Tony Nominations Announced for Broadway Theater

The 2011-2012 Broadway season has officially ended, and the Tony Awards nominations were announced this morning.

The new Broadway musical “Once,” based on the Oscar-winning film, led the nominations with 11 nods, including for best musical, director, actor, actress and choreographer, the New York Times is reporting. “Peter and the Starcatcher” led what the paper is calling an "unusually strong pack of plays" with nine nominations.

The controversial revival of "Porgy & Bess" (now called "The Gershwins' Porgy & Bess") earned a best musical revival nomination as well as nods for stars Audra McDonald, Norm Lewis, David Alan Grier and Phillip Boykin and five others. The equally controversial (for different reasons) "Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark" only received two nominations, shutting out U2 singers Bono and the Edge as well as fan favorite Patrick Page, who earned some of the show's strongest notices as the over-the-top Green Goblin. 

Interestingly, two plays received nominations for best score: The British farce "One Man, Two Guvnors" (with some catchy pop tunes by Grand Olding) and a handful of numbers in the family-friendly comedy "Peter and the Starcatcher" (by Wayne Barker) were both recognized.

The category of Best Actor in a Play is especially strong this year, with nods going to Hollywood heavyweights James Earl Jones (for "The Best Man"), John Lithgow (for "The Columnist"), Frank Langella (for "Man & Boy") and Philip Seymour Hoffman (for "Death of a Salesman"). James Corden of "One Man, Two Guvnors" was also nominated, and may well turn out to be the dark horse victor in the race: His performance in the play is a master class in comic timing.

Best Actress in a Play will also be an interesting competition: Broadway favorites Stockard Channing, Linda Lavin and Cynthia Nixon were all honored (for "Other Desert Cities," "The Lyons" and "Wit," respectively), while West End star Tracie Bennett also earned a nomination for her astounding performance as Judy Garland in "End of the Rainbow." But rising star Nina Arianda, who earned lauds and a nomination last year for "Born Yesterday," may just surprise everybody by walking away with the prize for her intense performance in David Ives' "Venus in Fur," which is also nominated for Best Play. 

For a full list of nominees, visit www.tonyawards.com. Tickets to most Broadway shows can be purchased at telecharge.com or ticketmaster.com.

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