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‘Bridge and Tunnel’ creator to get special Tony

Sarah Jones to receive prize for play about immigrant experience in N.Y.
/ Source: The Associated Press

Sarah Jones will receive a special Tony Award next month for “Bridge and Tunnel,” her critically praised celebration of the immigrant experience in New York.

Jones wrote and stars in the show in which she portrays a dozen or so characters who get together for a poetry slam in a Queens cafe.

The decision to honor Jones was made Thursday by the Tonys’ administration committee which rules on the eligibility of shows and performers for what is considered Broadway’s highest honor.

In April, the committee had decided that “Bridge and Tunnel,” playing at the Helen Hayes Theatre, would be eligible in the special theatrical event category. But at Thursday’s meeting, the category was eliminated this year because of a lack of competition.

In other eligibility news, the committee decided that Cherry Jones and Ian McDiarmid, who co-star with Ralph Fiennes in the revival of “Faith Healer,” would be considered in the featured acting categories.

The elimination of Jones from consideration for a leading acting prize could increase the chances of Julia Roberts for a nod in that category. There has been much speculation over whether Roberts, who is making her Broadway debut in “Three Days of Rain,” would receive a nomination in the lead actress category.

The film star received enormous media attention for her performance, which earned less than glowing notices from most of the critics. Yet the revival of Richard Greenberg’s play has proven to be a hot ticket and is sold out for its entire limited engagement, ending June 18.

Roberts’ likely competition now would include: Cynthia Nixon in “Rabbit Hole”; Judy Kaye in “Souvenir”; Frances Sternhagen in “Seascape”; Jill Clayburgh in “A Naked Girl on the Appian Way”; and Kate Burton in “The Constant Wife.”

The Tony winners will be announced Sunday June 11 in a three-hour CBS telecast from Radio City Music Hall.