40 Tony Nominees of 2012, Including Steve Kazee, Audra McDonald, Kelli O'Hara, Linda Lavin, React to Nomination News

By Andrew Gans
and Kenneth Jones, Michael Gioia
01 May 2012

Christian Borle
Photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN

Christian Borle, Best Featured Actor in a Play (playing "Black Stache"), Peter and the Starcatcher: I woke up and turned on NY1 and waited for the announcement. I was elated. I'm so happy. I'm so proud and thrilled and over-the-moon for this show's recognition. I'm so proud of [co-directors] Alex [Timbers] and Roger [Rees] and that they got recognized for the extraordinary work that they did, and for Rick [Elice], who wrote that beautiful play. I just can't believe it. And, everybody! Every time they said Peter and the Starcatcher. I was sitting here alone… and I might have stood up at one point. You dream about it. Not to be corny about it, but it's a Tony Award. I was proud to be nominated before. I have my little Tony nominee pin on my mantle, and it's a great thrill and a great honor. I'm trying to just appreciate how incredibly lucky I have been this year. I feel like I work hard, and I'm proud of the work that I've done since moving to New York a couple of decades ago. But to have so many over-the-top wonderful things happen within the course of the year has been kind of dizzying and amazing, and I'm just really, really grateful. It's been a lot of fun — I can't lie!

Judith Light, Best Featured Actress in a Play (playing "Aunt Silda"), Other Desert Cities: My dad passed away two weeks ago… He's 98, he was just an amazing man. It was quick and peaceful, so thank you. But he was one of my biggest champions. Anyway, I was down in Florida yesterday. I had to clean out his entire apartment yesterday, so that I didn't miss any performances. Flew down there Sunday after the matinee, worked all day yesterday with friends who helped me get everything done, flew back last night, was so exhausted this morning, thought they were announced at nine o'clock this morning, so I said, "Just stay in the bed." Of course, they were announced at 8:30, so I missed them all. [Laughs.] I get out of bed, make the coffee, look at my phone, and on there is a text from Barbara Crompton, who was our company manager last year at Lombardi, and I got a call from my manager, Herb Hamsher — in California — of course at quarter-to-six this morning. And, that's how I found out — from Barbara and from Herb, so it was pretty sweet. Jon Robin Baitz is such a genius. This part is so magnificent. That Joe Mantello had the vision to see me in this part just completely blows my mind. The way that he directed me in this, with such patience and generosity, and to get to be with this company of actors, you can't ask for a better sister than Stockard Channing! [Laughs.] And, my beloved Stacy Keach, who I feel should have been nominated. Everyone in the play I feel should have been nominated. This is a stellar cast. It is, isn't it? And, an amazingly brilliant play, and to get so many nods for set and lighting—just to be a part of this and to be acknowledged again by the Tony committee… I tell you, it really, for me, is a thrill just to be nominated. And, to be in this company of women who are nominated in this category — I am incredibly honored.

Elizabeth A. Davis
photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN

Elizabeth A. Davis, Best Featured Actress in a Musical (playing "Réza"), Once: My husband, Jordan, and I were actually in a dead sleep. I had no intention of knowing anything about anything until I got to the show tonight. [Laughs.] And, my dear neighbor downstairs, who has been tracking with the show all along, came screaming up the stairs and woke us up from a dead sleep, and was screaming, "You've been nominated." And, I was just bleary-eyed and I absolutely did not believe her, and I just kept saying, "I don't believe you, Clybet. I don't believe you." And so my husband came in and checked online, and there it was, and I just collapsed onto the floor in tears. That's how I found out! [Laughs.] I'm still kind of in shock, and I'm utterly humbled and thankful. I am a part of an ensemble…and we will continue to be an ensemble that works as a tight-knit group. And so I just hope that this nomination, for me, can represent what our ensemble does on a nightly basis, and that is making music together.


Da'Vine Joy Randolph, Best Featured Actress in a Musical (playing medium "Oda Mae Brown"), Ghost: The Musical: My assistant and my agent called to wake me up to tell me, and….many texts — many, many texts. I said to myself, I was like, "I am going to sleep. I am going to try and sleep as much as possible." [Laughs.] Oh, my goodness, [it means] the world. Awesome. From jump, it's been such a blessing. Everything has just been added on, do you know what I mean? The surprise of getting one audition, to the surprise of going to the West End and doing a show and learning it in five days and then doing it for a run there and coming here and now this. It's really overwhelming, to be really honest with you. It can't get better for this. I literally could not ask for more.

Tom Edden, Best Featured Actor in a Play (playing bumbling waiter "Alfie"), One Man, Two Guvnors: "I made the dubious decision of watching [the nominations] on the television, which was more stressful than it needed it to be. I should have just slept in, but yeah, I watched it on the TV. I thought, "Well, why not? I'm not going to sleep." I just laughed. I laughed out loud. It's just crazy. And, I called my mother, and she started crying. It's big news. It's a big day for me because I've been an actor, professionally, for over ten years, and I've been grafting away. It was always my goal and my dream to work at the National Theatre, and so to be in this production that then went to the West End and then came to New York, and then there's this. It's just like the cake that's getting the cherry put on top of it. Whatever my next show is going to be, I don't know how it's going to match this. It's been the most amazing year. It really has. And, for this to come at this point is so unexpected, and I really have no right to expect that. I would have thought you were joking if you told me that was going to happen, really. It's amazing.