-rocks relationship with another man named Kevin, and Ali, a Muslim chef. It's Samayoa's portrayal of Ali, who is shunned over and over again by the bonding tribes of townspeople and stranded airline passengers, that stands out. The humiliation, confusion, loneliness, and just plain forced outsider-ness of Ali's experience is hard to watch and makes Samayoa's performance one of the most memorable in the show. 

Come From Away is an ensemble piece for sure. Despite the fact that it takes place (mostly) on September 11, 2001, the show is very much a feel-good true story about people coming together to take care of each other other in a time of crisis. Samayoa primarily plays two roles in the show--Kevin, a gay man in an on-the-rocks relationship with another man named Kevin, and Ali, a Muslim chef. It's Samayoa's portrayal of Ali, who is shunned over and over again by the bonding tribes of townspeople and stranded airline passengers, that stands out. The humiliation, confusion, loneliness, and just plain forced outsider-ness of Ali's experience is hard to watch and makes Samayoa's performance one of the most memorable in the show. 

5. Jon Jon Briones in Miss Saigon

No question, there were A LOT of contenders for the Leading Actor in a Musical category this year (Hi Ben Platt!). But again, I thought Jon Jon was a lock. I mean did you SEE his performance in Miss Saigon? Briones, it seems, has been with Miss Saigon for most of his life--he was a member of the ensemble in the original UK production, went on to perform in the show all over the world, and then took on the role of The Engineer in the West End revival, for which he earned an Olivier Award nomination. His embodiment of The Engineer in this production is layered--cunning, scrappy, even sexy. His character is fully formed and acted in a way that seems impossible to do 8 times a week. Run to the Broadway Theater to see to see this production.  

No question, there were A LOT of contenders for the Leading Actor in a Musical category this year (Hi Ben Platt!). But again, I thought Jon Jon was a lock. I mean did you SEE his performance in Miss Saigon? Briones, it seems, has been with Miss Saigon for most of his life--he was a member of the ensemble in the original UK production, went on to perform in the show all over the world, and then took on the role of The Engineer in the West End revival, for which he earned an Olivier Award nomination. His embodiment of The Engineer in this production is layered--cunning, scrappy, even sexy. His character is fully formed and acted in a way that seems impossible to do 8 times a week. Run to the Broadway Theater to see to see this production.  

6. Michael Xavier in Sunset Boulevard

I'll say it again, the Leading Actor in a Musical category was a doozy this year, but still I think Michael Xavier as Joe Gillis stood out from the pack. One of the many things I loved about this production was the way the stripped down set allowed the audience to pay close attention to the performances, and Michael delivered (and I'm not JUST talking about the moment he ascends, ahem, scantly clad from the pool). A HUGE star in London (he is one of the only actors in history to receive TWO Olivier Award nominations in the same year), Michael is earning his stripes going head to head with the legendary Glen Close.  You can listen to our interview with him here.  

I'll say it again, the Leading Actor in a Musical category was a doozy this year, but still I think Michael Xavier as Joe Gillis stood out from the pack. One of the many things I loved about this production was the way the stripped down set allowed the audience to pay close attention to the performances, and Michael delivered (and I'm not JUST talking about the moment he ascends, ahem, scantly clad from the pool). A HUGE star in London (he is one of the only actors in history to receive TWO Olivier Award nominations in the same year), Michael is earning his stripes going head to head with the legendary Glen Close.  You can listen to our interview with him here.  

7. Margo Seibert in In Transit

Look, In Transit wasn't my favorite show this season (Producer Mike LOVED it), but it was made by and starred some of the most talented people in the business. It deserved more love than it got. And if I loved Margo Seibert any more than I already do, my damn head would explode. She is always a joy to watch on stage, her voice is other worldly, and she gave everything she had to struggling actress / daytime Executive Assistant Jane. And getting to hear her sing "Do What I Do" live was a highlight of the season for me.

Look, In Transit wasn't my favorite show this season (Producer Mike LOVED it), but it was made by and starred some of the most talented people in the business. It deserved more love than it got. And if I loved Margo Seibert any more than I already do, my damn head would explode. She is always a joy to watch on stage, her voice is other worldly, and she gave everything she had to struggling actress / daytime Executive Assistant Jane. And getting to hear her sing "Do What I Do" live was a highlight of the season for me.

8. Bryce Pinkham in Holiday Inn

First of all Bryce Pinkham is great in EVERYTHING. Add that to the fact that I LOVE a musical in the style of  "What are we--a bunch of showpeople--gonna do with this old barn? I know! Let's put on a show!" and you have musical nirvana for me. I love it too when a role offers an actor the opportunity to show off a complete range of what he or she can do--and this was certainly that for Bryce. the show popped up early-ish in the season for a limited run, so it's not super surprising that it didn't get the Tony love. But COME ON PEOPLE, we need to start treating Bryce Pinkham like the big gorgeous Broadway star that he is!

First of all Bryce Pinkham is great in EVERYTHING. Add that to the fact that I LOVE a musical in the style of  "What are we--a bunch of showpeople--gonna do with this old barn? I know! Let's put on a show!" and you have musical nirvana for me. I love it too when a role offers an actor the opportunity to show off a complete range of what he or she can do--and this was certainly that for Bryce. the show popped up early-ish in the season for a limited run, so it's not super surprising that it didn't get the Tony love. But COME ON PEOPLE, we need to start treating Bryce Pinkham like the big gorgeous Broadway star that he is!

9. Jeremy Kushnier in Paramour

Look, was Paramour perfect? No. Was it entertaining (and at moments terrifying) as hell? Yes. And you know what I loved about it? The show took chances. They were trying something completely new for Broadway with it. It took money and courage and the show had both. AND when it wasn't working, they shut it down for a few days to make the necessary changes and I think that is downright baller. And Jeremy Kushnier is the real deal. This guy came in to the show just days before it opened (the original actor was let go due to "creative differences") and took on the leading role of A.J. without skipping a beat. He is a boss and That is how you Get. It. Done. people!

Look, was Paramour perfect? No. Was it entertaining (and at moments terrifying) as hell? Yes. And you know what I loved about it? The show took chances. They were trying something completely new for Broadway with it. It took money and courage and the show had both. AND when it wasn't working, they shut it down for a few days to make the necessary changes and I think that is downright baller. And Jeremy Kushnier is the real deal. This guy came in to the show just days before it opened (the original actor was let go due to "creative differences") and took on the leading role of A.J. without skipping a beat. He is a boss and That is how you Get. It. Done. people!

Alright, so who did we miss? Leave us a comment below and let us know your thoughts!

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A Latte Conversation with Seth Sikes

A Latte Conversation with Seth Sikes