'Once' lands 11 Tony noms, 'Porgy,' 'Nice Work' each gets 10 nods
"Once," an Irish rock musical about the celibate romance between a depressed singer-songwriter and an upbeat single mother based on the Oscar-winning 2006 indie film of the same name, picked up 11 Tony Award nominations Tuesday, the most of any eligible play or musical.
Two shows with music and lyrics by George and Ira Gershwin were not far behind. "The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess," a slimmed-down reworking of the folk opera, and "Nice Work if You Can Get It," a silly, gag-filled musical comedy filled with classic Gershwin songs, each received 10 nominations.
While "Once," "Newsies" and "Nice Work if You Can It" were expected to win nominations for Best Musical, there was much speculation as to whether the fourth slot would go to "Leap of Faith" or "Ghost," both of which opened last week to scathing reviews, or even "Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark." It ended up going to "Leap of Faith," its only nomination.
"Spider-Man," which opened about a year ago after a prolonged preview period full of scandal, received nominations for Best Scenic Design and Best Costume Design. Julie Taymor, who is suing the show's producers, did not receive a nomination for her direction.
"One Man, Two Guvnors," Richard Bean's hilarious resetting of a commedia del'arte classic to 1960s England, surprisingly did not receive a slot in the crowded race for Best Play. The nominations went to "Clybourne Park," "Other Desert Cities," "Peter and the Starcatcher" and "Venus in Fur."
For Best Original Score, the nominators opted to give nominations to "Peter and the Starcatcher" and "One Man, Two Guvnors," two plays with incidental songs, over musicals like "Ghost" and "Leap of Faith," which should allow "Newsies" to easily win the category. "Once" was ineligible since nearly all its score came from the film version.
Bernadette Peters, who headlined the limited-run revival of Stephen Sondheim's "Follies," did not receive a nomination for Best Actress in a Musical, although she and Hugh Jackman are already set to receive special Tonys for their charity work.
Ricky Martin, whose Broadway revival of "Evita" is raking in big bucks every week, did not receive an acting nomination, nor did Elena Roger, who plays the title role. Michael Cerveris, who portrays Evita's husband, Perón, at least managed to get one.
"Death of a Salesman" was nominated for Best Play Revival, which it is sure to win, and cast members Philip Seymour Hoffman and Andrew Garfield received acting nods.
The Broadway revival of "Godspell," that hippie-happy retelling of the New Testament, was shut out, as were the new plays "Seminar" and "Magic/Bird." Many shows received just one nomination, including "The Lyons" (for star Linda Lavin) and "The Columnist" (for its leading man, John Lithgow).
On TV: The Tony Awards air at 8 p.m. on Sunday, June 10 on CBS/2. Neil Patrick Harris will be hosting the event.