Three Northwestern alumni nominated for Tony Awards


Illustration by Jacob Wendler

Brian d’Arcy James (Communication ’90) is nominated for Best Lead Actor in a musical, David Thompson (Medill ’78) is nominated for Best Book of a Musical and Lap Chi Chu (Communication ’93) is nominated for Best Lighting Design of a Musical.

Jacob Wendler, Copy Editor

Northwestern alumni Brian d’Arcy James (Communication ‘90), David Thompson (Medill ’78) and Lap Chi Chu (Communication ’93) were nominated for Tony Awards Tuesday.

James is nominated for Best Leading Actor in a Musical for his performance in “Into the Woods.” Thompson is nominated for Best Book of a Musical for his work with Sharon Washington on the book: “New York, New York.” Chu is nominated for Best Lighting Design of a Musical for “Lerner & Loewe’s Camelot.” 

Actor Lea Michele and Tony Award winner Myles Frost announced the nominations Tuesday morning.

This is James’ third nomination, after two in the lead actor category for “Shrek the Musical” in 2009 and “Something Rotten!” in 2015. He starred opposite Sara Bareilles, who is nominated for Best Lead Actress in a Musical in the “Into the Woods” revival which began at the New York City Center and then transferred to the St. James Theatre on Broadway.

This nomination is also Thompson’s third, following nods in 1997 and 2011, both for Best Book of a Musical. His work on “New York, New York,” a new stage adaptation of the 1977 Martin Scorsese film, includes collaborations with Lin-Manuel Miranda, John Kander and Fred Ebb. The production received nine total nominations.

Thompson has worked on seven Broadway productions since graduating from NU, writing the script adaptation for “Chicago,” the longest-running musical currently on Broadway.

Chu earned his first Tony nomination Tuesday for “Lerner & Loewe’s Camelot,” a revival of the 1960 musical with a new book. The revival earned five total Tony nominations. Chu, the head of lighting design at the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television, has worked on more than a dozen off-Broadway productions.

In the 2021-22 season, NU ranked ninth in Playbill’s list of the most represented colleges and universities on Broadway, with 20 alumni performing onstage last year.

Email: j[email protected]

Twitter: @jacob_wendler

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