Three theater professionals with ties to Maine are in the running for Tony Awards, which will be presented tonight in New York.

Christopher Fitzgerald, Donald Holder and Linda Lavin each received nominations last month. The awards celebrate the best of Broadway.

Fitzgerald was nominated for best performance by a featured actor in a musical for his work in “Finian’s Rainbow.” Holder was nominated for lighting design for the musical “Ragtime.”

Lavin, a Portland native, was nominated as best performing actress in a play for her role in “Collected Stories.”

Fitzgerald grew up in South Portland, graduated from Waynflete School in Portland in 1991 and has been acting in New York for several years. He is a previous Tony nominee.

He got his acting start at Portland Players in South Portland when he was 8, appearing in “Oliver Twist.” He now lives in New York with his wife and young child.

He played the role of Og in the revival of “Finian’s Rainbow,” a satiric musical fantasy about an Irish immigrant, his feisty daughter and a leprechaun who follows them to America. Fitzgerald was the leprechaun. The show opened in October and closed in January.

Previously, Fitzgerald acted and sang in “Young Frankenstein” and “Wicked,” as well as several off-Broadway and regional productions. In “Wicked,” he played the world’s tallest munchkin. In “Young Frankenstein,” he played the doctor’s evil assistant, Igor.

Holder has worked as a theatrical lighting designer for many years. He graduated from the University of Maine in 1980 after studying forestry, then went to Yale to study drama. Before going to Broadway, he did lighting work for Portland Stage Company.

Including his latest nomination, he has been nominated for eight Tonys. He won for best lighting design in 1998 for “The Lion King,” as well as a Drama Desk award for the same show. He won his second Tony a decade later for “South Pacific.”

Holder’s other Broadway credits include “Movin’ Out,” “A Streetcar Named Desire” and “Prelude to a Kiss.”

He is currently head of lighting design at the California Institute of the Arts in Valencia, Calif.

Lavin, who was born in Portland and graduated from Deering High School, has made her life and career in New York for several decades.

She stars as Ruth Steiner in the Donald Margulies play “Collected Stories,” which tells about the explosive relationship between two female writers — the older Steiner and her young protege, Lisa Morrison. The show is playing now at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre in New York. 

Staff Writer Bob Keyes can be contacted at 791-6457 or at:

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