Every year we get excited about the Tony Awards costume nominations. Going to the theater is much more exciting and captivating because of Costume Designers. Take a look at the 2019 Tony Awards costume nominations!
2019 Tony Awards Costume Nominations: Best Costume Design of a Musical
Bob Mackie: The Cher Show
Any show about Cher’s life would obviously have to be designed by Bob Mackie. Mackie’s outlandish costumes are synonymous with Cher herself. The show covers six decades of Cher’s life and the development of her iconic persona. Together, Cher and Mackie pushed past all fashion boundaries. This is Bob Mackie’s first Tony Award nomination.
William Ivey Long: Tootsie
Another icon, Tootsie gave us a boldly funny look at gender dynamics on screen in 1982, and in 2019 its musical offspring has garnered 11 Tony nominations. Long, a six time Tony Award winner, has a diverse background ranging from the New York City Ballet to Siegfried & Roy in Vegas. Long is no stranger to adapting cinematic classics to the stage having designed The Producers, Hairspray and Grey Gardens just to name a few.
William Ivey Long: Beetlejuice
Speaking of adapting cinematic classics of the 1980’s, William Ivey Long is nominated twice this year. Long has brought the Tim Burton classic Beetlejuice, to the stage as well. Mr Long did not shrink from the challenge of working from such a visually defined source. This fun spook house is populated by ghouls, goths and yuppies alike.
Michael Krass: Hadestown
Hadestown, is another kind of adaptation. This musical has been adapted from a folk opera concept album by musician Anais Mitchell, and got it’s start at the New York Theater Workshop. Based on the Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice, Hades has been reimagined as a dark and sexy saloon, and Mr Krass has outfitted the characters as tough, crassly physical, and wistfully beautiful.
Paul Tazewell: Ain’t Too Proud to Beg: The Life and Times of the Temptations
More icons! The look of The Temptations with their suave matching suits and synchronized movements was the perfect presentation for their emotionally engaging songbook; however, this anthology musical also creates the world that produced them. With The Supremes, Barry Gordy and Smokey Robinson all crossing the stage, Paul Tazewell’s costumes bring this nostalgic story to life.
2019 Tony Awards Costume Nominations: Best Costume Design of a Play
Ann Roth: To Kill a Mockingbird
Adapting one of the most beloved American novels and films is risky. In this case revisiting a classic telling of a shameful moment in American history is palpable yet not heavy handed. One fascinating choice to cast adult actors in the roles of children, provided a special costume design challenge. Veteran costume designer Ann Roth’s character defining costumes set the tone for this 9 time Tony Award nominated play .
Ann Roth: Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus
Ann Roth also has two nominations this year. Taylor Mac, delivers a sequel to Shakespeare’s tragedy, and Ann Roth makes the year 400 look like a campy apocalypse. Laughs live beside piles of dead bodies in this post-modern post-apocalyptic comedy, and Ms. Roth outfits the characters in bedraggled glory.
Rob Howell: The Ferryman
Rob Howell takes the lead in creating the visual world for this Irish play, designing both the set and the costumes. Set in Ireland in 1981, the play is a meditation on a turbulent period of history. With an enormous cast including many children, Howell brings the texture of every day life to this world where people wrestle with difficult choices in an Ireland that’s full of turmoil.
Toni-Leslie James: Bernhardt/Hamlet
James brings pure joy to this story of one of the great actresses of her day, tackling what is commonly considered the most difficult role ever written, for a man. James creates finery worthy of any diva. The gorgeous and dramatic costumes offer McTeer/Berhardt a dazzling range of expression.
Clint Ramos: Torch Song
Harvey Fierstein’s now classic play about seeking an authentic life while gender bending is lighting up the stage once again. Clint Ramos excels in his charge of creating costumes that range from incognito to bursting gender norms at the seams. Charm, vulnerability and glamour prevail in this tale of love, family and personal expression.
You can be sure that MWS will be tuning in to the Tony Awards on June 9, cheering on our fabulous colleagues and friends! Best wishes to all who are nominated and thanks for the inspiration!