By Carey Purcell
29 Apr 2014
photo by Joan Marcus
Lena Hall underwent a radical transformation from her performance last season as the high-fashion Nicola in Kinky Boots to the downtrodden Yitzhak in Hedwig and the Angry Inch. Hall tread the boards in Cats, 42nd Street, Dracula the Musical and Tarzan before earning her first Tony nomination in John Cameron Mitchell's landmark rock musical.
Making her Broadway debut in A Raisin in the Sun, Sophie Okonedo was recognized with a Tony nomination for her performance as Ruth Younger. Playing Walter Lee's devoted wife, Okonedo brought strength and compassion to the role. The Academy Award nominee's acting credits include "Hotel Rwanda," Troilus and Cressida and Haunted Child.
Anika Larsen's beautiful performance as the feisty, career-driven Cynthia Weil, fellow songwriter and friend to Jessie Mueller's Carole King, in Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, garnered the actress her first Tony nomination. After performing in Avenue Q, All Shook Up and Xanadu, Larsen's renditions of classic songs like "He's Still The Boy I Love" and "Walking in the Rain" earned her recognition from the nominators.
Playing the pious Phoebe D’Ysquith, Lauren Worsham's luscious soprano and spot-on delivery of British humor earned the actress her first Tony nomination for her Broadway debut in A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder. Worsham has also performed in Turn of the Screw and Candide at New York City Opera, as well as the first national tour of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.