“The Book of Mormon” landed a leading 14 Tony Awards nominations Tuesday. This satirical tuner about the misadventures of two Mormon missionaries in Africa is the frontrunner for Best Musical. And with just one double nomination in a category (Best Actor bids by both Josh Gad and Andrew Rannells), the show has the potential to win a record-breaking 13 awards. The current record holder is “The Producers” which numbered 12 wins among its 15 nominations (it had a double bid for Best Musical Actor and a triple bid for Best Featured Musical Actor) back in 2001.
Among the bids by “Book of Mormon” are three for Trey Parker. Parker and his creative partner Matt Stone have shared in four Emmy Awards for Best Animated Series (2005, 2007, 2008, 2009) for the long-running Comedy Central hit “South Park.” Along with “Avenue Q” Tony champ Robert Lopez, they are nominated for Best Book and Best Score. And with Casey Nicholaw, Parker contends for Best Musical Director.
For the Score award, the trio is up against Tony champs John Kander and the late Fred Ebb (“The Scottsboro Boys”), eight-time Oscar winner Alan Menken and Glenn Slater (“Sister Act”) and two-time Tony nominee David Yazbek (“Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown”).
One of the scores to be snubbed was that of “Catch Me If You Can” which has music by Marc Shaiman. Shaiman shared this award with Scott Wittman for “Hairspray” in 2003. Back in 1999, he had teamed up with Parker and Stone to write tunes for the film version of “South Park” and they earned an Academy Award nomination for the song “Blame Canada.” That saucy ditty was sung at the Oscars by Robin Williams, who was snubbed by the Tonys today for his performance in the play “Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo.” “Blame Canada” lost to “You’ll Be in My Heart,” a Phil Collins ballad from “Tarzan.” In 2006, Collins and company tried a tuner version of “Tarzan” that flopped.