"Thrilled and Relieved": Immediate Reactions from Tony-Nominated Individuals

News   "Thrilled and Relieved": Immediate Reactions from Tony-Nominated Individuals
 
The Tony nominations were announced at 8:45 AM on May 16, and by 8:50 AM, Playbill.com was on the phone interviewing the nominated actors, composers and playwrights. Here are some highlights from the conversations.

Zeljko Ivanek, nominee for Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Play for The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial: "I was in bed. My agent called me at 8:44 AM. He stopped listening to the rest when I got it and called. I don't know if I'm surprised. I'm more relieved because people have been nice and saying this might happen. You don't listen, try not to get your hopes up, but it's hard to ignore. It's been a restless night. But I'm pretty happy. I got to sleep better than I thought I would but I've been awake since six. Never kind of woken up to watch. I know we didn't get best revival. That's disappointing because obviously this has been tough."

John Lloyd Young, nominee for Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical for Jersey Boys: "I was about to go into the shower. Then I saw it was on CBS, so I put on a towel and watched. It was the first time I've watched them on TV. Never had an urgent reason. It's funny how my name is at the end of the alphabet. For some reason, I was filled with panic after the four names were announced because it used to be only four. That's partly Catholic school and partly being nervous about the fact it's a big deal, a Tony nomination, and especially being my first show. It's a huge honor. "

Michael Cerveris, nominee for Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical for Sweeney Todd: "I feel pretty darn good. I like rainy days. That's why I'm in a good mood today. Oh, and there was some kind of announcement. Apparently, at least a handful of people enjoyed my performance and thought they'd tell other people about it. It's a bit of a relief to have that lingering 'will I, won't I?' question answered, especially in the affirmative. And it's great to be included in a list of really terrific actors. I slept through the announcement, as is my usual practice. Because I figure if there's anything I need to know, I can find out at a reasonable hour. So I woke up to a bunch of texts and phone call and emails... I was really, really pleased for Sweeney. In a way, this nomination maybe means more to me in a deeper level than the past two. To be nominated for my Broadway debut was beyond my wildest dreams with Tommy. That was such a thrill and so unexpected and exciting. To be nominated for Assassins was a thrill because being nominated for a Sondheim show where the challenges are so great was exciting. But there's something about this one, maybe because the role is such a challenge. For me, it's the most demanding and challenging role for a male actor in a Broadway musical that I can think of."

Matthew Sklar, nominee for Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) Written for the Theatre for The Wedding Singer: "I was just at home sitting on my couch watching NY1. When they read the score nomination, I let out a little scream. Well, actually a big scream. I wanted to be nice to my neighbors. Then my friends and family started calling. It meant so much for our show that we get recognized. We got five nominations in five big categories. It feels amazing. I'm sort of at a loss for words. It's been a dream of mine for a long time. We'll get to do a number on the Tony telecast."

Tim Herlihy, nominee for Best Book of a Musical for The Wedding Singer: "I found out on an internet message board. I don't get NY1 up here and there was nothing on tonyawards.com. So I went to a site to look for people's reactions. It's unbelievable how fast people can type when a live event is happening. I talked to my wife, then drove my daughter to school. I would say I'm relieved. My Irish guilt won't let me get elated. I feel terrible for anyone from my show who wasn't nominated, but I'm excited. We got a best musical nod... It feels different then being nominated for film or television. I was nominated for an Emmy, and someone will just randomly say 'Hey, you're nominated for an Emmy.' This morning I was pathetically hitting the refresh button on my computer. I don't know why I'm so much more excited for this. It just feels neat to be part of a team, to root for everyone else too. It's a cool reward." Judy Kaye, nominee for Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Play for Souvenir: "I was asleep when they were announced. It's pretty damn thrilling to wake up to this kind of news. We came in from L.A. last night and didn't get in till pretty late. I don't think I've ever watched the nominations being announced before. The other times I was nominated [was] while the show was still running — that meant I had been working late the night [before]. So I usually wait for people to tell me. I don't want to be sitting up there and say, 'Oh, I didn't get it.' So I'm getting phone calls from friends who were paying attention and it's lovely. I'm pretty overwhelmed. I'll be crying a bit today. It was a total labor of love and it continues. It was a glorious experience and it continues to be a glorious experience... I don't think Florence Foster Jenkins was ever nominated for an award, at least not that I know of. There's so little written about her. Some people are trying to write books about her. She might have gotten things from the Verdi Society, honors from various clubs she belonged to. She used her wealth to underwrite young singers and stuff like that. It's been so gratifying to work on this piece. I'll put on a party dress and represent her."

Pablo Schreiber, nominee for Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Play for Awake and Sing!: "My brother messaged me this morning about it. I was studying for an audition, and my brother suddenly texted me that I had to watch the show. He didn't tell me I was nominated. I turned on CBS, but they cut away from the live feed before I got to see my actual nomination. Then people started calling me, and I turned on NY1. I'm shocked. It feels pretty incredible. I'm shocked, a little numb. I didn't expect it at all. Why did I not expect it? I'm a young man making his Broadway debut. I had no idea people gave those accolades to us. I'm very happy. I'm delighted and honored."

David Lindsay Abaire, whose play Rabbit Hole was nominated for Best New Play: "I feel terrible! No! I feel fantastic! I had just come in the door from dropping my son off at kindergarten and NY1 was on. I got to hear them all, including the nominations for the lovely Cynthia Nixon, Tyne Daly, my director and John Lee Beatty. My agent then called me the minute my nomination was announced. I'm excited and relieved and flattered to be among the others. This coming from the little play that closed. It was a really competitive year.

Zoe Wanamaker, nominee for Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Play for Awake and Sing!: "I was asleep when it was read. A friend phoned me at 9 AM to tell me. I woke up at 6 AM then went back to sleep. It was a good awakening. I feel very satisfactory. I'm very pleased for the show. Especially for Bartlett Sher, who I think is a great director. Without him, we wouldn't have done this production. We got more nominations than any other revival of a play, which is wonderful for us and very gratifying for Clifford Odets... I treat these nominations as the prizes, themselves, in a way. I love being here and coming to do these plays and good writing. That makes me feel good. All the plays I've done here are worth doing and that's pleasing.

Oliver Platt, nominated for Best Performance by a Lead Actor in a Play for Shining City: "I feel pretty good. No complaints. Well, my only complaint is that I would have liked to see more of my castmates get recognized and the director, frankly. This is an ensemble show in the truest sense of the word. So it's bittersweet that way. It's an honor. I feel honored. My dear publicist called me up at like 8:45 AM. I got to do the show tonight, and you really can't be at your best at 8 PM if you wake up at 7 AM... I'm kind of new to the Broadway scene, so I tried not to think about the nominations too much. We're busy doing the show every night, so there's no time to worry about awards. When you're nominated for an Emmy or Golden Globe, you did the work months ago. We're in the middle of it. We just opened. It means a lot to me to come back to work on the stage after having not done it in a while. Theatre is so much more of a muscular process for an actor."

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