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Menier Cage & Donmar Red Score in Tony Shortlists

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With the shorlists of the 64th annual Tony Awards, announced this morning in New York, south London’s 150-seat Menier Chocolate Factory proves itself to be the UK’s leading Broadway-bound exporter.

The Menier production of La Cage aux Folles leads the shortlists with a total of 11 nominations – including Best Revival of a Musical, Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical times two (with Briton Douglas Hodge, making his Broadway debut, and his co-star Kelsey Grammar both in the running) and Best Direction of a Musical (Terry Johnson) – while its revival of Sondheim’s A Little Night Music receives another four nods, bringing the Menier total to 15.

The Donmar Warehouse also fares well with a total of nine Tony nominations, for its two transfers: the world premiere of John Logan’s Red and Hamlet, both directed by Donmar artistic director Michael Grandage. The former is this year’s second most recognised play with seven nods (after the US revival of August Wilson’s Fences starring Hollywood’s Denzel Washington).

In addition to the coveted Best Play, both of the two-hander’s stars are nominated - Alfred Molina for Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Play and Eddie Redmayne, following his Olivier win, for Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Play – and there are nods for Best Direction of a Play for Grandage, Best Scenic Design for Christopher Oram, Best Lighting Design of a Play for Neil Austin (competing against himself for Hamlet) and Best Sound Design of a Play for Adam Cork (competing against himself for Enron).

The second nomination for the Donmar’s Hamlet goes to leading man Jude Law, whose title performance has already won him Best Actor in a Play in the 2010 Whatsonstage.com Awards.

Rupert Goold’s Headlong-Royal Court production of Lucy Prebble’s Enron, which opened with an American cast on Broadway last week receives four nominations. Apart from Cork’s for his sound design, they’re for: Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Play for Stephen Kunken (playing the role of Andy Fastow, originated here by Tom Goodman-Hill), Best Lighting Design for Mark Henderson) and Best Original Score (another for Adam Cork with Prebble’s lyrics).

Back in the musical categories, the Menier’s four nods for A Little Night Music are Best Revival of a Musical (up against La Cage), Best Sound Design (Dan Moses Schreier and Gareth Owen) and, for its two homegrown leading ladies who’ve both emigrated to the US and become international stars, Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical for Catherine Zeta-Jones and Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical for Angela Lansbury.

And the Menier’s additional nominations for La Cage aux Folles are for Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical for American cast member Robin De Jesus, Best Choreography for Lynne Page (for which she also won last year’s Whatsonstage.com Award), Best Orchestrations for Jason Carr, Best Scenic Design of a Musical for Tim Shortall, Best Costume Design of a Musical for Matthew Wright, Best Lighting Design of a Musical for Nick Richings and Best Sound Design of a Musical for Jonathan Deans.

Matching La Cage with the top tally of 11 nominations is Fela!, the Broadway musical about Nigerian afrobeat musician and political activist Fela Kuti, which will receive its UK premiere at the National Theatre in November.

Other British nominees include Rosemary Harris whose performance in The Royal Family earns her a nomination for Best Performances by a Featured Actress in a Play, in which her competition includes Hollywood’s Scarlett Johansson for A View from the Bridge.

Finally, as previously reported, in addition to those shortlisted, Alan Ayckbourn, the UK’s most prolific playwright, will receive a lifetime achievement gong at the ceremony on 13 June – adding to his Critics’ Circle Award, which was presented to him in London last week. Ayckbourn’s Broadway credits have included How the Other Half Loves, Absurd Person Singular, By Jeeves, Bedroom Farce and the Old Vic revival of his trilogy The Norman Conquests, which won last year’s Tony for Best Play Revival.

The 2010 Annual Antoinette Perry "Tony" Awards will be announced in a star-studded ceremony at New York’s Radio City Music Hall on Sunday 13 June 2010. For this year’s full shortlists, visit www.tonyawards.com.


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