Liev Schreiber, Denzel Washington Among Tony Contenders

By Stephen M. Silverman

One thing not lacking on Broadway this season was star power – with such marquee names as Hugh Jackman, Daniel Craig, Scarlett Johansson, Liev Schreiber, Denzel Washington, Justin Bartha, Alicia Silverstone, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Christopher Walken, Jude Law, Sienna Miller Sean Hayes, Kelsey Grammer, Laura Linney and even Uncle Fester from The Addams Family packing in the crowds.

As for who among them will take home the Tony, the selection process narrowed Tuesday morning with the announcement of nominations by the American Theatre Wing, with the stirring musical Fela!, about Nigerian Afrobeat legend Fela Anikulapo Kuti, and the moving revival of La Cage Aux Folles, featuring pitch-perfect performances from Kelsey Grammer and British actor Douglas Hodge, outdistancing all other shows – with 11 nominations each.

Hot on their heels was the revival of August Wilson’s Fences, starring nominees Denzel Washington and Viola Davis. It received 10 nominations.

In the field of leading actor in a play, besides Washington, are Jude Law in Hamlet; Alfred Molina, as the artist Mark Rothko, in Red,
Liev Schreiber in the revival of Arthur Miller’s A View from the Bridge and Christopher Walken in Martin McDonaugh’s A Behanding in Spokane.

In addition to Viola Davis, the nominated leading actresses in a play are Valerie Harper as the late legend Tallulah Bankhead in Looped; Linda Lavin as a New York author in Donald Margulies’s Collected Stories;
Laura Linney as a disillusioned journalist in Time Stands Still and Jan Maxwell as a member of a theatrical dynasty in the classic The Royal Family

Best play nominations went to In the Next Room, Next Fall, Red and Time Stands Still.


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