When looking at the recently announced Tony nominations, you might have noticed that the Best Actress in a Play lineup has only four nominees. That’s because there were fewer than nine leading actresses from the 23 eligible plays during the 2022-23 Broadway season. Due to Tony rules and regulations, only four women were able to nab a spot. As a refresher, those four women are Jessica Chastain for A Doll’s House, Jodie Comer for Prima Facie, Jessica Hecht for Summer, 1976, and Audra McDonald for Ohio State Murders. Given that Hecht and McDonald are the only nominees for their respective plays, the potential winner is surely a contest between Jessica Chastain and Jodie Comer…
On one hand, A Doll’s House received six nominations including Best Revival of a Play which benefits Jessica Chastain. Meanwhile, Prima Facie received four nominations, yet it missed out in both Best Play and Best Direction of a Play which could be a sign of weakness for Jodie Comer. However, Comer is coming off a recent Olivier win for the same role she’s nominated for. Either way, we’ll not only see a great actress get her due, but one of them will be two-thirds of the way to completing their Triple Crown (Oscar, Emmy and Tony).
Thus far, Jessica Chastain only has an Oscar for playing famed televangelist Tammy Faye Bakker in The Eyes of Tammy Faye. A Tony Award would leave just the Emmy which she might claim this year thanks to her starring role in the Showtime miniseries George & Tammy. Her surprise SAG win is an early sign of strength. However, with Lead Actress in a Miniseries being a packed category, it won’t be smooth sailing. Amazon Prime’s slate alone: Riley Keough for Daisy Jones & the Six, Dominique Fishback for Swarm, Rachel Weisz for Dead Ringers, and Emily Blunt for The English, makes the field super competitive. Then again, Chastain won an Oscar for playing a woman named Tammy. Who says similar lightning can’t strike twice?
As for Jodie Comer, she currently has an Emmy on her mantle for her role as Villanelle in the BBC spy thriller series Killing Eve. Winning a Tony for the one woman play would leave only the Oscar for the Triple Crown. This year, Comer might indeed find herself in the Oscar running as she’ll appear in Jeff Nichols’ upcoming ensemble drama The Bikeriders. Depending on how substantial her role is, and the film’s quality, that could be her ticket into the club.
Going back to the Tonys, though, it remains a toss-up. I’m currently leaning towards Chastain as the predicted victor as she has the more storied role in what is clearly the more well-liked play (at least by Tony voters). It’s still plausible that Jodie Comer will ride the wave of her Olivier Award victory to the United Palace stage on June 11th. No matter which actress wins, though, each of them will still have more chances in the near future to claim the jewels needed to piece together their Triple Crown.