Friday, March 7, 2014
By Mark Kennedy / The Associated Press
NEW YORK — The Cyndi Lauper-scored "Kinky Boots" has earned a leading 13 Tony Award nominations, with the British import "Matilda: The Musical" close behind with 12. Tom Hanks, making his Broadway debut, earned a nod as leading man in a play.
Billy Porter performs in "Kinky Boots."
AP / The O+M Company, Matthew Murphy
The cast of "Matilda The Musical," including Bertie Carvel, right, and Lauren Ward, left, performs in New York.
AP / Boneau/Bryan-Brown, Joan Marcus
"Kinky Boots" is based on the 2005 British movie about a real-life shoe factory that struggles until it finds new life in fetish footwear. Lauper's songs and a story by Harvey Fierstein have made it a crowd-pleaser.
"I walked my dog early this morning so I'd be back in time to listen to the announcement. It's so great. It's so great. I'm done crying a little bit. But I'm still thrilled and a little stunned," Lauper said.
The haul did not match the record number of nominations for a musical, which is 15, set by "The Producers" in 2001 and "Billy Elliot" in 2009. "The Book of Mormon" nabbed 14 Tony nods in 2011.
"Lucky Guy," Nora Ephron's portrait of Mike McAlary, a gutsy New York City newspaper columnist who won a Pulitzer Prize for exposing that a Haitian immigrant had been sodomized by police officers in 1997, got six nominations, including one for Hanks as McAlary.
"This makes me both giddy and nervous, and it could not be more special," Hanks said. "Before this began, I thought I knew what it would be like. "But you can't imagine what it is. There's the muscle and the brain, but also the spirit and the heart. And it's fun, if fun also incorporates a huge amount of fear."
Courtney B. Vance earned a best featured actor nomination playing an editor in "Lucky Guy." He and Hanks were among the few actors in the production to work with Ephron on it before her death. "She'd be ecstatic. She'd be grinning ear to ear. And she is, right now."
In addition to Hanks, the leading actor in a play nominees are Nathan Lane for "The Nance," Tracy Letts from "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?", David Hyde Pierce from "Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike" and Tom Sturridge from "Orphans."
"Matilda: The Musical" is a witty musical adaptation of the novel by Roald Dahl and is true to his bleak vision of childhood as a savage battleground.
Both "Kinky Boots" and "Matilda" will compete for the best musical prize with the acrobatic "Bring It On: The Musical" and "A Christmas Story, The Musical," adapted from the beloved holiday movie.
Among the flurry of nominations, "Kinky Boots" also earned Fierstein a nod for best book, David Rockwell got one for sets, Jerry Mitchell for directing and for choreography, and nominations for its two leading men, Billy Porter and Stark Sands. Annaleigh Ashford earned a featured role nomination.
"Matilda" earned nominations for choreography, Matthew Warchus' directing, Chris Nightingale's orchestrations, best book by Dennis Kelly, Tim Minchin for lyrics and songs, and Bertie Carvel for best leading role in a musical.
Carvel, who played the same evil headmistress role in London, said he is enjoying his time in New York, although he did admit to being nervous about how Americans would react. "I feel like I've landed on happy shores," he said. "The show is in great shape. People are loving it."
Minchin wasn't going to get crazy following the nomination: "I'm going to have a coffee with my agent today. That's about as crazy as I'm going to get. We're a low-key bunch of people. We all just get on with it," he said.
Some big names snubbed this year were Al Pacino of "Glengarry Glen Ross," Alec Baldwin in "Orphans," Katie Holmes in "Dead Accounts," Bette Midler in "I'll Eat You Last: A Chat With Sue Mengers" and Scarlett Johansson from the revival of "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof."
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George C. Wolfe, left, Maura Tierney, Tom Hanks and Peter Scolari perform in "Lucky Guy " in New York. Hanks received a Tony nomination for best leading actor for his role in the play.
AP / Invision, Dario Cantatore