Theater fans around the world were on the edge of their seats today to find out who would be nominated for the highly coveted TONY Award honouring Broadway’s best. Emmy, Golden Globe and Tony-winning actress Mary-Louise Parker, and Emmy and Golden Globe winner Bruce Willis announced this year’s nominees today from the Diamond Horseshoe at the Paramount Hotel in Times Square.
In addition to this year’s nominees, the hosts for the 69th Annual ceremony coming up on June 7 at Radio City Music Hall were revealed to be TONY and Emmy winner Kristin Chenoweth and TONY winner Alan Cumming. Chenoweth may need a clone as she was also nominated for her role in On the Twentieth Century and will be juggling eight shows a week, her press schedule as a nominee and her host preparations and rehearsals. But if anyone can do it, that pint-sized powerhouse can!
The new musicals Fun Home and An American in Paris fared incredibly well, tying for the most nominations with 12 each. Fun Home is based on Alison Bechdel’s graphic novel about her father and life growing up in the family business, a funeral home. An American in Paris, inspired by the Oscar-winning film of the same name, is the romantic story of a young American soldier and a beautiful French girl yearning for a new beginning in the aftermath of the war.
Close on their heels in terms of total nominations is the new musical Something Rotten, receiving 10 nods, a tale of two brothers desperate to write a hit play but stuck in the shadow of that guy Shakespeare, played here as a Renaissance rock star. A soothsayer foretells that the “next big thing” involves singing, dancing and acting at the same time, so the brothers set out to write the world’s very first musical. With nine nominations, the revival of the Rodgers & Hammerstein classic The King and I is also a major contender. The perennial favorite tells the story of Anna, a British governess, who does her best to help the King of Siam embrace the modern world.
By the numbers for this year’s plays, the leader is Wolf Hall Parts One & Two with eight nominations, Skylight with seven and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time with six. The Royal Shakespeare Company’s Wolf Hall tells the story of King Henry VIII based on the incredibly successful novels by Hilary Mantel and follows a smash-hit West End run. Skylight features nominated actors Bill Nighy and Carey Mulligan attempting to rekindle old passions, and The Curious Incident is an inventive adaptation of a 2003 mystery novel by writer Mark Haddon centered around an exceptional 15-year-old boy.
Perhaps the biggest surprise of the day was the lack of nominations for the musical adaptation of Finding Neverland, based on the film of the same name, which is doing strong box office in spite of less than stellar reviews. The revival of Side Show and the new musical Honeymoon in Vegas both received incredibly positive reviews, but shuttered early in a highly competitive, overstuffed season and were left out of this year’s nominations as well. Sting’s venture into musical theatre, The Last Ship, also closed this January but managed to impress the nominating committee with its score and orchestrations.
In the acting categories, plenty of star power abounds, with nominations for Helen Mirren, Bradley Cooper, Elisabeth Moss, Ruth Wilson, Chita Rivera and the afore mentioned Chenoweth, Nighy and Mulligan. There are also plenty of homegrown Broadway favorites such as Brian d’Arcy James, Kelli O’Hara, Christian Borle, Victoria Clark, Michael Cerveris, Judy Kuhn, Annaleigh Ashford, and breakout star of the year, newcomer Micah Stock in his Broadway debut.
You can get the full list of the 2015 nominees at Tonyawards.com.
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Stay tuned to On Broadway (Ch. 72) for lots of coverage, commentary and of course, music from this year’s nominated shows & stars!