Cyndi Lauper’s ‘Kinky Boots’ on top with 13 Tony Awards nominations


Lauper’s ‘Kinky Boots’ gets13 Tony nominations

“Kinky Boots,” the adaptation of the cross-dressing comedy film with a book by Harvey Fierstein and score by Cyndi Lauper, led the pack when Tony Award nominations were announced Tuesday morning, leading all shows with 13 nods.

Among the nominees on for the shortlist for best musical, it was joined by “Matilda,” “Bring It On” and “A Christmas Story.”

“Matilda’s” young stars aren’t eligible for the lead actress Tony Award, with the administration committee disqualifying the rotating group of four, but the show received 12 nominations. The stage adaptation of the Roald Dahl novel has a book by Dennis Kelly and music and lyrics by Tim Minchin.

Premiering at the Ahmanson in 2011, “Bring It On,” with music and lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda, Tom Kitt and Amanda Green and book by Jeff Whitty, looks at the world of competitive cheerleading; it’s derived from the 2000 comedy film.

The best musical category was rounded out by “A Christmas Story,” the new spin on the 1983 holiday movie with book by Joseph Robinette and score by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul,

“Motown: The Musical,” the jukebox musical that’s been critically dissed but has become a commercial hit, was overlooked in the category.

For its part, “Boots” also received nominations for lead actor, with Stark Sands and Billy Porter each nabbing a spot, featured actress in a musical (Annaleigh Ashford) and assorted other categories including choreography, original score and best direction of a musical.

On the best revival side, director Diane Paulus’ high-flying take on Stephen Schwartz’s “Pippin” is the early front-runner after receiving nine nominations and landing a nod for best revivial of a musical, along with “Annie,” “The Mystery of Edwin Drood” and “Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella.”

Director James Lapine offered the new iteration of Charles Strouse’s, Martin Charnin’s and Thomas Meehan’s classic orphan tale, “Annie.” Director Scott Ellis took on a new version of Rupert Holmes’ interactive mystery “The Mystery of Edwin Drood,” based on Charles Dickens’ unfinished novel. In “Cinderella,” director Mark Brokaw tackled the classic.

The decision by the Tony administration committee to classify “Cinderella” as a revival was a controversial one, with some arguing that Douglas Carter Beane’s new take on the tale amounted to an original work.

The nominations announcement brought good news to Christopher Durang’s dysfunctional-family tale “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike” and the late Nora Ephron’s period journalism weepie “Lucky Guy” with the two productions nabbing six nominations apiece.

In addition to a raft of acting and other nominations, both were nominated for best play, along with Richard Greenberg’s “The Assembled Parties” and “The Testament of Mary” by Colm Toibin.

“Vanya and Sonia” is considered among the front-runners. The dark comedy about siblings in rural Pennsylvania landed on Broadway in March, transferring from Lincoln Center, where it opened in the fall. The production also saw four actors garner Tony noms.

Vying for the best play prize against “Vanya and Sonia” will be Ephron’s last work, which stars Tom Hanks as the late New York newspaper reporter Mike McAlary. Hanks also was nominated for lead actor in a play.

Greenberg’s “The Assembled Parties,” about a wealthy New York family, was considered a likely contender for the best play prize as it took a slot Tuesday morning. But “The Testament of Mary,” novelist Toibin’s expansion of his own book that imagines the thoughts and feelings of the biblical figure, was something of a surprise; the newly opened show had received mixed reviews and was not on some forecasters’ lists.

Overlooked in the category was Douglas Carter Beane’s “The Nance,” which stars Nathan Lane as a gay comic in a burlesque revue in the 1930s, and which many forecasters had pegged for a slot.

Notably, all four of the nominees opened on Broadway within the last two months, underscoring a fall season that was thin on new work.

On the revival side, the Tony shortlist for play includes a mix of 20th century classics. Among the nominees are “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” “Orphans,” “Golden Boy” and “The Trip to Bountiful.”

“Woolf,” the Steppenwolf Theatre transfer of Edward Albee’s midcentury piece, has Tracy Letts and Amy Morton starring in the drama about a sharp-tongued New England couple having it out with themselves and another couple over the course of one brutal evening.

The newly opened “The Trip to Bountiful” stars Cicely Tyson in the Horton Foote play set in the 1950s.

A new go-round of Clifford Odets’ 1937 boxing drama, “Golden Boy,” fills out the list.

“Orphans” was perhaps the biggest surprise on the list. The Lyle Kessler show about two brothers in a dilapidated house in Philadelphia had previously gained much of its notoriety because of backstage drama, as star Shia LaBeouf was replaced by Ben Foster.

Not landing a spot on the play-revival list was last fall’s star-laden “Glengarry Glen Ross,” which saw Al Pacino and Bobby Cannavale take on the David Mamet staple.

Presented by the American Theatre Wing and the Broadway League, the Tony Awards are to be handed out at a ceremony at New York’s Radio City Music Hall on June 9. The show is to be aired on CBS.

Los Angeles Times