'Kinky Boots,' 'Matilda lead Tony Award nominations - Omaha.com
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Billy Porter stars in a performance of "Kinky Boots," which has earned a leading 13 Tony Award nominations.(Matthew Murphy / O+M Company)


'Kinky Boots,' 'Matilda lead Tony Award nominations
By Mark Kennedy
Associated Press


NEW YORK — The Cyndi Lauper-scored “Kinky Boots” has earned a leading 13 Tony Award nominations, with the British import “Matilda: The Musical” close behind with 12.

“Kinky Boots” is based on the 2005 British movie about a real-life shoe factory that struggles until it finds new life in fetish footwear. Lauper's songs and a story by Harvey Fierstein have made it a crowd-pleaser.

“It's so great. It's so great. I'm done crying a little bit. But I'm still thrilled and a little stunned,” Lauper said.

RELATED: List of Tony Award nominations

The haul did not match the record number of nominations for a musical, which is 15, set by “The Producers” in 2001 and “Billy Elliot” in 2009.

“Lucky Guy,” Nora Ephron's portrait of Mike McAlary, a gutsy New York City newspaper columnist who won a Pulitzer Prize for exposing that a Haitian immigrant had been sodomized by police officers in 1997, got six nominations, including one for Tom Hanks as McAlary.

“This makes me both giddy and nervous, and it could not be more special,” Hanks said. “Before this began, I thought I knew what it would be like. But you can't imagine what it is. There's the muscle and the brain, but also the spirit and the heart. And it's fun, if fun also incorporates a huge amount of fear.”

In addition to Hanks, the leading actor in a play nominees are Nathan Lane for “The Nance,” Tracy Letts from “Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?,” David Hyde Pierce from “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike,” and Tom Sturridge from “Orphans.”

“Matilda: The Musical” is a witty musical adaptation of the novel by Roald Dahl and is true to his bleak vision of childhood as a savage battleground.

Both “Kinky Boots” and “Matilda” will compete for the best musical prize with the acrobatic “Bring It On: The Musical” and “A Christmas Story, The Musical,” adapted from the beloved holiday movie.

Among the flurry of nominations, “Kinky Boots” also earned Fierstein a nod for best book, David Rockwell got one for sets, Jerry Mitchell for both directing and for choreography, and nominations for its two leading men, Billy Porter and Stark Sands. Annaleigh Ashford earned a featured role nomination.

“Matilda” earned nominations for choreography, Matthew Warchus' directing, Chris Nightingale's orchestrations, best book by Dennis Kelly, Tim Minchin for lyrics and songs, and Bertie Carvel for best leading role in a musical.

Some big names snubbed this year were Jessica Chastain, Al Pacino, Alec Baldwin, Katie Holmes, Bette Midler, Sigourney Weaver, Paul Rudd and Scarlett Johansson. Emilia Clarke of HBO's “Game of Thrones” didn't get a nomination for “Breakfast at Tiffany's,” but the show came up empty Tuesday.

The best musical revival candidates are “Rodgers + Hammerstein's Cinderella,” “Annie,” “The Mystery of Edwin Drood” and “Pippin,” which nabbed 10 nominations.

Patina Miller, last on Broadway as the heroine of “Sister Act,” stepped into the Ben Vereen role of Leading Player in “Pippin” and earned her second straight nomination.

The producers of “Rodgers + Hammerstein's Cinderella” saw both their Cinderella — Laura Osnes — and her prince — Santino Fontana — nominated for leading roles in a musical.

Kenneth Posner had a great morning. The lighting designer got three nominations — for “Kinky Boots,” “Pippin” and “Rodgers + Hammerstein's Cinderella.” He will face off against Hugh Vanstone, the lighting designer for “Matilda: The Musical.”

The best play nominees are Richard Greenberg's “The Assembled Parties,” Ephron's “Lucky Guy,” Colm Toibin's “The Testament of Mary” and Christopher Durang's “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike.”

Durang's play earned Billy Magnussen a best featured actor nomination. He plays a somewhat dim boy toy in the play about a pair of depressive middle-aged siblings whose movie-star sister threatens to upend their quiet life.

The revival of Clifford Odets' “Golden Boy,” a play about a young man torn between his natural talent as a violinist and the fast money and fame of being a boxer, earned eight nominations, the most for any play.

Playwright Douglas Carter Beane earned a best book nomination for the lush, big musical “Rodgers + Hammerstein's Cinderella,” but not for his more intimate play “The Nance,” although it earned five nods.

The awards will be broadcast on CBS from Radio City Music Hall on June 9.


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