Tuesday, May 13, 2003

'Hairspray' tops Tony nominations with 13



NEW YORK - Hairspray, the buoyant, bouffant musical celebration of 1960s Baltimore, dominated the Tony Award nominations Monday with 13.

Hairspray, which is based on the John Waters movie of the same name, counts North Avondale's Rick Steiner among its producers. He last stood on stage at the Tonys when The Producers was named best musical in 2001.

Hairspray's nearest competition comes from Movin' Out, Twyla Tharp's stage tribute to Billy Joel, which received 10 nominations.

The revival of Nine, a 1982 Tony winner about a woman-obsessed Italian film director, received eight nominations, including one for its star, Antonio Banderas, and three for its actresses in the feature category. Long Day's Journey Into Night, a revival of Eugene O'Neill's epic family drama, earned seven nominations, including nods for its stars Brian Dennehy, Vanessa Redgrave, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Robert Sean Leonard.

Paul Newman picked up a nomination for his role in a revival of Our Town, while Bernadette Peters received a nomination for her role as Mama Rose in Gypsy.

Vying with Hairspray and Movin' Out for best musical are the short-lived Amour, a Gallic fantasy about a man who could walk through walls, and the charming children's show A Year With Frog and Toad.

Best play nominees include Take Me Out, about a gay baseball player; Enchanted April, the story of four Englishwomen on vacation in Italy; Say Goodnight Gracie, a one-man show about George Burns; and Vincent in Brixton, about artist Vincent van Gogh's brief stay in London.

Banderas' main competition is Harvey Fierstein, who plays the housewife Edna Turnblad in Hairspray. Brian Stokes Mitchell, who stars in a revival of Man of La Mancha, Malcolm Gets from Amour and John Selya, Movin' Out, fill out the category.

Peters, who recently missed performances because of a respiratory ailment, faces Melissa Errico, Amour; Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, Man of La Mancha; Elizabeth Parkinson, Movin' Out; and Marissa Jaret Winokur, who plays Fierstein's daughter in Hairspray.

Besides Newman and Dennehy, leading actor in a play include Brian Bedford for Tartuffe, Eddie Izzard for A Day in the Death of Joe Egg and Stanley Tucci for Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune.

Leading actress nominees include Redgrave, Jayne Atkinson for Enchanted April , Victoria Hamilton for A Day in the Death of Joe Egg, Clare Higgins for Vincent in Brixton and Fiona Shaw for Medea.

University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music grad Michele Pawk scored her first Tony nomination for best performance by a featured actress in a play for her work in Hollywood Arms.

Tony winners will be announced June 8 in televised ceremonies from Radio City Music Hall.

Jackie Demaline contributed to this report.




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