Broadway is taking over Hollywood with the community’s representation overwhelming at the 94th Academy Awards, taking place March 27 at 8 PM ET (check local listings). Theatre veterans Lin-Manuel Miranda and Ariana DeBose are front-runners to take home Oscars for their work on musical movie projects; theatre kid turned viral internet star, turned television and big screen actor Rachel Zegler slid her way into presenting an award; and the thriller adaptation of William Shakespeare’s Macbeth finds itself nominated in three categories, including Tony winner Denzel Washington as Best Actor in a Leading Role.
Here are a few ways Broadway is being repped at the 2022 Oscars, and how the theatre community could dominate the televised ceremony. Brush up on all the theatre-adjacent nominations here—and of course, check Playbill tonight to see how everyone did.
Could Lin-Manuel Miranda take over the Oscars? All eyes are on Hamilton’s leading man. His directorial debut, Netflix's tick, tick...BOOM! (based on Rent writer Jonathan Larson's solo show and its stage musical adaptation), and the musical Encanto, which he wrote original musical and lyrics for, both scored nominations. The Netflix flick landed Andrew Garfield a nomination for Best Actor in a Leading Role, and Myron Kerstein and Andrew Weisblum nominations for Best Film Editing. But it’s Encanto that snagged Miranda a Best Original Song nomination for “Dos Oruguitas,” as well as Best Score and Best Animated Feature nominations for his teammates.
On top of the many noms, Encanto is scheduled to perform two songs during the show. It is typical for nominated songs to be performed, which means Sebastián Yatra will be singing the musical’s “Dos Oruguitas,” but viewers will also be treated to a performance of the chart-topping tune “We Don’t Talk About Bruno.”
If Miranda leaves the ceremony—metaphorically, as his wife's bout of COVID will reportedly leave the Hamilton writer and star home watching the awards on TV with the rest of us—with an award, he will join Marvin Hamlisch and Richard Rodgers in the PEGOT club, having already won a Pulitzer (for Hamilton), an Emmy (his first for the opening number of the 67th Tony Awards), a Grammy (his first for the In the Heights cast album), and a Tony (his first for the score of In the Heights).
Did West Side Story spark drama with the Oscars? West Side Story has been making headlines all week, and not exactly for its Oscar accolades. Lead actor Rachel Zegler (who plays Maria) revealed on Instagram that she wasn’t invited to the ceremony, sparking some very vocal reactions from her fervent fanbase. After days of social media backlash, the Academy announced that she will indeed be in attendance—as a presenter. Zegler tweeted her thanks to the Disney team and producers of her upcoming film Snow White for getting her on the Oscars stage and allowing her to celebrate the evening with her West Side Story fam.
well folks, i can't believe i’m saying this but... see you on sunday! the absolutely incredible team at @Disney and our snow white producers worked some real-life magic, and i am thrilled to be able to celebrate my @westsidemovie fam at the oscars. https://t.co/7lHuOpFg0Q— rachel zegler (she/her/hers) (@rachelzegler) March 23, 2022
Although Zegler didn’t receive an individual nomination for her role in the remake, the movie musical received seven nominations, including Best Picture; Tony nominee Ariana DeBose for Best Actress in a Supporting Role; Janusz Kaminski for Best Cinematography; Tony winner Paul Tazewell for Best Costuming; three-time Academy Award winner Steven Spielberg for Best Directing; Adam Stockhausen, and Rena DeAngelo for Best Production Design; and Tod A. Maitland, Gary Rydstrom, Brian Chumney, Andy Nelson, and Shawn Murphy for Best Sound.
DeBose is practically a shoo-in to win, having already taken home BAFTA, Screen Actors Guild Award, and Golden Globe awards for her performance as Anita.
Will The Tragedy of Macbeth collect some awards? It might be a Joel Coen movie, but it's based on a Shakespeare play, so Broadway absolutely claims a little ownership on The Tragedy of Macbeth, which is nominated for three Oscars, including Best Actor in a Leading Role for Tony winner Denzel Washington, Best Cinematography for Bruno Delbonnel, and Best Production Design for Stefan Dechant and Nancy Haigh. Unfortunately, the Shakespeare thriller found itself snubbed during the Critics' Choice Movie Awards, the Golden Globes, and the Screen Actors Guild Awards... but as everybody in the theatre industry knows, these particular Scottish royals may just be destined to take a crown.
What's up with that Fan Favorite Award anyway? This year the Academy launched a fan favorite contest this year, allowing audiences to vote for their favorite movies via hashtag on Twitter ("#OscarsFanFavorite" and "#Sweepstakes") or in an online sweepstakes form. Voting concluded earlier this month, but according to the hashtag data analysis, tick, tick...BOOM! was placing in the top five shortly before the cut-off, as reported by Business Insider. That analysis was not able to include entries placed via the online form, so who knows where the standings will really land, but a fan-favorite win for TTB would be a nice nod for Miranda's directorial debut. Another frontrunner in the Twitter voting was Amazon Prime's Cinderella, led by Camila Cabello and featuring Tony winners Idina Menzel, James Corden, and Billy Porter.
The Oscars will be televised on ABC and available for streaming via Hulu Live, YouTube, AT&T, and FuboTV.