After a year in which the Outer Critics Circle mostly got things right, the organization has reverted to its usual laughability this year, announcing a bizarre bunch of nominees for their Broadway and Off Broadway awards that mix admirable nods for smaller shows with inexplicable awards for lousy shows. For example, Young Frankenstein, which despite mediocre reviews and lukewarm audience response led the nominations with ten, including Outstanding New Broadway Musical. Needless to say, the commenters at All That Chat were instantly on the case, praising the awards a little (especially for recognizing the well-liked Next to Normal) and complaining about them a lot. "Les Liaisons? NINE? It's not best anything! Who are these people?!?!?" wrote commenter skrigs about Les Liaisons Dangereuses' haul, the best of any play. "Outer Critics? Outer WHAT? Outer SPACE?" asked JHguy67, adding, "God this joke is getting old!" And macbroadway wryly noted, "Interesting list. Why isn't Pia Zadora nominated?"
What does this all mean for the Tonys? Not a whole lot, given that two leading contenders for the Best Musical Tony weren't eligible for the OCC, In the Heights because it won last year (when it was Off Broadway) and Glory Days because it opened too late. Surely those two shows will eat into Young Frankenstein's Tony nods, and surely productions like Top Girls, Passing Strange, and August: Osage County — all ignored or at least given short shrift by the OCC — will haul in more nominations when the Tonys roll around. We hope.