2015 Tony Award Nominees React: How Broadway Woke Up to Tony News!

Tony Awards   2015 Tony Award Nominees React: How Broadway Woke Up to Tony News!
Playbill.com reached out to the 2015 Tony Award nominees, shortly after they learned that they were nominated for Broadway's biggest award. Sting, Christian Borle, Bradley Cooper, Sydney Lucas, Kristin Chenoweth, Chita Rivera and Alex Sharp were among the dozens of nominees who shared their Tony experience with us.

Read Playbill.com's full list of the 2015 Tony Award nominees here. Make sure to follow us on social media for all of our awards season coverage, and visit TonyAwards.com for further details, photos and more.

Alex Sharp, Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time:
"I watched the video of them announcing it. [I've been in] stunned silence. It's crazy. It's just unbelievable, this time last year I hadn't graduated yet, so it's truly unbelievable. I mean, it's such an honor. Such an honor and such a beautiful surprise. To be a part of the Broadway community has been so amazing and this is just overwhelming and I just can't believe it.

Sting, Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) Written for the Theatre, The Last Ship
"I was in the gym and somebody from my house came and said, "Hey. You've been nominated." [Laughs.] [I] Just did another ten push-ups. [Laughs.] Just to make it real. [Laughs.] I'm thrilled and especially my MD [music director and orchestrator Rob Mathes] got a nomination. I also feel that because we're not running at the moment, it's extra special to be remembered because all of the other nominations are new and sexy, and they've just come out. I take a lot of pride in that, especially because it's a very auspicious line-up to be included in. So, I'm happy.

Lisa Kron, Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) Written for the Theatre and Best Book, Fun Home:
I don't have a television. I was watching online, but I was on the phone with Jeanine Tesori who was watching on TV, so I had it in slightly non-aligned stereo. It's a very, very happy morning. It's a very happy morning. It feels just great.

Joshua Bergasse, Best Choreography, On the Town:
"I was just so thrilled. This being my Broadway debut, it's just a lucky, wonderful show, wonderful dance show to make my debut on. This is all very new to me and very exciting."

Beth Malone
Beth Malone

Beth Malone, Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical, Fun Home:
"Wow wow wow!!! Ok what!? This is something that can happen to a person? Like, never in my wildest... I went to the Violet Tony party last year, and as I watched Sutton [Foster] handle the evening... never, not once, even for a millisecond, did it cross my mind, 'Oh, that could be me next year.' And here we are. And now I'm gonna say something audacious... This nom is EVERYTHING. Now I get to be among these four amazing women for a little over a month. Be counted among them... I'm good. And thank you.... And then I stripped my bed and started laundry and took the dogs to the dog park."

Robert Fairchild, Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical, An American in Paris:
"I was watching the TV this morning. Then I started screaming and I woke up my wife. [Laughs.] I was screaming, I was just so excited. It means the world to me. I'm no dummy, I know that people in the theatre world have been working just as hard and as long as I have on my ballet career, and so to not disrespect the world they inhabit, I wanted to do my best to just study with the best teachers and do as much in this two year process of learning new skill-sets that I could. You know, Natalie Portman took six months to learn ballet for "Black Swan" which is crazy to the ballet world. Just to get this opportunity, I'm so grateful that people liked what we did and like our show and I'm just so honored to be in the category with all these amazing actors who have been doing this for so long. I'm just humbled and honored."

Steven Boyer
Steven Boyer Photo by Joan Marcus

Steven Boyer, Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play, Hand to God:
"Well, I basically couldn't sleep last night so I was up very early, just twiddling my thumbs waiting for it to be announced on TV. I watched it on CBS and then when they cut out, I switched over to the internet and saw the rest of the nominations and they certainly got my category out of the way quickly. [Laughs.] It was, I, I - I sort of left my body. [Laughs.] My wife screamed and hugged me and I just - and my phone started buzzing immediately and I just couldnt - it was like a dream."

Wayne Kirkpatrick, Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) Written for the Theatre, Something Rotten!:
"I am thrilled and so honored to be nominated along with such an incredible group of composers and lyricists. It is beyond my wildest expectations and I am so grateful."

Karey Kirkpatrick, Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) Written for the Theatre, Something Rotten!:
"[I'm] Kind of overwhelmed. I think I'm happiest for the show, honestly. I was there with most of the ensemble and it takes a village. It's been a pretty incredible village to be a part of, and I'm just really proud and happy for everyone who's put their heart and soul into making this show which has just been a dream love fest. 

Matthew Beard, Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Play, Skylight:
"Waking up to a Tony nomination is a very special feeling. Skylight has been my first ever play, as well as my first ever West End and Broadway show and now it's brought me my first ever Tony nomination. I'm beyond grateful to everyone involved with the production and particularly Stephen Daldry for giving me this opportunity. There are some hugely talented people on the list and it’s a real honour to share a room with them."

Brad Oscar and Brian d'Arcy James
Brad Oscar and Brian d'Arcy James Photo by Joan Marcus

Brad Oscar, Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical, Something Rotten!:
"[I was] in front of the TV with a cup of coffee with my husband. He got all ready to go to work. I said, 'Wake me about 20 after 8, if I could sleep,' and thank God I did get some sleep! [Laughs.] Yes, so I got up, and we went in the living room and turned on the TV and watched NY1, as I have been for years now, and just sat there and let it all wash over, since the category was certainly one of the last ones in the proceedings. But I was so thrilled every time we got another nom and the show was recognized."

Marianne Elliott, Best Direction of a Play, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time:
"It's a fantasy for all of us who work in theatre to go to Broadway, and all of us on Curious Incident felt very lucky indeed. It's incredible to be considered amongst such remarkable productions. Credit should go to the creative team, who have worked tirelessly and collaboratively, and also to the American cast, who have given blood, sweat and tears in pursuit of portraying the story of this extraordinary young boy."

Ruthie Ann Miles, Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical, The King and I:
"I am so floored, I'm literally on the floor. It is such an honor to be nominated from Team King & Anna!! It is especially an honor to be recognized with such other amazing storytellers, from Fun Home and Gigi. I think of any other words: I'm honored, happy... I'm still on the floor."

Ruthie Ann Miles
Ruthie Ann Miles Photo by Paul Kolnik

Alessandro Nivola, Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Play, The Elephant Man:
"I'm in LA and I just wrapped this film that I was finishing up here last night. I'm flying home to New York today, so I had my phone alarm set to 8 o'clock this morning, and I figured that if there was good news that there would be a different kind of alarm that would go off at 5:30. [Laughs.] I suddenly had it ringing from every angle. I'm on three hours sleep, I've been up since then. It's the biggest day of my professional life so far. I've had other exciting moments but this is the biggest thing. I'm just so happy. I also felt like we had a particular kind of pressures on us with The Elephant Man because of the fact that we're about to remount the show in London. And the fact that we had, the three of us, collectively agreed to go, we were all aware of the looming possibility that one of us could be left out on this day and that it would make for a pretty uncomfortable run over there. So we're really relieved to all three of us be included.

Patricia Clarkson, Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play, The Elephant Man:
"I left my phones on and thought, 'OK, if I get nominated, somebody will wake me up.' And I went to bed late just thinking, 'God I hope somebody wakes me up.; And Richard Greenberg, one of my good friends, he woke me up saying, 'Mazel Tov.' What makes it most sweet and delicious is that all three of us are nominated. Me, Allesandro and Bradley and the revival. It's beyond compare. I love these two guys, I love the fact that all three of us we presented at the Tony's last year and now we're all going as nominees, it doesn't get any better.

Paule Constable, Best Lighting Design of a Play, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time:
"Sitting outside Glyndebourne Opera in the sunshine in rural Sussex - a million miles from Broadway - feeling so proud to be part of the amazing New York theatre community. Making theatre in New York is unlike anywhere in the world. The actors, the technicians, the designers - they achieve a level of excellence like nowhere else. To feel part of that family feels such a privilege. To have my work acknowledged in this way - it’s incredible. I am quite simply overwhelmed!"

Christian Borle, Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical, Something Rotten!:
"It's very exciting. I set my alarm and turned on NY1. I was very happy. I'm glad my last name is a B, so it happened real fast, although they chucked that category way at the end. I'm thrilled, and I'm so happy for Brad Oscar and I'm so excited for everyone else in our show. I'm excited for everyone in the community. I've been texting with people from all the shows. It's so exciting. It's just the icing on the cake. Something Rotten! has already been such an exciting, wonderful, lucky experience and, I think, for all of us, it's nice to be invited to the big party. Everyone is trying to remember that at the heart of it, it's no fun when we turn it into a competition, so I think we all just want to celebrate with each other and then the fates will be what the fates will be. Somebody's going to take home some nice baubles, but it's nice to celebrate with each other."

Christian Borle
Christian Borle Photo by Joan Marcus

John O'Farrell, Best Book of a Musical, Something Rotten!:
"To have co-written a musical that made it to Broadway was already surreal. But to have been nominated for a Tony Award for Best Book - one of ten nominations for our show - now I'm sure that this is some sort of dream and in a minute I'm going to wake up at my desk in South London! But we really have created a big, funny, glitzy, all-singing dancing great night out on Broadway. It feels like a long way from all that Brecht and Strindberg that I did as a drama student."

Bill Nighy, Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play, Skylight:
"We are honoured by the nominations. It's marvelous to have this show so recognized in New York. It is one of the great plays of our times and I am delighted for everyone."

Bill Nighy and Carey Mulligan
Bill Nighy and Carey Mulligan

Judy Kuhn, Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical, Fun Home:
"Well, it's very funny because I got a sudden burst of text and phone calls coming around the same time, and the very first one was from my old friend Seth Rudetsky, who I guess was in the room when they were announcing the nominees, and he texted me. I was sitting in my PJs, drinking my coffee, which I still am, although now my coffee is cold. I got this text from Seth, and then seconds later, my husband called me, who had been watching the live stream in his office, which was so sweet because it's so not like him! [Laughs.] But he was so nervous for me and the show, and he couldn't wait to hear from me. He had to watch it himself! And then, of course, my managers and all our colleagues from the show. Everybody started texting and calling. It's very exciting! I'm excited for everyone. It's been such a family project in every way, and to see it be acknowledged—to see the family acknowledged in this way—is really, really special."

Scott Graham of Frantic Assembly, Best Choreography (co-nominee with Stephen Hoggett), The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time:
"I'm absolutely thrilled to be nominated and to be part of this wonderful creative team. Our American cast is just extraordinary."

Ayad Akhtar, Best Play, Disgraced:
"I found out from a text message actually. I think I sort of new the time but I was kind of avoiding it and not avoiding and then I got a text message. I was just thrilled, I was so thrilled. I'm so happy. It's just such a thrill. It feels like an embrace by the Broadway community. It feels like a welcome or an acknowledgement and especially since the show hasn't been running. I feel very humbled and honored and grateful. And there were a lot of really wonderful plays this year."

Micah Stock, Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Play, It's Only a Play:
"I saw it watching New York 1 this morning. I just...absolute surprise and disbelief and happiness. And I'm still a little insane, is the truth. I'm pacing around my apartment."

Sydney Lucas and Michael Cerveris
Sydney Lucas and Michael Cerveris Photo by Joan Marcus

Michael Cerveris, Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical, Fun Home:
"I was asleep because I'm in New Orleans, actually on my way to the airport now to get back for the show tonight. It's an hour earlier here, so I was asleep, but it was an awfully nice thing to wake up to. I was thrilled, of course, to be recognized and to be included with a group of guys that I know and admire so much, so that was exciting to begin with, but in the same phone call, I also learned about all the other nominations. I was so, so excited to see so many of my colleagues acknowledged for the incredible work that they are doing, and the fact that it was spread around so completely just felt so gratifying because we really do feel like we're such a close-knit family and company and that everybody is working at the height of their abilities. So to see that kind of acknowledged was as exciting as my own acknowledgement, especially for our Broadway debut people, like Emily [Skeggs] and Sydney [Lucas] And, Beth [Malone] hasn't been in this kind of visibility before, so that's really thrilling to me."

Finn Ross, Best Scenic Design of a Play (co-nominee with Bunny Christie), The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time:
"My reaction? Screaming and tears of joy. Something I never thought would happen has happened, and it is amazing. It’s a honour and a privilege to be nominated along with such a brilliantly talented group of people."

Leanne Cope, Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical, An American in Paris:
"I actually made a very conscious decision not to watch the television, partly because I don't know how to turn on my TV here and there are so many remote controls. I've been here for three months and that's quite terrible that I still haven't figured out how to switch on my television. But I got a message from my mum, which I read and - because I thought I could hear my phone pinging and I thought, 'That must be people from the cast saying what's going on,' and I saw the message from my mum and she said, 'I'm watching this live from England they've just said your name.' I was like, 'What? I can't believe it.' Literally seconds later my brother texts me, he was on his lunch break from work and he said, 'Bruce Willis just said your name!' I was like, 'What? Are you kidding me?' Then I decided to have a look online, and I saw the list and saw the 12 nominations and saw my name up against all those amazing women, and I just haven't stopped smiling since. It's just been the most incredible morning. I don't think my feet have touched the ground yet."

Geneva Carr, Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play, Hand to God
"My husband and I watched this morning. He couldn't sleep all night. He's been a nervous wreck. [Laughs.] He told me last night to give up on the dream, it wasn't going to happen, but I was in the mix and that was exciting. Then he couldn't sleep all night, and he woke me up and made breakfast and we watched it and we just screamed with joy. I'm in utter shock. I cannot believe it. I'm so happy. I can't believe it. [I'm] so proud to be in that company, my God. My first Tony [nomination]. This is my debut. [Crying.] I'm just so happy...[Crying.] I can't believe it. You know, I've been acting for 20 years and I've done everything, and I make a great living, but something like this, it's like a club you think you're never going to be in. My debut. I'm not carrying a spear, I'm telling an amazing story, I'm a lead in a play and then to be nominated with some of the best actresses in the world."

Geneva Carr and Marc Kudisch
Geneva Carr and Marc Kudisch Photo by Joan Marcus

Tony Yazbeck, Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical, On the Town
"I'm over the moon. My wife and I made a pact that we wouldn't watch, and that we would get the heck out of our apartment and not be closed in. Whatever the verdict was, I just wanted to have a clear mind and an open heart with all of it. We decided to get coffee and go to the park. There's a beautiful park near us, we just relished in the fact that it's really been the best year of our lives. We got married six months ago and the show opened, and it's been an incredible year. We just wanted to basically say how thankful we were for everything and, of course, we were already emotional just doing that. I vowed to not look at my phone and I said, 'If your phone blows up in a great way, it's probably a good thing and if not, we'll sit here for a while and keep on reflecting on how amazing the year is.' [Laughs.] Then her phone blows up and she goes crazy and cries and yells, and then I start jumping around like a madcap idiot from some old MGM farce, and then I just started weeping. At first I didn't even believe it. It's kind of surreal. This experience for me has sort of been something I've thought about in my life since I was four years old but I never thought perhaps it had to happen or I never shot for it you know, it's an acknowledgment, I just wanted to do good work."

Tony Yazbeck
Tony Yazbeck Photo by Joan Marcus and Paul Kolnik

Ruth Wilson, Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play, Constellations:
"I couldn't have had a more special experience for my first time on Broadway. This recognition today is for Jake, Michael Longhurst and Nick Payne. To have the privilege to work in New York in this community is truly an honor."

Bunny Christie, Best Scenic Design of a Play (co-nominee with Finn Ross), The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time:
"I'm so excited to be nominated for Curious Incident. Opening a show on Broadway was thrilling for me and it was an honour to get to work with a fantastic team of American actors and production crew. Curious Incident is such a special and magical show, and the NY audiences seem to love it as much as I do."

Julie White, Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play, Airline Highway:
"I got a text from my agent that said 'YES!! I'll call you later,' but I still kind of didn't believe it. I thought he sent it to the wrong person, or it was a mistake, or maybe he was talking about something else. But then when I got a text from our stage manager congratulating me and K. Todd Freeman, it hit me that it really happened. To have K. Todd Freeman, my partner in crime whom I love dearly, also be nominated is just amazing. I'm very proud of Airline Highway and that the work we all are doing at the Friedman is being recognized."

Sydney Lucas, Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical, Fun Home:
"We were watching [TV] and then half way through, they said, 'OK, we're going to go back to the news,' and I was like, 'What?! No!' So then we went online and tried to find the Tony nominations streaming, and found it and watched it all the way through. I still haven't processed it yet. It's a dream come true, really. [I started] screaming, crying, slash, 'Oh my Gosh!' And, oh my gosh, Judy [Kuhn], Emily [Skeggs], and Ruthie Ann [Miles] from The King and I are also nominated and they're my very good friends, and I'm so happy for them."

Judy Kuhn and Sydney Lucas
Judy Kuhn and Sydney Lucas Photo by Joan Marcus

Carey Mulligan, Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play, Skylight:
"I couldn't be more thrilled for our cast, incredible director and ingenious creative team. I watched my first Broadway play at 14 and pictured myself up on that stage. For it not only to become a reality but then to be so generously and warmly accepted by this community is nothing short of a dream come true and is truly humbling."

Ken Watanabe, Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical, The King and I:
"It is truly an honor to be recognized for my first role on an American stage. I couldn't have done it without everyone involved in The King and I, particularly Bart Sher and Kelli O'Hara."

Ken Watanabe
Ken Watanabe Photo by Paul Kolnik

K. Todd Freeman, Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Play, Airline Highway:
"I was watching the broadcast on my iPad with the sound muted, while Mary-Louise Parker, my dear friend since college, made the announcement. The closed captioning spelled my name Katie Freeman, so I wasn't quite sure I was nominated until another friend of mine called with the news. It's been a long time since my first nomination for another Steppenwolf show, The Song of Jacob Zulu, and I had set this as a goal since I moved back to New York four years ago. And I truly owe it to Joe Mantello, who should be nominated for his brilliant direction as well."

Bradley Cooper
Bradley Cooper Photo by Joan Marcus

Bradley Cooper, Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play, The Elephant Man:
"To be a part of a community that gathers together in a 13 block radius, eight shows a week, no matter what, in the greatest city in the world – for one sole purpose, to tell stories – I can't think of a better job to have. Thank you for letting The Elephant Man be a part of this season’s story telling."

Brian d'Arcy James, Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical, Something Rotten!:
"I'm positively thrilled to have received a Tony nomination this morning. I'm excited for this fantastic show Something Rotten!, and for my colleagues Christian Borle and Brad Oscar who were also acknowledged. Every Tuesday should start this way!"

Sam Gold, Best Direction of a Musical, Fun Home:
"I love this show so much and care so deeply for my collaborators. I am overjoyed to see work that has meant so much to me be recognized. I watched Bruce Willis and Mary Louise Parker from bed with my wife and 7 month old. At one point right before a name was announced, the TV turned off. We looked over at our child who was holding the remote control with a devious grin. Very dramatic. But I didn't miss all the good news for our show."

Rob Mathes, Best Orchestrations, The Last Ship:
"I am beyond thrilled and humbled to be nominated for Best Orchestrations for The Last Ship. I have been working with Sting for five years on a work that I truly feel is his finest. As everyone knows, getting everything right in the making of a musical is sometimes impossible. That said, every night at the Neil Simon Theatre we had people in tears and completely enthralled with the world Sting grew up in; the industrial landscape of Newcastle, England at the end of the era of English Shipbuilding. These songs came from Sting's blood and bones. Orchestrating them in the vernacular of Northern English folk music with melodeons, fiddles and exotic Percussion instruments living alongside the musical warmth and sweep of Broadway and modern Pop with Cellos, Guitars and Synths was both a challenge and a joy. To be on the boards with so many of my heroes is absolutely incredible. My best friend in the world, the wonderful actor Jeb Brown, now starring in 'The Undeniable Sound Of Right Now' at the Rattlestick, dragged this Rock/Jazz kid into town to see Sondheim and Bernstein when we were kids. I was completely flabbergasted and never in a million years thought I would ever be a part of that extraordinary world. To now be Tony nominated is, well, beyond beyond. Thank you Jeb and thank you Sting. I am a very grateful man this morning."

Chita Rivera
Chita Rivera Photo by Thom Kaine

Chita Rivera, Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical, The Visit:
"I was awakened by my assistant who popped into my bedroom and scared me half to death. I almost fell out of the bed. [Laughs.] I was thrilled that the show got nominated. It's been a long trip for us but we're here. You know, we've been together for a long, long time. It's like a blessing because we believed in it then, and we believe in it now, and thanks to John Doyle and Roger Rees and Graciela and everybody involved with it.... It's a jewel that we are very proud of, so we're happy that we've been acknowledged. So, what more could you ask for at this point?"

Kelli O'Hara, Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical, The King and I:

Kelli O'Hara
Kelli O'Hara Photo by Paul Kolnik

"I was sitting here with my manager. She came over to my house with a number 6 balloon before we'd even turned it on, and I said, 'You're a risk taker.' She has a lot of faith in me, so I really appreciate her. We turned it on, I'd actually never watched it on the television like we did, and it was very exciting. [I felt a] big 'phew' of relief. I think I was pretty nervous this year. I was so excited about Ken [Watanabe] being included, and I was celebrating that one and then my category came up, and I was really relieved to see my name there."

Helen Mirren, Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play, The Audience:
"It is a honor to be nominated and to become a part of the grand tradition of American theatre. I am very lucky that I speak American! Albeit in the play with a very British accent. It is a very exciting season on Broadway, with many great plays, musicals, and performances, so just to be a part of that is a thrill."

Kristin Chenoweth, Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical, On the Twentieth Century:
"I love this business, but it can be so hard. But today? Is a good day. Smiling from ear to ear, which if you think about it, kind of hurts."

Andy Karl and Kristin Chenoweth
Andy Karl and Kristin Chenoweth Photo by Joan Marcus

Andy Karl, Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical, On the Twentieth Century:
"This is so exciting! I truly love what I do for a living and to be noticed for that is beyond amazing. Looking forward to the celebration."

Annaleigh Ashford, Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play, You Can't Take It with You:
"I'm Los Angeles right now filming the third season of 'Masters of Sex.' My alarm had not gone off yet because I'm working this morning, and I got a phone call from my husband who said, 'We have to get my tuxedo out of storage because I have to wear it when we go to the Tonys.' [Laughs.]
I'm shocked and just so honored to be representing the incredibly gifted ensemble that we got to spend this fall and winter with in such a beautiful, special show. I just couldn't be more honored. I'm so grateful to be in such fine company with these other ladies and representing my show. I'm so grateful."

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