'Fela!,' 'La Cage' lead Tony nominees
Musicals nab 11 noms; 'Glee' stars, Green Day set for eventNEW YORK -- Two strikingly different musicals, "Fela!" and "La Cage aux Folles," were the dominant nominees at Sunday's star-laden 2010 Tony Awards.
"Fela!" -- the innovative Afro-beat biography of Nigerian superstar Fela Anikulapo-Kuti -- and "La Cage aux Folles" -- a revival of the classic Jerry Herman-Harvey Fierstein musical -- had 11 nominations.
They were followed by the revival of August Wilson's "Fences," with 10 nominations and the musical "Memphis," with eight.
The ceremony, from Radio City Music Hall and telecast on CBS, begins at 8 p.m. EDT and will be hosted by Sean Hayes, who is up for leading actor in a musical for his portrayal of Chuck Baxter, the insecure company man who lends out his bachelor apartment for extramarital, romantic dalliances by its executives, in a revival of "Promises, Promises."
Historically, Tony-nominated hosts have fared well. Hugh Jackman won a trophy in 2004 for his portrayal of Peter Allen in "The Boy from Oz." Nathan Lane won twice while at the helm: in 1996, when he won lead actor in a musical for "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum"; and in 2001, when he shared duties with Matthew Broderick and won a Tony for "The Producers."
Musical performances from "La Cage aux Folles" with Kelsey Grammer and "A Little Night Music" with Catherine Zeta-Jones are on the bill.
The telecast will also feature a special presentation of Tony-nominated plays and play revivals with appearances by Denzel Washington and Viola Davis from "Fences," Anthony LaPaglia and Tony Shalhoub from "Lend Me a Tenor," Liev Schrieber and Scarlett Johansson from "A View from the Bridge," and more.
Also on hand: "Glee" cast members Lea Michele and Matthew Morrison; Katie Holmes and Daniel Radcliffe; Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith; and the punk-rock band Green Day, whose 2004 best-selling album "American Idiot" was adapted into one of this year's Tony-nominated musicals.
Special Tony Awards for lifetime achievement will be given to playwright Alan Ayckbourn ("The Norman Conquests," a trilogy that won the play-revival Tony last year), and actress Marian Seldes ("A Delicate Balance," "Equus," "Deathtrap," "Three Tall Women").
The Eugene O'Neill Theater Center in Waterford, Conn., will receive the regional theater award.