The 2009 Tony Awards Nominations Have Been Announced

'Billy Elliot' leads the pack, 'Equus' gets pretty much shut-out

Sex and the City star Cynthia Nixon and In The Heights composer and actor Lin-Manuel Miranda were both on hand at The New York Public Library for Performing Arts in NYC this morning to announce the nominations for the 2009 (Antoinette Perry) Tony Awards (which honor “theatre professionals for distinguished achievement”). The musical Billy Elliot walked away with the most nominations this year, a record-tying 15 nominations. What is most surprising to me, tho, is the fact that the revival play Equus got almost completely shut out … garnering only 2 nominations (one for lighting design, one for sound design) and none for actor Daniel Radcliffe. But, Elton John‘s musical Billy Elliot did resonate well with the Tony Awards Academy having garnered the most noms this year:


Sir Elton John: Get out your tutu. The Rocket Man’s musical Billy Elliot, about a British working-class boy’s desire to dance, scored an impressive 15 Tony nominations, including best musical, it was announced Tuesday morning. Billy will compete in the top category with Next to Normal, a brash musical about a mother’s nervous breakdown; the pop compendium Rock of Ages; and Shrek the Musical. Dolly Parton’s just-opened 9 to 5 was among those overlooked in the best musical category, though one of its stars, Allison Janney, received a nod in the leading actress race. Among dramas and comedies, the best play nominees are Horton Foote’s sly Dividing the Estate, about a money-strapped Texas family; the brittle God of Carnage, starring four Tony nominees (James Gandolfini, Jeff Daniels, Marcia Gay Harden and Hope Davis); Neal LaBute’s romantic drama Reasons To Be Pretty, and 33 Variations, which stars the nominated Jane Fonda as a dying musicologist. Winners will be announced Sunday, June 7, during a three-hour CBS telecast from Radio City Music Hall.

Having seen Billy Elliot myself, I am not surprised that it managed to garner so many nominations. The show is really pretty fantanstic, most especially since the young boys who play Billy are all so talented. I am thrilled that the three of them — David Alvarez, Trent Kowalik, and Kiril Kulish — will share in their Lead Actor in a Musical nomination, meaning if they win then they all win together. I am really very bummed that Equus didn’t so so well with the noms … particularly because I thought Daniel Radcliffe put on a phenomenal performance. The poor guy stripped bare nekkid and he still didn’t get a nomination. I was *sure* that he would get recognized for his performance. It’s a damn shame because he, IMHO, really deserved at the very least a nomination for his performance. After the jump, check out a couple pics of Cynthia Nixon and Lin-Manuel Miranda from this morning’s Tony Awards nominations announcement event and see a full list of the 27 categories (and 4 special categories) and nominees …


Best Play
Dividing the Estate Author: Horton Foote
God of Carnage Author: Yasmina Reza
Reasons to Be Pretty Author: Neil LaBute
33 Variations Author: Moisés Kaufman

Best Musical
Billy Elliot, The Musical
Next to Normal
Rock of Ages
Shrek The Musical

Best Book of a Musical
Billy Elliot, The Musical Lee Hall
Next to Normal Brian Yorkey
Shrek The Musical David Lindsay-Abaire
[Title of Show] Hunter Bell

Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) Written for the Theatre
Billy Elliot, The Musical
Music: Elton John
Lyrics: Lee Hall

Next to Normal
Music: Tom Kitt
Lyrics: Brian Yorkey

9 to 5: The Musical
Music & Lyrics: Dolly Parton

Shrek The Musical
Music: Jeanine Tesori
Lyrics: David Lindsay-Abaire

Best Revival of a Play
Joe Turner’s Come and Gone
Mary Stuart – New Version: Peter Oswald
The Norman Conquests
Waiting for Godot

Best Revival of a Musical
Guys and Dolls
Hair
Pal Joey
West Side Story

Best Special Theatrical Event
Liza’s at The Palace
Slava’s Snowshow
Soul of Shaolin
You’re Welcome America. A Final Night with George W. Bush

Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Play
Jeff Daniels, God of Carnage
Raúl Esparza, Speed-the-Plow
James Gandolfini, God of Carnage
Geoffrey Rush, Exit the King
Thomas Sadoski, Reasons to Be Pretty

Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Play
Hope Davis, God of Carnage
Jane Fonda, 33 Variations
Marcia Gay Harden, God of Carnage
Janet McTeer, Mary Stuart
Harriet Walter, Mary Stuart

Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical
David Alvarez, Trent Kowalik, and Kiril Kulish – Billy Elliot, The Musical
Gavin Creel, Hair
Brian d’Arcy James, Shrek The Musical
Constantine Maroulis, Rock of Ages
J. Robert Spencer, Next to Normal

Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical
Stockard Channing, Pal Joey
Sutton Foster, Shrek The Musical
Allison Janney, 9 to 5: The Musical
Alice Ripley, Next to Normal
Josefina Scaglione, West Side Story

Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Play
John Glover, Waiting for Godot
Zach Grenier, 33 Variations
Stephen Mangan, The Norman Conquests
Paul Ritter, The Norman Conquests
Roger Robinson, Joe Turner’s Come and Gone

Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Play
Hallie Foote, Dividing the Estate
Jessica Hynes, The Norman Conquests
Marin Ireland, Reasons to Be Pretty
Angela Lansbury, Blithe Spirit
Amanda Root, The Norman Conquests

Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical
David Bologna, Billy Elliot, The Musical
Gregory Jbara, Billy Elliot, The Musical
Marc Kudisch, 9 to 5: The Musical
Christopher Sieber, Shrek The Musical
Will Swenson, Hair

Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical
Jennifer Damiano, Next to Normal
Haydn Gwynne, Billy Elliot, The Musical
Karen Olivo, West Side Story
Martha Plimpton, Pal Joey
Carole Shelley, Billy Elliot, The Musical

Best Scenic Design of a Play
Dale Ferguson, Exit the King
Rob Howell, The Norman Conquests
Derek McLane, 33 Variations
Michael Yeargan, Joe Turner’s Come and Gone

Best Scenic Design of a Musical
Robert Brill, Guys and Dolls
Ian MacNeil, Billy Elliot, The Musical
Scott Pask, Pal Joey
Mark Wendland, Next to Normal

Best Costume Design of a Play
Dale Ferguson, Exit the King
Jane Greenwood, Waiting for Godot
Martin Pakledinaz, Blithe Spirit
Anthony Ward, Mary Stuart

Best Costume Design of a Musical
Gregory Gale, Rock of Ages
Nicky Gillibrand, Billy Elliot, The Musical
Tim Hatley, Shrek The Musical
Michael McDonald, Hair

Best Lighting Design of a Play
David Hersey, Equus
David Lander, 33 Variations
Brian MacDevitt, Joe Turner’s Come and Gone
Hugh Vanstone, Mary Stuart

Best Lighting Design of a Musical
Kevin Adams, Hair
Kevin Adams, Next to Normal
Howell Binkley, West Side Story
Rick Fisher, Billy Elliot, The Musical

Best Sound Design of a Play
Paul Arditti, Mary Stuart
Gregory Clarke, Equus
Russell Goldsmith, Exit the King
Scott Lehrer and Leon Rothenberg, Joe Turner’s Come and Gone

Best Sound Design of a Musical
Acme Sound Partners, Hair
Paul Arditti, Billy Elliot, The Musical
Peter Hylenski, Rock of Ages
Brian Ronan, Next to Normal

Best Direction of a Play
Phyllida Lloyd, Mary Stuart
Bartlett Sher, Joe Turner’s Come and Gone
Matthew Warchus, God of Carnage
Matthew Warchus, The Norman Conquests

Best Direction of a Musical
Stephen Daldry, Billy Elliot, The Musical
Michael Greif, Next to Normal
Kristin Hanggi, Rock of Ages
Diane Paulus, Hair

Best Choreography
Karole Armitage, Hair
Andy Blankenbuehler, 9 to 5: The Musical
Peter Darling, Billy Elliot, The Musical
Randy Skinner, Irving Berlin’s White Christmas

Best Orchestrations
Larry Blank, Irving Berlin’s White Christmas
Martin Koch, Billy Elliot, The Musical
Michael Starobin and Tom Kitt, Next to Normal
Danny Troob and John Clancy, Shrek The Musical

Special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre
Jerry Herman

Regional Theatre Tony Award
Signature Theatre, Arlington, Va.

Isabelle Stevenson Award
Phyllis Newman

Tony Honor for Excellence in the Theatre
Shirley Herz

Again, the Tony Awards will be handed out LIVE on CBS on June 7. What do you theater fans think … happy, sad, indifferent?

[Photo credit: Wireimage; Source, Source]

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  1. Ashley H

    BE is phenom, it deserves every award it wins!

  2. sd

    Bummer for Dan and so many others! They nominated those productions that are still running ! Unfair to those productions that have already ended and therefor cannot benefit from the publicity boost.

  3. Jennifer

    Billy Elliot deserved every nomination and I feel bad for Frank Dolce who also plays Michael didnt get nominated but David Bologna did its too bad they couldnt share the nomination like the 3 Billy’s did. I am so pleased with all the nominations this year. I also felt bad that Daniel Radcliffe didnt receive a nomination. Is anyone else shocked that Constantine was nominated for Rock of Ages? I have yet to see this show (although I hear it is quite fun) I didn’t expect him to get a nomination.

    • @Jennifer — “Is anyone else shocked that Constantine was nominated for Rock of Ages?” OMG YES!!! I haven’t seen the show yet, either, but I cannot believe that he would get nominated while Radcliffe did not. WTF?

  4. kiddo

    Rock of Ages is sooooo much fun! Definitely a must see!!
    And Constantine was GOOD in it! not AMAZING but GOOD.

    I’m most shocked of 9 to 5 being shut out! I LOVED it!!! I thought the 3 main ladies would get nominated for actress! they were all so great. I though the musical deserved a nomination instead of Shrek, which was awful in my opinion.

  5. Ashley

    I also thought Radcliffe’s performance was phenomenal. I haven’t seen any of the nominated plays, though, so I don’t want to judge if the Best Actor noms are deserving or not.

    It disgusts me how many nominations Shrek got. It was not even worth the $10 discount ticket I got to see it. None of the actors delivered stellar performances, the songs are so-so, at times stupid, and definitely don’t merit a Best Original Score nomination, and much of the dialogue is lifted straight from the film, but without Myers and Murphy, is not nearly as funny. If Shrek wins anything but costume design, it will be a travesty. Let’s hope Billy Elliot and the other musicals win those awards!

  6. Jennifer

    @kiddo I was shocked about 9-5 as well. Allison Janney was nominated but neither Stephanie J. Block or Megan Hilty were who are both amazing in their own right. I have not seen 9-5 yet but I have heard nothing but great things about it. I refuse to spend the money to see Shrek but Sutton Foster is great I can’t speak for her Fiona though having not seen the how.

    I found out the reason both Michael’s from Billy Elliot were not nominated was because David Bologna performed opening night so that was why he was considered alone. Its sad because these 2 boys share the role. I cannot wait for Tony night!!

  7. N2Nfan

    I’m shocked Aaron Tveit didn’t get nominated for best featured actor for Next to Normal. He is a star and he will be around for a very long time… his time will come, wish it was now. He’s going to do Catch Me if You Can the Musical this summer in it’s Seattle premiere. I kinda want to go up there at see it!

    Go see Next to Normal. It’s brills!

  8. purplesummer

    JENNIFER DAMIANO!!!!! =D

  9. James

    For this year, there is no best musical unless Rock of Ages is not awarded. It doesnt just give good memory for 80s rock musics. Every single song touched heart with precious tears. It’s livable year. That’s because of Rock of Ages.

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