It’s always exciting to see returning favorites get nominated for a Tony Award. However, it’s even more exciting when new stars achieve those life-long dreams and receive Tony nominations for their Broadway debut performances. The 2015 Tony Awards have nominated several new stars on Broadway this year, and a few stars who are returning after spending some time far away from the bright lights of New York City. This year’s nominations are particularly exciting, as there are several very young actors up for major awards, including Sydney Lucas, who is only 11 years old. As you are watching this year’s Tony Awards, here are some of the exciting new stars to be on the lookout for.
Alex Sharp, 25, is making his Broadway debut in “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time,” where he’s starring as Christopher Boone, the young teenager/math whiz that has severe social challenges. Though it’s never actually stated in the source material, the role of Christopher is often thought to have Asperger’s or possibly a form of high-functioning autism, which makes this role a big challenge for a young actor like Sharp. However, Sharp has clearly been living up to that challenge, and he’s been impressing audiences with brilliant portrayal of this deeply layered and truly fascinating character. “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time” is still playing at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre in New York, so there is still time to see Sharp in this wonderful role.
Twenty-six-year-old Micah Stock is another talented young actor who has been nominated for a Tony Award for a Broadway debut role. Stock is currently appearing at Gus P. Head in the revival of “It’s Only a Play” by Terrence McNally, about the cast and crew of a play who eagerly await the opening night reviews of a new Broadway play. Stock has been seen in McNally’s work before, having performed in “And Away We Go” at The Pearl Theatre Company off-Broadway. However, this is Stock’s first Broadway role, and he’s been nominated for Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role. He’s got a lot of tough competition in this category, but newcomers have definitely won this award many times before, and with the rave reviews that Stock has been getting, he may be another newbie taking home the statue on the big night.
At just 11 years old, Sydney Lucas could be one of the youngest actresses in history to win a Tony Award. If Lucas wins, she’d share that distinction with Daisy Eagan, who took home the Tony for “The Secret Garden,” also at 11 years old and Frankie Michaels, who won the Tony for “Mame” when he was just 10. Lucas is up for portraying the role of Young Alison in “Fun Home” and she’s been receiving rave reviews from even the toughest of critics. Her bold, strong character choices and vivacious stage presence have made Lucas a very bright star in the making, and a Tony nomination at just 11 years old is something that only two people in history have ever accomplished.
This popular film actor is no stranger to awards. Bradley Cooper, 40, has been nominated for three Academy Awards for his work in “American Sniper,” “American Hustle” and “Silver Linings Playbook.” However, he’s not been seen much on the Broadway stage, except for his performance as Pip in “Three Days of Rain” in 2006 where he shared the stage with Julia Roberts and Paul Rudd. Following “Three Days of Rain,” Cooper returned to film and hasn’t been back on Broadway until this year, when he starred as John Merrick in the revival of “The Elephant Man.” It’s a truly challenging and captivating role, one that Cooper clearly relished, and the rewards for his work may just earn him his first Tony.
Another exciting new talent, 24-year-old Emily Skeggs plays a slightly older version of the same character that Sydney Lucas has been nominated for. As Medium Alison in “Fun Home,” Skeggs portrays the difficult young adult years of the lead character. “Fun Home” has been garnering a lot of attention from critics and from the Tony Awards itself, though it’s tough to see both Skeggs and Lucas up against each other for Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical. “Fun Home” also marks the Broadway debut for Skeggs, rounding out the full company of bright new talent for “Fun Home.”
Deborah Flomberg is a theater professional, freelance writer and Denver native. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.