The new Broadway musical “Finding Neverland” received no Tony nominations Tuesday, and that bad news was not lost on its lead producer, Harvey Weinstein.
After the nominations were announced, Weinstein released a statement that alludes to the snub, but takes a positive spin on the projects his company invested in and/or co-produced that did obtain Tony approval.
“With 27 nominations today for ‘Fun Home,’ ‘ The Elephant Man,’ The Audience’ or ‘Wolf Hall,’ shows that we either co-invested or co-produced, we couldn’t be more thrilled,” Weinstein said. “As for ‘Finding Neverland,’ our passion for it remains unwavering. I could not be more proud of the magic created on our stage by Diane Paulus and the entire ‘Neverland’ team night after night, which has made this show a smash hit.”
The big difference is that, unlike “Finding Neverland,” Weinstein is not lead producer of “Fun Home,” “The Elephant Man,” “The Audience,” and “Wolf Hall.”
“Neverland” has been doing well at the box office, grossing over $1 million a week since it began previews. And yet, despite consistently being one of the top 10 grossers on Broadway, the show was not expected to be nominated for best musical, after it received mixed to downbeat reviews. However, that “Neverland” star Matthew Morrison, as well as costar Kelsey Grammer, failed to be nominated could be interpreted as a direct slap at Weinstein.
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Weinstein got into a well-publicized flap with the show’s original publicist, Rick Miramontez, who departed the project before its New York City premiere.
Even last year, there were rumblings on the Rialto against Weinstein at the 2014 Tony telecast when Jennifer Hudson sang a song from “Neverland,” and the show’s Broadway opening had not yet been announced. Pundits accused Weinstein of strong-arming the Tony producers.
Regarding the Morrison and Grammer snubs, the Tony nominating committee has an unfortunate tendency to heap all its attention on just a few shows. The new musicals “Fun Home” and “An American in Paris,” for example, received 12 nominations each. “Finding Neverland” joins a large club of ignored shows – “Doctor Zhivago,” “Fish in the Dark,” “Honeymoon in Vegas,” “It Shoulda Been You,” “Living on Love,” “The Real Thing,” “The River,” “Side Show,” etc. – that received no nominations.