Controversial 'Scottsboro' up for dozen Tonys

  • Article by: ROHAN PRESTON , Star Tribune
  • Updated: June 10, 2011 - 3:31 PM

The musical "The Scottsboro Boys" played in Minneapolis last summer.

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Colman Domingo (Mr. Bones) and Forrest McClendon (Mr. Tambo) in "The Scottsboro Boys"

While Twin Cities-bred actor Seth Numrich, star of "War Horse," is Minnesota's most vivid local connection to tonight's Tony Awards, he is not the only one.

"The Scottsboro Boys," the controversial Kander and Ebb musical that is nominated for 12 Tonys, did bang-up box-office business last summer in its pre-Broadway tryout at Minneapolis' Guthrie Theater, where it ran for eight weeks.

On Broadway, the show fared less well, closing in December after 29 previews and just 49 performances. It was met by ardent support and protests over its use of minstrelsy and blackface.

Even before the Tony nominations were announced, "Scottsboro" was primed for a revival. Producers Barry and Fran Weissler reportedly said that they would take it out on tour. If "Scottsboro" wins big tonight, its rebound will be ensured. It may even return to the Twin Cities.

And although Twin Cities actor Laura Osnes was not nominated for playing heiress Hope Harcourt in the revival of Cole Porter's "Anything Goes," that musical is up for nine Tonys.

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