“Kinky Boots” is the tuner version of a 2005 movie and was adaptated for the stage by Tony darling Harvey Fierstein and rocker Cindy Lauper, who picked up nominations. At the center of the show is Best Musical Actor frontrunner Billy Porter who plays a drag queen who comes to the rescue of a dilapidated shoe factory.
While that show is set in England, it is American made. Compare that to “Matilda,” the imported Brit hit based on the classic Roald Dahl children’s book. The tuner set the record at last year’s Oliviers, winning seven awards, including Best Musical. While the quartet who alternated in the title role in the West End won Best Actress at the Oliviers, the Tonys disqualified them. However, Bertie Carvel, who claimed the Olivier for his cross-dressing performance as the hag of a headmistress, will contend for Best Actor (Musical).
“Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike” could win playwright Christopher Durang his first Tony after decades of success off-Broadway. While his muse Sigourney Weaver was snubbed, two of the cast reaped bids — four-time Emmy champ David Hyde Pierce and theater vet Kristine Nielsen.
Two-time Oscar champ Tom Hanks (“Philadelphia,” “Forrest Gump”) is on track to take home his first Tony for his starring role in “Lucky Guy.” The win will be bittersweet for Hanks as his pal who penned the play, Nora Ephron (“Sleepless in Seattle”) died before it opened. In all, the show picked up six nominations.
The frontrunner in the race for Best Actress (Play) is three-time Emmy champ Cicely Tyson who headlines the first rialto revival of Horton Foote‘s 1953 play “The Trip to Bountiful.” This remount raked in four nominations including Best Play Revival.
Right behind with nine nods is the remounting of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Cinderella.” That show started out as a 1957 television spectacular starring Julie Andrews.
1986 Best Musical champ The Mystery of Edwin Drood” picked up five nominations for its first rialto revival.
The 1977 top tuner “Annie” is back and in the race for Best Musical Revival as well. However, that is its sole bid.
Two-time Oscar nominee Bette Midler will have to be content with the special Tony she won in 1973 for her one-woman show. She was snubbed for her return to the rialto four decades later in another solo effort as 70s superagent Sue Mengers in “I’ll Eat You Last.”
The 67th annual edition of these top theater kudos will be handed out on Sunday, June 9 at New York’s Beacon Theater and air live on CBS. Nominees were determined by 42 theater professionals and winners will be voted on by 851 members of the Broadway community.