Midler, Blanchett, Field score Tony nominations for best of Broadway

Jay Jacobs
May 16, 2017

Phillipa Soo and Lucas Steele in the opera "Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812", in May 2013.

In the nominations announced Tuesday morning in NY by Jane Krakowski and Christopher Jackson, no production came close to the record 16 nominations that "Hamilton" scooped up past year on the way to winning 11 statuettes.

Natasha, Pierre, & The Great Comet of 1812 is the most-nominated production with 12, capping off a wild and somewhat unlikely journey to Broadway.

There was little time to celebrate as "Come From Away" prepares for another show later on Tuesday. "To be recognized alongside those whose wonderful work I have admired from afar is a blessing I will forever carry in my heart".

"Come From Away" is only the second Canadian-written show in the 71-year history of the Tonys to vie for best musical, following 2006's "The Drowsy Chaperone", which won five awards.

This image released by O&M/DKC shows Ben Platt, center, during a performance of "Dear Evan Hansen".

Based on the 1993 film starring Bill Murray, the musical also had a successful run in London's West End.

"It's a fantastic season".

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IndieWire says Midler's nomination for her performance as matchmaker Dolly Levi, in her first Broadway appearance since 1979, was no surprise. "It's a robust expression of humanity".

Blanchett and co-star Richard Roxburgh made their Broadway debuts in the Sydney Theatre Company's The Present, an all-Australian adaptation of Anton Chekhov's 1878 play, Platonov. The show, which had its world premiere at the Yale Repertory Theatre in 2015, has a script by Paula Vogel, who has taught at the Yale School of Drama and once chaired that school's Playwriting Program.

Revival of a Play: "Jitney", "The Little Foxes", "Present Laughter", and "Six Degrees of Separation".

And star Andy Karl is up for best leading actor in a musical. Karl earned Broadway respect for struggling through opening night with a torn anterior cruciate ligament. "We all get up and we go for it".

GIA MAZUR, staff writer, contributed to this report.

Though conventional wisdom would suggest smash hit musical Dear Evan Hansen is still the likely frontrunner for Best Musical, with Great Comet scoring substantial support in technical categories the race may be closer than expected. It's encouraging that Nottage ("Ruined") and Vogel ("How I Learned to Drive"), two Pulitzer Prize-winning dramatists, are finally on Broadway after years of being bypassed for the latest David Mamet doodle. After all, it will be hard to top a show in which Hamilton took home Best Musical, Leslie Odom Jr. took home Best Lead Actor in a musical, for Hamilton, and Lin Manuel-Miranda gave the speech of a lifetime when he won Best Book of a Musical for Hamilton. The best musical revival candidates are "Hello, Dolly!". Celebrity actors nominated this year include Bette Midler, Cate Blanchett, Kevin Kline, Sally Field, Laurie Metcalf, and Danny DeVito.

Jenn Colella is in contention for best actress in a featured role in a musical for her portrayal of real-life retired airline Capt. Beverley Bass.

Bette Midler, who stars as the matchmaker in "Hello, Dolly!" will compete with "War Paint" stars Patti LuPone and Christine Ebersole; Denee Benton, of "Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812" and Eva Noblezada of "Miss Saigon".

Other reports by TheDailyFarc

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