Shuffle Along Shuffles Itself Into Next Year’s Awards Season

13954-5Less than a week into the 2015-16 New York theatre awards season and already eyes are looking to one specific Broadway production. In a season like the one Broadway is currently experiencing, it’s hard to remember just how many great productions and performances are out there. With more shows than ever opening later as well, the push has been on for awards nominators to see all the shows in time. However, one show has asked for re-consideration as it works to finalize itself in the midst of one of the hottest season Broadway has seen in over a decade. Today, Luner on Theatre brings you the news that Shuffle Along has shuffled itself into next year’s awards season for several major New York theatre awards!

Scott-RudinWith both the Outer Critics Circle and Drama League announcing award nominations earlier this week in New York, many Broadway fans and theatre-goers might have noticed the omission of one of the largest and most anticipated productions on Broadway this season, Shuffle Along. However, according to Showbiz 411, lead producer Scott Rudin (Pictured Right) asked for the show to be omitted from these awards this season as the show is “not ready” to be evaluated at this time. The site is reporting Rudin also asked for the same treatment in regards to the Drama Desk Awards, which are slated to be announced a week from today on April 28th. With this decision now made, the production and the performances of its leading stars, which include Audra McDonald, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Billy Porter and Joshua Henry (All Pictured Below) just to name a few, will also be considered eligible for the 2016-17 season. Thanks to David Gordon for the photo below!

105564At this time, Shuffle Along is still slated and reported to be eligible for the 2015-16 Tony Awards. The show is opening on April 28th, which is also the last day for any shows to open to be considered a part of the 2015-16 Broadway season. According to Showbiz 411, the show will “freeze” for critics (No more changes will be made) on April 25th giving Tony nominators just a few days to see the production before making their nomination decisions. The New York Times is also reporting that Rudin is asking the Tony committee to rule the production to be considered a revival, despite receiving heavy re-writes. The show, which includes music from the original production but an entirely new book, has been seen by many as a new musical about Shuffle Along, as opposed to a revival. The new expanded title for this staging, Shuffle Along, or, the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed, has only helped that notion. A decision on the placement will be made on April 29th along with decisions for several other productions.

IMG_1039Luner Lowdown: Whether Shuffle Along finds itself considered a New Musical of Musical Revival at this year’s Tony Awards, it will without a doubt play a factor into overall nominations for the 2015-16 season. Placing Shuffle Along into the new musical category will without a doubt place the musical head-to-head with Hamilton and could shut out any other smaller, new musicals from the category. However, placing Shuffle Along into the musical revival category will without a doubt potentially knock one of the already confirmed revivals for this season, She Loves Me, Spring Awakening, The Color Purple and Fiddler on the Roof, out of the running. It is important to note all those musical revivals opened to strong notices as have many new musicals this season. The Tony committee’s decision on this one will not be light and will without a doubt affect the entire nomination list and potentially the lifespan of other Broadway musicals this season. Tony Award nominations and wins not only equal out to ticket sales in many cases but a prolonged life on Broadway for shows.

Luner on Theatre will keep you updated regarding the Tony Award committee’s final decision as to whether or not Shuffle Along is a new musical or musical revival this season on Broadway; a decision that will without a doubt play a factor in this year’s Tony Award nominations!

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