Springtime kudos for ‘Producers’

Brooks musical leads Tony noms with record 15; 'Monty' strips in 10

See complete list of Tony nominees

As befits a show that has taken not just Broadway but seemingly all of Gotham by storm, “The Producers” made history Monday, racking up a record-setting 15 nominations for the 55th annual Tony Awards.

The awards ceremony takes place on June 3 at Radio City Music Hall, and will be hosted by “Producers” stars Matthew Broderick and Nathan Lane.

“The Producers” was cited in every category in which it was eligible. Mel Brooks could take home three trophies himself: for the score; along with Thomas Meehan for the show’s book; and as a producer he is among the names included in the show’s best musical citation.

The show’s entire cast of principals was singled out: Lane and Broderick for leading actor in a musical; Cady Huffman for featured actress; and Roger Bart (Carmen Ghia), Gary Beach (Roger DeBris) and Brad Oscar (Franz Liebkind) for featured actor.

The show’s other nominations were for Susan Stroman’s direction and choreography, Robin Wagner’s sets, William Ivey Long’s costumes, Peter Kaczorowski’s lighting and Doug Besterman’s orchestrations.

Record set in 1971

The show’s tally broke a record set in 1971 by “Company,” the Stephen Sondheim musical that took 14 nominations and went on to win seven Tonys, including best musical.

The record for most wins is held by “Hello, Dolly!,” which nabbed 10 trophies of 11 nominations in 1964. “Producers” has a chance to break that record. With two nominees in one category and three in another, it could win as many as 12 trophies (barring a tie).

Brooks & Co. weren’t the only shows celebrating healthy Tony tallies, however. “The Full Monty” came in second place with a strong 10 nominations, including best musical. The revival of “42nd Street” nabbed nine — one more than it secured when the show was originally produced on Broadway in 1980.

“Full Monty” producer Lindsay Law expressed satisfaction at the Tony announcements. “Ten nominations is a lot, regardless of that other show. Don’t let that accomplishment be overshadowed,” Law cautioned with a laugh. “I’m pleased because it is the whole gang. You get terrified if someone in your show is left out.”

‘Proof’ in the noms

August Wilson’s “King Hedley II” and David Auburn’s Pulitzer Prize-winner “Proof” tied with six nominations each, including respective nods in the best play category. Rounding out that category, an unusually competitive one this season, were Tom Stoppard’s “The Invention of Love” and Charles Busch’s “The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife.”

Left out of the best-play running were Tony favorite Neil Simon’s “The Dinner Party,” Marie Jones’ Irish import “Stones in His Pockets” and Abby Mann’s “Judgment at Nuremberg.”

The Tony announcements were especially welcome news for “Jane Eyre” and “A Class Act,” both of which were nominated in the best-musical category and tallied five noms each. Both shows were also cited for best actress, score and book, and “Jane Eyre” was cited for its lighting while “Class Act” won a nom for orchestrations. The two musicals have been struggling at the box office since they opened in December and March, respectively.

(In the case of “A Class Act,” composer-lyricist Edward Kleban is nominated 14 years after his death. Previous posthumous nominees include Tennessee Williams, a nominee two years ago for his early play “Not About Nightingales.”)

New class

In an unusual turn, “A Class Act” producer Marty Bell said the show’s multiple noms would bring about a recasting of the leads, with the exception of Randy Graff, who took a nom for best actress in a musical.

“Now we’re liberated to do some star casting,” Bell said. “In this market of well-known titles, it is impossible to do a show without star names. It was probably a mistake from day one for us. We’re going to Weissler-ize the show,” he added, referring to Barry and Fran Weissler’s use of rotating stars in “Seussical.”

Among new musicals most conspicuously overlooked this season were “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” (two noms, for lighting and set design) and the aforementioned “Seussical,” which was the least honored musical to open on Broadway this season. It garnered just one nomination: Kevin Chamberlin for actor in a musical.

As is regularly the case, all four musical revivals produced on Broadway this season were given nominations in that category: “Bells Are Ringing,” “Follies,” “42nd Street” and “The Rocky Horror Show.”

The latter two also scored nods in the hotly contested category for director of a musical. Nominees Stroman, Jack O’Brien (“The Full Monty”), Mark Bramble (“42nd Street”) and Christopher Ashley (“Rocky Horror Show”) beat out competition that included Lonny Price (“A Class Act”) and Scott Schwartz and John Caird (“Jane Eyre”) as well as Brit helmer Matthew Warchus (“Follies”).

O’Brien replicated Michael Blakemore’s feat the previous season, being cited for director of a musical as well as a play (“The Invention of Love”). Blakemore went on to win both helmer prizes, for “Kiss Me, Kate” and “Copenhagen.”

Multiple noms

Categories featuring more than one nominee from a single show included featured actor in a musical, in which the trio from “Producers” takes on a duo from “The Full Monty,” Andre de Shields and John Ellison Conlee; and actor in a play, in which both Sean Campion and Conleth Hill from “Stones in His Pockets” compete with Richard Easton (“Invention of Love”), Brian Stokes Mitchell (“King Hedley II”) and Gary Sinise (“One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”).

Several special Tony Awards were granted. They include one in the new category of special theatrical event, given to the production of “Blast!” The category was created last season following controversy surrounding the inclusion of “Contact” in the musical category (the show did not have an original score or use a live orchestra).

The Tony Award for regional theater goes to Victory Gardens Theater of Chicago, with a Tony for lifetime achievement to be presented to musical director Paul Gemignani. Theatre World, New Dramatists, and Betty Corwin and the Theatre on Film and Tape Archive at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center will each receive a Tony honor for excellence in theater.

Reba McEntire, starring in “Annie Get Your Gun,” and Eric McCormack, who makes his Broadway debut today in “The Music Man” announced the Tony Award nominees on Monday at Sardi’s.

And the nominees are…


“The Invention of Love” by Tom Stoppard. Produced by Lincoln Center Theater, Andre Bishop, Bernard Gersten.

“King Hedley II” by August Wilson. Produced by Sageworks, Benjamin Mordecai, Jujamcyn Theaters, 52nd Street Prods., Spring Sirkin, Peggy Hill, Manhattan Theatre Club, Kardana-Swinsky Prods.

“Proof” by David Auburn. Produced by Manhattan Theatre Club, Lynne Meadow, Barry Grove, Roger Berlind, Carole Shorenstein Hays, Jujamcyn Theaters, Ostar Enterprises, Daryl Roth, Stuart Thompson.

“The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife” by Charles Busch. Produced by Manhattan Theatre Club, Lynne Meadow, Barry Grove, Carole Shorenstein Hays, Daryl Roth, Stuart Thompson. Douglas S. Cramer.


“A Class Act,” produced by Marty Bell, Chase Mishkin, Arielle Tepper, Manhattan Theatre Club.

“The Full Monty,” produced by Fox Searchlight Pictures, Lindsay Law, Thomas Hall.

“Jane Eyre,” produced by Annette Niemtzow, Janet Robinson, Pamela Koslow, Margaret McFeeley Golden, Jennifer Manocherian, Carolyn Kim McCarthy.

“The Producers,” produced by Rocco Landesman, SFX Theatrical Group, the Frankel-Baruch-Viertel-Routh Group, Bob and Harvey Weinstein, Rick Steiner, Robert F.X. Sillerman, Mel Brooks, James D. Stern/Douglas Meyer.


Mel Brooks and Thomas Meehan, “The Producers”

John Caird, “Jane Eyre”

Linda Kline and Lonny Price, “A Class Act”

Terrence McNally, “The Full Monty”


Mel Brooks, “The Producers”

Paul Gordon and John Caird, “Jane Eyre”

Edward Kleban, “A Class Act”

David Yazbek, “The Full Monty”


“Betrayal,” produced by Roundabout Theatre Co., Todd Haimes, Ellen Richard, Julia C. Levy.

“Gore Vidal’s The Best Man,” produced by Jeffrey Richards/Michael B. Rothfeld, Raymond J. Greenwald, Jerry Frankel, Darren Bagert.

“One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” produced by Michael Leavitt, Fox Theatricals, Anita Waxman, Elizabeth Williams, John York Noble, Randall L. Wreghitt, Dori Berinstein, Steppenwolf Theatre Co.

“The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe,” produced by Tomlin and Wagner Theatricalz.


“Bells Are Ringing,” produced by Mitchell Maxwell, Mark Balsam, Victoria Maxwell, Robert Barandes, Mark Goldberg, Anthony R. Russo, James. L. Simon, Fred H. Krones, Allen M. Shore, Momentum Prods.

“Follies,” produced by Roundabout Theatre Co., Todd Haimes, Ellen Richard, Julia C. Levy.

“42nd Street,” produced by Dodger Theatricals, Joop van den Ende, Stage Holding.

“The Rocky Horror Show,” produced by Jordan Roth, Christopher Malcolm, Howard Panter, Richard O’Brien, the Rocky Horror Co.


Sean Campion, “Stones in His Pockets”

Richard Easton, “The Invention of Love”

Conleth Hill, “Stones in His Pockets”

Gary Sinise, “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”

Brian Stokes Mitchell, “King Hedley II”


Juliette Binoche, “Betrayal”

Linda Lavin, “The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife”

Mary-Louise Parker, “Proof”

Jean Smart, “The Man Who Came to Dinner”

Leslie Uggams, “King Hedley II”


Matthew Broderick, “The Producers”

Kevin Chamberlin, “Seussical”

Tom Hewitt, “The Rocky Horror Show”

Nathan Lane, “The Producers”

Patrick Wilson, “The Full Monty”


Blythe Danner, “Follies”

Christine Ebersole, “42nd Street”

Randy Graff, “A Class Act”

Faith Prince, “Bells Are Ringing”

Marla Schaffel, “Jane Eyre”


Charles Brown, “King Hedley II”

Larry Bryggman, “Proof”

Michael Hayden, “Judgment at Nuremberg”

Robert Sean Leonard, “The Invention of Love”

Ben Shenkman, “Proof”


Viola Davis, “King Hedley II”

Johanna Day, “Proof”

Penny Fuller, “The Dinner Party”

Marthe Keller, “Judgment at Nuremberg”

Michele Lee, “The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife”


Roger Bart, “The Producers”

Gary Beach, “The Producers”

John Ellison Conlee, “The Full Monty”

Andre De Shields, “The Full Monty”

Brad Oscar, “The Producers”


Polly Bergen, “Follies”

Kathleen Freeman, “The Full Monty”

Cady Huffman, “The Producers”

Kate Levering, “42nd Street”

Mary Testa, “42nd Street”


Bob Crowley, “The Invention of Love”

Heidi Ettinger, “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer”

Douglas W. Schmidt, “42nd Street”

Robin Wagner, “The Producers”


Theoni V. Aldredge, “Follies”

Roger Kirk, “42nd Street”

William Ivey Long, “The Producers”

David C. Woolard, “The Rocky Horror Show”


Jules Fisher and Peggy Eisenhauer, “Jane Eyre”

Paul Gallo, “42nd Street”

Peter Kaczorowski, “The Producers”

Kenneth Posner, “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer”


Jerry Mitchell, “The Full Monty”

Jim Moore, George Pinney and John Vanderkloff, “Blast!”

Randy Skinner, “42nd Street”

Susan Stroman, “The Producers”


Marion McClinton, “King Hedley II”

Ian McElhinney, “Stones in His Pockets”

Jack O’Brien, “The Invention of Love”

Daniel Sullivan, “Proof”


Christopher Ashley, “The Rocky Horror Show”

Mark Bramble, “42nd Street”

Jack O’Brien, “The Full Monty”

Susan Stroman, “The Producers”


Doug Besterman, “The Producers”

Larry Hochman, “A Class Act”

Jonathan Tunick, “Follies”

Harold Wheeler, “The Full Monty”