Tuner 'Wicked' flies high with 10 noms

This article was updated at 9:21 p.m.

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NEW YORK — Broadway’s wicked witches and flying monkeys are likely to be flying a little higher this week as the new musical “Wicked” celebrates its hoard of Tony nominations. The tuner topped Monday’s list with 10 citations.

The highly acclaimed revival of Stephen Sondheim and John Weidman’s “Assassins” received seven noms, the second-highest tally of any show.

Director Joe Mantello is the man of the moment on Broadway, it seems. A winner last year for directing the play “Take Me Out,” he helmed both “Wicked” and “Assassins,” and was nominated in the musical-directing category for his work on the revival. (There was some speculation that he might receive two mentions.)

Musical notes

Two of “Wicked’s” fellow contenders for the coveted musical prize, “Avenue Q” and “Caroline, or Change,” garnered a strong six noms each.

Although touts had easily predicted the contenders in many categories, there had been conjecture as to which of the season’s other, critically dismissed tuners would win the fourth slot in the musical category.

In the end, Hugh Jackman starrer “The Boy From Oz” won the slot, along with four other nominations, besting such also-rans as “Taboo” (which nevertheless received four key noms), “Bombay Dreams” (three) and “Never Gonna Dance” (two).

Jackman this year will host the Tonys for the second consecutive time, which some believe helped the tuner’s chances in the top category. Jackman’s perf was one of the most acclaimed of the year; had the musical been overlooked, there would have been no clear way for him to perform a number from it on the Tonys.

(Selections from the musical nominees are always performed on the telecast; in fact, some producers consider a nom almost as good as a win for this reason.)

With a pricetag of $14 million, the same as “Wicked’s,” “Bombay Dreams” is, in fact, one of the bigger losers in the Tony race, contending only in smaller-fry categories of choreography, orchestrations and costumes.

The contenders for the play Tony include, remarkably, two Pulitzer Prize winners: Doug Wright’s “I Am My Own Wife,” this year’s winner, and Nilo Cruz’s “Anna in the Tropics,” which took home that prize last year. Also contending are Bryony Lavery’s “Frozen,” a transfer from Off Broadway, and William Nicholson’s “The Retreat From Moscow,” now closed.

Revival lives on

The nominating committee, often accused of favoring still-running shows, bestowed several important nominations on shuttered plays and musicals this year.

The Roundabout Theater Co.’s innovative production of “Big River,” for example, ousted the currently running “Little Shop of Horrors” from the musical-revival category. The other nominees are “Assassins,” “Fiddler on the Roof” (six noms) and “Wonderful Town” (five).

The biggest Tony nom take for any play went to Lincoln Center Theater’s long-gone staging of Shakespeare’s “Henry IV.” The production garnered six, for play revival, director Jack O’Brien, actor Kevin Kline, and its set, costume and lighting designers.

Other plays receiving multiple mentions are “Frozen,” tapped for leading actress Swoosie Kurtz, featured actor Brian F. O’Byrne and director Doug Hughes; and “Jumpers,” selected in the play-revival category as well as for stars Simon Russell Beale and Essie Davis, and director David Leveaux. (Leveaux was not recognized in the musical director category for his work on “Fiddler on the Roof.”)

Also garnering four noms: “A Raisin in the Sun,” which was cited in the revival category and for all three of its femme performers, Phylicia Rashad (leading) plus Sanaa Lathan and Audra McDonald (featured). B.O. draw Sean Combs (aka P. Diddy), who received mostly negative reviews, was left out of the roll call.

Among other notable Tony nom facts:

  • Kathleen Marshall and lighting designer Brian MacDevitt each received two mentions, Marshall for directing and choreographing “Wonderful Town,” MacDevitt for his work on “Fiddler on the Roof” and “Henry IV.”

  • Four categories feature competitors from the same show: actress in a musical contenders Kristin Chenoweth and Idina Menzel from “Wicked”; featured actress in a musical nominees Beth Fowler and Isabel Keating from “The Boy From Oz”; Lathan and McDonald in “Raisin”; and Michael Cerveris and Denis O’Hare as featured actors in “Assassins.”

Nominations were announced at the Hudson Theater Monday morning; awards will be doled out at a ceremony June 6 at Radio City Music Hall, telecast on CBS.

The Tony Awards are presented by the League of American Theaters & Producers and the American Theater Wing.

And the nominees are…

PLAY
“Anna in the Tropics”
“Frozen”
“I Am My Own Wife”
“The Retreat from Moscow”

MUSICAL
“Avenue Q”
“Caroline, or Change”
“The Boy From Oz”
“Wicked”

BOOK OF A MUSICAL
Martin Sherman; original book, Nick Enright, “The Boy From Oz”
Winnie Holzman, “Wicked”
Tony Kushner, “Caroline, or Change”
Jeff Whitty, “Avenue Q”

ORIGINAL SCORE
Boy George, “Taboo”
Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx, “Avenue Q”
Stephen Schwartz, “Wicked”
Jeanine Tesori and Tony Kushner, “Caroline, or Change”

REVIVAL OF A PLAY
“A Raisin in the Sun”
“Henry IV”
“Jumpers”
“King Lear”

REVIVAL OF A MUSICAL
“Assassins”
“Big River”
“Fiddler on the Roof”
“Wonderful Town”

LEADING ACTOR IN A PLAY
Kevin Kline, “Henry IV”
Frank Langella, “Match”
Jefferson Mays, “I Am My Own Wife”
Christopher Plummer, “King Lear”
Simon Russell Beale, “Jumpers”

LEADING ACTRESS IN A PLAY
Eileen Atkins, “The Retreat from Moscow”
Tovah Feldshuh, “Golda’s Balcony”
Anne Heche, “Twentieth Century”
Swoosie Kurtz, “Frozen”
Phylicia Rashad, “A Raisin in the Sun”

LEADING ACTOR IN A MUSICAL
Hunter Foster, “Little Shop of Horrors”
Hugh Jackman, “The Boy From Oz”
Alfred Molina, “Fiddler on the Roof”
Euan Morton, “Taboo”
John Tartaglia, “Avenue Q”

LEADING ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL
Kristin Chenoweth, “Wicked”
Stephanie D’Abruzzo, “Avenue Q”
Idina Menzel, “Wicked”
Donna Murphy, “Wonderful Town”
Tonya Pinkins, “Caroline, or Change”

FEATURED ACTOR IN A PLAY
Tom Aldredge, “Twentieth Century”
Ben Chaplin, “The Retreat from Moscow”
Aiden Gillen, “The Caretaker”
Omar Metwally, “Sixteen Wounded”
Brian F. O’Byrne “Frozen”

FEATURED ACTRESS IN A PLAY
Essie Davis, “Jumpers”
Sanaa Lathan, “A Raisin in the Sun”
Margo Martindale, “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof”
Audra McDonald, “A Raisin in the Sun”
Daphne Rubin-Vega, “Anna in the Tropics”

FEATURED ACTOR IN A MUSICAL
John Cariani, “Fiddler on the Roof”
Michael Cerveris, “Assassins”
Raul Esparza, “Taboo”
Michael McElroy, “Big River”
Denis O’Hare, “Assassins”

FEATURED ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL
Beth Fowler, “The Boy From Oz”
Isabel Keating, “The Boy From Oz”
Anika Noni Rose, “Caroline, or Change”
Jennifer Westfeldt, “Wonderful Town”
Karen Ziemba, “Never Gonna Dance”

SCENIC DESIGN
Robert Brill, “Assassins”
Ralph Funicello, “Henry IV”
Eugene Lee, “Wicked”
Tom Pye, “Fiddler on the Roof”

COSTUME DESIGN
Jess Goldstein, “Henry IV”
Susan Hilferty, “Wicked”
Mike Nicholls and Bobby Pearce, “Taboo”
Mark Thompson, “Bombay Dreams”

LIGHTING DESIGN
Jules Fisher and Peggy Eisenhauer, “Assassins”
Brian MacDevitt, “Fiddler on the Roof”
Brian MacDevitt, “Henry IV”
Kenneth Posner, “Wicked”

DIRECTOR OF A PLAY
Doug Hughes, “Frozen”
Moises Kaufman, “I Am My Own Wife”
David Leveaux, “Jumpers”
Jack O’Brien, “Henry IV”

DIRECTOR OF A MUSICAL
Joe Mantello, “Assassins”
Kathleen Marshall, “Wonderful Town”
Jason Moore, “Avenue Q”
George C. Wolfe, “Caroline, or Change”

CHOREOGRAPHY
Wayne Cilento, “Wicked”
Kathleen Marshall, “Wonderful Town”
Jerry Mitchell, “Never Gonna Dance”
Anthony Van Laast and Farah Khan, “Bombay Dreams”

ORCHESTRATIONS
Paul Bogaev, Bombay Dreams”
William David Brohn, Wicked”
Michael Starobin, “Assassins”
Larry Hochman, “Fiddler on the Roof”

SPECIAL TONY AWARD
James M. Nederland for Lifetime Achivement in the Theatre

REGIONAL THEATRE TONY
Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park

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