In the Best Play category, there is an even divide. Simon Stephens' The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, based on the 2003 novel by British writer Mark Haddon, premiered at London's Royal National Theatre and picked up seven Olivier Awards; Hilary Mantel and Mike Poulton's Wolf Hall Parts One & Two premiered at Stratford-upon-Avon's Swan Theatre in January 2014.
However, in the Best Musical category, American musicals take the lead with Fun Home, Something Rotten! and The Visit. (An American in Paris, helmed by British director-choreographer Christopher Wheeldon — with a book by Broadway favorite Craig Lucas and a score by The Gershwins — premiered at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris in late 2014.)
In the acting categories for plays, the talent is divided between performers in American and British works. Ben Miles and Bill Nighy, who reprised their performances in Wolf Hall and Skylight, respectively (both of which were seen overseas), are up for Best Leading Actor in a Play. And, London-born actor Alex Sharp (although not originally part of the West End production of Curious Incident) was nominated for his performance as Christopher in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.
American actors Bradley Cooper (The Elephant Man) and Steven Boyer (Hand to God) round out that category. Helen Mirren, who won an Olivier for her performance in The Audience, is now up for the Tony for Best Leading Actress in a Play alongside Carey Mulligan, who reprised her performance in the West End import Skylight (which was also nominated for Best Revival of a Play). Although television actress Ruth Wilson was not part of Constellations when it premiered at the Royal Court Theatre in early 2012, she is nominated for her work in the two-hander by English playwright Nick Payne.
Overall, British and American works both earned their fair share of nominations. Fun Home and Something Rotten! picked up 12 and 10, respectively, with Wolf Hall earning eight, Skylight earning seven and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time earning six.
An American in Paris, helmed by British director-choreographer Wheeldon, is the most nominated production of the season alongside Fun Home (each was recognized 12 times). Also among the front-runners were the classic The King and I by legendary duo Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II and Hand to God by Robert Askins, an American playwright who still tends bar in Brooklyn.
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