Christine Ebersole Surprised By 2003 Tony Nomination

By Andrew Gans
May 17, 2003

Christine Ebersole, now starring in Talking Heads at the Minetta Lane Theatre, was surprised and overjoyed by her nomination for her work in the now-closed production of Dinner at Eight at Lincoln Center.

Ebersole received a 2003 Tony Award nomination for Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Play for her portrayal of dinner-party-thrower Millicent Jordan in this season’s revival of the George S. Kaufman-Edna Ferber play. That production’s starry cast also included fellow 2003 Tony nominees John (Gypsy) Dossett and Marian Seldes.

At the May 14 nominees press reception, Ebersole spoke about the “unexpected” nomination. Said the actress, “I was nominated for an Outer Critics Circle Award for Dinner at Eight but in the Best Actress category. So, when it came to Tony time, I thought, ‘Well, there’s no way I can compete with Vanessa Redgrave and Fiona Shaw and all those people,’ particularly when the show hasn’t been running for many months. So, when [Hairspray’s Marc Shaiman] called me and said, ‘Congratulations,’ I said, ‘What for?’ I was so thrilled [that] I just started screaming because I think it’s really exciting and important that we got recognized for a show that’s not running right now.”

Christine Ebersole received a Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical for her work as Dorothy Brock in the hit revival of 42nd Street. She has also starred on Broadway in The Best Man, Getting Away with Murder, Harrigan 'n Hart, Camelot, Oklahoma!, On the Twentieth Century, I Love My Wife, Angel Street and in the City Center Encores! productions of A Connecticut Yankee, Ziegfeld Follies of 1936, Lady in the Dark and Allegro. Ebersole received an Emmy nomination for her work on TV's "One Life to Live," and her other screen credits include "Tootsie," "Amadeus," "Mac and Me," Will & Grace," "Ally McBeal," "The Cavanaughs" and "Rachel Gunn." Her solo recording, "Live at the Cinegrill," is available on CD.