It seems almost a given that any actress who plays Josie Hogan — Eugene O'Neill's domineering damsel in A Moon for the Misbegotten — will be nominated for a Tony Award. Eve Best continues the tradition this year following her predecessors: Wendy Hiller (1957's original), Colleen Dewhurst (1974), Kate Nelligan (1984) and Cherry Jones (2000). Dewhurst won the Tony for her performance.
Four-time Tony winner Audra McDonald garners her sixth nomination in the role of Lizzie Curry, the central figure in the musical revival of Harvey Schmidt, Tom Jones and N. Richard Nash's 110 in the Shade. The role also gave the part's Broadway originator, Inga Swenson, her first Tony nomination in 1964. (Jayne Atkinson also earned a nomination for her work in the 2000 revival of Nash's The Rainmaker, the play upon which the musical is based.) McDonald's previous Tony wins were for Carousel, Master Class, Ragtime and A Raisin in the Sun.
Lizzie isn't the only member of the fictional Curry family who boasts a Tony history: Two-time Tony winner John Cullum earns his fifth nomination for his role as patriarch H. C. Curry in 110 in the Shade. Will Geer also earned a Tony nod for his take on the role in the original Broadway run. Cullum earned his Tonys for Shenandoah and On the Twentieth Century.
Christopher Plummer certainly picked the plumb role in Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee's Inherit The Wind. The now six-time nominee (with two wins, for Cyrano and Barrymore) follows in the oratory footsteps of Paul Muni (in the 1955 original) and George C. Scott (in the 1996 revival). Muni won the Tony.
Also returning for another shot at the Tony are the surnameless Cassie and Robert — characters seen, respectively, in A Chorus Line and Company. A Chorus Line's Charlotte d'Amboise literally follows in the footsteps (with the original choreography) of her original Broadway Cassie counterpart, Donna McKechnie. D'Amboise's current Tony nomination marks the second for the triple threat (following a nod for Jerome Robbins' Broadway). McKechnie was one of the many Tony winners for the original production of the Broadway musical.
Raúl Esparza brings Company's focal single guy Robert back to Tony-nominated glory for the first time since the role's originator Larry Kert (who replaced Dean Jones early in the original run and was deemed Tony eligible) took home a 1971 nomination. Esparza was previously nominated for his work on Taboo. (Boyd Gaines — a current nominee for Journey's End — also played the role in the 1995 revival.)