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Tonys, Drama League Set Stage for Awards Season

Tonys rule on eligibility while League honors go to Bernadette Peters, Jerry Mitchell, Rockettes

New York legiters continued to lay the groundwork for the upcoming spring awards season, with the Tony Awards Administration Committee deeming the current Broadway staging of “Cinderella”eligible as a revival — but dubbing the new script a contender for a book nom — and the Drama League lining up Bernadette Peters, Jerry Mitchell and the Rockettes for honors at the 2013 Drama League Awards.

The Tony admin committee, which meets four times per season to decide any outstanding eligibility questions, had only two shows to debate at the most recent meeting, thanks to the timing of this year’s spring sked. January opener “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof,” toplined by Scarlett Johansson, was deemed to fall under the usual Tony guidelines that categorize above-the-title thesps as leading players and below-the-title actors as featured.

“Cinderella,” meanwhile, presented more of a challenge but the outcome was largely to be expected, with the musical, a revised version of the Rodgers and Hammerstein tuner, in the running for a potential musical revival nomination but the extensively rewritten book by Douglas Carter Beane now in the mix for a possible book writing nom.

The other, seemingly less likely possibility might have seen “Cinderella” slotted into the new musical race, because the 1957 musical, originally written for TV, had never appeared on Broadway before the current run.

Unsurprisingly, the below-the-title “Cinderella” thesps who play the title character and her prince, Laura Osnes and Santino Fontana, were tagged as leads.

Tony nominations are due to be announced April 30, in the thick of a legit awards season that will include the May 17 ceremony for the 79th annual Drama League Awards.

This year’s special Drama League honors, announced prior to the noms in the org’s handful of competitive categories, go to Peters for achievement in musical theater; Mitchell, the helmer of soon-to-open Rialto tuner “Kinky Boots,” for excellence in directing; and to Madison Square Garden Entertainment and Rockettes for unique contribution to theater.

Drama League nominations in competish categories are set to be announced April 23.

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