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Top tuners dominate Oliviers

'Festen' tops play noms

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LONDON — London’s “big three” new musicals — “The Woman in White,” “The Producers” and “Mary Poppins” — grabbed 22 nominations among them Thursday for the Laurence Olivier Awards.

They will duke it out for top musical when the winners are announced Feb. 20 at the Hilton Hotel.

Leading the nonmusical brigade was director Rufus Norris’ English-language stage premiere of the Danish film “Festen.” The Broadway-bound family drama got five mentions, including play and director for Norris.

Facing off against “Festen” are Alan Bennett’s “The History Boys” with four noms, Edward Albee’s “The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia?” with three and — a surprise choice — Marina Carr’s critically derided “By the Bog of Cats.”

The director category is always hotly contested, since it doesn’t distinguish between plays and musicals. In addition to “Festen’s” Norris, this year’s short list consists of Nicholas Hytner (“History Boys”), Richard Eyre (“Mary Poppins”) and Susan Stroman (“The Producers”).

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But the three musicals made easily the biggest noise, starting with nine noms for “Poppins.” The musicals fill the entire list in some categories. Actress in a musical, for instance, consists of one performer from each tuner: Maria Friedman (“Woman in White”), Laura Michelle Kelly (“Mary Poppins”) and Leigh Zimmerman (“Producers”).

Ditto supporting perf in a musical, male or female: Michael Crawford (“Woman in White”), Conleth Hill (“Producers”) and David Haig (“Mary Poppins”).

Lane, Evans share category

For actor in a musical, “Producers'” original West End co-stars, Nathan Lane and Lee Evans, go head to head with Gavin Lee, who plays Bert in “Mary Poppins.” Completing the lineup is Paul Hegarty, who has the title role in the West End revival of “Sweeney Todd.”

“Sweeney” also figures in the musical production category, which includes revivals. It’s up against the National’s sellout staging of another Stephen Sondheim show, “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum” as well as the still-running “Grand Hotel” and “Simply Heavenly.”

Actor in a play pits three stalwarts — Michael Gambon (“Endgame”), Richard Griffiths (“History Boys”) and Jonathan Pryce (“The Goat”) — against young newcomer Ben Whishaw, a recent drama school grad who created a sensation as Hamlet at the Old Vic last spring.

The list for actress in a play is headed by Victoria Hamilton, who won the same prize from the Evening Standard Theater Awards in December for playing Catherine in “Suddenly Last Summer” on the West End last spring. She’s up against Clare Higgins (“Hecuba”), Anna Maxwell Martin (“His Dark Materials”) and Caroline O’Connor (“Bombshells”).

Lucky 13

Supporting perf, male or female, in a play has landed Judi Dench with her 13th Olivier mention, for playing the Countess of Roussillon in the Royal Shakespeare Company’s acclaimed “All’s Well That Ends Well.” Rounding out the nominees are Amanda Harris (“Othello”), Samuel Barnett (“History Boys”) and Eddie Redmayne (“The Goat”).

“All’s Well” is up for revival of a play against Matthew Warchus’ revelatory West End “Endgame”; the Old Vic “Hamlet”; and “Journey’s End,” which is in its third West End theater since opening nearly a year ago.

Stroman is up for choreographer for the Mel Brooks musical, against Adam Cooper (“Grand Hotel”) and Matthew Bourne and Stephen Mear (“Mary Poppins”).

Unlike Broadway’s Tonys, the Oliviers include opera and dance in their prize-giving. This year’s Oliviers will follow the example of last year’s festivities in being held over a gala supper that will not be televised.

NOMINATIONS FOR THE 2005 LAURENCE OLIVIER AWARDS

ACTRESS

Victoria Hamilton for “Suddenly Last Summer” at the Albery
Clare Higgins for “Hecuba” at the Donmar Warehouse
Anna Maxwell Martin for “His Dark Materials” at the Olivier
Caroline O’Connor for “Bombshells” at the Arts

ACTOR

Michael Gambon for “Endgame” at the Albery
Richard Griffiths for “The History Boys” at the Lyttelton
Jonathan Pryce for “The Goat, or Who is Sylvia?” at the Almeida and Apollo
Ben Whishaw for “Hamlet” at The Old Vic

PERFORMANCE IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

Samuel Barnett for “The History Boys” at the Lyttelton
Judi Dench for “All’s Well That Ends Well” at the Gielgud
Amanda Harris for OTHELLO at Trafalgar Studios
Eddie Redmayne for “The Goat, or Who is Sylvia?” at the Almeida and Apollo

NEW PLAY

“By the Bog of Cats” by Marina Carr at Wyndhams
“Festen” A dramatisation by David Eldridge Based on the Dogme film and play by Thomas Vinterberg, Mogens Rukov and Bo hr. Hansen at the Almeida and the Lyric
“The Goat, or Who is Sylvia?” by Edward Albee at the Almeida and the Apollo
“The History Boys” by Alan Bennett at the Lyttelton

REVIVAL

“All’s Well That Ends Well” by William Shakespeare at the Gielgud
“Endgame” by Samuel Beckett at the Albery
“Hamlet” by William Shakespeare at The Old Vic
“Journey’s End” by R C Sherriff at the Comedy, Playhouse and Duke of York’s

NEW MUSICAL

“Mary Poppins” a musical based on the stories of PL Travers and the Walt Disney Film, Original music and lyrics by Richard M Sherman and Robert B Sherman; book by Julian Fellowes; new songs and additional music and lyrics by George Stiles and Anthony Drewe; co- created by Cameron Mackintosh at the Prince Edward
“The Producers” book by Mel Brooks & Thomas Meehan, music and lyrics by Mel Brooks and by special arrangement with StudioCanal at Theatre Royal, Drury Lane
“The Woman in White” a new musical freely adapted from the classic novel by Wilkie Collins, music by Andrew Lloyd Webber, lyrics by David Zippel, book by Charlotte Jones at the Palace

OUTSTANDING MUSICAL PRODUCTION

“A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum”, book by Burt Shevelove & Larry Gelbart, music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim at the Olivier
“Grand Hotel” book by Luther Davis, Music & lyrics by Robert Wright and George Forrest, additional music and lyrics by Maury Yeston based on Vicki Baum’s Grand Hotel at the Donmar Warehouse
“Simply Heavenly” book and lyrics by Langston Hughes, music by David Martin at Trafalgar Studios
“Sweeney Todd” music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim book by Hugh Wheeler from an adaptation by Christopher Bond at Trafalgar Studios and the New Ambassadors

ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL

Maria Friedman for “The Woman in White” at the Palace
Leigh Zimmerman for “The Producers” at Theatre Royal, Drury Lane
Laura Michelle Kelly for “Mary Poppins” at the Prince Edward

ACTOR IN A MUSICAL

Lee Evans for “The Producers” at Theatre Royal, Drury Lane
Paul Hegarty for “Sweeney Todd” at Trafalgar Studios and New Ambassadors
Nathan Lane for “The Producers” at Theatre Royal, Drury Lane
Gavin Lee for “Mary Poppins” at the Prince Edward

PERFORMANCE IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A MUSICAL

Michael Crawford for “The Woman in White” at the Palace
David Haig for “Mary Poppins” at the Prince Edward
Conleth Hill for “The Producers” at Theatre Royal, Drury Lane

DIRECTOR

Richard Eyre for “Mary Poppins” at the Prince Edward
Nicholas Hytner for “The History Boys” at the Lyttelton
Rufus Norris for “Festen” at the Almeida and Lyric
Susan Stroman for “The Producers” at Theatre Royal, Drury Lane

THEATRE CHOREOGRAPHER

Matthew Bourne and Stephen Mear for “Mary Poppins” at the Prince Edward
Adam Cooper for “Grand Hotel” at the Donmar Warehouse
Susan Stroman for “The Producers” at Theatre Royal, Drury Lane

LIGHTING DESIGN

“All’s Well That Ends Well” designed by Paul Pyant at the Gielgud
“Festen” designed by Jean Kalman at the Almeida and Lyric
“His Dark Materials” designed by Paule Constable at the Olivier
“Mary Poppins” designed by Howard Harrison at the Prince Edward

SET DESIGN

“Festen” designed by Ian McNeil at the Almeida and Lyric
“His Dark Materials” designed by Giles Cadle at the Olivier
“Mary Poppins” designed by Bob Crowley at the Prince Edward
“Suddenly Last Summer” designed by Christopher Oram at the Albery
“The Woman in White” designed by William Dudley at the Palace

COSTUME DESIGN

“All’s Well That Ends Well” designed by Deirdre Clancey at the Gielgud
“Hamlet” designed by John Gunter and Mark Bouman at The Old Vic
“Mary Poppins” designed by Bob Crowley at the Prince Edward
“The Producers” designed by William Ivey Long at Theatre Royal, Drury Lane

SOUND DESIGN

“Festen” designed by Paul Arditti at the Almeida and Lyric
“Suddenly Last Summer” designed by Adam Cork at the Albery
“The Woman in White” designed by Mick Potter at the Palace

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT OR PERFORMANCE IN AN AFFILIATE THEATRE

Kevin Harvey for his performance in “Yellowman” at Hampstead
Aidan McArdle for his performance in “The Shadow of a Gunman” at the Tricycle
Andrew Scott for his performance in “A Girl in a Car with a Man” at the Jerwood Theatre Upstairs at the Royal Court
The Tricycle Theatre for its production of “Guantanamo”

NEW OPERA PRODUCTION

The Royal Opera’s “Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk” at the Royal Opera House
Les Arts Florissants, Compagnie Montalvo-Hervieu, Théâtre Du Châtelet and Bite 04’s “Les Paladins” at the Barbican
The Royal Opera’s “Peter Grimes” at the Royal Opera House

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN OPERA

Ben Heppner for The Royal Opera’s “Peter Grimes”
John McFarlane for his designs of The Royal Opera’s “Peter Grimes” and “Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk” at the Royal Opera House
The Orchestra of the Royal Opera House under the musical direction of Antonio Pappano for their season’s work
Thomas Adès and the Royal Opera House for the world premiere of “The Tempest”

NEW DANCE PRODUCTION

Northern Ballet Theatre’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” at Sadler’s Wells
Royal New Zealand Ballet’s “Milagros” at Sadler’s Wells
Royal New Zealand Ballet’s “Romeo and Juliet” at Sadler’s Wells
Rambert Dance Company’s “Swamp” at Sadler’s Wells

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN DANCE

Julien Macdonald for his costume designs for Richard Alston Dance Company’s “Shimmer” at Sadler’s Wells
San Francisco Ballet for their season at Sadler’s Wells
The Royal Ballet for their recreation of “Sylvia” at the Royal Opera House
Rambert Dance Company for the range and quality of new work in their November season at Sadler’s Well