The results are in! Broadway (and television) stars Sutton Foster and Jesse Tyler Ferguson held court this morning at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts where they announced this year's hotly anticipated list of Tony Award nominees.
After all of the actors, actresses, and creatives nominated in each of the 26 Tony categories digested the news of this extraordinary achievement, their first phone calls were naturally to TheaterMania (their mothers can wait). We've been talking to the excited nominees all morning, getting their first reactions to becoming Broadway's newest Tony Award nominees. Hear where your favorite Broadway artists were when they got the big news and what it means to them to be honored for their work this past season.
Shalita Grant, Best Featured Actress in a Play, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike:
"I'm still waking up. This is so great! I was asleep. My publicist, Lisa Goldberg, and I went to the Actors Fund gala, and I just went out because I could. I said 'I don't see a Tony nomination in my future.' So I get in, I get to bed around three-ish, and before my publicist texts me and says, 'I'll call you if you get nominated, but if it's the show, I'll email you.' And I get a phone call, and it's Lisa, and I'm like 'Why is this girl calling me? I'm really tired.' I answer the phone and she's losing her mind. She's like 'WAKE UP, you've got a lot of stuff to do!' So that's how I found out…Without Chris's words, his story, we wouldn't be up for anything. I'm so happy for him. This is so great for him, it's so personal for him. He's such a great writer. I joked with him at Lincoln Center, I was like 'dude, this is the year of Durang,' and he'd brush it off. I'm so happy for him. We love this play, every day, eight shows a week, I still break. David Hyde Pierce and I had a moment on stage when we were cracking each other up. We love doing it. It's so great to get this validation for something you love doing."
Danny Burstein, Best Featured Actor in a Play, Golden Boy:
"My body woke up at eight-twenty-five – which is absolutely true – and I thought, "Oh, what the hell, I'll watch the nominations." I saw all the lovely nominations heading to Golden Boy, but never, never expected – it was a very tough – there were a lot of great performances this year. I'm kind of in shock that they remembered me. I'm just shocked. Tony Shalhoub I understand, but I'm shocked. But happy, happy, happy. It's my fourth nomination and it never gets old. Win or lose, it's just great to be invited to the party. The fact that we've been closed for months…It's a good day, nothing wrong about any of it. I haven't spoken to my wife yet, she's doing a movie with Hugh Grant and Chris Elliot, playing Chris Elliot's girlfriend. She left this morning at like five-thirty so I have not told her yet, so it doesn't seem real."
Stephanie J. Block, Best Leading Actress in a Musical, The Mystery of Edwin Drood:
"I'm over the moon and totally ill-prepared. [My husband, Broadway actor] Sebastian [Arcelus] and I are stuck in traffic heading to Baltimore so he can get to a film set, my phone is running out of battery, and I have to get on a train back to New York. We're really thrilled that The Mystery of Edwin Drood was remembered…I was called by my agent, Tim Marshall. I'm not even gonna pretend to say I wasn't paying attention. Your phone just starts blowing up. It rings off the hook. It'll take me at least four days to get back to all the lovely messages…I'm thrilled for [fellow nominee] Will Chase…I'm so glad the gift of Drood gave this to us."
Will Chase, Best Featured Actor in a Musical, The Mystery of Edwin Drood:
"It's kinda fun! I want to do one of those stories where I was like, 'I didn't know they were today,' but I got up and turned on NY1, and watched with my puppy and my lady, and when they said Stephanie J. Block's name, I leapt for joy, and when I got to me, it was surreal. We laughed, we cried, we had a lot of fun. I've never done any of this before. To even be in the same sentence with Terry Mann is surreal. I'm so glad that Scott Ellis and Anna Louizos [were also nominated]. It's easily the most fun and rewarding experience I've ever had on stage. I texted [my daughter] Gracie and got a big 'Yay! Can we go with you?' They just want to go to the Tonys, because they've been living vicariously through Norbert Butz's kids for years!" [Laughs]
Laura Osnes, Best Leading Actress in a Musical, Rodgers + Hammerstein's Cinderella:
"I am floating completely. My husband is away on business and I'm at my friend Natalie Hill's. We had a sleepover and turned the TV on at eight-twenty-five and watched it. I was kneeling on the bed crying. I'm so excited and just thrilled and so happy for Santino and Vicki and that we get to share the awards season together…Natalie had a Peanut Butter Snickers Pie – my favorite – so she put candles in it and sang "Happy Tony Nomination to You" at eight-thirty in the morning!...My husband is in Haiti for business, so I'll have to catch him on WiFi. I talked to my Dad already, he was screaming on the phone. My phone is blowing up. I texted Santino and said 'I'm crying, I'll call you later.' [Later today] I think Natalie and I are gonna go to Bloomingdale's and get ice cream. We did that last year and we're gonna make it a tradition."
Patina Miller, Best Leading Actress in a Musical, Pippin:
"I've already been on cloud nine from last week. I didn't think it could get any better, but it just did. My fiancé bust into the room and told me "We're going to the Tonys, babe!" And then my manager called. It's been a really big week, I have to say. My face hurts. I've been smiling so much, it's been crazy. It's a dream. It's just been an amazing experience that everybody kind of dreams of having. It's been so exciting, and I'm so thrilled that we can go and celebrate tonight. Everyone has put their heart and soul into this piece. It's mind-blowing...[between getting engaged on opening night and this]... What is my life? I never ever imagined it would happen like this. I'm gonna be on a high for the next two months."
Chet Walker, Best Choreography, Pippin:
"I'm totally thrilled. Stoked, as they say. I'm in London and got a text from my agent to tell me. I'm doing a showcase of the work of Stephen Schwartz and I was in the middle of rehearsal. I was in the original production [of Pippin], two years after it opened, and that changed my life. That was when Mr. Fosse said you had to sing, dance, and act, and everyone wanted to, but someone said 'Now you're going to do that.' It literally changed my life, and now, thirty years later, coming back to the show that changed my life changed my life once again. It's pretty spectacular. Is it real? There are no words. I'm gonna go out on the town in London and paint it red."
Joseph Robinette, Best Book of a Musical, A Christmas Story the Musical:
"It was actually an e-mail from Brett. We were watching the Today show and saw that A Christmas Story the Musical had been nominated but they didn't get into the individual nominations except for the acting awards. So we waited and started getting phone calls and all of that good stuff. So we were just thrilled with the news. I feel, I don't know if relieved is the right word, because it wasn't something that was expected but it was so nice to come our way. But right now I feel really good about it. For really the whole team, this really was a team, a group effort."
Stark Sands, Best Leading Actor in a Musical, Kinky Boots:
"I was sitting on my couch in the living room with my wife when we heard. I had just made us breakfast and coffee. We were sitting there, fingers crossed for the show and all our friends. I won't celebrate after the show tonight, because we have two shows the next day, but I think I'll have a little more stamina. I turned my phone off after the announcements and sat and enjoyed twenty minutes with my wife.
I was very lucky to go through this process in 2007, so I know what to expect in terms of these upcoming events: the press, the interviews and the excitement of this upcoming month. But for me, just doing the show is a celebration and a special event every night."
Billy Porter, Best Leading Actor in a Musical, Kinky Boots:
"I was in bed, sleeping. I took a white-lady pill the night before — an Ambien — because I need to sleep. I woke up to the sound of about thirty text messages buzzing on my phone, my mother and my sister and friends — so I figured it was good news. Then the press office called at about 8:30. I'm so excited to be nominated for so many awards this year — a Drama Desk, a Tony, an Outer Critics Circle — it's a busy month ahead."
Douglas Carter Beane, Best Book of a Musical, Rodgers + Hammerstein's Cinderella:
"Tony fever, catch it! I'm not gonna lie and be coy about it. I didn't sleep the night before, because I'm worried about everyone else, not me. So I got up, got the kids off to school, put on NY1, had a bagel and tea, and right as the nominations came out I e-mailed and texted my pals. The Nance got five, Cinderella got nine, and I'm thrilled. A lot of people owe me. Fourteen people owe me! I came up with the philosophy last season that if you get nominated for something, you have to be happy about it, and if you weren't nominated for something, it has to not matter. This was a total roller-coaster ride. I didn't get nominated for Best Play, but I did get Best Book, so I guess it's bittersweet?"
Justin Paul and Benj Pasek, Best Original Score, A Christmas Story the Musical:
"We are freaking out. We got a telegram. No. We both watched the telecast. I watched the telecast on NY1. I was gonna play it cool. I sort of swept in and my wife was like, 'should we watch it?' And I was like, 'I don't know.' Maybe I'll look at the list later. Then like five minutes before the telecast all my coolheadedness evaporated and I went insane. I was like, 'I have to watch it.' I jumped out of bed and pressed record. When it came on and we heard our names, we went insane. My wife and I jumping up and down in our bathrobes in our apartment. And also, they're replacing a piece of our building right now so there are guys outside our window on a construction platform with drills looking at us like 'what are you doing?!'" Benj Pasek:
"I slept over at a friend's house so I had someone to watch it with in the morning and we woke up early. I was on the speaker phone with my mom, and my brother who lives in Michigan, and my other brother who lives in DC and my dad and all of my extended family. As soon as we heard ‘A Christmas Story,' Jews across the nation just started screaming out loud. It was amazing. I'm telling you, it was just a wave of Jewish screaming. For Christmas Story.
The thing is that we were musical theater majors, so this was and is the thing for us more than anything. We would be watching the nominations no matter what. So we're the dorky kids who could quote Sondheim lyrics and much more obscure things. Even the possibility that we could be in the running or a part of this was totally unimaginable. It just keeps getting better and better."
Judith Ivey, Best Featured Actress in a Play, The Heiress:
"I'm happy as can be. I had forgotten that this was happening today. My agent called. When your agent calls this early in the morning, it's either bad news or great news. I was standing here cleaning off the cabinet because my contractor is coming to hopefully finish my brand-new apartment. I was practicing the nice things to say instead of the bad things, because I'm so mad at them. So it lightened my load to get a Tony nomination.
My daughter is coming over to have dinner with me and my husband. She was instrumental in me taking The Heiress. We were on a family vacation in Hawaii and she said, ‘Mom, you're a fool if you don't take this job.' I'm very happy I listened to her. I'm going to listen to her about everything now."
Scott Ellis, Best Director of a Musical, The Mystery of Edwin Drood:
"I have two kids, two-and-a-half-year-olds. I thought, you know what, we'll watch. And I said, 'you might hear daddy's name, you might not.' So that was a cool way to experience that. And I just thought either way it would be OK, because I'm sitting here with my kids. And by the way, the moment that they said my name, the kids were up and around and getting ready for school. It puts everything in perspective very fast.
I feel great. Always when a show has to close early, you never know if they're going to remember you. And so it was just a really lovely thing that they did. and that some of the other cast got recognized. Will and Stephanie. I think everyone would say it was one of those great, wonderful, special experiences from the moment we started to the end. It was nice to be remembered, that's really what it is."
Richard Greenberg, Best Play, The Assembled Parties:
"After planning to just stay asleep the entire day, when I realized that wouldn't work, I just decided to go online and I had all these emails waiting for me that said things like, "yay!" So I figured I must have been nominated. How does it feel? Good, nice. Both a combination of relieved and nervous. I think I would have felt the same way no matter what had happened. Well, maybe if I hadn't been nominated I wouldn't feel nervous. I've been saying this and it's true. The experience was that experience people describe at awards. The things that they say that you never believe is actually the way that this unfolded. So there's no plausible language for it. But it was just such a deliriously lovely experience working with all these people this time. I've come to savor the little bit of craziness that happens on plays, because why wouldn't it? It was interesting to see that you could have an experience completely devoid of that and still have it go well. I thought, everyone is just being too nice. Everyone is too generous. No one is even having the mildest hissy fit. They all love each other. It was so weirdly textbook that I worried. I don't know if I'm now setting an impossibly high standard for rehearsal conduct or what. I don't know what happens now."
Andrea Martin, Best Featured Actress in a Musical, Pippin:
(statement via the show's publicist):
"I'm so honored to be nominated alongside these exceptionally talented ladies. I was at my desk paying bills when I got the news this morning. The first call came from my manager, Perry Zimel, in Toronto, then text messages from my dear friends Jessica Stone and Justin Bohon, and then I spoke to my fabulous New York agent, Gary Gersh. We opened just last week, so I still have family in town visiting. My son got up, and I was immediately torn between taking calls or making him bacon and eggs. I made him bacon and eggs. I love the role of Berthe and I truly can't wait to perform it each and every night. Working with this incredible ensemble of actors, acrobats, dancers, and singers has been one of the greatest experiences of my career. I'm particularly thrilled we were nominated in the Musical Revival category – it's a testament to the contribution of every single person who has worked on and continues to bring their own magic to this extraordinary show."
Billy Magnussen, Best Featured Actor in a Play, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike:
"Ahhhh, my dog is eating this thing. I have two dogs. I have a French bulldog named Kiki Something Awesome Ninja Meatball. The other one is a long-haired miniature dachshund named Tank. I was in bed when I found out I was nominated for a Tony. I don't have a publicist. I found out when my mom called this morning. I was sleeping. You know when your phone rings and you just keep yelling at your phone because you just want to sleep? That's what I was doing. I didn't know they were calling about that. After the fifth time, I was like, 'fiiiiine…she has something to talk to me about.' Crazy, right? I'm going to go to the gym right now. I have to run every day, because I gain weight fast."
Pam MacKinnon, Best Director of a Play, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?:
"I'm in Los Angeles, so my morning is still early but started very early. I woke up to my phone beeping next to my bedside. So that's great. That's very exciting. I've been on the phone and received a lot of texts and e-mails and phone calls. I spoke to my mother. I spoke to my agent. I spoke to my producer. A long list.
I feel great. This is incredibly gratifying. I've known Edward Albee for twelve or thirteen years and I am so happy that the bulk of my cast, three of my actors, also got nominated. So we're going to go through this awards season together. And that's just the best. I feel relieved. I feel happy. I feel excited. It just feels really great to have this production marked."
Valisia LeKae, Best Leading Actress in a Musical, Motown the Musical:
"I'm speechless. I can't believe it. I was tucked away in my bed, in my pajamas, with my heating pad on. I had my phone near me but I didn't want to hear it. So finally, I just looked at my phone at 8:35, and I had 7 or 8 phone calls. I just started screaming and saying 'Are you sure? Did they say my name right?' And I looked at one of the websites and they spelled my name 'Kalisia!' (But then they fixed it). [Laughs] It took me a bit of time to realize it was me! I'm so humbled by it all and can't believe people are saying 'we recognize you.' I'm very grateful to Mr. Gordy, and to my director, and to the cast and crew. Now, I'm getting my hair prepped for the show – my hair is in a 24-hour prep – and then tonight after the show, I'm hanging out with Andy Cohen, because I'm the scheduled bartender on [Watch What Happens Live]."
Diane Paulus, Best Director of a Musical, Pippin:
"I am over the moon. It has been a very, very exciting morning. I'm so happy for the show. I was at LaGuardia Airport waiting to board a plane and I had several people texting me every thirty seconds telling me what's happening. I found out before boarding. I got all the news before getting on the plane. The first thing was joy and excitement for the entire team. Musicals just take such a huge effort to put together, and to have this recognition is so satisfying for the whole team."
Bertie Carvel, Best Leading Actor in a Musical, Matilda:
"The sun is shining, metaphorically and physically. I was standing on one leg at the end of a pier [at Lake George], knowing I would get a phone call [either way]. It's kind of warm encouragement to carry on doing what you're doing. To be making my Broadway debut and to be recognized in this way is kind of amazing. What's really nice is to be doing what I'm really proud of and to be earning international acclaim and earning money for it, in a different country. Theater is all about collaboration – it is never made unless lots of clever, creative people come together. I'm really pleased that the show's been so widely recognized. No one of us can claim credit. I'm gonna drive back to the city and then I'm gonna do a show, and make sure it's the best one yet. You have to keep the pressure on [yourself]; there's no resting on your laurels."
Charl Brown, Best Featured Actor in a Musical, Motown the Musical:
"I was tossing and turning all night, so I woke up, poured myself a cup of tea, and turned on the TV. When they said my name, I started running around my apartment. It was crazy. I called my folks. They live in California, so I woke them up. They had no idea the nominations were coming out today and that I was even a possibility. I don't think they've been back to bed yet! Then I called my best friend, [fellow-Tony nominee] Stark [Sands], and I don't think either one of us spoke. It's quite incredible. It's both of our third shows on Broadway, and the first time we're on Broadway at the same time. To be nominated in different categories so we can root for each other…We dreamed of being on Broadway some day and never thought it would be like this!"
Kristine Nielsen, Best Leading Actress in a Play, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike:
"It feels like Christmas! I was sound asleep and my husband nudged me awake because my dear friend and agent, Richard Fisher, gave me a shout-out. He said, ‘believe it or not, it's happened.' I didn't expect this. I think it is an amazing year of women on Broadway. So I was like, ‘Well, I don't think so.' There are so many great women and so many of the women who were not nominated are great actresses. Sigourney Weaver and Genevieve Angelson also deserve this. I love them so much, I can't even fathom. I know the producers are ecstatic, so we're going to have a little celebratory gathering before the show tonight, and that will be nice."
Carrie Coon, Best Featured Actress in a Play, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?:
"My boyfriend woke up at eight-thirty-two and we decided to turn it on to watch. Because we knew what was happening. Like you do. And so there we were. And it was really incredible. My manager was the first person to call and he was absolutely breathless with excitement. He was in L.A. so it was six-thirty in the morning. God bless him, I can't believe he was up. It's really surreal. I certainly wasn't expecting it. I'm very proud to be part of the show. I had a feeling based on previous nominations that we would feature at least for revival. And Pam would get her well deserved attention. And certainly Amy and Tracy are tremendous actors [who] I admire. I just really wasn't expecting to get any individual attention for the role of Honey, which is so small. And I'm just really honored. I'm a Chicago-based actor, and when I got this role at Steppenwolf, I couldn't have foreseen any of this. And of course it's thrilling and overwhelming and I have a lot of phone calls to return."
Andy Blankenbuehler, Best Choreography, Bring It On: The Musical:
"It means a lot to have the show recognized. I was home with my wife and daughter, in the safety of my own home. My wife had prepared a bottle of champagne that would calm my nerves one way or another. I've been very emotional because the show has been very important to me. I felt great for the show to be recognized...I'm sure [the cast] was completely beside themselves. For all the kids in the cast, everything is a first. They were crushed it ended, so to have it come back for a while is wonderful. [Tonight], I'll be having a nice dinner with my family at home, though the last time I was nominated, they threw me a surprise party!"
Gerald Goehring, Best Musical, A Christmas Story the Musical:
"I wish I had something sexy to tell you but I'm a big chicken, I couldn't listen to the announcements. I live in Connecticut, and I was going to drive into New York. So I got in the car and I turned everything off. And at about eight forty I couldn't take it anymore. So I pulled over at the gas station and turned on my phone and then the flood of text messages started coming in.
I'm kind of through a lot of the congratulatory phone calls now. I've got to say, what's really standing out to me is that this is an amazing writing team that in its own way is so unique and unexpected. You've got young composer-lyricists. Twenty-seven years old. Their first thing. When I first heard their music three years ago, I thought 'these guys are brilliant.' We've got to bring them on to do this.
Combine them with a playwright in his seventies who's a well-published man who literally still writes with a yellow legal pad and a pen. To have that young generation of electronic media working with an experienced guy like that and to have the industry say, 'Wait a minute. This is just a good piece of musical theater. It's not just for Christmas. This is a show that really is just about a father and a son that could play year-round. It just happens to take place at Christmas. And I think that's what's been kind of settling in on me. It was recognized as a good piece of musical theater."
Annaleigh Ashford, Best Featured Actress in a Musical, Kinky Boots:
"I was so nervous; I couldn't watch. So I was in my bedroom and my fiancé watched the announcement in the living room. Then he walked into the room and told me. We both cried. I feel crazy! This is one of the most exciting days of my career. It's just magical. It's so lovely to be recognized for this show that I'm so proud to be in. I'm so grateful. It's so awesome to be nominated for a Drama Desk, as well. This has been a crazy two days! I just walk in every day trying to find my character and tell the story the best I can. This is such a surprise. Our show is like a party every night. I can't wait to walk into the theater because we all believe in the show and its message. I'm so excited to go there tonight."
Rob McClure, Best Leading Actor in a Musical, Chaplin:
"Here's the real version of what happened this morning: My wife and I were watching the nomination announcement. They said my name and my wife gasped and I said, "Holy sh*t!" And my phone lit up and it was a text from my mom that said, "Holy sh*t!" I was ecstatic. The next text message pushed me over the edge, though. I go back to my old high school a lot — New Milford High School in New Jersey — and I help with their theater program whenever I can and in whatever capacity I can. This week I only had a week or two, so I went back and did the lights for their production of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. The next text I got was from one of those theater kids who told me that the period-one classes throughout the school had just erupted because the whole school was watching. So I went from ecstatic to a weepy mess. The message that landed for me was about the number of people responsible for this. It's been an awesome morning."
Amanda Green, Best Original Score, Hands on a Hardbody:
"My friend called me – I couldn't remember what site it was being posted on, and I was too nervous to look. And we had a nonchalant conversation...then my husband called me and we screamed. I'm thrilled for Bring It On, because I thought it was a gorgeous production, and Andy Blankenbuehler, I'm so happy for him! It was a surprise. It was a really happy surprise. And Hands on a Hardbody means so much to me, and to be nominated with two different shows is mind boggling. Hands on a Hardbody is such a labor of love for all of us. I'm so happy for Keala and Keith, and it's all good for the future of our show. I'm so proud of it...Trey and I just had a great conversation, he's up in Vermont working on the next Phish album, but he's thrilled. It was a great collaboration."
Nathan Lane, Best Leading Actor in a Play, The Nance:
(statement via personal representive):
"I'm absolutely thrilled to be nominated for The Nance, and that our entire brilliant design team was nominated, as well. I was sad that Doug Carter Beane and Jack O'Brien were not included, since I wouldn't be here without them, but it doesn't change the fact that they've done extraordinary work on this beautiful play, as well as our stellar company of actors. I'm so proud of everyone involved and grateful that audiences have responded so positively to the play."
Lauren Ward, Best Featured Actress in a Musical, Matilda:
"I was in a school meeting for my kids, and my phone just kept buzzing, and I was like 'why is my phone buzzing so much?' I thought, 'oh, we must have done okay [in terms of nominations].' And they said 'The show has 12 and you've got one!' I'm thrilled for the show and very flattered and surprised. It's a great honor to be nominated with the show, and be nominated with [husband] Matthew [Warchus]. I'm gonna enjoy the few weeks...I've come home and put a load of laundry in. I have to field these phone calls, pick my kids up, and do the show. It's a wonderful piece of theater. I'm thrilled it's been recognized in this way, because that means it might reach a wider audience. It's a win-win.
Tom Hanks, Best Leading Actor in a Play, Lucky Guy:
(statement via the show's press representative):
"Lucky Guy is an apt title – for George C. Wolfe and Courtney B. Vance and all of us who meet up eight times a week. It is a privilege to be in Nora's play and an honor to be included with the other nominees and I would go nuts celebrating but I have a show tonight."
Richard Kind, Best Featured Actor in a Play, The Big Knife:
"Four years ago, I did The 24 Hour Musicals, and they were making a documentary, and it got made into a movie. Friday, it was released in cinemas, and we had to do publicity, but it got bumped and rescheduled for today. And while I was in the car, I started getting phone calls that I'd been nominated. I didn't realize it was today! I went on TV thirty-five minutes later [to promote the film], and I said, "This is the most disgusting display of campaigning," and apologized. My thumbs are killing me from answering all the people from the woodwork. It's unbelievable who's calling. The nice thing is I'm hearing from all my friends. An actor loves being loved. It's a reaffirmation that I have friends in the world. I'm so proud to be part of the Broadway community, and when you get a Tony nomination, they're saying you're a part of the community."
Marc Salzberg, Best Sound Design of a Play, Golden Boy:
"Surreal. I don't even remember how I found out. I think I just went online and looked at the nominees and started getting text messages and e-mails.
It feels very weird. It's wonderful but very weird. I, personally, never expected it. I'm a stagehand. I've designed a couple shows, and this is just really thrilling. It really is."
Nicholas Martin, Best Director of a Play, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike:
"I'm relieved. I wanted the show to do well and it's done extremely well. I especially wanted Christopher [Durang] and Kristine [Nielsen] to be acknowledged. So I'm very happy. And franky, I'm very happy about my own nomination. You know, I've been making up an acceptance speech for about 55 years now and whether or not I get to use it, I can always do it at home. As I've gotten older and older it seems funnier and funnier that I don't have a Tony. So I'm delighted about the whole thing, but mostly relieved."
"Awards season is very wearing on the nerves, especially if you've got a hit. I didn't get up early in the morning. I've been doing that for years. I found out around noon. I purposefully slept in because I thought, 'I can't face it.' Then there were sixty-seven calls on my phone and I thought, 'They can't all be condolences.' So I'm in a very good mood and I'm going to go up to the theater. We're having a little celebration there."
Tim Minchin, Best Original Score, Matilda:
"It was pretty cool, slightly weird. It's beyond my expectations to be sitting in New York talking about Tony nominations. It's great to have the names of my orchestrator, Chris Nightingale, and [lighting designer], Hugh Vanstone, a bit more front and center. [When I found out], I was trying to do some writing, so I was setting up my portable studio and forgot it was happening. When I'm away from my wife and kids, I try to go a bit solo. I might see Matilda tonight; I haven't seen it many times here…It's an interesting thing: You bring a show to Broadway hoping lots of people see it and that you get the acknowledgment of the industry, and we were very focused on keeping our eye on the ball. For us, the ball is making good stories.
I was a little bit nervous that I wouldn't get nominated, because I have a particular set of beliefs about what my job is in musical theater, even though I'm relatively new to it. It's slightly different from what the norm is: The reason Matilda has gone quite well is that every single piece of the puzzle is a part of the story. The point is, 'What does the story need?' I wasn't trying to write a hit song, so I was a little worried that because of that – and that I didn't get a nomination from a few of the other sets of awards. So I called my wife, Sarah, because she knew I'd get all complicated...It's just amazing to feel welcomed to the city like this. We were scared people wouldn't get it, and it's amazing. If Broadway didn't like Matilda, I don't know how I could have looked at it in the eye again. I would have felt betrayed by Broadway, even though it owes me nothing. It's just amazing to think that something I contributed to could sit there for a few years."
George C. Wolfe, Best Director of a Play, Lucky Guy:
"I just got in from L.A. this morning. I took the red eye. My phone was off and when I turned it on I had about fifteen text messages. So that's how I found out. It feels really good. It was a lot of work and it's nice that I got a nomination, but it's really nice that Tom [Hanks] and so many other people on the team were nominated. It's better when it's a collective celebration.
If somebody told me I was going to do a play where people cheered stops on the Long Island railroad... Ever since the first preview there has been this incredible energy of the hometown loving this hometown play. And it makes New York seem like a smaller, more intimate place. We're doing a play and it is the city's play. There is a kind of visceral response that the audience has had: 'We know this play. It is ours.' When something happens between the performer and the audience, everybody is invested in it being real and urgent. It's lovely when that happens. You watch the play as if you have a part in its history or its life."
Gabriel Ebert, Best Featured Actor in a Musical, Matilda:
"I'm buzzing, yes indeed! I awoke to endless texts and phone calls from loving people in my life. I did have the thought of 'Oh, I need some nice clothes.' I had breakfast with a friend and then we got some nice shirts. The only phone call I actually made was to my mother. A couple of my classmates have called, people that I did plays with, Mary Louise Wilson, who I [costarred in 4,000 Miles with] gave me a call. My mom loves the whole glitz and glamour of it all, she loves the limelight, so, how I react to it trying to be humble, she loves to boast. She's quite over the moon about it. She supported me through my whole life and endless choir rehearsals. I'm wondering what it'll be like tonight at the theater. Lauren, Bertie, and I share a floor at the theater so I can't wait to give them some love, too."
Keith Carradine, Best Featured Actor in a Musical, Hands on a Hardbody:
"I'm pretty stoked, man! I got a call from my agent a little before nine a.m. with the news. I was not expecting this, so I was pretty stunned. I'm up in Connecticut with family, and [have been] taking care of the mundane aspects of domestic life and responding to people who've been reaching out with congratulations. It's a bittersweet, wonderful thing. I'm so proud of the show we all did, and honored to be now representing our show, along with Keala and Trey and Amanda. I couldn't feel more proud of what we all did, and everyone with whom I worked. It's a great honor, and a wonderful thing to feel that we got noticed."
Victoria Clark, Best Featured Actress in a Musical, Rodgers + Hammerstein's Cinderella:
"We're thrilled! I slept in. I looked over at the phone, saw I had a lot of text messages, and said it's probably good news. [My fellow cast members and I] have been text-messaging back and forth. Today I've been inundated with allergies and had to go to the dentist, but I'll have Broadway gums! We're thrilled to go in tonight and show New York who we are. I'm very competitive and I love a good race, so this makes me happy. I think everyone brings their A-game if they know people are coming to look at you. It's really exciting."
Tom Sturridge, Best Leading Actor in a Play, Orphans:
(statement via the show's publicist):
"I feel an inexplicable mingling of disbelief and delight. It is an honor beyond words to be named alongside four such exceptional actors. Most of all I am so proud that the immense hard work and talent of every single person involved with Orphans has been recognized with the production being nominated for Best Revival. A very beautiful day."
Japhy Weideman, Best Lighting Design of a Play, The Nance:
"I was just in the shower and I came out and I saw like ten text messages that all said, you know, 'Whoohoo,' 'Congratulations,' 'No way!' And then the e-mails just started pouring in all day. Because I knew the Tony nominations were yesterday but I was trying not to pay too much attention to it because I didn't want to jinx it...I'm just honored to be recognized.
But at the same time, I'll say it was really bittersweet, because the one person who I had no doubt in my mind would be nominated was Jack O'Brien for Best Direction of a Play. And I was honestly shocked to not see his name there. And I was really surprised to not see The Nance listed for Best Play as well, really. So in a way it was a little bittersweet because without Jack's vision, we – I mean, every single designer for The Nance was nominated – so that says a lot about what he's guiding us to do.
And whether I win or not, you know, it doesn't matter. I'm just happy to have the honor."
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