Scarlett Johansson, Angela Lansbury qualify as 'featured actresses' in Tonys
The Tony Awards committee that decides who is eligible to be nominated in what category on Thursday set up the perfect May-December tandem possibility in the featured actress categories for plays and musicals.
The refs ruled that Scarlett Johansson's Broadway debut as the young woman who's the object of both proper and illicit male attention in the revival of Arthur Miller's tragedy, "A View From the Bridge," qualifies as a "featured actress" role (the Oscars call it "supporting"), as does Angela Lansbury's portrayal of Madame Armfeldt, the voice of experience in the revival of Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler's musical, "A Little Night Music."
Lansbury is 84; "Night Music" is her 13th show on Broadway and gives her a chance at a record sixth Tony, should she be nominated this spring. She has won four times for best actress in a musical, and last year won for featured actress in a play, as another Madame -- Madame Arcati, the spiritual medium in Noel Coward's "Blithe Spirit." Julie Harris is the only other performer who owns five Tonys.
Johansson, 25, has earned good notices as the nubile teenager Catherine, whose Uncle Eddie (Liev Schreiber) goes beyond the boundaries of fond protectiveness. The Tony committee ruled that Jessica Hecht, who plays Eddie's wife, Beatrice, also can be considered for a featured actress nomination.
The 64th Tonys will be broadcast June 13 from New York's Radio City Music Hall.
-- Mike Boehm
Photos: Top, Scarlett Johansson in "A View From the Bridge." Credit: Jennifer S. Altman/ For The Times. Bottom, Angela Lansbury. Credit: Peter Kramer/Associated Press