Tonys: Broadway Stars Gather to Celebrate Nominations

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Bradley Cooper, Patricia Clarkson and Alessandro Nivola in New York at the Tony Awards press reception

Bradley Cooper, Patricia Clarkson, Alessandro Nivola, Bill Nighy and Chita Rivera attended Wednesday's meet and greet, along with acting nominee Kristin Chenoweth, doubling as awards co-host.

“This is my own version of hell.”


Surprisingly, Kristin Chenoweth is not talking about the media deluge at the Tony Awards press junket on Wednesday morning at New York's Paramount Hotel, where hundreds of reporters with cameras and recorders descend on the newly minted nominees. Actually, she's not talking at all. She has written this quote on a whiteboard, as she wants to celebrate her nomination for best leading actress in On the 20th Century and her co-hosting gig with Alan Cumming for the ceremony on June 7. But she’s on vocal rest, saving her voice for a two-performance day.


“Is this a first for y’all?” she writes, asking a small semi-circle of reporters if they have ever received written responses. "I want to kill it with Alan. Broadway all the way!”


Not all the nominees were constrained by vocal restrictions. Newcomer and featured actor nominee Micah Stock started to cry as he described his co-star Nathan Lane holding the curtain at the prior evening’s performance of It’s Only a Play to acknowledge Stock's accomplishment, which is the show’s only nod. “I’ll never forget this, and Nathan just said, ‘We are so proud of Micah Stock,’” he explained. “If nothing else happens to me, that’s fine. I’ll remember that.”


Read more Tonys: Full List of Nominations


Geneva Carr also got a little teary. But even though her nomination in the leading actress in a play category for Hand to God puts her alongside Helen Mirren, Elisabeth Moss, Carey Mulligan and Ruth Wilson, she isn't intimidated by all that star power.


“Elisabeth Moss was a child actor in L.A. and then she came for a millisecond to New York before she booked Mad Men and left," said Carr. "She was the sweetest girl in the world. She’d say, ‘Oh you do commercials, can you help me? Can you advise me?’ I cannot wait to see her and tell her how happy I am for her success."


"I can’t wait to meet Helen," she added, explaining that the demonic sock puppet from Hand to God had already made overtures to Mirren, who is nominated for The Audience. "Tyrone’s already sent her flowers. And she sent him a thank you note. But I don’t think she gathered who he was. She better get ready.”


Read more Tonys: 'Fun Home,' 'American in Paris' Dominate Awards Race (Analysis)


And how is Tyrone enjoying his nomination? Or rather, the nomination for his master Steven Boyer. The actor plays a Texas teenager whose sock puppet takes over his hand and his mother’s Sunday school puppet ministry. “Tyrone is doing rails as we speak in the dressing room. He’s getting ready for the two-show day,” says Boyer. “He’s enjoying the nomination as only he can.”


Alessandro Nivola, Bradley Cooper and Patricia Clarkson are gearing up to take their Tony-nominated revival of The Elephant Man to London, where it begins performances May 19 at the Theatre Royal Haymarket. But the cast is relieved that all three of them are nominated for their work in the show on Broadway. Otherwise, it could get awkward.


“In all honesty, the day that the three of us agreed to go to London with the show, the first thought that we all had was, ‘What if two of us get Tony nominations and one doesn’t?’” Nivola told The Hollywood Reporter. “And we have to go to London and start this all over again. Won’t that be sad and awkward?”


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Fun Home received 12 nominations, leading the field with An American in Paris. When composer Jeanine Tesori and writer-lyricist Lisa Kron learned that they could be the first all-female team to have a show win best musical, they were unfazed. 


“If that happens, it’s about time,” Kron said. 


“Our line on our Fun Home T-shirts should be, Fun Home: It’s about time,” added Tesori.


Other nominees in attendance at Wednesday's Tonys event included, among others, Sting, Bill Nighy, Matthew Beard, Victoria Clark, Michael Cerveris, Julie White, Chita Rivera, Alex Sharp, Robert Fairchild, Kelli O’Hara, Brian d’Arcy James and Christian Borle