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The nominations for the 68th annual Tony Awards were announced on Tuesday morning, and The Hollywood Reporter‘s awards analyst dug through the Tony record books to see how this year’s nominees stack up against the nominees of yesteryear. The results are fascinating.
- The musical A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder scored a field-leading 10 nominations. That is as many as any play has ever received, but five fewer than the musical record-holders The Producers (2001) and Billy Elliot (2009). The other highest nomination tallies this year, across the categories: Hedwig and the Angry Inch with eight; After Midnight, Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, The Glass Menagerie and Twelfth Night with seven; and Bullets Over Broadway and The Cripple of Inishmaan with six.
- Best actress in a play nominee Audra McDonald (Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill) becomes just the fifth person of either gender to have scored nominations in all four acting categories in which they were eligible (following Boyd Gaines, Raul Esparza, Angela Lansbury and Jan Maxwell). If she wins, she will become the first woman to have won a Tony in all four female acting categories, and she will also move into sole possession of the record for most Tony acting wins (her sixth win would move her out of a tie with Lansbury and Julie Harris).
- With the best revival of a play nomination for A Raisin in the Sun, this becomes the seventh consecutive year in which a show produced by Scott Rudin has scored a nomination for either best play, best new musical, best revival of a play or best revival of a play. It also marks Rudin’s 27th overall nomination.
- At 86 years old, best actress in a play nominee Estelle Parsons (The Velocity of Autumn) is one of the oldest people to ever receive a nomination in any category, but not the oldest ever nominated in even just her own. That distinction belongs to last year’s nominee and winner Cicely Tyson (A Trip to Bountiful), who was honored at the age of 88.
- Bizarrely, The Glass Menagerie‘s nominations for best revival of a play, best actress in a play (Cherry Jones), best featured actor in a play (Brian J. Smith) and best featured actress in a play (Celia Keenan-Bolger), plus three others, are the first ever accorded to any production of that revered play.
- Five of this year’s nominees are nominated for a role for which someone else previously was Tony-nominated: best actor in a musical nominee Ramin Karimloo (Jean Valjean in Les Miserables), preceded by 1987 nominee Colm Wilkinson; best actress in a play nominee LaTanya Richardson (Lena Younger in A Raisin in the Sun), preceded by 1960 nominee Claudia McNeil and 2004 winner Phylicia Rashad; best featured actress in a play nominee Sophie Okonedo (Ruth Younger in A Raisin in the Sun), preceded by 2004 winner Audra McDonald; best featured actress in a play nominee Aniko Noni Rose (Beneatha Younger in A Raisin in the Sun), preceded by 2004 nominee Sanaa Lathan; and best featured actor in a musical Danny Burstein (Herr Schultz in Cabaret), preceded by 1988 nominee Werner Klemperer and 1998 winner Ron Rifkin.
- Five of this year’s nominees are nominated for parts for which someone else previously received Oscar recognition: Mark Rylance (Richard III) is a best actor in a play nominee for the part of Richard III, for which Laurence Oliver received a best actor Oscar nomination (Richard III, 1953); Karimloo (Les Miserables) is a best actor in a musical nominee for the part of Jean Valjean, for which Hugh Jackman (Les Miserables, 2012) received a best actor Oscar nomination; Andy Karl (Rocky) is a best actor in a musical nominee for the part of Rocky Balboa, for which Sylvester Stallone (Rocky, 1976) received a best actor Oscar nomination; Kelli O’Hara (The Bridges of Madison County) is a best actress in a musical nominee for the part of Francesca, for which Meryl Streep (The Bridges of Madison County, 1995) received a best actress Oscar nomination; and Nick Cordero (Bullets Over Broadway) is a best featured actor in a musical nominee for the part of Cheech, for which Chazz Palminteri (Bullets Over Broadway, 1994) received a best supporting actor nomination.
- Best actor in a play nominee Rylance (Richard III) has won in that category on two prior occasions (for Boeing-Boeing in 2008 and for Jerusalem in 2011). If he wins this time, he will break a tie and move into sole possession of the record for most wins in the category, surpassing Alan Bates, Brian Dennehy, Jose Ferrer, Judd Hirsch, James Earl Jones and Fredric March.
- Rylance joins an elite group of people who have scored more than one acting nomination in a single year. He is nominated for best actor in a play (Richard III) and best featured actor in a play (Twelfth Night). The two plays for which he is nominated played in repertory before closing back in February.
- Plays and musicals often inspire movies that receive Oscar recognition, but this year three movies inspired plays and musicals that received Tony recognition: Aladdin, Bullets Over Broadway and Rocky.
- Best actor in a play nominee Tony Shalhoub (Act One) and best featured actor in a musical nominee Danny Burstein (Cabaret) are the only actors nominated in 2014 who were also nominated in 2013. They were both nominated last year for Golden Boy in the category of best featured actor in a play.
- Today brings the first nominations for, among others, Woody Allen (Bullets Over Broadway), Reed Birney (Casa Valentina), Paul Chahidi (Casa Valentina), Nick Cordero (Bullets Over Broadway), Bryan Cranston (All the Way), Mary Bridget Davies (A Night with Janis Joplin), Sarah Greene (The Cripple of Inishmaan), James Iglehart (Aladdin), Lena Hall (Hedwig and the Angry Inch), Neil Patrick Harris (Hedwig and the Angry Inch), Karimloo (Les Miserables), Karl (Rocky), Anika Larsen (Beautiful: The Carole King Musical), Chris O’Dowd (Of Mice and Men), Okonedo (A Raisin in the Sun), Bryce Pinkham (A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder), Richardson (A Raisin in the Sun), Brian J. Smith (The Glass Menagerie), Jarrod Spector (Beautiful: The Carole King Musical), Mare Winningham (Casa Valentina) and Lauren Worsham (A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder).
- Best actor in a play nominee Cranston’s portrayal of Lyndon B. Johnson in All the Way is the fourth portrayal of an American president recognized with a nomination in the best actor in play category. The others: Ralph Bellamy‘s Franklin D. Roosevelt in Sunrise at Campobello (1958); Sam Waterston‘s Abraham Lincoln in Abe Lincoln in Illinois (1994); and Frank Langella‘s Richard Nixon in Frost/Nixon (2007). Bellamy and Langella went on to win.
- The best play nomination for Casa Valentina marks Harvey Fierstein‘s first recognition in that category in 31 years. He was previously nominated for Torch Song Trilogy.
- Best revival of a play nominee A Raisin in the Sun becomes just the sixth play to be nominated in that category more than once. (It was previously nominated in 2004.)
- Best revival of a play nominee The Cripple of Inishmaan and best revival of a musical nominees Hedwig and the Angry Inch and Violet were never previously mounted on the Great White Way, but appear in this category anyway because of a regulation that classifies a show as a revival if it is deemed part of the theatrical canon.
- The three best featured actor in a play nominations accorded to Twelfth Night — for Paul Chahidi, Stephen Fry and Rylance — place it in a tie for that category’s record with Big River (1985), Kiss Me Kate (2000) and The Producers (2001).
- Best actor in a play nominee Shalhoub could become the first actor named Tony to ever win a Tony. Previous Tony nominees named Tony: Shalhoub himself (1992 and 2013), plus Tony Randall (1958), Tony Roberts (1968), Tony Azito (1981), Tony Lo Bianco (1983), Antony Sher (1997) and Tony Sheldon (2011). Three actors were Tony-nominated for playing characters named Tony: Robert Weede (1957), Giorgio Tozzi (1980) and Keith Roberts (2003).
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