Members of the theatre community had plenty to celebrate July 13 with the announcement of the 2021 Primetime Emmy Award nominations. Among the notables are the Disney+ capture of Hamilton with 12 nominations total, the HBO film adaptation of Tony-winning play Oslo, the HBO filming of David Byrne's American Utopia, Pose star Mj Rodriguez for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series (becoming the first performer who openly identifies as trans to be nominated in a Leading category), and Tony winner Cynthia Erivo for her portrayal of the Queen of Soul in Genius: Aretha in the Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited or Anthology Series or Movie category.
Several Hamilton principals scored nods, including Tony winners Lin-Manuel Miranda, Leslie Odom, Jr., Daveed Diggs, and Renée Elise Goldsberry; Tony nominees Phillipa Soo and Jonathan Groff; and Anthony Ramos. Thomas Kail is nominated as director, with additional nods for Outstanding Variety Special (Pre-Recorded); Picture Editing for Variety Programming; Sound Mixing for a Variety Series or Special; and Technical Direction, Camerawork, and Video Control for a Special.
Joining Soo and Goldsberry in the Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or TV Movie category are fellow theatre veterans Jean Smart (a double nominee this year), Juliette Nicholson for Mare of Easttown, and Kathryn Hahn for WandaVision.
Additional nominated performers include upcoming Broadway stars Uzo Aduba (In Treatment) and Phylicia Rashad (This Is Us), Michaela Coel (I May Destroy You), Tony winners Billy Porter (Pose), Sophie Okonedo (Ratched), Bernadette Peters (Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist), Courtney B. Vance (Lovecraft Country), and John Lithgow (Perry Mason), Tony nominee Elizabeth Moss (The Handmaid's Tale), Hannah Waddingham (Ted Lasso), Ann Dowd (The Handmaid's Tale), and Rosie Perez (The Flight Attendant).
Best Drama Series nominee The Crown's stacked cast took home nominations as well, with Josh O'Connor, Gillian Anderson, Helena Bonham Carter, Emma Corrin, and Olivia Colman all scoring nods—as did co-star Emerald Fennell (Fennell also wrote the book for the West End's new Cinderella musical and won an Oscar earlier this year for Promising Young Woman). Playwright Peter Morgan scored a writing nomination as well.
Among those nominated for lending their vocal talents in Outstanding Character Voice-Over Performance are Julie Andrews (Bridgerton), the late Jessica Walter (Archer), and Tituss Burgess (Central Park).
Behind the scenes, nominations for Original Music and Lyrics included Wandavision's "Agatha All Along" by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez (also nominated for Outstanding Original Main Title Theme Music) and the Marc Shaiman-penned "Song Title: The End Titles" from Soundtrack of Our Lives. Additionally: Geffen Playhouse Artistic Director Matt Shakman scored a Best Directing nod for his work on WandaVision; Broadway mainstay David Rockwell was nominated for his production design of The Oscars; Amber Ruffin was nominated as a writer on her eponymous variety show on Peacock (the late-night favorite is slated to make her Broadway debut as a co-writer of the new Some Like It Hot musical); Tony winner Sergio Trujillo and Tony nominee Debbie Allen received nominations for choreographing Christmas in Rockefeller Center and Christmas on the Square, respectively; director Spike Lee was recognized for his work bringing American Utopia to the screen. Tina: The Tina Turner Musical producer Tali Pelman received a nomination for her work on HBO’s feature documentary Tina, which will compete in the Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction Special category.
The Primetime Emmy Awards will air September 19 on CBS, hosted by Cedric the Entertainer. The Tony Awards will follow the next week (September 26) with a four-hour, two-part special on Paramount+ and CBS.