Life Begins at 8:40: Broadway Anticipates 2004 Tony Award Nominations May 10

Tony Awards   Life Begins at 8:40: Broadway Anticipates 2004 Tony Award Nominations May 10
 
One of major moments in the Broadway calendar comes 8:30 AM (ET) May 10, when nominees for the 2004 Tony Awards are announced in Manhattan.
The American Theatre Wing Tony Award
The American Theatre Wing Tony Award

Mayor Michael Bloomberg and a host of other celebrated New Yorkers — including designer Kenneth Cole, singer Cyndi Lauper and actors Edie Falco, Jane Krakowski, John Leguizamo, Anne Meara, Jesse L. Martin, Paul Rudd and Jerry Stiller — will reveal the nominations for the 2003-04 season, from the Hudson Theatre, just off Times Square.

The 58th Annual Tony Awards will be presented Sunday, June 6 at Radio City Music Hall. The Boy From Oz's Hugh Jackman will return as host for the annual event, which will be broadcast live on CBS-TV, 8-11 PM ET.

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One of the big questions of the season was answered May 6 following a meeting of The Tony Awards Administration Committee: The Roundabout Theatre Company's production of Stephen Sondheim and John Weidman's Assassins has been deemed a revival.

The Tony committee assembled May 6 to discuss eligibility of shows that opened on Broadway during the second half of the 2003-2004 theatre season (the first half of the season had been previously solved — see below). The committee decided that the Sondheim musical, which had previously played an engagement Off-Broadway at Playwrights Horizons in January 1991, is a revival. As a revival, its composer-lyricist (Sondheim) and book writer (Weidman) will not be eligible for nominations in either the Best Score or Best Book of a Musical categories. Other revivals of the season just ended include Big River, Little Shop of Horrors, Fiddler on the Roof and Wonderful Town.

The committee's other decisions, according to a Tony Awards spokesperson, follow.

On the musical front:

•Only Alfred Molina will be eligible for a Lead Actor in a Musical nomination in the revival of Fiddler on the Roof. His co-star, Randy Graff, will be eligible in the Featured Actress in a Musical category.

•Tonya Pinkins is the sole actor from Caroline, or Change eligible for a leading category.

•All the actors in Sondheim and Weidman's Assassins will be eligible in the featured categories.

•Only Manu Narayan and Anisha Nagarajan — the co-stars of Bombay Dreams — will be eligible in the lead categories.

On the play front:

•Frank Langella will be the only star of Match eligible for a Leading Actor in a Play Tony nomination.

Raisin in the Sun's Sean Combs and Phylicia Rashad will be eligible for Leading Actor/Actress in a Play nominations; Audra McDonald and Sanaa Lathan will be eligible in the Featured Actress in a Play category.

•Both Alfre Woodard and Anthony Mackie will be eligible for Leading Actress/Actor nominations for their work in Drowning Crow.

•Tony Award winner Christopher Plummer will be the only actor from the cast of King Lear eligible for a Lead Actor nomination.

•Alec Baldwin and Anne Heche, both billed above the title in Twentieth Century, are the only actors from that production eligible for Lead Actor/Actress nominations.

•In Sixteen Wounded, Jumpers, Sly Fox and Frozen, the only actors eligible in the leading categories are, respectively, Judd Hirsch, Simon Russell Beale, Richard Dreyfuss and Swoosie Kurtz.

•All actors in Prymate are eligible for Leading Actor/Actress nominations, with the exception of Heather Tom, who will be eligible for a Featured Actress in a Play nomination.

On other fronts:

•Because it did not play a conventional schedule, Barbara Cook's Broadway is not eligible for a Special Theatrical Event nomination.

The Antoinette Perry "Tony" Award is bestowed annually for distinguished achievement in the theatre.

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The Tony committee previously met Jan. 8 and April 15 to discuss eligibility of shows that opened on Broadway during the first half of the season. Those decisions follow:

•The Broadway bow of Alan Menken and Howard Ashman's Little Shop of Horrors will be eligible in the Best Revival of a Musical category; co-stars Hunter Foster and Kerry Butler will be eligible in the Leading Actor/Actress in a Musical categories.

•John Tartaglia and Stephanie D'Abruzzo, who co-star in the puppet friendly Avenue Q, will be eligible in the Leading Actor/Actress in a Musical categories.

• The score from Peter Allen's The Boy From Oz will not be eligible for a Best Score nomination because it was not originally written for the theatre.

•Euan Morton, who portrays Boy George in Taboo, is the only actor from that musical eligible in the Leading Actor in a Musical category; the Boy George score is eligible for a Best Score nomination.

•Noah Racey and Nancy Lemenager are the only actors from Never Gonna Dance eligible in the Leading Actor/Actress in a Musical categories.

Wicked co-stars Idina Menzel and Kristin Chenoweth are eligible in the Leading Actress in a Musical category; Joel Grey, who portrays the Wizard, is eligible in the Featured Actor in a Musical category.

•All actors in the recent revival of Big River will be eligible in the Featured Actor/Actress in a Musical category. This includes Daniel Jenkins, who portrayed Huck Finn in both the original and the revival. Jenkins' work in the Deaf West production was deemed different enough to warrant eligibility.

•Danny Glover is the only actor from the revival of MASTER HAROLD. . . and the boys eligible in the Leading Actor in a Play category.

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof co-stars Ashley Judd, Ned Beatty and Jason Patric are all eligible in the Leading Actor/Actress in a Play categories.

The Violet Hour's Robert Sean Leonard is the only actor from the Richard Greenberg play eligible in the Leading Actor in a Play category.

•The only actor from The Caretaker revival eligible in the Leading Actor in a Play category is Patrick Stewart.

•Three actors from Lincoln Center's Henry IV are eligible in the Leading Actor in a Play category: Kevin Kline, Richard Easton and Michael Hayden.

•The short-lived Six Dance Lessons is eligible for a Best Play nomination.

The Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All and the recent Jackie Mason production, Laughing Room Only, did not meet eligibility requirements.

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