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Broadway Awakening: 2006-2007 Tony Nominations Announced

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The 61st annual Tony Award nominations were announced May 15 by Tony Award winning actress Jane Krakowski and former "Rent" star Taye Diggs at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts. The awards recognize the best and brightest of the 2006-07 Broadway season. David Cote, theater editor at Time Out New York magazine, offers his reaction.


On the 2007 Tony Award Nominations
By David Cote

Say what you will about Broadway: there's too much rock and pop; it's your grandmother's sound; it's too snobby; it's too lowbrow; it's too obvious; it's too obscure. Looking back on the 2006-07 season, you could say almost anything about Broadway and be right. This was an unusually diverse and artistically strong year, thanks to a handful of English imports and some quality transfers from the nonprofit Off Broadway sector.

In a season that brought nine new plays and eleven new musicals, there were bound to be some unhappy producers when the nominees were announced this morning at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center.

The most noteworthy omission was the pop-driven teen trifle (Legally Blonde), not up for Best New Musical. Oddly, it will be eligible for Best Leading Actress, Best Score and Best Book. But the Best Musical seal of approval goes elsewhere. The contenders for that honor make for an interesting bunch: an iconoclastic rock musical about teen-angst, based on an 1891 German Expressionistic play (Spring Awakening); a dark, quirky show inspired by a 1975 cult documentary about a mother and daughter living in squalor in East Hampton (Grey Gardens): an old-fashioned tuneful comedy by composer John Kander and the late lyricist Fred Ebb (Curtains); and then there's Mary Poppins the latest big-budget family-friendly Disney enterprise. There's no frontrunner in this race. Spring Awakening is a critics' darling, but Grey Gardens has its partisans. No one even expected Mary Poppins to be in this category, but the show is better than most critics gave it credit for. A slightly darker take on the beloved 1951 movie, this Poppins benefited from Richard Eyre's evocative direction and witty choreography by Matthew Bourne.

Like Poppins, two of the contenders for Best New Play are English imports. Tom Stoppard's three-part epic about pre-Revolutionary Russian intellectuals, The Coast of Utopia, is favored to win. Frost/Nixon came to Broadway on a wave of hype after its London run, and critics raved over the lead performance by Frank Langella, nominated for Best Leading Actor. While it earned fine reviews last fall, no one's money is on The Little Dog Laughed, a breezy gay satire about the celluloid closet that closed earlier this year. Rounding out the Best Play category is August Wilson's Radio Golf. It could conceivably take home the gold, if Tony voters decide to reward the late, great playwright for a lifetime's achievement.

The Tony Awards ceremony takes place on Sunday, June 10 at Radio City Music Hall.

Nominees for the 61st annual Tony Awards follow:

Best Play
The Coast of Utopia
The Little Dog Laughed
Radio Golf

Best Musical
Grey Gardens
Mary Poppins
Spring Awakening

Best Book of a Musical
Curtains, Rupert Holmes & Peter Stone
Grey Gardens, Doug Wright
Legally Blonde The Musical, Heather Hach
Spring Awakening, Steven Sater

Best Original Score
Music: John Kander
Lyrics: Fred Ebb, John Kander & Rupert Holmes

Grey Gardens
Music: Scott Frankel
Lyrics: Michael Korie

Legally Blonde The Musical
Music & Lyrics: Laurence O’Keefe and Nell Benjamin

Spring Awakening
Music: Duncan Sheik
Lyrics: Steven Sater

Best Revival of a Play
Inherit the Wind
Jouney's End
Talk Radio

Best Revival of a Musical
The Apple Tree
A Chorus Line
110 in the Shade

Best Special Theatrical Event
Jay Johnson: The Two and Only
Kiki & Herb Alive on Broadway

Best Performance By a Leading Actor in a Play
Boyd Gaines, Journey's End
Frank Langella, Frost/Nixon
Brían F. O’Byrne, The Coast of Utopia
Christopher Plummer, Inherit the Wind
Liev Schreiber, Talk Radio

Best Performance By a Leading Actress in a Play
Eve Best, A Moon for the Misbegotten
Swoozie Kurtz, Heartbreak House
Angela Lansbury, Deuce
Vanessa Redgrave, The Year of Magical Thinking
Julie White, The Little Dog Laughed

Best Performance By a Leading Actor in a Musical
Michael Cerveris, LoveMusik
Raúl Esparza, Company
Jonathan Groff, Spring Awakening
Gavin Lee, Mary Poppins
David Hyde Pierce, Curtains

Best Performance By a Leading Actress in a Musical
Laura Bell Bundy, Legally Blonde The Musical
Christine Ebersole, Grey Gardens
Audra McDonald, 110 in the Shade
Debra Monk, Curtains
Donna Murphy, LoveMusik

Best Performance By a Featured Actor in a Play
Anthony Chisholm, Radio Golf
Billy Crudup, The Coast of Utopia
Ethan Hawke, The Coast of Utopia
John Earl Jelks, Radio Golf
Stark Sands, Journey's End

Best Performance By a Featured Actress in a Play
Jennifer Ehle, The Coast of Utopia
Xanthe Elbrick, Coram Boy
Dana Ivey, Butley
Jan Maxwell, Coram Boy
Martha Plimpton, The Coast of Utopia

Best Performance By a Featured Actor in a Musical
Brooks Ashmanskas, Martin Short: Fame Becomes Me
Christian Borle, Legally Blonde The Musical
John Cullum, 110 in the Shade
John Gallagher, Jr., Spring Awakening
David Pittu, LoveMusik

Best Performance By a Featured Actress in a Musical
Charlotte d’Amboise, A Chorus Line
Rebecca Luker, Mary Poppins
Orfeh, Legally Blonde The Musical
Mary Louise Wilson, Grey Gardens
Karen Ziemba, Curtains

Best Direction of a Play
Michael Grandage, Frost/Nixon
David Grindley, Journey's End
Jack O'Brien, The Coast of Utopia
Melly Still, Coram Boy

Best Direction of a Musical
John Doyle, Company
Scott Ellis, Curtains
Michael Greif, Grey Gardens
Michael Mayer, Spring Awakening

Best Choreography
Rob Ashford, Curtains
Matthew Bourne and Stephen Mear, Mary Poppins
Bill T. Jones, Spring Awakening
Jerry Mitchell, Legally Blonde The Musical

Best Orchestrations
Bruce Coughlin, Grey Gardens
Duncan Sheik, Spring Awakening
Jonathan Tunick, LoveMusik
Jonathan Tunick, 110 in the Shade

Best Scenic Design of a Play
Bob Crowley & Scott Pask, The Coast of Utopia
Jonathan Fensom, Journey's End
David Gallo, Radio Golf
Ti Green and Melly Still, Coram Boy

Best Scenic Design of a Musical
Bob Crowley, Mary Poppins
Christine Jones, Spring Awakening
Anna Louizos, High Fidelity
Allen Moyer, Grey Gardens

Best Costume Design of a Play
Ti Green and Melly Still, Coram Boy
Jane Greenwood, Heartbreak House
Santo Loquasto, Inherit the Wind
Catherine Zuber, The Coast of Utopia

Best Costume Design of a Musical
Gregg Barnes, Legally Blonde The Musical
Bob Crowley, Mary Poppins
Susan Hilferty, Spring Awakening
William Ivey Long, Grey Gardens

Best Lighting Design of a Play
Paule Constable, Coram Boy
Brian MacDevitt, Inherit the Wind
Brian MacDevitt, Kenneth Posner, and Natasha Katz, The Coast of Utopia
Jason Taylor, Journey's End

Best Lighting Design of a Musical
Kevin Adams, Spring Awakening
Christopher Akerlind, 110 in the Shade
Howard Harrison, Mary Poppins
Peter Kaczorowski, Grey Gardens

Regional Theatre Tony Award
Alliance Theatre, Atlanta, GA


Tony Award Nominees on Soundcheck
Duncan Sheik, nominated as best original score for Spring Awakening, talking about the musical and his new album, White Limousine, on Soundcheck
A look at "Mary Poppins: The Musical" with director Richard Eyre