Nominations for this year’s Tony Awards, announced today in New York, include British actors Eileen Atkins, Simon Russell Beale, Alfred Molina, Euan Morton, Aiden Gillen and Ben Chaplin.

Amongst other Brit nominees are playwrights Bryony Lavery and William Nicholson, director David Leveaux, composer Boy George, designer Mark Thompson and choreographer Anthony van Laast, while UK-originated shows that feature prominently include Taboo and Jumpers, with four nominations apiece. The winners will be announced in a ceremony at New York’s Radio City Music Hall on 6 June 2004.

Amongst the disappointments, however, the London export Bombay Dreams was frozen out of the important Best Musical category, though receiving three nominations elsewhere, for costume design (Thompson), choreography (Indian Farah Khan and British van Laast) and orchestrations (Paul Bogaev).

Bryony Lavery’s Frozen, seen in 2002 at the National Theatre and recently transferred to Broadway’s Circle in the Square in a new production that originated off-Broadway, is in the running for Best Play, as is William Nicholson’s The Retreat from Moscow, first seen at Chichester Festival’s Minerva Theatre and subsequently seen at Broadway’s Booth Theatre. The Retreat from Moscow, which ended its planned run early on 29 February 2004, also picked up nominations for Eileen Atkins for Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Play, and Ben Chaplin for Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Play (while Frozen earns its American star Swoosie Kurtz a Best Actress nod).

Boy George – cited by his formal name, George O’Dowd – was nominated for Best Original Score for his musical Taboo, and Euan Morton (who reprised his West End role as the young Boy George in the musical) was nominated for Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical. The show, however, ended a run of less than three months at the Plymouth Theatre on 8 February. Aidan Gillen, nominated for Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Play, appeared in the limited-run Roundabout Theatre Company revival of Harold Pinter’s The Caretaker that ended on 4 January.

Amongst productions still running, Simon Russell Beale and his original National Theatre and West End co-star, Australian actress Essie Davis both took nominations for Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Play and Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Play respectively for the transfer of Tom Stoppard’s Jumpers to the Brooks Atkinson Theatre. Their director, David Leveaux, is nominated for Best Director of a Play.

Leveaux is also currently represented on Broadway by his revival of the musical Fiddler on the Roof, whose leading man Alfred Molina is up for Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical, adding to the show’s total of six Tony nominations, including Best Revival of a Musical.

Amongst local entries, the nominations have been led by the new musicals Avenue Q, Wicked and Caroline, Or Change, with Stephen Sondheim’s Assassins (designated a revival though it has not previously been produced on Broadway), Wonderful Town and the play A Raisin in the Sun scoring highly in the revival and performance categories.

- by Mark Shenton