Snowmass Village’s Beth Malone nominated for Tony Award
Beth Malone – one-time Aspen ski bum, Crystal Palace staffer, Theatre Aspen actress and current Snowmass Village part-timer – was nominated Tuesday morning for a Best Actress Tony Award for her role in Broadway’s “Fun Home.”
“This is everything to me,” Malone said Tuesday from New York. “I’m not waiting for the next thing to be happy. … I have literally zero hope of winning. So I don’t even have the pressure of writing a speech.”
The award nomination was genuinely unexpected for the actress. So much so that she opted to sleep in on Tuesday, rather than wake up to watch Bruce Willis and Mary-Louise Parker read the nominations live on TV.
“I just wanted to have it be done,” she said. “I didn’t want to watch it happen. Even though I knew the show was going to get a ton of nominations, to be the only one that didn’t get singled out would be hard.”
The musical, based on the 2006 graphic memoir by MacArthur “genius grant” recipient Alison Bechdel about coming out and growing up with a closeted gay father, opened April 19 to rave reviews. It was nominated for 12 total Tony awards, including Best Musical – tied for the most of any production with “An American in Paris.” Malone is nominated for Best Actress in a Musical alongside Kristin Chenoweth (“On the Twentieth Century”), Leanne Cope (“An American in Paris”), Kelli O’Hara (“The King and I”) and Chita Rivera (“The Visit”).
Malone’s part as Alison, though it’s the lead, doesn’t have a show-stopping number like the others in the “Fun Home” cast, so she did not anticipate accolades like a Tony nomination.
“I love my role, but it’s a very subtle performance,” she said. “It’s in the minutia. So I thought, ‘This will be wonderful. I’m going to ride out this Tony season in the biggest hit show in New York, and I’m going to be like I am in the show: silently in the wings.’”
She called writer Lisa Kron, composer Jeanine Tesori and director Sam Gold, who worked on it for seven years before bringing it to Broadway, “the heroes” of “Fun Home” – all earned nominations.
Malone has been with “Fun Home” for about four years, through readings, workshops and its acclaimed 2013 Off-Broadway run.
A Castle Rock native, Malone began acting as a teenager in the barn at the Country Dinner Playhouse in Englewood. She spent most of her 20s in Aspen, skiing by day and performing at the Crystal Palace dinner theater. She still lives in Snowmass Village part-time with her wife. A local contingent of Malone’s friends traveled to New York for opening night of the new show.
“It’ll be nice to have my homies in the house so that they can see one of their own in the New York theater scene,” she told the Aspen Times Weekly last month.
Malone made her Broadway debut as June Carter Cash in the short-lived “Ring of Fire” in 2006. In 2009 and 2010, she performed in Theatre Aspen shows here. She staged her one-woman show, “Beth Malone: So Far,” at the Wheeler Opera House in 2011.
The Tony nomination doesn’t appear to be going to Malone’s head just yet. After waking up to the news Tuesday, she celebrated by walking her dog and picking up poo on the streets of New York.
Read a profile of Beth Malone from the March 26 Aspen Times Weekly here.
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