Did Sushigate Slow-The-Plow for the Tonys?

By mattdentler | Matt Dentler's Blog May 5, 2009 at 12:54PM

Did Sushigate Slow-The-Plow for the Tonys?
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I'll admit it, I didn't really ever care much about the Tony Awards until I moved to New York. That's the fatal flaw in the nationally televised ceremony honoring the year in Broadway: it's a show honoring productions you can only witness if you buy expensive tickets within one neighborhood of one city. I've now had the good fortune of attending a few productions this season, but you don't have to be a New Yorker to notice a slightly interesting omission in this week's nominees announcement.

The revival of David Mamet's Speed-The-Plow was one of the better-reviewed Broadway plays this go around. However, it managed only one nomination, for actor Raul Esparza. It was otherwise shut-out of every possible category. Was this because of the infamous "sushigate" debacle involving original revival castmember Jeremy Piven? Piven bowed out of the show mid-stream and blamed mercury poisoning caused by overindulging in sushi. Many laughed, some sued, and now you have the most ridiculous news of the Broadway season. As a revival, the show was ineligible for many honors this year. But, it seems... fishy, that only one member of the cast represented the objective consideration of the voters. No nods for Best Revival, or for actress Elisabeth Moss? Looks like public scandal and politics is not only an Oscars thing.