Tony Awards 2021: Biggest Loser: 12-Time Nominee ‘Slave Play’ Shut Out Despite Experts Predictions

Tonys: 12-Time Nominee ‘Slave Play’ Shut Out–depsite Experts Predictions

‘The Inheritance’s’ Andrew Burnap scored an unexpected win over pundit favorites Blair Underwood and Tom Hiddleston.

Jeremy O. Harris’ Slave Play made history when the nominations for the 2021 Tonys were announced a year ago.

With 12 nods, it set the record for most nominations earned by a play. Many experts predicted the production would win at least a few top awards during Sunday night’s Tonys celebration. But instead, it failed to win a single award and finished the night with another record.

Slave Play has now overtaken 1995’s Indiscretions as the play that fared the worst on Tonys night.

Big Tony Losers

Indiscretions had 9 nominations. Slave Play‘s 0-for-12 tally is comparable to the showings of musicals Scottsboro Boys in 2011 and Mean Girls in 2018, which each won zero awards despite a dozen nominations apiece.

Bernadette Peters, Leslie Odom Jr.

Matthew Lopez, Audra McDonald

Harris, however, took it in stride, tweeting his gratitude for the impact the show had.

Slave Play has never won one of the major awards of any of the great voting bodies but changed a culture and has inspired thousands of ppl who didn’t care about theatre before,” he tweeted. “Lol also I told my mom this was gonna happen this morning bc we knew who these folx were when we put the play on stage in nyc. [T]hat’s why we put a mirror up.”

He went on to say he’d be “partying tonight” because “history was made in spite.”

Other productions shut out on Sunday night include multiple nominees Betrayal, Sea Wall/A Life and Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune, starring co-host Audra McDonald, who could have extended her own record for Tony Awards won by a performer if she had triumphed in her category.

Surprises in individual categories:

Many pundits expected A Soldier’s Play‘s Blair Underwood or Betrayal‘s Tom Hiddleston to win the leading actor in a play prize in a category that also featured Sea Wall/A Life stars Jake Gyllenhaal and Tom Sturridge. But instead, that award went to The Inheritance‘s Andrew Burnap.