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Sunday, 39, Boeing & Macbeth Lead Brit Tony Race

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Following its five Laurence Olivier wins in the West End (See News, 18 Feb 2007), the Menier Chocolate Factory production of Sunday in the Park with George looks set to repeat its awards success on Broadway, having received nine nominations – including Best Revival of a Musical and Best Performance by a Leading Actor and Leading Actress in a Musical for West End stars Daniel Evans and Jenna Russell (pictured) - in this year’s 62nd annual Tony Awards. In the nominations, announced today in New York, the Sondheim revival is surpassed by only two other productions, the US musicals Into the Heights and South Pacific.

Sunday’s other nominations in the musical categories are for Direction (Sam Buntrock), Scenic Design (David Farley and Timothy Bird), Costume Design (David Farley), Lighting Design (Ken Billington), Sound Design (Sebastian Frost) and Orchestrations (Jason Carr).

Other London-originated play productions - Macbeth, Boeing-Boeing, The 39 Steps, (with six nods each) Tom Stoppard’s Rock ‘n’ Roll and Conor McPherson’s The Seafarer (with four apiece) - also figure heavily, as do British artists across the board. In three key categories - Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Play, Best Play and Best Direction of a Play - all but one nominee is British.

In the first, the four British contenders are: Patrick Stewart for Macbeth, Mark Rylance for Boeing-Boeing and Rufus Sewell for Rock ‘n’ Roll (all of whom are reprising London performances) and Ben Daniels for Les Liaisons Dangereuses (directed by fellow Brit Rufus Norris for Broadway).

The three British directors going head-to-head are The 39 StepsMaria Aitken, The Seafarer’s author/director Conor McPherson and Boeing-Boeing’s Matthew Warchus. And for Best Play, The 39 Steps competes with The Seafarer and Rock ‘n’ Roll compete with August: Osage County from Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theatre. Boeing-Boeing and Macbeth are also contenders for Best Revival of a Play.

There was also British domination in many of the design categories, including Best Scenic and Costume Design of a Play. Peter McKintosh was nominated in both categories for The 39 Steps. His competition includes, in Scenic Design, Macbeth’s Anthony Ward and, in Costume, Boeing-Boeing’s Rob Howell and Katrina Lindsay for Les Liaisons Dangereuses.

Other British nominees today include: Leading Actress in a Play contenders Eve Best for The Homecoming (which follows her nod in the same category last year for the Old Vic transfer of A Moon for the Misbegotten) and Kate Fleetwood for Macbeth; The Seafarer’s Conleth Hill and Jim Norton, both in the running for Featured Actor in a Play; and Sinead Cusack, nominated for Featured Actress in a Play for Rock ‘n’ Roll.

The 62nd Annual Antoinette Perry "Tony" Awards will be announced in a star-studded ceremony hosted by Whoopi Goldberg on Sunday 15 June 2008.

- by Terri Paddock


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