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Tony Awards 2015: 'An American In Paris,' 'Fun Home' top musical nominations




Actors Bruce Willis and Mary-Louise Parker deliver the 2015 Tony Award nominations at the Paramount Hotel in New York City.
Actors Bruce Willis and Mary-Louise Parker deliver the 2015 Tony Award nominations at the Paramount Hotel in New York City.
Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions

Nominations for the Broadway theater world's awards, the Tonys, were announced Tuesday.

The top musical nominees are "Fun Home," based on Alison Bechdel's autobiographical comic about her relationship with her dad, and "An American In Paris," a Gershwin brothers jukebox musical.

The frontrunners in the dramatic arena are "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time," based on the mystery novel, and "Hand to God," a raunchy show that includes puppets — they received six and five nominations, respectively. Meanwhile, Hollywood stars trying their hand at Broadway mostly came up short.

Hand To God scene

Fun Home

Fun Home montage

"Fun Home" is based on the dark material of Bechdel's graphic novel, whose title comes from the family's funeral home. 

"This is perhaps the most unlikely musical transformation of the year, if not ever," New York Magazine's Jesse Green told The Frame. If you know Bechdel's name, it's probably because one of her comics inspired the Bechdel test — the idea that a movie should have at least two women in it, they should talk to each other and that they should talk to each other about something other than a man.

"Apropos of the Bechdel Test, it is a show whose score, both music and lyrics, are by women, which is highly unusual," Green said. Both music and lyrics were nominated for Tonys, and three actresses received supporting nominations.

"It's also the case that a show that's smallish and very serious ... managed to score so many award nominations in a season that has quite a number of more razzmatazz Broadway offerings," Green says.

An American In Paris

An American In Paris on Broadway

"An American In Paris" is unique as well — the jukebox musical, made up of Gershwin songs fitted to a story similar to that of the film of the same name, makes an unusual use of dance.

"So much of the story is told not just in dance, but in dance that's based on classical dancing," Green said. "And pretty much everything that's most beautiful about it comes from that."

Hollywood flops on Broadway

Hollywood stars who spent some time on Broadway in the past year didn't do well in the nominations. The list of stars that came up empty include Matthew Morrison, Hugh Jackman, Jake Gyllenhaal, Larry David, Michael Cera, Ewan McGregor, John Lithgow and Glenn Close.

The only bonafide movie star to land a nomination: Bradley Cooper, for "The Elephant Man." Bill Nighy, perhaps most notable for his role in the holiday favorite, "Love Actually," was nominated for the drama, "Skylight."

Among actresses, Carey Mulligan landed a nomination for her starring role opposite Nighy. And Elisabeth Moss of TV's "Mad Men" was nominated for her role in "The Heidi Chronicles."

Bradley Cooper on The Elephant Man

"There may be a feeling that if you're coming to Broadway and you think you're going to get an award just for showing up, you had better be extraordinary, or you're going to get slapped," Green said. "I don't know how much that really plays into it, but it seems hard to avoid when you look at the list of stars who were not nominated this year."

Finding Neverland

Finding Neverland clips

Movie producer Harvey Weinstein tried to make a go of it with his musical, "Finding Neverland," but despite being a hit with audiences, the show landed zero nominations. While Green says the Tony voting process makes conscious snubs unlikely, this case is a particularly extreme example that may indicate it wasn't just the quality of the show that kept it from getting a nod:

"It does seem hard to explain it without guessing that some people just said big Mr. Movie Guy — who has no leading producer background on Broadway — comes in, made a lot of assumptions about how everybody should bend to his project, and they did not."

For Green, a critic himself, he simply didn't care for the show.

"I don't think [the actors] did give performances that compare with the nominated performances," Green says.

Weinstein responded to the show's lack of nominations, telling several outlets that he believes in "Finding Neverland," as well as taking credit for either co-investing in or co-producing several nominated shows, including "Fun Home."

The 2015 Tony Awards hosts: Kristin Chenoweth & Alan Cumming

The Tonys also announced that Broadway veterans Kristin Chenoweth and Alan Cumming would host this year's show.

The Tony Awards air Sunday, June 7 on CBS.

The full 2015 Tony Awards nominations

Best Play

Best Musical

Best Revival of a Play

Best Revival of a Musical

Best Book of a Musical

Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) Written for the Theatre

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical

Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Play

Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play

Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical

Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical

Best Scenic Design of a Play

Best Scenic Design of a Musical

Best Costume Design of a Play

Best Costume Design of a Musical

Best Lighting Design of a Play

Best Lighting Design of a Musical

Best Direction of a Play

Best Direction of a Musical

Best Choreography

Best Orchestrations

Recipients of Awards and Honors in Non-Competitive Categories

Special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre

Special Tony Award

Regional Theatre Tony Award

Isabelle Stevenson Tony Award

Tony Honors for Excellence in the Theatre



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