Tony Award nods largely skip stars for veterans
This April 1, 2013 file photo shows, from left, George C. Wolfe, Maura Tierney, Tom Hanks and Peter Scolari at the Lucky Guy Opening Night, in New York. Hanks received a Tony nomination for best leading actor in a play, Tuesday, April 30, for his role in "Lucky Guy." The awards will be broadcast on CBS from Radio City Music Hall on June 9. (Photo by Dario Cantatore/Invision/AP, file)
NEW YORK (AP) — The Tony Awards committee largely favored tried-and-true stage veterans over flashy visitors Tuesday when announcing this year's Tony nominations, with Hollywood stars such as Bette Midler, Jessica Chastain, Al Pacino, Katie Holmes and Scarlett Johansson never hearing their names called.
With the exception of Broadway debutant Tom Hanks, the acting categories were mostly filled by established theater creatures such as Laurie Metcalf, Amy Morton, Laura Osnes, Nathan Lane, Tracy Letts, David Hyde Pierce and Kristine Nielsen.
Hanks, who earned a best actor nod playing gutsy New York City newspaper columnist Mike McAlary in the late Nora Ephron's "Lucky Guy," joked that he was out of his league and that to win he'd have to beat Lane and Pierce.
"Olivier and Gielgud!" Hanks exclaimed. "It's such a thrill and a delight to be included with these guys." He added: "This makes me both giddy and nervous, and it could not be more special."
The awards will be broadcast on CBS from Radio City Music Hall on June 9. The snubs of big-name actors may mean a less starry telecast.
Stage veterans littered the play and musical categories, including the tight race to be crowned best musical. The leading contenders — "Kinky Boots" and "Matilda: The Musical" — are both stories that celebrate the little guy.
"Kinky Boots" is based on the 2005 British movie about a real-life shoe factory that struggles until it finds new life making fetish footwear. Cyndi Lauper's songs and a story by Harvey Fierstein — both nominated — have made it a crowd-pleaser.
"When we were writing this, I kept thinking 'I don't know if this show is going to be any good, but at the very least I think I've discovered a new Broadway composer,'" Fierstein said of Lauper, who was writing songs for the stage for the first time. "I could hear it. My feeling is Cyndi's going to be around for a while."
The show earned a leading 13 nominations, including sets by David Rockwell, directing and choreography by Jerry Mitchell, and nominations for its two leading men, Billy Porter and Stark Sands. Annaleigh Ashford earned a featured role nomination.
Actor Jesse Tyler Ferguson, left, and actress Sutton Foster, right, appear on stage at the 67th Annual Tony Award Nominations announcement on Tuesday April, 30, 2013 in New York. (Photo by Andy Kropa/Invision/AP)
Close behind with 12 nominations is "Matilda: The Musical," the witty, dark musical adaptation of the novel by Roald Dahl that is still running in London.