Two musicals — “An American in Paris” and “Fun Home” — lead with the most bids (12) when Tony Award nominations were announced Tuesday morning. Of the new plays on Broadway, two British imports — “Wolf Hall Parts 1 and 2” and “Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time” — reaped eight and six nominations respectively. The revival of the musical “The King and I” picked up nine nods while the remounting of the play “Skylight” claimed seven. (See the full list of nominees here).
A wrinkle in the rules allowed for five (rather than the standard four) nominees in both Play races and Best Musical as they were packed with more than nine contenders. However, the vote tally from the 50 members of the nominating committee was not close enough to merit such increases; last year, this happened only in the Best Play race. Conversely, with only five musical revivals eligible, that category has just three nominees.
All four Best Musical nominees are American made: the stage version of the Oscar-winning “An American in Paris,” the off-Broadway transfer “Fun Home,” the original “Something Rotten” and the final John Kander/Fred Ebb collaboration “The Visit.”
Best Play is a showdown between four works that chronicle the lives of troubled men. “Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time” is an adaptation of Mark Haddon‘s bestseller about a autistic teenage boy who sets out to solve a mystery. “Disgraced” is a Pulitzer Prize winner about tolerance. “Hand to God,” is a daring new piece by Robert Askins that puts puppets centerstage. And “Wolf Hall” is an epic mounting of Hilary Mantel‘s novels about the court of King Henry VIII.
The breakout star of “Curious Incident,” Alex Sharp, is the clear frontrunner for Best Play (Actor). Likewise, Helen Mirren looks like a lock to win Best Actress (Play) for recreating her Oscar-winning performance as Queen Elizabeth II from “The Queen” in “The Audience.”
Best Actor (Musical) is shaping up to be a battle between two Broadway vets — one-time champ Michael Cerveris (“Fun Home”) and two-time past nominee Brian D’Arcy James (“Something Rotten”) — versus newcomer Robert Fairchild (“An American in Paris”).
While the Best Actress (Musical) line-up includes a pair of past Tony winners — Kristin Chenoweth (“On the Twentieth Century”) and Chita Rivera (“The Visit), the frontrunner is five-time also-ran Kelli O’Hara for “The King and I.”
Among the shows completely shut out were two new musicals — “Finding Neverland” and “It Shoulda Been You.” The former marked Harvey Weinstein‘s debut as a lead producer as he oversaw this stage version of his 2004 Best Picture nominee. And the latter was helmed by Tony and Emmy champ David Hyde-Pierce and featured a slew of talent, including Tony and Emmy winner Tyne Daly and Tony winner Harriet Harris.
The 69th annual edition of these top theater kudos will be handed out on Sunday, June 7 at New York’s Radio City Music Hall and air live on CBS. Winners will be voted on by 868 members of the Broadway community.