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Kron, Sondheim,
Bennett among queer Tony nominees

Kron, Sondheim,
Bennett among queer Tony nominees

The DrowsyChaperone, a parody of 1920s musicals, swept the board with 13 Tony award nominations on Tuesday, while big names such as Julia Roberts and Disney were shut out of Broadway's biggest honors. Alan Bennett's The History Boys was confirmed as favorite for Best Play with seven nominations.

The nominations for the U.S. theater version of the Oscars went largely as predicted by critics, though Oprah Winfrey's The ColorPurple, based on the Alice Walker novel, made a surprisingly strong showing with 11 nominations. Its tally of 11 was more than the eight nominations for the critically acclaimed JerseyBoys, a jukebox musical about Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, which is considered a joint favorite with The Drowsy Chaperone to win Best Musical. The WeddingSinger, a 1980s romp adapted from the Adam Sandler movie, was the fourth nomination for Best Musical and picked up a total of five nominations.

The Pajama Game led the list of revivals with nine nominations, including one for its star, Harry Connick Jr. The revival of Clifford Odets's Awake and Sing! gained eight nominations, including Best Revival of a Play and three featured actor nominations for members of its ensemble cast--Zoe Wanamaker, Mark Ruffalo, and Pablo Schreiber.

The biggest star of the season on Broadway, Oscar winner Julia Roberts, was not among those nominated as Best Actress in a Play. Her Broadway debut was panned by critics, but in a year with few outstanding female performances, there was speculation she could make the grade, particularly if organizers had hoped to tempt her to be a presenter at the ceremony on June 11. The nominees for best actress in a play were lesbian Sex and the City star Cynthia Nixon for her role in RabbitHole, Kate Burton and Lynn Redgrave in the period comedy The ConstantWife, Judy Kaye in Souvenir, and out writer-performer Lisa Kron in Well.

The nominations for Best Play were The HistoryBoys, Martin McDonagh's The Lieutenant ofInishmore, which took five nominations, RabbitHole, and ShiningCity, whose star Oliver Platt was nominated for Best Actor. Up for Best Actor along with Platt are Ralph Fiennes for FaithHealer, Richard Griffiths for The HistoryBoys, Zeljko Ivanek for The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial, and David Wilmot for The Lieutenant ofInishmore.

Among the biggest losers were two of the biggest investors of the season--Hollywood studio giants Disney and Warner Bros., whose big-budget musicals Tarzan and Lestat were snubbed. Tarzan, based on the Disney movie with music by Phil Collins, picked up just one nomination, for Best Lighting Design, while the vampire musical Lestat, with music by Elton John, received two nominations, for Best Costumes and Best Supporting Actress, Carolee Carmello.

"It shows the integrity of the Tony award nomination process," said New York Post drama writer Michael Riedel. "They chose not to give a nomination to the biggest star in the world [Roberts], and they really stuck it to the most powerful producer on Broadway, Disney, by giving only one nomination, for lighting, which is really almost insulting." (Claudia Roberts, Reuters)

Here is a complete list of the 2006 Tony Awards nominees:

Best Play: The History Boys, The Lieutenant of Inishmore, Rabbit Hole, Shining City

Best Musical: The Color Purple, The Drowsy Chaperone, Jersey Boys, The Wedding Singer

Best Book of a Musical: The ColorPurple, Marsha Norman; The DrowsyChaperone, Bob Martin and Don McKellar; JerseyBoys, Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice; The WeddingSinger, Chad Beguelin and Tim Herlihy

Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) Written for the Theatre: The Color Purple, Music & Lyrics: Brenda Russell, Allee Willis, Stephen Bray; The Drowsy Chaperone, Music & Lyrics: Lisa Lambert and Greg Morrison; The Wedding Singer, Music: Matthew Sklar, Lyrics: Chad Beguelin; The Woman in White, Music: Andrew Lloyd Webber, Lyrics: David Zippel

Best Revival of a Play: The Constant Wife, Edward Albee's Seascape, Faith Healer; Awake and Sing!

Best Revival of a Musical: The Pajama Game, Sweeney Todd, The Threepenny Opera

Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Play: Ralph Fiennes, FaithHealer; Richard Griffiths, The HistoryBoys; Zeljko Ivanek, The Caine MutinyCourt-Martial; Oliver Platt, ShiningCity; David Wilmot, The Lieutenant of Inishmore

Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Play: Kate Burton, The ConstantWife; Judy Kaye, Souvenir; Lisa Kron, Well; Cynthia Nixon, RabbitHole; Lynn Redgrave, The Constant Wife

Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical: Michael Cerveris, SweeneyTodd; Harry Connick Jr., The PajamaGame; Stephen Lynch, The WeddingSinger; Bob Martin, The DrowsyChaperone; John Lloyd Young, Jersey Boys

Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical: Sutton Foster, The DrowsyChaperone; LaChanze, The ColorPurple; Patti LuPone, SweeneyTodd; Kelli O'Hara, The PajamaGame; Chita Rivera, Chita Rivera: The Dancer's Life

Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Play: Samuel Barnett, The HistoryBoys; Domhnall Gleeson, The Lieutenant ofInishmore; Ian McDiarmid, FaithHealer; Mark Ruffalo, Pablo Schreiber, both for Awake and Sing!

Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Play: Tyne Daly, RabbitHole; Frances de la Tour, The HistoryBoys; Jayne Houdyshell, Well; Alison Pill, The Lieutenant ofInishmore; Zoe Wanamaker, Awake and Sing!

Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical: Danny Burstein, The DrowsyChaperone; Jim Dale, The ThreepennyOpera; Brandon Victor Dixon, The ColorPurple; Manoel Felciano, SweeneyTodd; Christian Hoff, Jersey Boys

Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical: Carolee Carmello, Lestat; Felicia P. Fields, The ColorPurple; Megan Lawrence, The PajamaGame; Beth Leavel, The DrowsyChaperone; Elisabeth Withers-Mendes, The Color Purple

Best Scenic Design of a Play: John Lee Beatty, RabbitHole; Bob Crowley, The HistoryBoys; Santo Loquasto, Three Days ofRain; Michael Yeargan, Awake and Sing!

Best Scenic Design of a Musical: John Lee Beatty, The ColorPurple; David Gallo, The DrowsyChaperone; Derek McLane, The PajamaGame; Klara Zieglerova, Jersey Boys

Best Costume Design of a Play: Michael Krass, The ConstantWife; Santo Loquasto, A Touch of thePoet; Catherine Zuber, Edward Albee's Seascape; Catherine Zuber, Awake and Sing!

Best Costume Design of a Musical: Gregg Barnes, The DrowsyChaperone; Susan Hilferty, Lestat; Martin Pakledinaz, The PajamaGame; Paul Tazewell, The Color Purple

Best Lighting Design of a Play: Paul Gallo, Three Days ofRain; Mark Henderson, FaithHealer; Mark Henderson, The History Boys; Christopher Akerlind, Awake and Sing!

Best Lighting Design of a Musical: Ken Billington and Brian Monahan, The DrowsyChaperone; Howell Binkley, JerseyBoys; Natasha Katz, Tarzan; Brian MacDevitt, The Color Purple

Best Direction of a Play: Nicholas Hytner, The HistoryBoys; Wilson Milam, The Lieutenant ofInishmore; Daniel Sullivan, Rabbit Hole; Bartlett Sher, Awake and Sing!

Best Direction of a Musical: John Doyle, SweeneyTodd; Kathleen Marshall, The PajamaGame; Des McAnuff, JerseyBoys; Casey Nicholaw, The Drowsy Chaperone

Best Choreography: Rob Ashford, The WeddingSinger; Donald Byrd, The ColorPurple; Kathleen Marshall, The PajamaGame; Casey Nicholaw, The Drowsy Chaperone

Best Orchestrations: Larry Blank, The DrowsyChaperone; Dick Lieb and Danny Troob, The PajamaGame; Steve Orich, JerseyBoys; Sarah Travis, Sweeney Todd

Special Tony Award: Sarah Jones for Bridge & Tunnel

Special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre: Harold Prince

Regional Theatre Tony Award: Intiman Theatre, Seattle

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