Of the 105 nominees spread across the 24 categories at the Tony Awards, a handful stand out. Among these:
Best Actress (Musical): Christine Ebersole vs. Patti Lupone (“War Paint”)
it’s the first time that two performances from the same musical are nominated in this category since 2004 when Kristin Chenoweth and Idina Menzel were both up for “Wicked”, with Menzel prevailing.
Best Actor (Play): Kevin Kline (“Present Laughter”) vs. Jefferson Mays (“Oslo”)
This is the second time Kline and Mays have competed against each other, In 2004, Mays won for “I Am My Own Wife” over, among others, Kline in “Henry IV.”
Kline and Best Actor (Musical) nominee Andy Karl (“Groundhog Day”) both played the part of Bruce Granit in a Broadway production of “On the Twentieth Century.” Kline won the Tony for the original production back in 1978 while Karl was nominated for the most recent revival in 2015.
Best Actress (Play): Laurie Metcalf (“A Doll’s House, Part 2”)
In her first three times at the Tonys, Metcalf was the sole nominee from her production: “November” in 2008, “The Other Place” in 2013, and “Misery” in 2016. This year, her show got eight nominations in all.
Best Featured Actress (Musical): Stephanie J. Block (“Falsettos”)
This is her second nomination for a performance in a closed production of a classic musical. She contended in lead in 2013 for “The Mystery of Edwin Drood”.
Best Director (Musical): Jerry Zaks (“Hello, Dolly!”)
While this is Zaks eight Tony nomination, it is first since 1996 when he contended for the Nathan Lane-led revival of “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.”
Best Director (Play): Ruben Santiago-Hudson (“Jitney”)
He joins the likes of Tommy Tune and Joe Mantello as Tony-nominated performers who also reaped bids for directing.
Best Director (Play): Bartlett Sher (“Oslo”)
This is Sher’s seventh Tony nomination and his first for taking on a new work since 2005 when he contended for the musical, “The Light in the Piazza.” He won on the musical side for helming the revival of “South Pacific” in 2008.
Best Score: Benj Pasek & Justin Paul (“Dear Evan Hansen”) vs. Tim Minchin (“Groundhog Day”)
In 2013, Pasek & Paul were nominated in 2013 for “A Christmas Story” while Minchin contended for “Matilda.” They all ended up losing to Cyndi Lauper for “Kinky Boots”.
Best Book, Score, Orchestrations: Dave Malloy (“Natasha, Pierre, & the Great Comet of 1812”)
He’s the first person to be nominated in all three of these categories.
Best Book: Danny Rubin (“Groundhog Day”)
He is the 10th person nominated for adapting a screenplay into a stage musical after Linda Woolverton (“Beauty and the Beast”), Irene Mecchi (“The Lion King”), Dean Pitchford (“Footloose”), Mel Brooks (“The Producers”), Richard Morris (“Thoroughly Modern Millie”), Eric Idle (“Monty Python’s Spamalot”), Tim Herlihy (“The Wedding Singer”), Lee Hall (“Billy Elliot”), and Woody Allen (“Bullets Over Broadway”). Brooks and Hall were the only winners.