When nominations for this year's Tony Awards were announced Tuesday morning, a number of known stars and critical darlings were cited — though several A-list names were omitted.
Candidates for best new play include Robert Schenkkan's All The Way, which also earned Bryan Cranston a nod in for best actor in a play (for his portrayal of LBJ), and Casa Valentina, Harvey Fierstein's first play in 30 years. Terrence McNally's Mothers And Sons, John Patrick Shanley's Outside Mullingar and James Lapine's Act One were also tapped.
In the category of new musical, the critically celebrated romp A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder — which earned the most nods, 10 in all — will vie against the well-received Disney musical Aladdin, the jukebox musical Beautiful: The Carole King Musical and the Duke Ellington-inspired revue After Midnight.
The typically competitive category for leading actor will pit Cranston and two other actors known for their screen work, Chris O'Dowd and Tony Shalhoub, against the venerated British trouper Mark Rylance and his fellow Brit and castmate Samuel Barnett. Rylance was nominated twice, for the title role of Richard III and a featured role in Twelfth Night, which were presented in repertory.
NOMINATIONS: The complete list
Denzel Washington and Daniel Radcliffe, who both gave acclaimed performances and were eligible in the category, were overlooked, as were two other esteemed actors from across the Atlantic: Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart, who starred in another double bill of classics, of Waiting For Godot and No Man's Land.
The field of best leading actress in a musical is also packed with name talent. Nominees include Idina Menzel (If/Then), Kelli O'Hara (Bridges), Sutton Foster(Violet), and rising stars Jessie Mueller (Beautiful) and Mary Bridget Davies (A Night With Janis Joplin) Another film star who received positive reviews, Broadway newbie Michelle Williams (Cabaret), was omitted.
Neil Patrick Harris was nominated for best leading actor in a musical, for his highly praised performance in Hedwig and the Angry Inch, up for best revival of a musical in its Main Stem bow; Harris' competitors will include Gentleman's Guide's Jefferson Mays.
Five-time Tony winner Audra McDonald is up for yet another, for leading actress in a play, for Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill, a play with music. Her competitors include Cherry Jones, the first performer to earn a Tony nod for the iconic role ofAmanda Wingfield in Tennessee Williams' The Glass Menagerie, a contender for revival of a play.
CBS will broadcast the Tony Awards live from New York's Radio City Music Hall on June 8. (Hugh Jackman, who will be hosting, made a surprise appearance at the nominations.)