2014 Tony nominations guided by 'A Gentleman,' plus Pittsburgh ties and snubs

The darkly comic musical “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder” felt the warm embrace of Tony Award voters with 10 nominations, the most of any production when nominees were announced yesterday.

The sixth Broadway revival of Tennessee Williams’ “The Glass Menagerie” earned six Tony Award nominations, the first such honors since the play made its debut in 1945.

Two-time Tony winner and Carnegie Mellon alumnus Cherry Jones earned her fourth nod as best actress in a play for her role as matriarch Amanda Wingfield. Co-stars Brian J. Smith and Celia Keenan-Bolger were nominated as featured actors in a play; only Green Tree native Zachary Quinto, in an acclaimed performance, was left off among the cast.

'A Gentleman's Guide' leads Tony nominations

'A Gentleman's Guide' leads Tony nominations

The Tony nominations were as notable for those whose names weren’t called as those who got the call. “Rocky,” the mega-musical with songs by composer Stephen Flaherty and lyricist Lynn Ahrens, was nominated for best actor, Andy Karl, and for its scenic magic, but did not make the best musical cut. “Bullets Over Broadway” earned a best book nomination for Woody Allen, but was left off the best musical list.

Denzel Washington in “A Raisin in the Sun,” Daniel Radcliffe in “The Cripple of Inishmaan” and James Franco in “Of Mice and Men” were among the big Hollywood names MIA in acting categories that recognized some of Broadway’s top names. Five-time Tony winner Audra McDonald was nominated as best actress in a play as Billie Holiday in “Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill.” A win would make her the first performer to win in all the Tony acting categories.

The new musicals garnering the most Tony love were “After Midnight”; “Beautiful -- The Carole King Musical”; Disney’s latest Broadway venture, “Aladdin"; and “A Gentlemans Guide to Love & Murder,” which counts CMU alum Jamie deRoy among its producers. Ms. deRoy also was a producer of last year’s best play winner, “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike.” The potential fifth spot in the best musical category was left empty.

Among the best musical revivals, “Hedwig and the Angry Inch” was recognized often, including for star Neil Patrick Harris. The Rob Marshall/Sam Mendes revival of “Cabaret” starring Michelle Williams and Alan Cumming received nominations for featured performers Danny Burstein and Linda Emond.

“Outside Mullingar,” a best play nominee, is on City Theatre’s slate for the 2014-15 season. The oft-nominated “Twelfth Night,” with three best featured actor nominees, was seen at Pittsburgh Public Theater in 1991, when Mark Rylance brought his all-male company here. Mr. Rylance, a two-time Tony winner, is nominated twice -- for “Twelfth Night” and as best actor in “Richard III.” The Public leads off its 2014-15 season Oct. 2 by reviving “The Glass Menagerie.”

Besides Cherry Jones, CMU alums in Tony contention include Sutton Foster, a best actress in a musical nominee for the revival of “Violet.” Paula Wagner is a producer of best play nominee “Mothers and Sons.”

Last season, eight Carnegie Mellon alumni were Tony Award winners, including the top acting awards in musicals for Billy Porter and Patina Miller.

On Monday, it was announced that CMU has been named the first, exclusive higher education partner of the Tony Awards, which is presented by The Broadway League and the American Theatre Wing. The school will launch a national campaign to nominate and choose educators who have excelled in teaching the arts in grades K through 12.

The nominees were announced by Lucy Liu and Jonathan Groff this morning in New York. The Tony Awards ceremony will be broadcast live June 8 on CBS, with host Hugh Jackman, who crashed the announcement at the outset.

For a full list of nominees, visit TonyAwards.com.

Sharon Eberson: seberson@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1960. Twitter: SEberson_pg.

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