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 at 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 the father of young boxing hero Joe Bonaparte.

In its review, The New York Times said Shalhoub played his role with “impressive delicacy.” Reviewer Charles Isherwood wrote, “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 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. She was nominated for best performance by an actress in a featured role in a musical.

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

The awards will be presented June 9, and the ceremony will be televised live on CBS.


Bob Keyes can be contacted at 791-6457 or at [email protected]

Twitter: pphbkeyes