Let's Be Honest. Patti Murin was Screwed.


Just so we're clear:

Patti Murin is a hundred times classier than to publicly or privately agree with anything said in this article. 

Patti Murin is a hundred times more professional than to acknowledge anything said in this article. 

Patti Murin is a hundred times more respectable to say anything similar to what is said in this article. 

To be quite honest with you, I hope she never reads this article. 

But certain things need to be said and when it comes to the 2018 Tony Awards, Patti Murin was screwed. (So was Alex Newell, but that's a different column for another day)

When Frozen premiered earlier in the year, the reviews were pretty consistent. While the show didn't win over the critics, one aspect was mentioned in virtually every review - how great Patti Murin is as Anna. Outlets such as The Daily Beast, Chicago Tribune, Time Out all pointed out how Murin was one of the best performances in the show and some even said, the entire season. Even BWW's Michael Dale titled his review, "Patti Murin Is A Ray of Sunshine in Disappointingly Perfunctory FROZEN".

In it, he says the show "belongs to Patti Murin, who finally returns to Broadway after her breakout starring gig as the title character in LYSISTRATA JONES. A skilled verbal and physical comic whose performance mixes sympathetic off-kilter awkwardness with an appealing take-charge spirit, Murin lifts the entertainment quotient of Frozen considerably whenever she's on stage."

Many other critics have said similar things. 

The critical praise, which I happen to agree with, seemed to build buzz that award nominations were on their way. But when the awards dust settled, Murin earned nominations from only the Outer Critics and Drama League. 

 Patti Murin (Deen van Meer)

Patti Murin (Deen van Meer)

When the Tony Awards were announced, six women were nominated for Best Actress in a Musical (which has never happened in that category before) and Patti wasn't one of them. With all due respect to some of the other nominees, there is no way that Patti Murin should have been left off the ballot. 

So what happened? Well, you probably don't have to break out chalkboards and string to deduce this one. 

The first likely reason is that because Caissie Levy was also eligible in the same category and the two split votes. That can happen. The other reason is the seemingly Tony-voter revolt of awarding anything that seemed too "commercial" for Broadway and a Disney produced show is the epitome of that hate. While I do see a sliver of merit in that, I also find it sad that they would ignore a truly great performance, such as Patti Murin's, just because they didn't want to award Disney with anything. 

Do I think Murin would have beaten out Katrina Lenk? Absolutely not. Lenk's work is one of the better performances of this decade. But Patti Murin deserved a nomination. She deserved a lot of nominations.

But the positive note here is that this performance will catapult her into future roles that will result in her name being called during Tony Award ceremonies. It's just that it should have happened this year.