April 30, 2013

Two with ties to Maine receive Tony Award nominations

By Bob Keyes bkeyes@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

There were no surprises when two actors with ties to Maine received Tony Award nominations Tuesday morning.

Tony Shalhoub and Andrea Martin both have received high praise for their roles in New York productions this season.

Shalhoub, who studied acting and graduated from the University of Southern Maine, was nominated for best performance by an actor in a featured role in a play. He stars as Italian immigrant Mr. Bonaparte in the Broadway revival of Clifford Odets’ “Golden Boy.” He plays father of young boxing hero Joe Bonaparte.

In its review, the New York Times said Shalhoub played his role with “impressive delicacy.” Wrote reviewer Charles Isherwood, “Handily surmounting the burden of dialogue written in hokey Italian-American-ese, ... Mr. Shalhoub infuses his performance with an elegiac tenderness that never descends into the maudlin.”

Directed by Barlett Sher, the play received eight total nominations, including best lighting design by another theater artist with Maine ties. Donald Holder, a University of Maine graduate, designed the lighting for the show.

Martin, who was born in Portland, stars in the revival of the musical "Pippin," which opened in New York in March after a successful launch at the American Repertory Theater in Cambridge, Mass., earlier in the winter.

Pippin” was the final show to open in the current Broadway season, barely qualifying for Tony considerations.

Martin plays Pippin’s grandmother. The New York Daily News wrote of her performance, “In a perfect theatrical storm of actress, song and staging, Martin turns (Stephen) Schwartz’s gently insistent and joyful song ‘No Time at All’ into more than a showstopper. It is the season-topper.”

The awards will be presented June 9.

The new musical "Kinky Boots" led with 13 nominations, including best musical, director, actor, score and choreography. "Matilda" was second, with 12 nominations.

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