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First Reactions From the 2015 Tony Nominees

Who was fast asleep? Who called their mom? Find out here.

Sydney Lucas (Fun Home), Kristin Chenoweth (On the Twentieth Century), and Annaleigh Ashford (You Can't Take It With You) are newly minted 2015 Tony Award nominees.

Tony season kicked off early this morning as the 2015 nominees were announced live from the Paramount Hotel. TheaterMania will be speaking with the elated group of contenders all day long and sharing their reactions with our readers. Keep checking in throughout the day as we continue to update our compilation of responses from the newly christened group of Tony nominees.


Annaleigh Ashford, Best Featured Actress in a Play nominee, You Can't Take It With You
"I'm in L.A. right now filming the beginning of season 3 for Masters of Sex, so my alarm clock was about to go off and I was going to go put on some 1960s garments and I was awakened by a call from my sweet husband. I answered the phone and he said, "Well, I have to pull my tuxedo out of storage so we can go to the Tonys!" It's very early here. The sun has just risen. My dog is looking at me very confused. But I'm unbelievably honored to be representing the outrageously incredibly talented ensemble of people that I got to share my life with for six months, so this is just such an honor. Because I'm in another land, far far away, I'll probably, before I head on over to set, I'll probably have a sensible sweet treat and I still haven't gotten to call my mom so I'll get to have a nice phone call with my mom, which is celebration enough."
Kristin Chenoweth, Best Leading Actress in a Musical nominee, On the Twentieth Century
(statement via publicist) "Is this real life? Haha! I'm numb with happiness. A dream role of a lifetime. It brings me pleasure every night. But in a non-sexual way."
Sydney Lucas, Best Featured Actress in a Musical nominee, Fun Home
"I feel amazing! We caught it live-streaming. Our neighbors are kind of wondering what we are doing because first we hear Judy [Kuhn] and we all scream! Then we hear me and we all scream! Then we hear Ruthie Ann [Miles] from The King and I and we all scream! Then we hear Emily Skeggs!"
Laura Kepley, Cleveland Play House artistic director, Regional Theater Tony Award winner
"We found out Friday afternoon. You could probably hear the shouts rising up out of Cleveland. We had hoped and hoped that America's first regional theater would get this award but we were surprised and elated when it happened. There were spontaneous parties all over the office, production center, and onstage. It's so incredible and it's such a fantastic recognition of our legacy and our forward-looking vision. We are beyond thrilled and we know that we owe a huge debt of gratitude to the tens of thousands of actors and directors and designers and donors and staff who have supported us for a hundred years. We have generations upon generations of families who have rallied around the Cleveland Play House. We're going to be partying all season long."
Geneva Carr (Hand to God), Jeanine Tesori (Fun Home), and Ayad Akhtar (Disgraced) are 2015 Tony nominees.
(© David Gordon)

Jeanine Tesori, Best Original Score nominee, Fun Home
"I was watching TV and Lisa Kron doesn't have a TV — she Livestreams stuff. So there was this incredible and wonderful and hilarious delay where I would say 'Michael Cerveris!' and there would be a [pause] and she would say "Michael Cerveris!" And then my new puppy would do something like this Moooo. It was bedlam. It was hilarious. [The cast] really worked together as a team, so the fact that they weren't left out — it's just really hard when someone gets left out of anything. Dodgeball, anything, so that is really great. And also it means that they're going to go to the theater and do a show knowing that they work as an ensemble. They all do that together. I'm just going to take a couple of hours and just be happy and grateful and then go back to work."


Ayad Akhtar, Best Play nominee, Disgraced
"I knew they were announcing this morning...I found out through text messages. I'm going over to a friend's house right now for breakfast, but I was planning on doing that anyway. This is such a unique, amazing feeling to be accepted by the Broadway community. It feels like this extraordinary embrace. It's amazing to have the show be seen by 900 people a night and have people wanting to talk about it."
Geneva Carr, Leading Actress in a Play nominee, Hand to God
"I'm flying high. My husband woke me up so we could watch it on TV. He didn't sleep all night. Even the kitten slept with me and not him. He woke me up at 7:30 and then we watched together and just shrieked. I have not stopped crying. They warned me to pick out an outfit for the press event tomorrow but I didn't do it. I didn't believe it. I have a commercial audition this afternoon, because I'm still a working actress, so I'm going to my audition and my husband is taking me to the Waldorf-Astoria for lunch tomorrow. And I can't even have a cocktail because I have a show tonight! I'm just in shock. It's my Broadway debut and I'm not carrying a spear, I'm actually on stage! I'm so happy for Moritz and Rob and Steve and I and Sarah. I said to my husband, 'All I care is that Sarah gets it.' She is the cutest little angel in the world. I had a dream the night before that I met Helen Mirren. Tyrone's got a big crush on Helen. He sent her flowers and wrote her a note and she responded. I'm not sure that she knew at the time that he was a puppet. He's a very attractive, charismatic puppet, but I'm not sure she realized what she was getting herself into.''
Helen Mirren is a 2015 Tony Award nominee for Leading Actress in a Play for her performance as Queen Elizabeth II in The Audience.
(© David Gordon)

Helen Mirren, Best Leading Actress in a Play nominee, The Audience
(statement via publicist) "It is a honor to be nominated and to become a part of the grand tradition of American theater. I am very lucky that I speak American! Albeit in the play with a very British accent. It is a very exciting season on Broadway, with many great plays, musicals, and performances, so just to be a part of that is a thrill."


Lisa Kron, Best Book of a Musical and Best Original Score nominee, Fun Home
"I don't have a TV so my partner Madeline and I were trying to stream it online. We were on the phone with Jeanine and she was watching on TV so we had a little bit of a delay. And Madeline and I were on different wireless networks so it was all happening in three different times. [laughs] It's just completely thrilling. It's so moving that so much of our cast is nominated and our designers and John Clancy our orchestrator. I'm sure everybody from every show that's nominated feels this way. You work a long, long time to make theater, and it's very sweet to be recognized."


King and I pair Ken Watanabe and Kelli O'Hara are 2015 Tony nominees.
(© David Gordon)

Kelli O'Hara, Best Leading Actress in a Musical nominee, The King and I
"I was watching New York One. I've never done that before. You just kind of want to get through this part and keep doing your show, but I was just absolutely relieved. Also I was so, so happy that Ken [Watanabe] and Bart [Sher] and Ruthie [Ann Miles] were included, and all our designers. It just makes it so fun to celebrate with everybody. The fun part will be going through all the steps with my team, so that's really what matters to me. I think the show tonight will be really fun. We'll all feel really good and happy…and proud. My manager came over with a "#6" balloon and [my kids] had no idea what it was or why, but they were screaming and yelling dancing, so everybody's happy."


Ken Watanabe, Best Leading Actor in a Musical nominee, The King and I
(statement via publicist) "It is truly an honor to be recognized for my first role on an American stage. I couldn't have done it without everyone involved in The King and I, particularly Bart Sher and Kelli O'Hara."
Nathaniel Parker, Best Featured Actor in a Play nominee, Wolf Hall: Parts One & Two
"What a lovely morning. I found out by the humming phone next to my bed. I have to admit to having a pretty sleepless night and the only dreams I had were either waiting for the news or not getting it or getting it. So it was a pretty busy night I had in my head. And then in my head I sort of gave up and I heard this humming of a phone by my bed. And it said congratulations on a whole bunch of emails and I just phoned my wife immediately. So now you have the happiest King Henry making porridge that there is on the planet. [Wolf Hall] is a court full of nominations. It's just brilliant isn't it? Lydia [Leonard] will be thrilled. Ben [Miles], I've already spoken to, is thrilled. My wife and I only had time, before I started speaking to you guys, to scream at each other down the phone. This is the real cherry on the cake. [To celebrate] I'll start with my porridge and I don't know if I need coffee, I'm so wide awake now. I don't know what I'm going to do today. I was thinking of going to the botanical gardens because I miss my garden in England so much. I'll be floating from here. It's going to be a glorious day today."
Chita Rivera earns her ninth Tony Award nomination for her performance as Claire Zachanassian in The Visit.
(© David Gordon)

Chita Rivera, Best Leading Actress in a Musical nominee, The Visit
(statement via publicist) "I'm so grateful to receive this wonderful acknowledgement for The Visit. Broadway is my home and I'm so happy to be back in this terrific musical written by my dear friends John Kander, Fred Ebb and Terrence McNally, directed by the incomparable John Doyle and choreographed by the dazzling Graciela Daniele. How lucky am I to have such great friends and co-star with the phenomenal Roger Rees. I share all these tributes with our extraordinary company who put their hearts and souls into this piece every day."


K. Todd Freeman, Best Featured Actor in a Play, Airline Highway
(statement via publicist) "I was watching the broadcast on my iPad with the sound muted, while Mary-Louise Parker, my dear friend since college, made the announcement. The closed captioning spelled my name Katie Freeman, so I wasn't quite sure I was nominated until another friend of mine called with the news.

It's been a long time since my first nomination for another Steppenwolf show, The Song of Jacob Zulu, and I had set this as a goal since I moved back to New York four years ago. And I truly owe it to Joe Mantello, who should be nominated for his brilliant direction as well."


Sam Gold, Best Director of a Play nominee, Fun Home
(statement via publicist) "I love this show so much and care so deeply for my collaborators. I am overjoyed to see work that has meant so much to me be recognized. I watched Bruce Willis and Mary-Louise Parker from bed with my wife and 7-month-old. At one point right before a name was announced, the TV turned off. We looked over at our child who was holding the remote control with a devious grin. Very dramatic. But I didn't miss all the good news for our show."
Carey Mulligan earns her first Tony nomination for her return to Broadway as Kyra in David Hare's Skylight.
(© David Gordon)

Carey Mulligan, Best Leading Actress in a Play, Skylight
(statement via publicist) "I couldn't be more thrilled for our cast, incredible director and ingenious creative team. I watched my first Broadway play at 14 and pictured myself up on that stage. For it not only to become a reality but then to be so generously and warmly accepted by this community is nothing short of a dream come true and is truly humbling."


Rob Mathes, Best Orchestrations nominee, The Last Ship
(statement via publicist) "I am beyond thrilled and humbled to be nominated for Best Orchestrations for The Last Ship. I have been working with Sting for five years on a work that I truly feel is his finest. As everyone knows, getting everything right in the making of a musical is sometimes impossible. That said, every night at the Neil Simon Theatre we had people in tears and completely enthralled with the world Sting grew up in; the industrial landscape of Newcastle, England, at the end of the era of English Shipbuilding. These songs came from Sting's blood and bones. Orchestrating them in the vernacular of Northern English folk music with melodeons, fiddles, and exotic Percussion instruments living alongside the musical warmth and sweep of Broadway and modern Pop with Cellos, Guitars and Synths was both a challenge and a joy. To be on the boards with so many of my heroes is absolutely incredible. My best friend in the world, the wonderful actor Jeb Brown, now starring in The Undeniable Sound Of Right Now at the Rattlestick, dragged this Rock/Jazz kid into town to see Sondheim and Bernstein when we were kids. I was completely flabbergasted and never in a million years thought I would ever be a part of that extraordinary world. To now be Tony nominated is, well, beyond beyond. Thank you Jeb and thank you Sting. I am a very grateful man this morning."
Bradley Cooper, Patricia Clarkson, and Alessandro Nivola are all nominated for their performances in the revival of The Elephant Man.
(© David Gordon)

Alessandro Nivola, Best Featured Actor in a Play nominee, The Elephant Man
"I'm in Los Angeles because I'm filming a movie out here. I got a call from my publicist. She was the first one, not my dad or my mom or my agent. It's 5:30 in the morning here and I had been planning to set my alarm for eight. I thought it was bad news. This is the best day of my professional life so far, it really is. I've had exciting moments up until now, but this is the best. [Bradley Cooper, Patricia Clarkson, and I] had a little conference call celebration a half hour ago. We're in a unique situation with this play. It's such a three-hander and we're about to start rehearsals for the London remounting in less than a week. From the day that we collectively decided we were gonna go to London, there was a lurking paranoia that if someone got left out of the party, it would be a tough three months in London, so there was a particular sense of relief amongst the three of us [this morning]. I've got to get on a plane in two hours [to go back to New York], and I guess I'll get liquored on the plane before I get home to Brooklyn."


Patricia Clarkson, Best Featured Actress in a Play nominee, The Elephant Man
"I left my phones on and I thought, "OK, if I'm nominated, someone will call me, and if not, I'll need to sleep because I'll be really sad. Then my phone went crazy. The first person to wake me up was [playwright] Richard Greenberg. It was so apropos and perfect. There's nothing more delicious [than to be nominated]. Nothing. Divine. Divine. Divine. It's a glorious moment in my career to work with these people. I love these two men [Bradley Cooper and Alessandro Nivola]. It'll be beautiful, all three of us at the Tonys. I'm the luckiest gal in town to be onstage with these men and the great, great New York actors in our cast. We'll all be at the Tonys. Woo-hoo! How many times can I say "woo-hoo" in one day!?"
Bradley Cooper, Best Leading Actor in a Play nominee, The Elephant Man
(statement via publicist) "To be a part of a community that gathers together in a 13 block radius, eight shows a week, no matter what, in the greatest city in the world – for one sole purpose, to tell stories – I can't think of a better job to have. Thank you for letting The Elephant Man be a part of this season's story telling."
Tony Yazbeck earns his first Tony nomination for his performance as Gabey in On the Town.
(© David Gordon)

Tony Yazbeck, Best Leading Actor in a Musical nominee, On the Town
"My wife and I decided to not be in this apartment and not watch TV. We've done about 250 shows since the start of previews and every single actor on that stage has literally given their blood sweat and tears into the show. It's just the hardest working company. So I just didn't want to sit there and watch, so we both got coffee and went to the park. There's beautiful water nearby and we sat on a bench and we talked about how it's already been the most amazing year of our lives. We got married six months ago right after opening and I had this great success in On the Town, so I just thought it doesn't matter what happens. We got each other. I vowed to not look at my phone and her phone started blowing up and she screamed and cried like a baby. Then I started jumping up and down like a total idiot in the middle of the park and I started crying and gave my wife a big hug and just immediately thanked her for being everything to me this past year with everything I've gone through with the show. It's been a beast of a year. Right now I'm basically just pacing around my apartment and trying to catch my breath. Later on I'm actually teaching some kids musical theater audition techniques. I'll have a little spring in my step in that class and then I get to do a show tonight, which is going to be a real thrill."


Ben Miles, Best Leading Actor in a Play nominee, Wolf Hall: Parts One & Two
"I'm delighted this morning. I'm really excited and thrilled to be nominated for a Tony. It's the best feeling to be valued and picked out among such talent here. It's really great. I'm absolutely thrilled and very happy for the show. It is quite a full-time job for me, this part, so it's great to be recognized for that. It's a really welcoming town anyway. It's very enthusiastic and there's a lot of good will here towards visiting companies. My wife called me from London. It's the best way to find out. It was brilliant to hear her voice and to hear it from her. Do you know what, I don't know what I'm going to do [to celebrate]. I don't do much on my days off other than sort of sit and rest."
Robert Fairchild, Best Leading Actor in a Musical nominee, An American in Paris
"It's crazy. Nothing this exciting has ever happened to me before. I was watching on TV this morning because I wanted to see if it was actually a possibility. I was screaming and I woke up my wife [ballet dancer Tiler Peck]. [The cast and I] messaged and did a conference call and we were all just freaking out together. We've really bonded so much during this process. It's so humbling that people liked what we did. I respect the Broadway world so much, and I know that they've been working on theater and acting and singing as long as I've been working on ballet, so for them to love what I've done really means a lot. I'm really, really grateful that they liked it."
Judy Kuhn earns her fourth Tony nomination for her performance as Helen in Fun Home.
(© David Gordon)

Judy Kuhn, Best Featured Actor in a Musical nominee, Fun Home
"Oh my god, it's unbelievable! It really is how you would write it in your dreams. It's really great also because we are such a company. We really are a family so for the whole family to be acknowledged is really kind of amazing. I got suddenly bombarded with texts and phone calls. The first text funnily enough was from Seth Rudetsky. He's an old friend and I guess was at the nominations when they were being announced so he texted me the second they called my name and I was texting him back because I couldn't tell if he was joking. [laughs] Then a second later my husband called, and my husband, who is not in the theater and is usually not this sort of person was watching the Livestream in his office because he was so nervous about it. So he called me the second they said my name. I was gonna go to pilates and then I was having lunch with a friend…I think I will stick to my normal plan of action today and of course the show will be very exciting tonight."


Julie White, Best Featured Actress in a Play nominee, Airline Highway
(statement via publicist) "I got a text from my agent that said 'YES!! I'll call you later,' but I still kind of didn't believe it. I thought he sent it to the wrong person, or it was a mistake, or maybe he was talking about something else. But then when I got a text from our stage manager congratulating me and K. Todd Freeman, it hit me that it really happened.

To have K. Todd Freeman, my partner in crime whom I love dearly, also be nominated is just amazing. I'm very proud of Airline Highway and that the work we all are doing at the Friedman is being recognized."


Max von Essen, Best Featured Actor in a Musical nominee, An American in Paris
"I literally don't even know what to say or what to do. I've been thinking about something like this since I was seven years old. And then you get a little older and think, 'Oh, maybe it's just not gonna happen, but I work and it's all amazing.' And then it happens and there's no way to prepare. I'm just speechless. I was in bed and then I heard my boyfriend scream from the living room and I knew I had one. I was up because I couldn't sleep at all, but I refused to watch it because I was just too nervous. I didn't want to actually see it happening, so I just heard a scream and then I knew. I obviously believe in my show and believe in the cast and you hope for these things, but you kind of work out every way in your mind why you won't get things. At least that's what I do, which is probably terrible. To have so many people recognized is just amazing. I have a lot of calls to make and a lot of emails to respond to and texts and tweets and Facebook. Then I'm definitely gonna go to sleep before the show because I am so tired. I want to have a killer show tonight."
Ruth Wilson earns a Tony nomination for her Broadway-debut performance in Nick Payne's Constellations.
(© David Gordon)

Ruth Wilson, Best Leading Actress in a Play nominee, Constellations
(statement via publicist) "I couldn't have had a more special experience for my first time on Broadway. This recognition today is for Jake, Michael Longhurst and Nick Payne. To have the privilege to work in New York in this community is truly an honor."


Micah Stock, Best Featured Actor in a Play nominee, It's Only a Play
"I am just sort of numb in a good way. I just feel like I am holding up the flag for all of It's Only a Play. It's been gift enough just to be a part of that and make my Broadway debut with all these incredible mad geniuses. I just never in a million years thought this would happen and I'm humbled and grateful and all of that. I just remember sort of going slack a little bit and then standing up out of bed and screaming. I'm gonna try and soak it in and I can't wait to get to the theater tonight and be with my cast and crew and do the thing that we do every night. It's special every night and this is just the cherry on top."
Brian d'Arcy James and Christian Borle are nominated for their performances as Nick Bottom and Shakespeare, respectively, in Something Rotten!
(© David Gordon)

Brian d'Arcy James, Best Leading Actor in a Musical nominee, Something Rotten!
(statement via publicist) "I'm positively thrilled to have received a Tony nomination this morning. I'm excited for this fantastic show Something Rotten!, and for my colleagues Christian Borle and Brad Oscar who were also acknowledged. Every Tuesday should start this way!"


Christian Borle, Best Featured Actor in a Musical nominee, Something Rotten!
"It's real nice, I'm not gonna lie. I set my alarm and I tuned in to New York 1. It's so wonderful. It's so nice to have been in this business for decades, to be able to celebrate not only the people in my show but across the boards. So many friends got nominated in so many different shows and we're all just texting and calling each other. It's a sweet party. It's been a whirlwind. We opened on Wednesday and we recorded our cast album yesterday and today so to have this happen at all feels like one huge event. I might treat myself to a little brunch and check in with friends and then we get to go to the theater tonight and do the show, which is the best part."
Michael Cerveris earns his sixth Tony nomination for his performance as Bruce in Fun Home.
(© David Gordon)

Michael Cerveris, Best Leading Actor in a Musical nominee, Fun Home
"To get to share this crazy and exhilarating and exhausting time with the people that I have spent so many crazy and exhilarating and exhausting times with already — that may be the most thrilling aspect of the whole thing to me. That's really so gratifying and I think means so much to us because it acknowledges what we all know, which is that everybody working on this has contributed such extraordinary and personal work. And to have the acknowledgment spread around so thoroughly is really gratifying. It makes us feel like we're doing the right thing. I'm gonna be celebrating by getting on a plane in just a couple minutes and flying back from New Orleans where I came on Sunday night to just kind of recharge my batteries. I figured whatever the news was gonna be this morning was gonna be even nicer to hear in New Orleans. I was asleep because it's an hour time difference, so I woke to a bunch of phone calls and texts and a lot of really great news and the nice little southern breeze outside my window. A good start to the day. So I'll be celebrating on board and then doing the best celebration, which is meeting up with all my friends and doing the show."


Joshua Bergasse, Best Choreography nominee, On the Town
"It feels amazing. It being my Broadway debut and getting to work on such a wonderful show, it's really a dream come true. I watched online this morning when they announced it live. It was surreal. My life flashed before my eyes a little — my first pair of tap shoes when I was three years old. [laughs] I actually have a rehearsal. I'm working on another show right now and have meetings all day. But that's my favorite way to spend a day like this. To be back in the studio or to be onstage working on something, because it reminds me of what this is really about. But the cast did have a champagne toast waiting for me when I arrived at rehearsal. I just feel so lucky. Dancing through the kitchen this morning.
Bill Nighy, Best Leading Actor in a Play nominee, Skylight
(statement via publicist) "We are honoured by the nominations. It's marvelous to have this show so recognized in New York. It is one of the great plays of our times and I am delighted for everyone."
Brad Oscar earns his second Tony nomination for his performance as Nostradamus in Something Rotten!
(© David Gordon)

Brad Oscar, Best Featured Actor in a Musical nominee, Something Rotten!
"I'm just so proud to be a part of this company and this show. It's been such a joyous experience. So of course to be honored with a nomination is a wonderful thing, but I'm also just so happy for the show, that it was recognized in that way. Let's face it, there are so many people who come together in that theater every night, much less onstage to do what we do. So for all that work to be recognized in that way is very special, because we know how random it is. We know this doesn't happen very often, so it's very joyous. It's been quite a month between finishing previews and then opening night…and then we were in the recording studio all day yesterday. So as exciting and thrilled as I am I need to just pace myself and take it easy because now we start just the regular eight a week. I feel so light and happy right now. I'm gonna just hang and veg and answer texts and emails and all that stuff and just sort of savor it."


John O'Farrell, Best Book of a Musical nominee, Something Rotten!
"We watched it live on the Tony webcast, so we were crouched around my computer and listening to the rather poor sound and rather weak connection. But it sort of made it all the more dramatic. Very thrilling to be here in the states and experiencing my first taste of Broadway and to leave America as a Tony nominee. I couldn't be more thrilled. I was so pleased that so many of the people I've been working with have been recognized. I really wanted my collaborators Wayne and Karey Kirkpatrick to get nominated for their score so I was delighted when that came through and I was very pleased to see Casey Nicholaw deservedly nominated for his direction and his choreography as well. I'm also so pleased that the nominating committees have recognized that we've created something from scratch here. We're not adapting anything or reworking anything. It's a brand-new piece of writing, a new idea, and we've been given a nod for that. It's a great day for us because it's the cast recording so we're gonna go down to see the rest of the cast who are in the studios putting all the songs down on tape right now. And in Something Rotten! style, we'll raise a pewter tankard of ale in a good old Tudor fashion!"
Richard McCabe, Best Featured Actor in a Play, The Audience
"Actually, because the nominations are a little early for theater people, I didn't follow. I had a call from my partner in England, because they're five hours ahead. And she was screaming on the phone, 'You've been nominated!' It's a very nice way to find out. I don't think I will celebrate today; it'll just be a normal workday. I look forward tomorrow morning at the press event. That will make it a bit more official. It isn't [like this in England]. I'm quite surprised at the run up to the nominations. There's so much talk. "You might be in the running." No one ever does that in England at all. [If you get nominated] everyone will politely say, 'Well done.' The Broadway audiences have been absolutely wonderful and have taken this curiously British play to their hearts."
Sting is a first-time Tony nominee for composing the score of The Last Ship.
(© David Gordon)

Sting, Best Original Score nominee, The Last Ship
"I'm feeling manic. I was in the gym and somebody from my house came and said, 'You've just been nominated,' so I did ten extra push-ups. I have no experience with this and no expectations so I kind of ignored it really until I got the news. And I'm thrilled — absolutely thrilled. I think it's very special when we don't have a horse in the race and yet we're still remembered. All of the other nominations are currently running and brand-new and sexy so it actually means something — maybe more — that we're remembered. I'm feeling very good about the world. It's been an unmitigated joy from beginning to end. One of the greatest experiences of my life, and this is just cream on the cake."
Karey Kirkpatrick, Best Book of a Musical nominee, Something Rotten!
"I am at the studio doing the cast album so I was assembled here with the ensemble in a little break room watching it on TV. It was a lot of nerves at first and then some sighs of relief, and just great to be around the people who have been pouring their hearts into it for so long and who really make it what it is. The dream for so long was walking the streets and looking at those marquees and just saying, 'Will we ever be up there?' Each step of the way has just been such a great reward that the rest of this is just gravy. The thing I've loved the most is just what a fantastic family community feeling this is. There's just something magical about putting a show on. It's pretty overwhelming."
Finn Ross, Best Scenic Design of a Play nominee, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
"It's rather hilarious; I was climbing six flights of stairs carrying computers for a show we're doing. I'm working on an opera at La Scala. Then, my phone started going crazy, and Twitter. I went on the website to find out whether it was true or not, which it is, and it's incredibly exciting. The medium [of projection design] is really coming of age now. It's left preschool and it's growing up and being recognized. My fiancé is just north of Italy for his own work purposes, so he's coming in to celebrate, somewhere in Milan. It's a very unique experience."
Matthew Beard earns a Tony nomination for his Broadway debut as Edward Sergeant in David Hare's Skylight.
(© David Gordon)

Matthew Beard, Best Featured Actor in a Play nominee, Skylight
(statement via publicist) "Waking up to a Tony nomination is a very special feeling. Skylight has been my first ever play, as well as my first ever West End and Broadway show and now it's brought me my first ever Tony nomination. I'm beyond grateful to everyone involved with the production and particularly Stephen Daldry for giving me this opportunity. There are some hugely talented people on the list and it's a real honour to share a room with them."


Craig Lucas, Best Book of a Musical nominee, An American in Paris
"I guess my phone was beeping because the dogs started jumping on me. I'm very happy for the show because so many people really stuck their necks out and took a lot of risks on that show and I really am proud of everybody. I'm really honored to be part of it. I had not remembered that it was this morning because I'm Mr. Magoo. It's sort of like your birthday. It's like, 'Oh, I don't want to think about that.' What happens with these things is that then the Michael Riedels and Patrick Healys of the world use it as an opportunity to say, 'Boy, is Craig Lucas sh-tty.' And they always do it. It doesn't matter that I've worked on that show for five years and helped shape the narrative and fought for Chris Wheeldon to be the director and help make something beautiful. For whatever reason, there seems to be just this sort of cranky 'boy, he's a bad writer' thing that comes along with it. And as much as I might not wish to pay any attention to it, it does mean walking down the street, everybody goes, 'Oh, I don't think you're third rate.' So I don't put too much stock in awards and nominations because in truth, there's nothing that my book could do or Lisa Kron's book could do that would vitiate the other. They're both genuine works of art and I'm so proud of her and so proud of myself and why one would need to be privileged over the other I'm actually not sure. I guess it has to do with selling tickets, but that seems unfortunate too, because if you love theater you should see it all."
Alex Sharp's Broadway debut as Christopher Boone in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time earns him his first Tony nomination.
(© David Gordon)

Alex Sharp, Best Leading Actor in a Play nominee, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
"Such an honor and such a beautiful surprise! One year ago I hadn't graduated drama school yet, so this is truly unbelievable. Such things seem so impossible! I'm so thrilled for the other people from Curious also nominated. This is such a team effort and a beautiful story that we are all bringing to life together."


Bunny Christie, Best Scenic Design of a Play nominee, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
"It was Simon Stephens, who wrote it, and he told me, which was lovely. I'm in the middle of London and it's a beautiful sunny day and I feel really…Suddenly everyone looks more beautiful and I'm gonna go out tonight and have a glass of champagne. It's really exciting for me. We're a great team and we worked really closely on it. It's just so exciting to open the show on Broadway. It's fantastic being in New York. The American company is amazing. They're all having a good time with it and the audiences are really enjoying it. I have to go out and get a dress and figure all that out. It'll be a fun night and it's really lovely that the whole bunch of us are together there to celebrate."
Leanne Cope is another Broadway newbie earning a Tony nomination. She plays Lise Dassin in An American in Paris.
(© David Gordon)

Leanne Cope, Best Leading Actress in a Musical nominee, An American in Paris
"I'm just completely overwhelmed. I haven't even got the words to explain how I feel. I didn't want to turn my television on this morning because I thought, 'No, just let it happen.' I obviously was not expecting this at all. My mom was watching it live from England and she messaged me and said, "They just called your name out!" and I was like, "What?" And then my brother texts me from England and he said, "Bruce Willis just said your name!" And I was like, "Are you kidding me?!" So then I decided to look on Twitter and that's how I found out. And then it was kind of straight back to business because I ran straight up to Steps to take class this morning because that's my normal thing that I do to get ready for the show in the evening. And I thought, 'I still need to go and take class because tonight's show is just as important as all the rest of them.' They don't televise the Tonys in England. I've seen glimpses of it, but I've never seen it all so that I will now be in the audience — and I've never been to Radio City before! It's crazy. It's been a real journey for [me and Robert Fairchild] and I'm glad we've had each other because we both come from very similar backgrounds. I'm so so happy for him because he's a dream to work with on and off stage. He's so wonderful, as with Max von Essen and Brandon Uranowitz, not forgetting Jill Paice and Veanne Cox and the whole ensemble. It's just such a family atmosphere and I'm just so happy for everyone. Twelve nominations overall is pretty incredible."


Ruthie Ann Miles, Best Featured Actress in a Musical nominee, The King and I
(statement via publicist) "My agent called me to celebrate in my ear, and then my phone exploded. Bart called me shortly afterwards and I asked him for some notes (I still have a bunch of questions about character work). I'm so happy. I'm just so happy with the rest of Team King & Anna. Doing this show, with this company, has been an absolute dream come true."
Wayne Kirkpatrick, Best Original Score nominee, Something Rotten!
(statement via publicist) "I am thrilled and so honored to be nominated along with such an incredible group of composers and lyricists. It is beyond my wildest expectations and I am so grateful."
Simon Stevens, Best Play nominee The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
(statement via publicist) "It means the world to be nominated for a Tony Award for Best Play. It is especially exciting because there were so many nominations for the artistic team and company. I have never before worked on a piece of theater that has felt more collaborative in its creation. It's massively exciting that this collaboration has been acknowledged. New York has been a city that has lived in my imagination for as long as I can remember. As a four-year-old boy I learned to read by reading Spider Man Comics. So many of the plays I loved were set in this city. So many of the films and the novels. It is a city of extraordinary stories. To take our story of a teenage boy and his boiler engineer father to Broadway and have it received with such warmth and enthusiasm is thrilling. It is a great season of theater on Broadway and it means a lot to be part of this season. And the other nominees for Best Play are writers I have massive, massive respect for. I am flattered and touched to be sharing a list with them."
Marianne Elliott, Best Direction nominee, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
(statement via publicist) "It's a fantasy for all of us who work in theater to go to Broadway, and all of us on Curious Incident felt very lucky indeed. It's incredible to be considered amongst such remarkable productions. Credit should go to the creative team, who have worked tirelessly and collaboratively, and also to the American cast, who have given blood, sweat and tears in pursuit of portraying the story of this extraordinary young boy."
Scott Graham of Frantic Assembly, Best Choreography nominee (with Steven Hoggett), The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
(statement via publicist) I'm absolutely thrilled to be nominated and to be part of this wonderful creative team. Our American cast is just extraordinary.
Beth Malone is a first-time Tony nominee for her leading performance as Alison in Fun Home.
(© David Gordon)

Beth Malone, Best Leading Actress in a Musical, Fun Home
(statement via publicist) "Wow wow wow!!! Ok what!? This is something that can happen to a person?? Like, never in my wildest... I went to the Violet Tony party last year and as I watched Sutton handle the evening never not once even for a millisecond did it cross my mind, oh that could be me next year. And here we are. And now I'm gonna say something audacious... This nom is EVERYTHING. Now I get to be among these 4 amazing women for a little over a month. Be counted among them... I'm good. And thank you. And then I stripped my bed and started laundry and took the dogs to the dog park."


Simon Stevens, Best Play nominee The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
(statement via publicist) "It means the world to be nominated for a Tony Award for Best Play. It is especially exciting because there were so many nominations for the artistic team and company. I have never before worked on a piece of theater that has felt more collaborative in its creation. It's massively exciting that this collaboration has been acknowledged.

New York has been a city that has lived in my imagination for as long as I can remember. As a four-year-old boy I learned to read by reading Spider Man Comics. So many of the plays I loved were set in this city. So many of the films and the novels. It is a city of extraordinary stories. To take our story of a teenage boy and his boiler engineer father to Broadway and have it received with such warmth and enthusiasm is thrilling.

It is a great season of theater on Broadway and it means a lot to be part of this season. And the other nominees for Best Play are writers I have massive, massive respect for. I am flattered and touched to be sharing a list with them."


Marianne Elliot is Tony-nominated for her direction of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.
(© David Gordon)

Marianne Elliott, Best Direction nominee, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
(statement via publicist) "It's a fantasy for all of us who work in theater to go to Broadway, and all of us on Curious Incident felt very lucky indeed. It's incredible to be considered amongst such remarkable productions. Credit should go to the creative team, who have worked tirelessly and collaboratively, and also to the American cast, who have given blood, sweat and tears in pursuit of portraying the story of this extraordinary young boy."


Scott Graham of Frantic Assembly, Best Choreography nominee (with Steven Hoggett), The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
(statement via publicist) "I'm absolutely thrilled to be nominated and to be part of this wonderful creative team. Our American cast is just extraordinary."


Paule Constable, Best Lighting Design of a Play, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time and, with David Plater, Wolf Hall: Parts One & Two
(statement via publicist) "Sitting outside Glyndebourne Opera in the sunshine in rural Sussex – a million miles from Broadway – feeling so proud to be part of the amazing New York theater community. Making theater in New York is unlike anywhere in the world. The actors, the technicians, the designers – they achieve a level of excellence like nowhere else. To feel part of that family feels such a privilege. To have my work acknowledged in this way – it's incredible. I am quite simply overwhelmed!"


Dual-Tony nominee Kevin McCollum (Hand to God/Something Rotten!) with Tony-nominated Hand to God playwright Robert Askins (center) and director Moritz von Stuelpnagel (far right). Hand to God puppet star Tyrone McHansely sneaks in a smile.
(© David Gordon)

Kevin McCollum, Best Musical nominee, Something Rotten!; Best Play nominee, Hand to God
"I've never had 15 nominations is one day. It's been quite overwhelming. I'm really thrilled for these two original works that are getting noticed and getting people to Broadway who have never been to Broadway before. Audiences are really eating up the fact that it's not something that's based on anything. They're completely original pieces and I think that's what makes Broadway strong. We just opened both these shows, and both these shows out of both categories are the most undiscovered...It's shows you've never seen before, so please come to the theater to be surprised and discover something new. My job is to support writers and directors and actors and get their work to the stage as best I can. This is a business of passion, so you start with a passion for the work, and hopefully, like The Wizard of Oz journey, you get others to join you on the road. Today was a big step in finding some endorsements to go down this road with."


Moritz von Stuelpnagel, Best Direction of a Play nominee, Hand to God
"I booted it up on my computer. We were having some Internet problems but much to my dog's chagrin, two minutes later we were jumping up and down and my wife and I were freaking out. It's just overwhelming. All of this is a surprise. We did this show at Ensemble Studio Theatre — a seventy-four-seat theater all the way on Eleventh Avenue. It was just a crew of people, we just really enjoyed one another's work, and we tried to make a play that would be the kind of thing that we would be excited to go see. And lo and behold somehow we're in Times Square opposite these other wonderful productions that have already had hit runs on the West End and wherever else. We're just unbelievably floored by the whole situation. It's crazy. What are you supposed to do? How does this work? I've never done this before! I'm thrilled to go in and celebrate with my cast this evening to do the show again for a whole new group of people. That's as far as I've gotten. That's the kind of celebration that I thought I might have in mind. But if you have better ideas let me know."


Robert Askins, Best Play nominee Hand to God
(statement via publicist) "I was up at 5:45 working on my new play Permission. Then I went to gym at 6:30. I got out of kick boxing at 8:30 and thought we didn't get anything cause I didn't have any messages. Then I realized the announcement was at 8:30. Then the texts and calls and emails started to roll in. I put on my sunglasses so nobody could see the tears in my eyes and I walked to the bar to get to work."
Casey Nicholaw, Best Director and Best Choreography nominee, Something Rotten!
"It feels great. You never know how things are going to go ,so it feels awesome. I went over to the cast recording because they're recording it today and just everyone erupted when I walked in. It's been a really fun joyous experience and to see people appreciate it, there's nothing you can trade that in for. It happened so quickly because originally we were going to go to Seattle this spring, and after we did our lab this past fall, everyone kept saying we need to try to come in this season. And it was sort of like whoa! Everyone in the set and costume department panicked. But we did it and it felt like we did it the right way. I'm going to go to the theater tonight and just see everyone, and then I'm taking the writers out to dinner tonight."
Broadway veteran Sarah Stiles earns her first Tony nomination for her performance as Jessica in Robert Askins' Hand to God.
(© David Gordon)

Sarah Stiles, Best Featured Actress in a Play nominee, Hand to God
"I can't believe it happened, it's amazing! I didn't watch because I had too many big feelings about it. My phone was sitting right there, and I saw one of my best friends calling me. I agreed I'd only pick up when my manager called me, because we've been together for fifteen years. But I picked up and I burst into tears. It was so lame. When your dreams come true…I was thinking about that moment for my whole life. It was overwhelming in a great way. Then I went on a really long run and now I'm ay my agency and I brought champagne."


Steven Boyer, Best Leading Actor in a Play nominee, Hand to God
"I didn't exactly sleep last night, so I was up very early and saw it on TV. Luckily they got my category out of the way pretty quickly, so I was put out of my misery. We love this play. We're all very close to it. I haven't really been able to celebrate. I literally haven't had time to do anything besides archiving emails. We have to go do the show tonight. I'm sure when everyone sees each other, it's just going to be a love fest."
David Rockwell, Best Scenic Design of a Musical for On the Twentieth Century and of a Play for You Can't Take It With You
"Fortunately I had a lot of stuff I had to do this morning so I didn't fret too much. And then I remembered that two years ago I was so surprised with the nomination of Kinky Boots and Lucky Guy the same year. I had been at the gym when I got the call, so I thought, 'I'm going right back to that gym.' So I went back to the gym and I got a text message from the Twentieth Century team that we had been nominated, and I was so excited that I didn't actually work out. Then the double thrill of being included in a category of incredible designers is indescribable. [It's] my lucky gym…I just figured out the key to fitness.
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