Scanning the list of shows and actors nominated for Tony Awards this year, it seems fairly easy to catch all the people up for awards. But those who know how the ceremony works realize that Broadway has a little secret.
Most shows that make it to Broadway do so thanks to the generous financial support of wealthy patrons.
When a person invests a certain amount of money in a show, they typically earn a co-producer credit, and that usually entitles them to certain perks, such as a nomination should the musical or play earn some love from the Tonys.
The full list of producers that collect Tony nods every year usually includes at least a handful of familiar names, and this is a tried-and-true trick for the famous and successful to win one of the coveted four EGOT trophies.
This time around, there are quite a few stars who are now in the running for Tonys – and five of the most surprising are listed below.
RuPaul has once again been nominated for a Tony Award, even though he has yet to grace the Broadway stage. This time it’s for Best Play as a co-producer on Ain’t No Mo.
This is the second consecutive year that the Drag Race host has been nominated for a Tony, and he is in good company with plenty of other producing nominees.
Last year, RuPaul won his first Tony Award as a co-producer on A Strange Loop, which was awarded Best Musical.
Yes, that Mariah Carey.
The singer has been nominated for a Tony Award for her producing work on the new musical Some Like It Hot. It’s worth noting that she doesn’t earn a nod for her own jukebox musical – which doesn’t exist but really should – but rather for a brand new production that stands out as the most-nominated show this year.
Although nothing is guaranteed, there is a good chance that Carey may just take home her first Tony Award in the upcoming ceremony.
It might come as a surprise to some, but Kandi Burruss, one of the stars of The Real Housewives of Atlanta, is now a Tony nominee. Burruss, who has made a name for herself in multiple facets of the entertainment industry, is a co-producer on August Wilson’s The Piano Lesson, which is currently up for the award for Best Revival of a Play.
While many may be more familiar with her reality television work, Burruss has quietly established herself as a successful talent in the entertainment world.
With the possibility of a Tony Award in her future, Burruss may add yet another accolade to her already impressive collection, which already includes a Grammy Award.
Even if you’re not familiar with Max Martin‘s name, you undoubtedly know his work.
The songwriter and producer has been the driving force behind some of the biggest pop hits of the past several decades, crafting chart-topping tunes for the likes of Britney Spears, the Backstreet Boys, and Ariana Grande, among countless others.
This year, his hits have been worked into a musical called & Juliet, which has garnered an impressive number of nominations, tying for the second-most at the upcoming ceremony. While Martin is not eligible for a score award, as the songs are not original to the production, he is a producer of the show, which means he could be taking home a trophy in just a few short weeks.
Emmy, Grammy, and Tony-winning actress Cynthia Erivo has been busy filming the Wicked movies, but she has other things happening on the side as well.
One of those projects has just earned her a Tony nomination, but it’s not for her performance in a Broadway show. Erivo is a co-producer on the play Fat Ham, which has already won the Pulitzer Prize and is in the running for Best Play at this year’s awards.
If the production wins, it will mark Erivo’s second Tony Award, as she previously won Best Leading Actress in a Musical for her performance in The Color Purple.
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