May 5, 2010

Three with Maine ties get Tony nod

Christopher Fitzgerald, Donald Holder and Linda Lavin are nominated for Broadway's top awards.

By Bob Keyes
Staff Writer

Three theater professionals with ties to Maine were nominated for Tony Awards on Tuesday.

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Christopher Fitzgerald

Press Herald file

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Linda Lavin

Associated Press file photo

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Christopher Fitzgerald, Donald Holder and Linda Lavin each received a nomination when the American Theatre Wing announced the nominees in New York. 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.

Holder, a University of Maine graduate, is a previous Tony Award winner. He won in 2008 for his lighting work in "South Pacific," and before that for "The Lion King."

CBS will televise the awards from Radio City Music Hall on June 13.

Fitzgerald 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, he 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.

Fitzgerald got his acting start at Portland Players in South Portland when he was 8. He appeared on stage in "Oliver Twist."

He lives in New York with his wife and young child.

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 Tuesday's 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 head of lighting design at the California Institute of the Arts in Valencia, Calif.

Lavin was born in Portland and graduated from Deering High School, but 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.


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


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