‘In the Heights,’ with 13 nominations, heads the list of 2008 Tony Award nominees
By MICHAEL KUCHWARA, AP Drama Writer
NEW YORK, May 13, 2008 (AP): “In the Heights,” a lively snapshot of Latino life in Upper Manhattan, received 13 Tony Award nominations Tuesday, more than any other show.
A lush, lavish revival of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s ``South Pacific'' took 11 nominations, followed by ``Sunday in the Park With George'' with nine. Three shows received seven nominations: ``August: Osage County,'' ``Passing Strange'' and the revival of ``Gypsy.''
``Heights'' was nominated for best musical along with ``Passing Strange,'' the story of one man's journey through sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll; ``Cry-Baby,'' a raunchy '50s teenage romance based on the John Waters film; and ``Xanadu,'' a spoof of the '80s disco movie musical.
``August: Osage County,'' already the winner of the Pulitzer Prize for drama, was nominated for best play along with Conor McPherson's ``The Seafarer,'' Tom Stoppard's ``Rock 'n' Roll'' and ``The 39 Steps'' by Patrick Barlow.
Actor-play will provide some starry competition with Patrick Stewart, the title character in ``Macbeth,'' going up against Laurence Fishburne in ``Thurgood''; Mark Rylance, ``Boeing-Boeing''; Ben Daniels, ``Les Liaisons Dangereuses''; and Rufus Sewell, ``Rock 'n' Roll.''
``I am totally, completely shocked and amazed by all of this,'' said Fishburne, who portrays Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall in the show. ``More than that, I am grateful and truly blessed that every night I get to play one of the most compelling and extraordinary men from the 20th century.''
Actress-play nominations went to women who play mother and daughter in ``August: Osage County”—Deanna Dunagan and Amy Morton; Eve Best in ``The Homecoming''; Kate Fleetwood, as the murderous wife in ``Macbeth''; and S. Epatha Merkerson in ``Come Back, Little Sheba.''
The two romantic leads in ``South Pacific”—Kelli O'Hara and Paulo Szot—received nominations. In the actress-musical category, O'Hara will go against Patti LuPone, ``Gypsy''; Faith Prince, ``A Catered Affair''; Kerry Butler, ``Xanadu''; and Jenna Russell, ``Sunday in the Park With George.''
Szot's competition will be Lin-Manuel Miranda, ``In the Heights''; Daniel Evans, ``Sunday in the Park With George''; Stew, ``Passing Strange''; and Tom Wopat, ``A Catered Affair.''
A special lifetime achievement Tony Award will go to Stephen Sondheim with a special Tony awarded posthumously to orchestrator Robert Russell Bennett, who died in 1981. The regional theater Tony will go to the Chicago Shakespeare Theater.
The winners in 26 competitive categories will be announced June 15 in a three-hour CBS telecast from Radio City Music Hall.