Cynthia Erivo, Sam Mendes, and...a Trio of Elphabas? 7 Broadway Twists to Expect at the 2020 Oscars | Playbill

Awards Cynthia Erivo, Sam Mendes, and...a Trio of Elphabas? 7 Broadway Twists to Expect at the 2020 Oscars A host of theatre-adjacent nominees, performers, and presenters take the stage at the 92nd Academy Awards February 9.
Cynthia Erivo and Sam Mendes

There are plenty of reasons for theatre lovers to tune into the 92nd Academy Awards February 9. Several Broadway-adjacent nominees are hoping to hear their name called, and nearly a dozen presenters with ties to the stage ready to announce the winners. To get you started, here are some of the theatre-friendly angles to follow during the live broadcast on ABC, beginning at 8 PM ET.

1. Will Cynthia Erivo Score an EGOT?
Tony, Emmy, and Grammy winner Cynthia Erivo’s two chances to complete her journey to EGOT status. She is nominated for her work in Harriet in Best Leading Actress and Best Original Song (for “Stand Up,” co-written with Joshua Brian Campbell). Fans can expect to hear her perform the song during the ceremony, too.

2. Sam Mendes’ 1917 Could Win Three Oscars
Another Broadway name primed for a big night is Sam Mendes, whose film 1917 is up for 10 Oscars, including Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay, and Best Director. The Tony winner is poised to take home at least one trophy, according to most awards prognosticators. Following the Academy Awards, Mendes comes back to Broadway for The Lehman Trilogy, which opens in March at the Nederlander Theatre.

Idina Menzel Michael Kushner

3. 10 Elsas Will Perform “Into the Unknown”
Wicked Tony winner Idina Menzel will perform the Frozen 2 anthem alongside nine Elsas from around the world, including fellow Wicked veterans Willemijn Verkaik and Maria Lucia Heiberg Rosenberg (the voice of Elsa in the Germany and Denmark releases, respectively), and original Mamma Mia! star Lisa Stokke (Norway).

4. Tony Winner Scarlett Johansson Is a Double Nominee
In addition to joining Erivo in the Leading Actress category for her performance in Marriage Story, the Broadway alum is up for Supporting Actress in Jojo Rabbit. Rounding out the former category are Renée Zellweger for her performance as Judy Garland in Judy, Broadway alum Saoirse Ronan for Little Women, and Charlize Theron for Bombshell.

5. Several Tony Winners and Nominees Are Recognized for Film Work
Additional stage veterans hoping to hear their names called on Oscar night include Tony winners Jonathan Pryce (The Two Popes) and Al Pacino (The Irishman), and Tony nominees Adam Driver (Marriage Story), Antonio Banderas (Pain and Glory), and Kathy Bates (Richard Jewell). On the creative side, Tony-winning composers Elton John (Rocketman’s “I’m Gonna Love Me Again”) and Frozen duo Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez (Frozen 2’s “Into the Unknown”) will go head-to-head against Erivo and Campbell, Randy Newman (Toy Story 4’s “I Can’t Let You Throw Yourself Away”), and Diane Warren (Breathrough’s “I’m Standing With You”) in Best Original Song.

6. Will James Corden (or Anyone) Reference Cats?
From a disappointing box-office bow to becoming a midnight screening sensation, fans are clamoring for any mention of Cats at Hollywood’s most prestigious night. Their best bet for a mention is with presenter James Corden, who played Bustopher Jones in the film. Other presenters with Broadway ties slated for the telecast include Lin-Manuel Miranda, Anthony Ramos, Utkarsh Ambudkar, Josh Gad, Beanie Feldstein, Oscar Isaac, Sigourney Weaver, Steve Martin, and Mark Ruffalo.

7. More Theatre-Related Storylines
Greta Gerwig, who will star in Three Sisters Off-Broadway with Isaac later this year, is competing against playwright Anthony McCarten in the Best Adapted Screenplay for Little Women and The Two Popes, respectively. For classic arts fans, Walk Run Cha Cha, about immigrants learning the Latin dance style, is nominated for Best Documentary Short. Billie Eilish, who is scheduled to perform, is speculated to sing the title track from the upcoming Bond film, No Time To Die, which has a screenplay by Fleabag’s Phoebe Waller-Bridge.

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