'Book of Mormon' leads with 14 Tony nominations

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"The Book of Mormon" was nominated for 14 Tony Awards yesterday, making the new musical collaboration from the creators of "South Park," "Avenue Q" and "Spamalot" the front-runner when the winners are announced June 12.

Among musical revivals, there are just two nominees, "Anything Goes" and "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying," setting up a friendly rivalry with local ties.

It's Kathleen Marshall vs. Rob Ashford in two Tony categories, for direction and choreography of a musical, and, by extension, for best revival as well. Ms. Marshall, a Pittsburgh native, is at the helm of "Anything Goes," which garnered nine nominations. Mr. Ashford's "How to Succeed" had eight, although none for its star, Daniel Radcliffe.

Mr. Ashford, a Point Park graduate who received an honorary doctorate from the school last year, got a big Broadway boost as associate choreographer for Ms. Marshall in the 1999 revival of "Kiss Me, Kate," much as she got her a career jumpstart as her brother Rob Marshall's assistant.

There are more local ties among the nominees, including Carnegie Mellon grads Josh Gad ("Book of Mormon) and Patina Miller ("Sister Act") for best leading actor and actress in a musical. Frances McDormand, who grew up in Monessen and attended Bethany College, is a nominee for best actress in a play for "Good People." Among Pittsburgh CLO veterans, Beth Leavel, a leading actress nominee for the musical "Baby It's You!," starred in the CLO's 2009 production of "Into the Woods."

Nominees in the major categories for the 65th Tony Awards are:

• Best Play: "Good People," "Jerusalem," "The Mother****** With the Hat," "War Horse."

• Best Revival of a Play: "Arcadia"; "The Importance of Being Earnest"; "The Merchant of Venice"; "The Normal Heart."

• Best Musical: "The Book of Mormon"; "Catch Me If You Can"; "The Scottsboro Boys"; "Sister Act."

• Best Revival of a Musical: "Anything Goes"; "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying."

• Best Lead Actor in a Play: Brian Bedford, "The Importance of Being Earnest"; Bobby Cannavale, "The Mother****** With the Hat"; Joe Mantello, "The Normal Heart"; Al Pacino, "The Merchant of Venice"; Mark Rylance, "Jerusalem."

• Best Lead Actress in a Play: Nina Arianda, "Born Yesterday"; Frances McDormand, "Good People"; Lily Rabe, "The Merchant of Venice"; Vanessa Redgrave, "Driving Miss Daisy"; Hannah Yelland, "Brief Encounter."

• Best Lead Actor in a Musical: Norbert Leo Butz, "Catch Me If You Can": Josh Gad and Andrew Rannells, "The Book of Mormon"; Joshua Henry, "The Scottsboro Boys"; Tony Sheldon, "Priscilla Queen of the Desert."

• Best Lead Actress in a Musical: Sutton Foster, "Anything Goes"; Beth Leavel, "Baby It's You!," Patina Miller, "Sister Act"; Donna Murphy, "The People in the Picture."

More details in tomorrow's Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

For a complete list of Tony nominees, visit tonyawards.com .


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