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2023 Tony nominations defy the usual logic around closed shows

More shuttered productions than usual were included on the list of Tony nominations on May 2.

Marchánt Davis and the company of “Ain’t No Mo’” (Credit: Joan Marcus)

“Timing is everything,” so the old adage goes. Industry logic has practically anointed the spring as the optimal time to open on Broadway. Among multiple factors (like warmer weather to coax people out to the theater), timing looms large as springtime is nearer to the Tony Awards voting season.

And yet, when the Tonys announced its 2023 slate of nominees on May 2, a seemingly uncommon number of productions that had opened in the fall earned recognition — perhaps more surprisingly, ones that had already closed. In fact, out of 133 nominations, 62 are for shows that opened in the fall; 33 are for shows that are no longer running.

Of the 26 competitive Tony categories, 10 include one nomination for a closed show and nine others include two or more nods for shuttered productions. That’s a total of 19 categories that boast nominations for shows whose runs have ended. Compare that to 2019 — the last time Broadway enjoyed a complete fall season. That year, only three categories included one closed-show nominee and three categories included two or more closed-show nominees — a total of six categories.

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