2012 Tony Award Nominations Announcement

Publication date: 
May 1, 2012
Don Aucoin

“The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess,’’ a revival of the George Gershwin classic that began life last fall at the American Repertory Theater in Cambridge before moving to Broadway, has racked up 10 Tony Award nominations, second only to “Once,’’ which received 11 nominations. “Nice Work If You Can Get It” also received 10 nominations.

“Porgy and Bess’’ was nominated for best revival of a musical, and Diane Paulus, the ART’s artistic director, was nominated as best director of a musical. For her unforgettable performance as the tormented Bess, Audra McDonald was nominated as best actress in a musical.

Norm Lewis, who plays Porgy, was nominated for best actor in a musical, while Phillip Boykin and David Alan Grier, who play Crown and Sporting Life, respectively, were both nominated as best actor in a featured role in a musical.

“Porgy and Bess’’ also earned nominations in the categories of best costume design of a musical, best lighting design of a musical, best sound design of a musical, and best orchestrations.

There were a couple of other notable local connections to the Tony nominations. “Once,’’ a musical adaptation of a 2006 indie film set in Ireland, was workshopped at the ART in the spring of 2011 before heading to New York.

Condola Rashad was nominated as best actress in a featured role in a play for Lydia R. Diamond’s “Stick Fly,’’ which was produced at the Huntington Theatre Company in early 2010. (Rashad was not in the Huntington cast). “Stick Fly’’ represented a Broadway debut for Diamond, a resident of Cambridge who is an assistant professor at the BU School of Theatre and a former Huntington Playwriting Fellow.

The nominations were announced Tuesday morning in New York. The Tony Awards will be handed out on June 10 in a ceremony to be hosted by Neil Patrick Harris and televised by CBS.

“Porgy and Bess’’ will vie with “Evita,’’ “Follies,’’ and “Jesus Christ Superstar’’ in the category of best revival of a musical. McDonald will be competing against Jan Maxwell for “Follies,’’ Cristin Milioti for “Once,’’ Kelli O’Hara for “Nice Work if You Can Get It,’’ and Laura Osnes for “Bonnie & Clyde.’’ Boykin and Grier will face off against Michael Cerveris for “Evita,’’ Michael McGrath for “Nice Work If You Can Get It,’ and Josh Young for “Jesus Christ Superstar.’’

Nominated for best musical are “Leap of Faith,’’ “Newsies,’’ “Nice Work If You Can Get It,’’ and “Once.’’ The best play nominees are Bruce Norris’s “Clybourne Park,’’ Jon Robin Baitz’s “Other Desert Cities,’’ Rick Elice’s “Peter and the Starcatcher,’’ and David Ives’s “Venus in Fur.’’

Nominated for best revival of a play are “Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman,’’ “Gore Vidal’s The Best Man,’’ “Master Class,’’ and “Wit.’’

The nominations were announced Tuesday by Kristin Chenoweth, who starred in such Broadway productions as “Wicked’’ and is currently featured on the ABC show “GCB,’’ and Jim Parsons, a star of CBS’s “The Big Bang Theory,’’ who appeared in last year’s Broadway revival of “The Normal Heart.’’

The Tony Awards, for which only Broadway productions are eligible, are handed out by the American Theatre Wing, a nonprofit service group, and the Broadway League, the trade group for the commercial theater industry.

At the Tony ceremony, awards will also be given to Bernadette Peters, Hugh Jackman, and Actors’ Equity Association, according to the Tony Awards Administration Committee.

Peters, who recently starred in a revival of Stephen Sondheim’s “Follies,’’ will receive the Isabelle Stevenson Award, which recognizes volunteerism, for her work promoting the adoption of shelter animals and her efforts on behalf of such organizations as Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.

Jackman, whose recent “Hugh Jackman: Back on Broadway’’ was a smash hit, will be given a special award for “contributions to the Broadway community, both as a performer and humanitarian,’’ (He has also hosted the Tony Awards). A special award will also be given to Actors Equity Association, which begins marking its 100th anniversary next month.

For a complete list of nominees, visit www.boston.com/ae/theater_arts.

Don Aucoin can be reached at aucoin@globe.com.

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