Jessie Mueller, Denzel Washington, Denise Gough, and More React to Tony Nominations
Hear what the stars had to say moments after they found out they were nominated.
The wait is over! The list of 2018 Tony nominees is here. We're chatting with the members of the illustrious short list to hear their first reactions to the big news. Look below at some of the responses, and keep checking as more pour in.
The following comments have been condensed and edited.
Gavin Lee, Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical, SpongeBob SquarePants
"OMG! I am over the moon for SpongeBob. Getting recognized for so many categories is awesome for our fabulous show. I was actually taking my oldest daughter to school when the nominations happened, but my fabulous agent called me to let me know that I'd gotten nominated. Thank you Tony Awards!"
Anthony Boyle, Best Performance by an Actor in Featured Role in a Play, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
"I was so nervous! I was biting my nails and refreshing the Facebook page over and over. I'm blown away, truly honored to be in such amazing company."
Jessie Mueller, Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical, Carousel
"I'm so thrilled for the show. I couldn't be surrounded by better people and better artists; my heart is so happy right now."
Denise Gough, Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play, Angels in America
"I'm so thrilled for everybody. I'm so thrilled to be nominated, but more than anything, I'm especially excited to be nominated in the same category as Susan Brown."
Denzel Washington, Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play, The Iceman Cometh
"Coming back to Broadway is like coming home again. The Iceman Cometh experience has been especially gratifying, working with our sensational director George C. Wolfe and my 18 wonderful castmates."
Michael Arden, Best Direction of a Musical, Once on This Island
"To be honored in such incredible company of artists and theatre is truly a career highlight thus far. I am so incredibly proud of the work of all the artists, technicians, musicians, designers and producers who toiled in the sand and debris to make Once on This Island the magical and relevant piece of theater that it is. It's apparent that art is needed now more than ever and I am humbled to be part of this brilliant community. Congrats to all the nominees and everyone making theater this season."
Glenda Jackson, Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play, Three Tall Women
"Somebody rang me and said the nominations were out, and apparently, my show got five. Obviously, it's very nice that we got those nominations. To do this play is a privilege, really. It's such an interesting piece to do, and one of the marvelous things about it is that I get to work with actresses. Usually, there's only one part for an actress. And to work with actresses of their [Laurie Metcalf and Alison Pill's] caliber is marvelous."
Tony Shalhoub, Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical, The Band's Visit
"We just came from doing a segment on The Today Show, and the hosts announced it to us on camera. It's so thrilling. It's just a tribute to all the hard work that's gone into it. I'm so happy for the company. And I'm happy for all of the people who now may be inspired to come and see it because of the nominations. I had other projects I was going to be doing today, but maybe there will be a three-martini lunch or something like that. It just goes without saying, we're over the moon."
Ari'el Stachel, Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical, The Band's Visit
"Oh my goodness. I'm so so so so happy and so exhausted. I was up performing at The Today Show today so I was up at 4:30. We were all vowed to silence and told to turn off our phones, so we actually finished the performance and all the nominations had been coming out. Then the lead producer came and congratulated me and I didn't know what he really meant and then he said, 'You got nominated.' And I just started to cry. I just want to eat a really, really great greasy meal. I don't know what it's going to be but it's going to be an awesome cheap meal."
Jordan Roth, Producer of Best Play nominee Angels in America
"Oh my god, I'm literally breathless. We got 11 nominations for Angels, which I've just been told makes us the most Tony-nominated play in Broadway history. I can't even get those words out of my mouth. I am so extraordinarily moved and proud for every person who is part of making this piece every night, and really for our whole community. Angels belongs to all of us."
Christine Jones, Best Scenic Design of a Play, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
"I woke up this morning to my phone buzzing with lovely notes of congrats, and am now celebrating with lattes with beloved friends. I'm mainly overjoyed for all my co-conspirators on Harry Potter and to get to share this extra bit of magic with my kids."
David Morse, Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Play, The Iceman Cometh
"I was at breakfast with my wife at home in Philadelphia. We were looking out our windows and enjoying the beautiful spring day, and trying not to get my hopes up. Then my manager rang, and she was shrieking with delight. It's perfect: everybody, really, got recognized: the design team, director George C. Wolfe, and Denzel. I'm going to get in my car, drive to New York, and go do the play."
Michael Yeargan, Best Scenic Design of a Musical, My Fair Lady
"What a thrill that all the visual aspects of My Fair Lady have been recognized with these nominations! I'm so grateful to be part of this amazing team and in the company of fellow nominees who have all done such amazing and diverse work."
David Cromer, Best Direction of a Musical, The Band's Visit
"We were on The Today Show, so we had the added pleasure of all being together. We knew we were going on between 8:30 and 9 and we knew the nominations were coming out then so we told the cast, 'Look guys, we want to be focused for the performance, so everybody please please please turn off your cell phones. We're not going to find out when people normally find out. We'll find out later.' And then the hosts tell us on the air. Plan down the drain! But it feels wonderful. This is not the most likely kind of musical, and we're really grateful that it's been embraced. We all really want to celebrate, but we all should go back to bed."
Ariana DeBose, Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical, Summer: The Donna Summer Musical
"I am absolutely beside myself! I'm thrilled to be included in this incredible lineup of powerhouse women. My high school self is absolutely geeking out right now!… To be able to represent our show, to represent Donna is priceless! Needless to say I burst into tears when I saw my face on that screen during the live stream. It's a proud moment, indeed… I'm just so GRATEFUL!"
Lauren Ambrose, Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical, My Fair Lady
"I found out walking to kindergarten drop-off. Well, walking out of kindergarten drop-off I should say, because I didn't answer the phone in the hallways of the kindergarten. I feel like that would be in poor taste. [laughs] Actually my husband had my phone, and he said, 'Your phone is blowing up. I think you just got nominated for something.' And we had a loving high-five. It's such an honor. I know that everybody has worked so hard and I think it's reflective in our production. Everybody's artistry blows me away, so I'm really happy for this group of people. This unique group of people is what makes this special and I feel very aware of that in our work every day. I think of it as a great responsibility and a tremendous honor to get to do this. It's pretty astounding. We're going to do a little more work on the cast recording today before an early show, so I think I'm just going to continue on in my monastic life that is being in this play."
Jack Thorne, Best Play, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
"I was trying to watch the livestream, but I completely messed it up and missed the first few minutes of it, so I was waiting for our category because I couldn't see that it had been announced. And then of course they reached the end and were like, 'That's it, see you later.' And it was like, 'Oh!' And then we went back and searched through until we found it.
"As a writer you're given opportunities every now and again that are too big to handle basically. And this was one of them…I still don't quite believe that someone entrusted me with this. And so the idea of screwing it up…to damage Harry's world in some way weighed very heavily on me through the whole writing process. And this, the idea that people thought it was OK, that we did OK by [J.K.Rowling], that's what this award means. And it's lovely.
"My nephew Buzz is coming for a sleepover. He's 5. So it'll be mostly dealing with him and my son who's 2, running around the house like maniacs. That's how we'll celebrate tonight…Buzz is petrified of Voldemort so we'll probably have some Harry Potter discussions, but they'll be gentle ones."
Marianne Elliott, Best Direction of a Play, Angels in America
"I would never have expected this honor, and I am thrilled to have been nominated alongside such remarkable fellow nominees. Thank you to the Broadway League and the American Theatre Wing. A huge thank you also to Tony Kushner for taking the chance on an English woman to direct this seminal American classic. I love this play and our extraordinary creative team and cast of actors."
David Yazbek, Best Original Score, The Band's Visit
"Wow! I was watching The Today Show — I was really interested to see their performance because we had worked very hard on it — and it just timed out so perfectly. The nominations were coming through right before they did the song and right after, so Katrina Lenk and Tony Shalhoub received the news that they had each been nominated while they were being interviewed. And then by the time the song was over, the nominations were finished and we had a lot of them, and realized, 'Oh, that probably means that all the people I hoped would be nominated were nominated.' It was probably pretty torturous for anyone who felt like they were on the bubble, but who knows. It's a pretty cool group of cucumbers. I have a meeting later so I guess I'll celebrate at the meeting by maybe putting some whipped cream on my cappuccino."
Gareth Fry, Best Sound Design of a Play, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
"My wife sent me a text message to let me know, which is very exciting. We're teching in year three of the cast for Harry Potter London at the moment, so there were actually a lot of us in the theater together, so we all kind of found out at the same time which was really exciting. I think maybe a bottle of fizz would be in order — a little jumping up and down.
"This is the first year the sound design award is back in a competitive category. And everybody looks to New York as a sort of hub of excellence for sound design, so it's great that they're back to be recognized, and we're very grateful to the Broadway League."
Lauren Ridloff, Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play, Children of a Lesser God
"It has been a very, very, very unusual morning! First, my son wakes me up at 5am demanding a bath. Very unusual. Then I get a text from my masseuse that he was here — my first at-home massage and I forgot all about it. And then my husband says, 'Congratulations, babe!' And I realize I'm nominated for a Tony Award for my role in Children of a Lesser God. A very unusual morning, indeed! Joshua Jackson, my costar, told me last summer in the Berkshires to just shoot for the moon and I might land among the stars. I never dreamt I'd land among stars like Glenda Jackson, Condola Rashad, and Amy Schumer."
Itamar Moses, Best Book of a Musical, The Band's Visit
"I was not at The Today Show because I did not have to perform, so I was there in spirit by not being awake. [laughs] I caught the tail end of the nominations and actually missed seeing my own category live, so I had to go back and refresh the list. But it was very exciting, and I was really happy to see how many people from our show got recognized. I feel like there's something appropriate about it because the show is about how much richer our lives can get if we open ourselves up to another point of view, and I think that mirrors how the show got made. It was really a combination of all of these different people's visions. I suppose that's always true, but that felt especially true in a really mysterious way on this one."
Harry Hadden-Paton, Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical, My Fair Lady
"Thank you to the Tony nominators, André Bishop, and Lincoln Center Theater, and to our director Bartlett Sher for believing in me. I truly could not have imagined a better and more welcoming Broadway experience and am continuously grateful to our cast, crew, and to my family for their amazing dedication to the work, and support. Not-to-mention the wonderful and loyal theatergoers who make this job such an absolute pleasure. Cheers to all the nominees."
Claire van Kampen, Best Play nominee for Farinelli and the King
"As you can imagine, we're slightly gobsmacked and thrilled. I sat there open-mouthed when I saw that Farinelli had been nominated for Best Play. My heart started thumping. We're in such illustrious company of writers.
"Mark [Rylance], my husband, was out at lunch and he had no idea, so when he came in, I said 'Guess what, we'll be going back to New York, both of us!' It's great that we've both been nominated, and it's really great that particularly Paul Russell has been nominated for the lighting. Candle light is an enormous feat to get right, and he's never acknowledged for how clever that is, so it's great that the Broadway community has celebrated that. I couldn't be more thrilled."
Joshua Henry, Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical, Carousel
"The gratitude I feel being celebrated by my theater community while watching the announcements with my wife and newborn son, Samson, is more than I can put into words. I'm extremely proud to be a part of this show and am lucky to work with such an amazing cast and crew."
Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez, Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) Written for the Theatre, Frozen
Kristen: We feel great. What a beautiful day and what nice news we got to experience.
Robert: Before we had kids, Tony nominations seemed like the crack of dawn. Now it's like, "Oh well we let Annie stay home from school a little bit so she can watch it with us."
Kristen: And today is Annie's birthday actually and she gets to pick a birthday cereal. So she picked Lucky Charms. So she was sitting next to us on the couch eating Lucky Charms with unicorn marshmallows in it.
Robert: It's probably the luckiest cereal to be eating.
Kristen: And we planted a tree in honor of my dear friend Monica at 9:30, a beautiful cherry tree in Prospect Park which happens to be the park where we wrote "Let It Go."
Robert: The other thing we did was I've been texting with David Metzger who's our orchestrator and who's so largely responsible for the score and I just wanted to share the nomination with him over texting, and the same with Stephen Oremus and the band. We just feel so grateful to them today.
Kristen: And there is no Frozen without our two main leads who so beautifully celebrate sisterhood every day. So we also share this nomination with our two sisters.
Finn Ross, Best Scenic Design of a Musical, Mean Girls
1st reaction — "Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh." 2nd reaction — "Ahhhhhhhhh." 3rd reaction — "Immense pride in the collaboration that led us to making Mean Girls' design everything that it is. And immense pride in the show and all on and off stage – I'm so happy to have been part of this once-in-a-lifetime experience."
LaChanze, Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical, Summer: The Donna Summer Musical
"I am deeply proud to be nominated this year for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical. My performance could not exist without the brilliance of my iron-clad costars [including this year's Tony nominee for Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical Ariana DeBose], ensemble, director, choreographer and everyone else who make this exciting musical a reality each night. I am especially grateful to be in a category of women that have been selected, who are all divas in their own right. I celebrate this moment with them all."
Casey Nicholaw, Best Direction of a Musical and Best Choreography, Mean Girls
"I was so excited this morning to hear the news of our nominations. As a kid, I lived for whatever bits of Broadway I could see or hear — I feel like I'm 8 years old today! We've all worked so hard between DC and our Broadway opening. It feels so fantastic to have that work recognized.''
Katrina Lenk, Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical, The Band's Visit
"I'm thrilled, and very proud of our cast, creative team, and crew. I have such respect and admiration for the artists in this community and to have our work recognized in this way is quite an honor."
Grey Henson, Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical, Mean Girls
"In true New York fashion, I stepped on a roach in my apartment this morning and then found out one of my dreams came true. I couldn't be happier to be a part of this show. Truly too gay/overwhelmed to function."
Laurie Metcalf, Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play, Three Tall Women
"I had a couple of texts from friends. I was trying to sleep in because I'm on this later schedule now, so that's how I found out. So that was exciting, and then I got to see that the play itself had gotten six nominations, which is really cool. It's a working day. I've committed to shoot a scene for a friend of mine — and then the cast will meet in Glenda [Jackson]'s dressing room at 4:30. Every Tuesday we run through the whole show in her dressing room to get everybody up to speed after having the day off. I thought I had good stamina. I think Glenda could do that play five times a day."
Jennifer Lee, Best Book of a Musical, Frozen
"I'm in LA and I was in and out of sleep all night. I finally fell asleep and woke up two minutes into the announcement with dozens of texts. It's the best way to wake up. I'm still processing it. It's the most extraordinary thing. I'm so proud of the show. It's my first experience working on Broadway. I've been obsessed with Broadway since I was a little girl, so I'm blown away. Every person I worked with on the show is so giving, and generous, and loving. I'm home today working on my next outline for my next draft of Frozen 2, so that's how I'm celebrating."
Diana Rigg, Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical, My Fair Lady
Bartlett Sher, Best Direction of a Musical, My Fair Lady
"I am genuinely excited for our show. My Fair Lady was the largest undertaking I have ever attempted at LCT. It was a huge risk and I felt very fortunate to share this work with such an astonishing group of artists. People don't realize how hard it is to make these musicals, and how intense the pressure is, and how close a company can become. So the recognition from the Tony Awards is well deserved for all us, and it feels especially good because it acknowledges profoundly all of our commitment and hard work.
"And I feel especially honored to be in the company of such an amazing group of nominees. All of my fellow nominees have done mind-blowing work. They are all exceptional artists and I am honored to be in their company.
"I am really looking forward to the joyful celebrations ahead."
Jamie Parker, Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
"This is like some excruciating teenaged day dream that you'd be mortified if anyone found out about it even 25 years later. I'm literally the only person here I've never heard of. Tonys, what the hell? Thanks, by the way. That was very lovely of you. Let me say also to the Tony nominators, 'Thanks for acknowledging every possible corner of the production they could.' The whole team is world-class and every last one of them deserves a late-night special of their own. Thanks for recognizing them as a whole group, I wouldn't want to be on this ride with anyone else."
Steven Hoggett, Best Choreography, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
"I'm chuffed to bits about the nomination today. The idea of choreography is changing enormously, and the Tony committee acknowledging Harry Potter and the Cursed Child in this way is a huge recognition of choreographers all over the world who are bringing their artistry to shows that might not always be a musical. It's a thrilling time for choreographers, and I'm very proud to be a part of this."
Tina Landau, Best Direction of a Musical, SpongeBob SquarePants
"I'm so crazy proud of our entire SpongeBob team! — That's how I feel. Thrilled for the show itself. I'm most proud of the multiple nominations because making theater comes from an 'us' not a 'me,' you know? I was watching live online with my girlfriend, and as names were being read aloud — Tom Kitt, Walter Trarbach and Mike Dobson, Kyle Jarrow, Chris Gattelli, our designers, actors, composers — I kept fist-pumping the air and saying, 'Yes!' When my name was read, I fell completely silent. Much to my own surprise, it brought me to a place of quiet reflection. It's moving and layered for me, and causing me to reflect on the whole 10-year journey this has been for me so far. So yes, I'm quiet and humbled and grateful this moment — but tonight I get to go to the Palace Theater where pure joy is spread in abundance each night and I get to celebrate with the whole friggin' town of Bikini Bottom!! Also, congrats to every single person who has made theater this year, that's what I say!"
Kyle Jarrow, Best Book of a Musical, SpongeBob SquarePants
"I'm incredibly honored to be nominated, alongside three writers I admire so much: Tina Fey, Itamar Moses, and Jennifer Lee. Talk about good company, wow! I'm also over-the-moon proud of the amazing SpongeBob SquarePants cast, crew, and creative team. It's a testament to all of their hard work — and to director Tina Landau's awesome vision — that the show got so many nominations.
"As for how I found out: I have an almost-2-year-old daughter, Oona, who recently got a set of Sesame Street toys that she's obsessed with. We were playing with them together, putting them in and out of a little toy car (Oona never seems to tire of that) while my wife (also a Tony nominee, Lauren Worsham) watched the nomination streamcast in the corner, giving live reports. When I got the nomination, Lauren screamed — I screamed too — thoroughly scaring our toddler. Sorry Oona!"
David Zinn, Best Scenic Design of a Musical and Best Costume Design of a Musical, SpongeBob SquarePants
"I was having breakfast at my corner diner and flipped my phone over after I knew the announcements would be out — figuring there would either be some texts with lots of exclamation marks, or it would be blank. So it was nice to see all the exclamation marks. Of course I'm so excited to have so much of the work on SpongeBob recognized — it's a project that was really birthed in Joy and the spirit of Creative Exuberance, and having that message embraced is a thrill and an honor. And I am nominated alongside colleagues whose work I love and admire, so…yeah, just a delightful and humbling way to start the morning."
Christopher Gattelli, Best Choreography, SpongeBob SquarePants
"I'm beside myself. Literally. To say I'm honored and overwhelmed is an understatement. I'm incredibly grateful, but I'm even more so excited about our shows. Both SpongeBob and My Fair Lady being recognized as they were. Both teams and casts are truly special led by our brilliant leaders Tina and Bart, that that made me more happy and proud than anything.
"I tried to go about my morning like any other and thought, well, if I hear my phone "bing" that could be a good thing... and it did, and I found out from Seth Rudetsky, who was the first to text. Which made it all the more special as I basically started this phase of my career choreographing with Seth doing numbers for Broadway Cares and that's when the bug really bit me. So to hear from Seth was pretty special."
Kevin Adams, Best Lighting Design of a Musical, SpongeBob SquarePants
"It's the first day of sun in some time, and I was out mulching my yard early this beautiful spring morning. Very excited to come inside and hear the news from my agent. I'm very proud to be nominated with so many other remarkable friends, collaborators and theater artists from other shows and SpongeBob, and I'm especially happy for the director of SpongeBob, Tina Landau."
Walter Trarbach and Mike Dobson, Best Sound Design of a Musical, SpongeBob SquarePants
Mike Dobson: I was making breakfast and watching the announcement live. I was already freaking out that the show was getting so many nominations. By the time they got to sound design, it was all a blur. I'm so honored and excited to be nominated. It feels totally surreal.
Walter Trarbach: I was working preparing for Ain't Too Proud this morning. I didn't know it was Tony nomination day. My assistant on the show texted me a bunch of exclamation points, and I wrote back and asked her, 'What?' Then I started hearing from a bunch of people, phone calls, emails, and texts. I find it quite exciting, and also a little embarrassing.
Tom Kitt, Best Orchestrations, SpongeBob SquarePants
"Today, I'm elated and extremely proud to be recognized by the Tony committee along with my friends and collaborators on SpongeBob SquarePants, as well as all the other gifted artists who made this season so extraordinary. I'm very grateful for this nomination, and I also want to congratulate my fellow nominated orchestrators as well, who are all musicians that I draw inspiration from. It is truly an honor to be in their company.
"This has been an enormously busy year for me and I've had the great privilege of working on so many projects I love, but my family has had to weather a lot of time apart. So this morning, while I was up in Boston, it was very special to be on FaceTime with my wife as the nominations were being read and to experience that moment with her. And as that was happening, I thought of my kids in school and how I can't wait to tell them the news and give them all big hugs. My family has shared the journey of SpongeBob from the beginning and has seen all of the work that has gone into it, so experiencing this moment now with them is truly a gift that for today, makes the distance seem not so great."
Nathan Lane, Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Play, Angels in America
"I am thrilled to be a part of the most nominated revival in Tony history. Just to be in this company of extraordinary actors under the direction of the brilliant Marianne Elliott in Tony Kushner's masterwork has been an incredible gift. So today is more than just the proverbial icing on the cake, it's the entire dessert tray at the Four Seasons. I feel very happy and grateful and a little bloated."
Ayad Akhtar, Best Play, Junk
"I am so honored by this nomination, humbled to be in such amazing company with the other nominees. Junk was an enormous undertaking, and one that depended on so many, a company of amazing actors, a brilliant design team, the committed, inspired support of Andre Bishop and Lincoln Center Theater, and of course, the inimitable Doug Hughes, who was my partner in the enterprise from start to finish. I am so grateful to the nominating committee."
Tom Hollander, Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play, Travesties
"I am thrilled and delighted to be nominated. Huge thanks to Todd Haimes and all at the Roundabout. To David Babani and Tom Syracuse at the Chocolate Factory. To Sonia Friedman, Patrick Marber, Tom Stoppard, and the rest of the brilliant company of Travesties. It means a great deal to be part of this revival of a play that I was mystified by 30 years ago when we studied it at school but has now become my friend. Like a comical confetti shower of ideas projected in strange and beautiful patterns by the genius of Tom Stoppard."
Condola Rashad, Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play, Saint Joan
"A huge thank you to the American Theater Wing and the Broadway League. I am thrilled for all of this year's nominees, and am deeply humbled and grateful to have been acknowledged in this way. I am constantly moved and inspired by Joan, and I can't wait to get back to the theater this afternoon to continue to tell her story to people of all ages and backgrounds, as many times as I possibly can!"
Ethan Slater, Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical, SpongeBob SquarePants
"I'm still a little in shock that I've been nominated for a Tony! The Tony Awards are an event I've looked forward to watching as a fan every year since I was a kid, and now to see my name as part of that legacy is totally surreal. And among all those incredible actors and artists? I'm just so honored. I cannot wait to celebrate the work by the whole Broadway community, of my fellow nominees and all of the shows that opened this season. And to do so in person! Surreal."
Hailey Kilgore, Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical, Once on This Island
"This morning was a morning that I swore I would treat like any other. I looked out the window and thought to myself, 'I'm just gonna take a walk.' Cue airpods, fresh air, and Ariana Grande. 8:44am my phone rings. On the other end my beautiful parents screaming, crying, laughing...all of it! My whole world was rocked. I literally ran to the nearest tree and held my hand to it. The initial thing that drew me to Ti Moune's story was the sense of love and community. Not only among the people who raised her, but the people who raised her up on her journey. In this journey of mine, I have been so lucky to have a village of people to teach me the importance of hard work, perseverance, asking questions, and most importantly to love. Humbled. Honored. Grateful."
Ken Davenport and Hunter Arnold, Producers of Best Revival of a Musical nominee Once on This Island
"We gathered together a team of brilliant creatives and performing artists led by the visionary talent Michael Arden, who took a chance on the gifted Hailey Kilgore for the role of Ti Moune and took an entirely new look at the casting of other major roles. Once on This Island has always been a beloved Broadway underdog. The small feisty musical that won the hearts of audiences in the 1990s has been reinvented and is finding a new generation of fans who have embraced Michael's revolutionary interpretation of a new vision for the island. We could not be more proud that it all came together in this stunning and powerful production. We are thrilled that Once on This Island has been recognized and honored along with all the other nominees this year."
Taylor Louderman, Best Performance by an Actress in a in a Leading Role in a Musical, Mean Girls
"I remember watching the Tony Awards as a young girl thinking I would never get that far, but in my heart wanting so badly to perform on Broadway and defy the expectations of my small town. I am so grateful to be included in this category. It is a dream."
Mark Rylance, Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play, Farinelli and the King
"I'm very happy this morning. I came home from meeting with two theater architects, and Claire told me the news, which is very nice. I'm thrilled by the nominations, because it doesn't happen in London. The Globe is never nominated for awards in London; certainly the designers are rarely nominated, and the actors are hardly ever nominated. It's interesting that a project started by Sam Wanamaker is so welcomed in America when we bring work from the Globe. And for a candle-lit show to get a lighting nomination is quite extraordinary. Claire and I are going to celebrate by lighting candles."
Lindsay Mendez, Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical, Carousel
"I was in bed with my husband trying to watch the nominations, but the feed was busted. I can't function much before 8:30am, so I was shocked how many people have texted me so early. I was like, 'Oh wow! People get up at this time.' Some of my best friends are going to come over for a little lunch today, and then I'm going to celebrate with the cast of Carousel tonight. We're all so excited and grateful."
Ashley Park, Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical, Mean Girls
"I'm wandering around Central Park right now. I was here with two of my good friends when the nominations were announced. We got coffee and I decided to put my phone away and enjoy this beautiful day. I've never watched the nominations live. I knew that if it was good news, I would have a bunch of messages on my phone. I'm really overwhelmed from all the love and outpouring of support from people I've worked with in the past few years. I'm so thrilled for Mean Girls and KPOP [nominated for multiple Drama Desk Awards, including for Park's performance]. Both of them were amazing experiences. I love my Mean Girls family so much. It's the most fun I've ever had onstage. Our cast is going to go look at the billboard in Times Square before the performance tonight, and then I think I'm going to get a good night's sleep before the reception tomorrow morning.
Ben Stanton, Best Lighting Design of a Play, Junk
"I had just gotten out of the shower when I found out. I'm embarrassed to say that I checked out. I just started tech on the new John Kander and David Thompson musical, The Beast in the Jungle, at Vineyard Theatre; so I didn't know that the nominations were being announced today. This is exactly what happened when I was nominated two years ago: I was in the shower. I get out of the shower and all the sudden I have 50 text messages on my phone. It's an amazing feeling, particularly when you have no expectation of being nominated. Junk happened before the holidays, so it felt like a real long shot. I'm so honored that the nominators remembered the work. I'm in tech with Susan Stroman until midnight tonight, but maybe I'll get myself some dessert during my dinner break to celebrate. This surprise has been really lovely."
Tina Fey and Jeff Richmond, Best Book and Best Score, Mean Girls
"We are honestly too excited and too proud of our ensemble to make a joke about this. We are so grateful to be embraced by the Broadway community in this way and that we get to work together 25 hours a day with the same amount of excitement as our young cast. This is new for all of us."
AnnMarie Milazzo, Best Orchestrations, Once on This Island
"It was a privilege to have collaborated with Michael Starobin, the entire creative team and this cast of remarkably gifted singers!"
Alexander Gemignani, Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical, Carousel
"I'm thrilled. I was with my wife and my daughter, who's going to be 3 in a week, and we were hanging around. And then last minute, my wife said, 'Hey! The Tony nominations are being announced this morning.' So we turned on my computer and watched the nominations. We celebrated with a big family hug and some dancing, and then I walked out to the train to go to rehearsal. It's been a fantastic morning. I was lucky to be sharing it with my family, who I love so much. The cast has been texting back and forth all morning. We are such a happy bunch at the Imperial Theatre. We're so lucky to be doing a show we love. We love going to work. So for that to be recognized at all is just wonderful. It means the hard work and sense of community we've created is getting through to audiences and nominators."
Noma Dumezweni, Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
"I'm feeling very happy for the Harry Potter and the Cursed Child company. I found out via phone call from a friend, because I wake up late in the mornings. My friend Tamara Tunie said, 'Oh my god, you got a nomination!' I'm like, 'What? Oh Tonys! Of course!' So it was brilliant. It's a wonderful, wonderful thing to happen, absolutely for the company, which is wonderful.
"A few of us from the company are going to meet this afternoon, outside because it's a lovely beautiful day and it's a day off today, and just chat in the sunshine. So it's basically the family that I already have with me in New York, just catching up. It's all just worked out lovely."
John Tiffany, Best Direction of a Play, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
"I'm over the moon that so many of the brilliant artists who I have had the great fortune of collaborating with on Harry Potter and the Cursed Child have been recognised by the Broadway League and the American Theater Wing."
Clint Ramos, Best Costume Design of a Musical, Once on This Island
"I feel flabbergasted. It means the world and an honor to be nominated among these design titans. Also, it's so humbling and encouraging to be recognized for design that doesn't resemble a traditional Broadway musical — it just means that we have the room for something more unconventional. Thank you!"
Amy Schumer, Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play, Meteor Shower
(via Instagram) "Hey! I got nominated for a TONY for being in Steve Martin's play "Meteor Shower" i don't think i have a shot at winning so I'll thank everyone here. I'm really grateful and proud as hell. Thank you Jerry Zaks for directing and encouraging me. Steve for your confidence in me and for writing this play. Getting to spend time with you laughing and listening to you play the banjo was heaven. @jeremyshamos for being such a great partner. @keeganmic for tirelessly showing up each show and always being so kind. And @laurabenanti for being my absolute partner in crime and making me laugh every day and being my friend and flawless in this play. You are a real broadway star and taught me everything with grace and patience. And you're a c[*]nt! All my friends for showing up and supporting me. My girls from home. Comics and friends. My family. @mofischhh for going over lines with me. @kimcaramele and @caramelodies for always showing up for me. Chris and Tati for coming a million times and for loving me. The producers. The crew who were so giving with their work and their time and their baking skills. My girls @andrea_tiller @kimmykuppkakes and @robinfitz for keeping me looking right. Vickie and Kunchok and @clubsodakennyfor keeping me safe and getting me Korean food. And the audiences who came. Even tho sometimes I would yell at them for eating m and ms too loud. I've dreamt about being on broadway since I was a little idiot and man it delivered. The broadway community made me feel welcome and i think it's because they know how much love and respect i have for their work. Seeing theater is one of the greatest joys in my life. I'm proud to have studied under Bill Esper at the William Esper studio and of my theater company @collectivenyorg Who I am a founding member of. Thank you @mugsykane As always for your guidance. Thank you. I love you alll! #balmain"
Norbert Leo Butz, Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical, My Fair Lady
"I'm thrilled and honored! This project has been a dream job from the beginning. The role, the script and score, a brilliant Bart Sher at the helm, a dream cast and design team, and to top it all off, that wonderful, legendary Vivian Beaumont stage at LCT. I heard about the nomination from my manager (and, yes, I had to be woken up. My 7-year-old was up throughout the night with a fever and sore throat, so dad was sleeping in. One of the ironic benefits of having a sick kid the morning of Tony nominations is that one tends to forget the nominations are coming out! Which removes a lot of useless stress over the whole thing! On the down side, however, I may infect the entire cast with strep throat in the next 24 hours.)"
Lorne Michaels, Producer of Best Musical nominee Mean Girls
"If you had told me when I was in high school that someday I was going to get a Tony nomination I would have thought, "Fantastic. Lead Actor in a Musical." Still, I'm thrilled. It's been a joy to work with this cast and creative team and we hope we've made Stuart Thompson proud."
Susan Brown, Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play, Angels in America
"I'm a bit in shock, to be honest with you. I got up this morning and was making myself a cup of tea when my husband rang me from London, so it was a beautiful thing to find out from him. I'm glad I wasn't actually carrying my cup of tea at the time. As I said to somebody else, the aim in playing these parts is to be invisible as myself. I feel very blessed and tremendously flattered."
Andrew Garfield, Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play, Angels in America
"I feel beyond honored to be nominated in this category with stage acting heroes of mine. The sun is finally shining in New York and to be telling the story of Angels in America on Broadway at this particular moment in time feels like the greatest gift and opportunity already. And to have the Tonys and the theater community here in this city recognize our work in this way feels like icing on top of icing on top of icing. I'm so proud of this production and all of our crew, actors, designers and crafts people and perhaps most especially for our warrior director Marianne Elliott, whose vision is bringing Tony Kushner's masterpiece of a play to the Neil Simon Theater every night in its full glory; offering healing and medicine and hope to an audience of hungry souls that truly need it. Congratulations to all the nominees in all categories. How beautiful to be a part of such a rich and heartfelt community. I'll be beaming till 2019!"
Dane Laffrey, Best Scenic Design of a Musical, Once on This Island
"I'm ecstatic that our show was shown so much love and that the whole family of designers were recognized (along with our brilliant leader Michael Arden). I'm honored and humbled to be nominated in the company of artists I greatly admire. Having the opportunity to reimagine Stephen [Flaherty] and Lynn [Ahrens]'s gorgeous ‘'Once on This Island'' has been the greatest of gifts and an incredible journey that gets more exciting by the day!"
Patrick Marber, Best Direction of a Play, Travesties
"It has been one of the greatest pleasures of my professional life to work with Tom Stoppard and our incredible company of actors, creatives, crew, agents, marketeers, publicists, string pullers, and producers to bring this great play back to Broadway. I loved every moment of directing Travesties. To be nominated for a Tony award for doing so feels like a gift too far. But I am extremely grateful to receive it. I intend to spend the next few weeks undermining and impugning the credibility and integrity of my fellow directing nominees thus to lay the pathway for my personal victory on June 10."