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2014 Tony Nominees React to Their Nominations

Newly minted Tony nominees tell us how they found out and what they are going to do to celebrate.

Broadway is aglow with excitement, as the 2014 Tony Award nominations were announced this morning. We will be speaking with nominees all day long to share reactions with our readers. Stay tuned to this story, which will be updated throughout the day with reactions from brand-new Tony Award nominees.

Kelli O'Hara receives her fifth Tony Award nomination for The Bridges of Madison County.
(© David Gordon)

Kelli O'Hara, Best Leading Actress in a Musical Nominee, The Bridges of Madison County

"I'm emotionally great; I have laryngitis, but I'm good. I didn't watch the announcements only because I'm just one of those nervous people, so I just try to go along with my own daily life. Then my manager showed up with balloons. It's one of those things that you try to tell yourself you don't really need to have and you'll be just fine and then when it happens you feel a big waft of phew. I'm going to go to the doctor but I'm with my kids and I'm just going to take it easy and appreciate my show. I'm disappointed that some other people in my show weren't nominated — my partner for instance, Steve Pasquale — so I'm going to try to balance that out somehow and have some good conversations and try to feel better about that but I'm happy. I can walk away from this and say I would rather have done something like this that I feel proud of and feel that it's quality for a little bit than have something run for a long time that's not creatively challenging for me. I'm very happy and very grateful for it."

Jarrod Spector, Best Featured Actor in a Musical Nominee, Beautiful — The Carole King Musical

''I'll be honest, I had kind of a rough night's sleep but I woke up this morning and came out to the living room and watched it with my fiancée, said a little prayer, and tried to stay calm, and now I've got to tell you I'm pretty happy. I'd be lying if I said I was not pretty happy. I don't actually have plans to celebrate. I plan to try to sleep at some point today because I did not sleep well last night and I have a show tonight and I know we have the press junket tomorrow so I'm just trying to stay calm. I actually have chores to do today so I'm going to as calmly as possible try to continue on with my normal life and go to work tonight."

Jarrod Spector and Anika Larsen are first-time Tony Award nominees for Beautiful — The Carole King Musical.
(© David Gordon)

Anika Larsen, Best Featured Actress in a Musical Nominee, Beautiful — The Carole King Musical

"Oh my goodness, my phone is blowing up like crazy. I'm standing in the middle of Penn Station, I'm crying in Penn Station, nobody noticed because it's New York City. Nobody cared. But I just got off the train so it's insane. Even as I'm talking to you right now, I've never gotten so many texts. It's unbelievable. I couldn't be happier that both [Jarrod Spector and I] were nominated because we're such a team, it wouldn't have felt right if we weren't nominated together. We've worked so hard together and it's become such a partnership and it's glorious to share this with him.

My best friend is back in town just for the day and we had made plans to have breakfast and I didn't realize it was going to coincide with this but I can't think of anything better to do than have breakfast with her. And I think I'm going to spend the day responding to all the good wishes people are sending me, which is overwhelming. It's better than my birthday. When I was little I watched to Tonys obsessively, and to think that I'm now somehow a part of that is unbelievable."

Terrence McNally, Best Play Nominee, Mothers and Sons

"I'm ecstatic. I'm so happy and proud. It's a great moment for new American plays on Broadway. This is my sixth nomination. I've won four times before. This is very important for our show. It's a new American play and we're a challenged species, so we need things like this to remind the public we're here too. Surviving in between all the big musicals with their billion-dollar budgets, there are also new American plays trying to be heard. I think we have been heard. It's a very gratifying moment. I think we'll all go out for a drink after the show tonight."

Danny Burstein and Linda Emond are 2014 Tony Award nominees for Cabaret.
(© Joan Marcus)

Linda Emond, Best Featured Actress in a Musical Nominee, Cabaret

"Kelly Saxon, my divine dresser, called me screaming and crying, bless her heart. As that call came in, the phone started going cuckoo. I was not awake, as you can hear in my voice. It's very exciting. I'm very happy for Danny [Burstein]; the two of us really adore each other. I'm going to go to yoga to help me cool off and have a really nice cappuccino at Joe."

Danny Burstein, Best Featured Actor in a Musical Nominee, Cabaret

(statement from press representative)

"I am incredibly honored and so happy for all the nominees. The only thing better would have been for my dear friend, Michelle Williams, to also receive a nomination. But I am thrilled to receive my fifth nomination and look forward to all the festivities and all the fun."

Jessie Mueller receives her second Tony nomination, as Carole King in Beautiful — The Carole King Musical.
(© David Gordon)

Jessie Mueller, Best Leading Actress in a Musical Nominee, Beautiful — The Carole King Musical

"My best friend Brian came over. He brought bagels and we made some coffee and you know, sat down and turned it on. We were like, why not? I've never watched the nominations before and he was kinda like, 'You wanna watch them?" And I was like, 'Sure, let's make a morning of it.' So we did. It was a really fun way to spend the morning and I was flipping out when they called Andy Karl's name. He's a friend. And I mean all the other ladies in my categories, it was fun to see my little picture up there with them. It seems a bit surreal, but it was a good, it was a fun morning.

I jumped off the couch when they called Jarrod Spector's name and then again continued to jump when they called Anika's. I'm just so proud of our show and it's always a weird thing, like awards, no awards, but it's a really special feeling when all your peers and your show family get recognized as well so I'm just thrilled for our show."

Lena Hall receives her first Tony nomination, for the Broadway premiere of Hedwig and the Angry Inch.
(© David Gordon)

Lena Hall, Best Featured Actress in a Musical Nominee, Hedwig and the Angry Inch

"This is crazy! My agent called me. I think he heard 'Lena' and just called me right away. He woke me up, because I had to sleep through it. I was a nervous wreck. I've never been part of an awards season before; I've never been in a part that could be nominated, so I was not expecting anything. I was trying not to get my hopes up, so I went to bed. [laughs] I think I woke up at 7:30 and thought about it for a second and then passed back out. I was like, 'if I get phone calls, that's good. If not, then that's fine.' But I did! [Director] Michael Mayer called me right after I got off the phone with my agent and he's so proud. Everyone knew Neil was going to be nominated, but everyone said they had their fingers crossed for me. [pause] I didn't know that!" [laughs]

Andy Karl receives his first Tony nomination for playing the title role in Rocky.
(© David Gordon)

Andy Karl, Best Leading Actor in a Musical Nominee, Rocky

"I'm excited and proud of being a part of a show that I really believe in — and to be acknowledged. It's a lot of insanity. I did watch the announcements, and I made my wife [actress Orfeh] watch them. She wanted to crawl in the closet and not come out until afterwards but I'm like, Nah, let's watch them, it'll be fine. I'm passive as far as things like this go because I just don't want to put too much pressure on myself. I've gotten a lot of people at the stage door or my friends saying, You're going to get this nomination! and I'm like, What if I don't? But what was really great was I was watching NY1 and my friend Jessie Mueller pops up on the screen and I pop up immediately after her. She's like my actual real sister but she's not my sister. She's my sister from another mother. But I have never felt this sense of pride being part of something with friends. And [it means a lot] for me to carry this torch for the show and make sure that there's an acknowledgment for the show — because I truly believe in Rocky. It really touches my heart and I'm hoping that it does for audiences. I'm really proud of this. I'll be celebrating in the gym. That's what I do. Every morning. I get up and I go to the gym. Actually, the Tony nominations got in the way of me going to the gym this morning. [laughs] You know, I have to take my shirt off every night so I'm like, First things first, get the gym out of the way and go. I'll be telling my trainer. After the show I'll go to dinner with my agents and they'll pay." [laughs]

Celia Keenan-Bolger received her third nomination for her performance in The Glass Menagerie.
(© David Gordon)

Celia Keenan-Bolger, Best Featured Actress in a Play Nominee, The Glass Menagerie

"I'm really, really relieved and happy. Well, I certainly woke up for it, but also I'm about to go to a rehearsal at Lincoln Center so I had to wake up anyway.

No plans to celebrate yet. I mean, I think I probably will. I'm going to have to sort of get through the day first. Right now I'm just enjoying being with my husband getting a lot of social-media love and friend love."

Isabel Toledo, Best Costume Design of a Play Nominee, After Midnight

"I'm thrilled. This is amazing. This is a first for me, because I've never done this before. I'm just so happy to be a part of this. My husband, Ruben, and I, both put so much into this. We're just really happy that Warren [Carlyle] asked us to work on this. I never expected to be nominated. I was in the shower while the nominations were being announced and Ruben came in to tell me. Tommy Tune is having a party for us tonight, so I'm going to his place to celebrate. I'm excited to meet everyone else and see how the Broadway people celebrate."

Sarah Greene is a first-time nominee for her performance in The Cripple of Inishmaan.
(© David Gordon)

Sarah Greene, Best Featured Actress in a Play Nominee, The Cripple of Inishmaan

"I am so thrilled to be considered! I am delighted [that] the entire production and creative team have been recognized. The Cripple of Inishmaan has been a really incredible experience for the whole company."

James Monroe Iglehart is a first-time Tony nominee for his performance as Genie in Aladdin.
(© David Gordon)

James Monroe Iglehart, Best Featured Actor in a Musical Nominee, Aladdin

"The first thing I did was scream, and then I kind of crumpled and went, 'omigosh that happened!' Then I cried. My wife and I were watching live. I never get up this early, because I'm an actor. [laughs] We're starving, so we're gonna go get breakfast and then probably take a nap. I have a show tonight and have to let everyone know that I deserve this Tony nomination! I pinch myself every single day. Every time I come out of that doggone lamp I say, 'wow this is happening!' The Tony nomination, the Drama Desk nomination, it's the gravy on a wonderful theatrical meal."

Leigh Silverman, Best Director of a Musical Nominee, Violet

"I'm completely in shock and awe. I am one-hundred-percent overwhelmed. I'm in a cab at the moment on the way home from Jeanine Tesori's apartment where we watched the Tony nominations come in and so I'm in like a state of total shock. I felt like after 17 years for Jeanine of wanting this show to be recognized I just wanted to be with her to hopefully hear the name Violet and I'm so happy for her and for Brian [Crawley]. It's been such an incredible labor of love for them and such a success story and it's just amazing. So I was really there just to celebrate our show. And I just couldn't believe it."

Michael Mayer is a Best Director of a Musical Tony nominee for Hedwig and the Angry Inch.
(© David Gordon)

Michael Mayer, Best Director of a Musical Nominee, Hedwig and the Angry Inch

"I always forget how early these things are. I was just lying in bed and suddenly the phone started buzzing. I thought, 'It's buzzed a few times, so this is probably a good thing.' There's an awful thing that happens when there's bad news and there's no sound at all. I've been on both ends of it through the years. I'm delighted for my whole team. I got choked up [when I heard] Lena's name. I've texted back and forth with Neil — he had a three-day weekend so he and David [Burtka] are on vacation. I'm delighted for my whole team. That's the best part of it, when everyone gets recognized this way. As a director, your job is to bring all these people together. That we all made something we're so proud of is the best feeling of all and to have that recognized is truly the icing on the cake. Today, I'm celebrating by going to the doctor, because I just had surgery, am on crutches, and am basically bedridden. I have to see the doctor at 11:30 and hopefully he'll tell me I can put some weight on my foot. So maybe I'll celebrate by having a glass of champagne and being able to walk."

Samuel Barnett
(© David Gordon)

Samuel Barnett, Best Leading Actor in a Play Nominee, Twelfth Night

"I'm really shocked, I have to say. Very, very shocked. I'm in London and I thought the awards were being announced later in the day. As it turns out, I was at the gym and my friend called me and said, 'You've been nominated.' I couldn't quite believe it. I genuinely did not expect it. I screamed a little bit, said, 'Oh dear, I'm in a public place,' left very quickly, and have been on the phone ever since. To be nominated in that category is a massive achievement. On a group level, I'm so pleased that the plays have been recognized, for the rest of the company and the producers and the crew. I've spoken to Paul [Chahidi] and had a e-mail from Stephen Fry. Mark [Rylance] is off filming Wolf Hall, so he's probably on set right now. I always thought he should be nominated for both Olivia [in Twelfth Night] and Richard [in Richard III]. And to have three out of the five nominations for the same play [in one category] is extraordinary. I'm thrilled."

Mare Winningham is a Tony nominee for Featured Actress in a Play.
(© David Gordon)

Mare Winningham, Best Featured Actress in a Play Nominee, Casa Valentina

"I feel emotional and satisfied and grateful. I really love this play so I think I'm feeling emotional on behalf of the beautiful ensemble and I'm mad for my director and our writer so it's lovely when you feel so attached and so happy for everyone and proud of everyone.

I'm embarrassed that I slept. I thought I would be awake and watch it live because it would be exciting. I had a strong feeling that Casa would get a play nomination but I was up very late and slept through it and so my phone was going a little crazy at 9:05 which was sweet. A fun way to wake up with twenty-five texts.

I'm so happy for— I was just taking a second to look at what was going on with the other things, and I'm so happy for LaTanya Richardson Jackson, who's a friend. That thrilled me. And all the ones for Gentleman's Guide, which I just loved. And of course I'm so thrilled for Reed Birney and Rita [Ryack], our costumer. That was just thrilling.

My brother is in town and coming to the show tonight so that will be fun. And apparently there's some junket tomorrow, which I wasn't aware of. So I better run out and try to find a dress this afternoon. So I'm going to hang up from you and try to get my act together."

Anika Noni Rose, LaTanya Richardson Jackson, and Sophie Okonedo are all nominated for their performances in A Raisin in the Sun.
(© David Gordon)

Sophie Okonedo, Best Featured Actress in a Play Nominee, A Raisin in the Sun

"I was sleeping! I tried not to pay too much attention because it would make me nervous. I thought [the nominations] would be a bit later; I didn't know it would be first thing in the morning. I'm really excited. It hasn't really settled in yet, but I'm totally thrilled. I can't believe it. This whole trip to New York has been the best ever. I love doing the show every night. I'm so happy for LaTanya [Richardson Jackson] and Anika [Noni Rose], my two ladies. We'll have a few nights out. I want to ring my mum. I need to tell her what happened!"

LaTanya Richardson Jackson, Best Leading Actress in a Play, A Raisin in the Sun

"I'm in a bit of shock. Just a little bit. I didn't [watch the broadcast], but I actually have it taped. I meant to watch it but the phone's been ringing! I'm still sitting in a little bit of shock. I am in such awe, and yes, I did cry because this is unbelievable to me, the miracle that happened when I was on my way, doing something else. I'm apoplectic! I'm trying to figure it all out. You never know how life is going to go. You never know what there is waiting at the end of any turn. This is the biggest thing for me that God could have done. It's like manna from heaven."

Anika Noni Rose, Best Featured Actress in a Play Nominee, A Raisin in the Sun

"I wasn't watching; I try not to do that to myself. I woke up at around 9:30, plugged the phone in, and in came the texts. I actually had a dream that I checked my texts and the first one was, 'Oh, I'm so sorry, Anika!' [laughs] It's so exciting, too, when everyone gets to be happy; you don't have to be excited on the sidelines. It's such an ensemble piece and I'm just really thankful Kenny Leon was recognized for that. I don't know if I have any celebration scheduled. I'm just gonna run into that theater, jump up and down and scream with everyone, and create a mosh pit!"

Beowulf Boritt is the nominated scenic designer of Act One.
(© David Gordon)

Beowulf Boritt, Best Scenic Design of a Play Nominee, Act One

"I'm a little inarticulate about it. To be honest, I found out because I got a text from my prop supervisor that just said, 'Ahhhhhhhh!' I knew they were announcing them today but I was too nervous to watch. Nine years ago, James Lapine gave me my first Broadway show and he changed my life with that. To get a Tony nomination working with friends and for a play about the theater is so nice for me. It was a real treat to do. Hard as hell, but it was a labor of love the whole way through. At the moment, I'm going into a meeting for [the upcoming Broadway revival of] On the Town, which is a great way to celebrate!"

Chris O'Dowd is a first-time Tony nominee for Of Mice and Men.
(© David Gordon)

Chris O'Dowd, Best Leading Actor in a Play Nominee, Of Mice and Men

(statement from press representative)

"I am beyond thrilled to accept this Tony nomination on behalf of my Mice and Men team. I still haven't got over the honor of being given the part, so I'm now a little worried what this new excitement will lead to. Lock up your bunnies!"

Steven Lutvak and Robert L. Freedman are the Tony-nominated authors behind A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder.
(© David Gordon)

Stephen Lutvak, Best Score Nominee, A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder

"I'm very happy, very tired, very wired…and I wish I could think of another rhyme. I'm very gratified. I was in bed with my boyfriend, Michael McGowan, when I found out. We put the live stream on the computer and crawled back into bed. I had a pad and I was writing furiously trying to keep count of the nominations. Then my agent called and told me we had the most nominations. I absolutely didn't expect that. I was hopeful, but one tries to keep one's feet on the ground. We weren't going to buy tuxedos until after this morning. I'm a little too superstitious for that. I completely outfitted myself for the opening night of Gentleman's Guide: new cufflinks, fancy underwear, everything. I'll definitely be wearing my very fancy gotkes [Yiddish for underwear] at the Tony Awards now."

Robert L. Freedman, Best Book Nominee and Best Score Nominee, A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder

"I'm completely elated. It's beyond my wildest dreams. The dream was to someday get a show on Broadway. So this is an out-of-body experience. I'm so thrilled and happy for everyone on our team who were nominated. I'm sure we're all just bouncing off the walls. I live in L.A., but I've rented an apartment in New York. I'm here with my son and wife and mother-in-law. We all sat on the couch and turned on NY1. Every time our show was nominated we burst out screaming. I know this sounds corny, but we were all wearing show T-shirts. It's overwhelming, especially in a season with so many new musicals. Right now I'm going to go out to brunch with my family and I intend to have champagne. I'm just on a cloud and wherever that cloud takes me, I'm going to go along for the ride."

Jefferson Mays is a Tony nominee for Best Leading Actor in a Musical for A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder.
(© David Gordon)

Jefferson Mays, Best Leading Actor in a Musical Nominee, A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder

"I'm so very proud, not so much for myself, but for our doughty, persevering company that has been at it for so long. We opened quite early in the season and it's coming up on seven months of hard work doing the show nightly. This winter felt like Valley Forge! It's so enormously gratifying to have it pay off in this way. I awoke early this morning with every intention of watching the nominations, but we have a very small dog with a very full bladder. My wife Susan and I took Maude down for a walk in Tompkins Square Park. We were in the park when a call came in with the good news. We took a victory lap around the dog run after that. I had confidence that we'd be in the running in some way, but this is just extraordinary."

Robert Schenkkan, Best Play Nominee, All the Way

"I feel great. Very happy about this. I sat in front of my laptop screaming, eating a bagel, and having a cup of coffee. It was a great morning. I actually am working most of the day today on some film business that I have and then I will be going to the show tonight because the Democratic National Committee is doing a benefit at the show and there will be a reception beforehand with prominent Democratic voters and a post-show talkback. It's an interesting nexus of politics and theater that we've been experiencing the entire run. In addition to a wildly enthusiastic Broadway audience, we've had a real insider audience. I'm very excited."

Sutton Foster receives her sixth Tony nomination for the musical Violet.
(© David Gordon)

Sutton Foster, Best Leading Actress in a Musical Nominee, Violet

(statement from press representative)

"I am so thrilled and honored. Violet has become an incredibly special show to me and I am just so happy for everyone involved. Our director, and now Tony nominee, Leigh Silverman, has been our captain and has led us all fearlessly. I just can't wait to get to the theater to celebrate with my cast!"

Dan Moses Schreier, Best Sound Design of a Play Nominee, Act One

"I'm happy. I got woken up by the answering machine, someone saying, 'I think that was you!' What's really sweet is all the phone calls and e-mails. The great thing about Act One is that it was a wonderfully collaborative thing, between James [Lapine], and Beowulf [Boritt], and Ken [Billington], and Jane [Greenwood]. We worked so hard on that show and to be recognized for it is really rewarding. Moss Hart's book [the basis for the play] is such an icon for everyone in the theater. To be acknowledged is really cool."

Longtime off-Broadway actor Reed Birney receives his first Tony nomination, for Best Featured Actor in a Play, for Casa Valentina.
(© David Gordon)

Reed Birney, Best Featured Actor in a Play Nominee, Casa Valentina

"I'm actually working today. I'm making a little movie down on Wall Street, so I was on set at six-thirty. And I just kept checking my phone. And finally around nine o'clock, the associate manager of Manhattan Theatre Club texted me and said, 'You did it.' But I mean it was between takes so I really couldn't even do anything. I just had to sort of whisper to my costar, 'I just got nominated for a Tony.' And then we started filming again. They stopped and cheered and took pictures and it was great. It really is wonderful.

I knew when I was going to do this job, that today was the day and I thought, Well, if I don't get nominated for one, at least I'll have a nice distraction all day and I won't be home feeling sorry for myself. Later on I'll have to do the show, so I'll do the show and then maybe we'll all go out for a drink or something afterwards and raise a glass."

Bryce Pinkham, Best Featured Actor in a Musical Nominee, A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder

I'm overwhelmed, shocked, grateful, over the moon…none of those phrases accurately describe it. I'm in Washington, D.C., at the moment visiting my girlfriend. She's doing a show down here. I had resolved to sleep through it, but at seven forty five this morning I shot up in bed. I walked out of the house. It's a nasty, overcast day in D.C. today. I'm staying right down the street from the Capitol building and it felt like I was entering an episode of House of Cards. I walked over to Capitol Hill and sat on a bench, exchanging suspicious looks with the Secret Service while I was waiting to get the call. I think I might have scared some of the tour groups when my phone started to explode with congratulations. I thought, Well, if I get arrested here, at least I'll have a good story. I'm really blown away and quite honored.

Harvey Fierstein is a Tony nominee for Best Play for Casa Valentina.
(© David Gordon)

Harvey Fierstein, Best Play Nominee, Casa Valentina

"I was dead asleep and the phone rang and Rick Miramontez, who's my press agent and friend, and Jordan Roth were together and they called me together, which was lovely. It's always nice to hear it from people you love. I've got bronchitis, but so it goes, I will never learn not to kiss everyone on opening night. One of these days I'm going to learn that lesson...So unfortunately I'm seeing this wonderful stuff through a haze of antibiotics. But it's very exciting, especially because it's a play about a community that nobody knew, that I didn't know anything about. I had no idea until I really started doing the research of what was going on and who these people are.

And then of course you have the opportunity of giving someone like Reed Birney, who's been around forever, the opportunity to really shine, and Mare Winningham, who I've always adored also. Plus the rest of the actors — didn't you all call for an ensemble recognition? That's really how I feel. They're just so great to watch them become this well-oiled machine that goes out there and tells this story. It's a fascinating story and there's no silliness about it. There's nobody trying to camp it up. They go out there with a full heart of trying to express the struggle that these people have of being authentic.

I really shouldn't get out of bed today. I'm on the antibioticas so that hopefully I'll be just fine tomorrow and can celebrate then. But I'm lucky enough to have been here before, and I know that the audience tonight when that curtain goes up, will be extra excited, and I would have loved to have been there to see that. Because there really is nothing quite as exciting as that in the theater."

Douglas McGrath earns a Tony nomination for Best Book of a Musical for Beautiful — The Carole King Musical.
(© David Gordon)

Douglas McGrath, Best Book of a Musical Nominee, Beautiful — The Carole King Musical

"I was sitting on the couch with my wife clutching our hands watching the live nominations on NY1. You know, it's not like I slept that well. I did know it was coming. And I had a dream during one of the brief periods when I was asleep that I had gotten a text and the text said, 'Beautiful has been nominated for three Tonys.' And I thought three Tonys!? What are they? What are they? You know how dreams are, not very helpful. But then we watched the whole real thing and they give you more specific information.

It's kind of been a blessed and joyous project all along and this just makes it extra wonderful. It's been the nicest job in so many ways because I got to meet the four songwriters whose work I had loved anyway, and thank god, they turned out to be nice people. Because sometimes you meet people who you admire, or used to admire, and you're like, Oh, that was an error. But not Carole [King] and Gerry [Goffin] and Barry [Mann] and Cynthia [Weil].

It's such a corny word, but I just feel so blessed. When you do work you love, which I do, and when you get to work on a project like this, which I really loved, and then to get nominated for a prize, you think, Oh my god, I've just been having so much fun already. It's hard to believe. But just because it's hard to believe doesn't mean that I'm not deeply grateful and overjoyed about it.

We're going to go see the whole company tonight and congratulate everybody. And then I'll be at home with my family celebrating for dinner. Because you know when you do a show, your family, even if they're not in the business, is a big part of it. Because you come home, you complain, you tell them what you're worried about. They put up with a lot for a long time. So it's nice to have an evening where it's happy. I'm not kidding, I don't see how it could be better. This is quite wonderful."

Nick Cordero is a first-time Tony nominee for Featured Actor in a Musical in Bullets Over Broadway.
(© David Gordon)

Nick Cordero, Best Featured Actor in a Play Nominee, Bullets Over Broadway

"I'm overjoyed. I'm walking on a cloud. This is uncharted water and I'm definitely so honored. I was in bed, trying to sleep-in, but my eyes shot open at about 8:15 this morning and I thought, Why not? You're so exhausted, but it's like your mind tells you that there's no way you're sleeping through something like this. It's been a long road and this is such a validation. I'm so proud of the production and everyone involved. When the audition for Bullets Over Broadway came, I was considering other options for my career. The life of an actor involves long period of unemployment and with that comes doubt. Am I doing the right thing with my life? Like the hand of fate, this show came and brought me back to what I'm supposed to be doing. I'm so grateful."

Tyne Daly, Best Leading Actress in a Play Nominee, Mothers and Sons

"I feel very fortunate, grateful, and very excited. Is that enough clichés for you? Hahaha. This is a celebratory day for me. These nominations mean a whole lot, but the horse race (which comes next month) means a lot less. Everyone who's nominated knows their work is good and feels the approval from the community. Then it gets into a contest, and I'm not a big contest girl. Maybe I can say that because I've done some winning of contests, but that part can be divisive. It's for the benefit of the producers and the audience, but not necessarily the participants. The Tonys are kind of like a wedding. Weddings are not for the bride and groom; they're for all the people around them. I'm going to celebrate by taking a big nap and then going to play my play."

Neil Patrick Harris earns his first Tony nomination as Leading Actor in a Musical for Hedwig and the Angry Inch.
(© David Gordon)

Neil Patrick Harris, Best Leading Actor in a Musical Nominee, Hedwig and the Angry Inch

(statement from press representative)

"This award show is, understandably, close to my heart. I am wig over heels in love with playing Hedwig, so this Tony Award nomination is especially meaningful to me. I also couldn't be more proud and happy for the show's creators, John Cameron Mitchell and Steven Trask, as well as our other nominees – Michael Mayer, Lena Hall, Julian Crouch, Arianne Phillips, Tim O'Heir, and Kevin Adams. All well-deserving and all very sexy. It's been a crazy exciting morning!"

Kenny Leon, Best Director of a Play Nominee, A Raisin in the Sun

"To tell the truth, I was getting ready to come to rehearsal for this musical I'm working on [Holler If Ya Hear Me]. The whole [Raisin] company has just done an amazing job. I'm the luckiest director. It's a humbling experience. I was disappointed that Denzel wasn't nominated [but] I couldn't be happier for LaTanya. I cried when I heard them say her name at the beginning. When I came in for rehearsal, they had a little lit cupcake and about 40 people started applauding and giving me a standing ovation. Hopefully, we can create the next Raisin in the Sun with Holler if Ya Hear Me."

Paul Chahidi is a Tony nominee as Best Featured Actor in a Play for '"Twelfth Night''.
(© David Gordon)

Paul Chahidi, Best Featured Actor in a Play Nominee, Twelfth Night

"I'm still slightly in shock, and over the moon. I was having a cup of tea with my friend Dominic Cooke and I had switched my phone off. It must have been exactly over the time that the announcement was made. [When I turned it back on] my phone literally started — it was like it overheated. Every icon: Twitter, e-mail, text, voicemail, everything came up. It's just extraordinary. I'm so delighted for our show and everyone involved. I feel like it's such a vindication of what [producer Sonia Friedman] has done, taking a huge risk with something like this. We all knew Mark Rylance is loved on Broadway, but that's no guarantee of success. I never expected to get quite so much recognition, for a bald-headed actor with cleavage, in a dress. I've got to go to work, so I can't even drink. I'm in Privacy at the Donmar Warehouse. I will go and do the show and we will be opening something fizzy this evening. We'll be raising a glass to what just happened."

Lauren Worsham receives a Tony nomination as Featured Actress in a Musical for her Broadway-debut performance in A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder.
(© David Gordon)

Lauren Worsham, Best Featured Actress in a Musical Nominee, A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder

"When I first heard, I kind of wanted to puke in my mouth and do a neverending happy dance. I've calmed down a little since then. This feels surreal. This is my Broadway debut! I had stopped doing a lot of theater. I was moving toward performing new classical music. Then this wonderful show came along and they were so kind to put me in it. That has changed my whole life. I slept through the announcement this morning. I took an Advil PM last night, because I knew I wouldn't be able to sleep. My husband woke me up after the announcement to let me know that I was nominated. Ten nominations: It's so exciting! We call ourselves the little show that could. We're a piece for people who love theater. We feel really lucky that we're getting this kind of recognition. I'm trying to stay calm more than anything, because we still have to do eight shows a week. As a singer, one of the most important things is having a relaxed larynx and the more excited you get, the higher your larynx goes. I'm getting terrible nervous sweats this morning, so I think I'm going to go take about six baths to celebrate."

Darko Tresnjak, Best Director of a Musical Nominee, A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder

"It was a good morning. I was in bed with my husband. We were drinking coffee and watching TV. Let's face it: We were curious. It would be disingenuous to pretend otherwise. I took an Advil PM last night, but my mind woke me up at six a.m. I was getting ready for rehearsal for The Killer, which I'm directing at Theatre for a New Audience. I thought I should take a look and see what's happening. It was a pleasant surprise. A lot of us are new to Broadway and musicals. We're so happy for [book and score nominee] Robert L. Freedman and [score nominee] Stephen Lutvak. Writing A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder has been a ten-year journey for them. I spent five years on this and it was such an emotional experience this morning. Later today, I'm getting together with Linda Cho, who was nominated for the costumes. We've done about fifty productions together. We started at Williamstown in 1996 when we were barely out of school. That led us to the Royal Shakespeare Company, and Oregon Shakespeare Festival, and L.A. Opera, and now Broadway. It seems appropriate to be with her today, so we're going out to dinner with our spouses to celebrate."

Adriane Lenox is nominated for Best Featured Actress in a Musical for her performance in After Midnight.
(© David Gordon)

Adriane Lenox, Best Featured Actress in a Musical Nominee, After Midnight

"I'm very excited for the show. The show has been on this trajectory since we did it at [City Center] Encores! in 2011. I am very happy that the show has continued to delight people for a while now. Now we're on Broadway just doing what we we're doing. Being recognized this way is quite fabulous. Last time, when I was nominated for Doubt, my agent called me and I was asleep. So this time, he left a message because he knew I would be in bed. I was very confident that the show would be nominated. Now, my nomination…I'm shocked about that. I knew the show would be nominated, though, so there was really no reason to listen this morning. People are just having a really good time, on and offstage. I just found out that Tommy Tune is giving us a party! I don't know how that came about, but that's what I've heard. So I guess after the show tonight we're going by his place."

Tim Carroll, Best Director of a Play Nominee, Twelfth Night

"I'm up to my eyes in King John for the Stratford Festival in Canada. I came home from the morning's rehearsal and saw that I had a lot more e-mails than I usually have after a morning. I vaguely knew [they were going to be announced]. Funnily enough, someone yesterday said to me, 'Are you up for a Tony?' and I said, 'I don't know, am I?' That was the first inkling I had that it was imminent. It's all very strange, just to be in one's apartment in Canada and reading it alone. It feels like someone else. I'm very pleased, but especially about having so many acting nominations. After rehearsal, I shall cook myself some pasta and play guitar."

Jane Greenwood received a nomination for her costume design for the play Act One.
(© David Gordon)

Jane Greenwood, Best Costume Design of a Play Nominee, Act One

"I came in the house after being in the gym and my nephew had greeted me. I hadn't taken my phone with me and so he greeted me with 'You have a Tony nomination.' I said, 'That's great!' I was happy and elated. I didn't know the book until I was asked the show. I had not read the book. But I was in England, and I suppose it didn't filter through. Once I read it, I was absolutely blown away by the incredibly nailing of theater world. [This nomination] has a tremendous feeling — it's…starry."

Mark Rylance received a pair of nominations for his performances in Richard III and Twelfth Night.
(© David Gordon)

Mark Rylance, Best Leading Actor in a Play, Richard III; Best Featured Actor in a Play, Twelfth Night

"I'm shooting a six-part TV film, so my wife texted at lunchtime. I was thrilled by the particular nature of this nomination. So many of my fellow actors will be there on the day, which will be lovely. I wasn't thinking about being nominated, but I'm particularly thrilled to be nominated for Richard. That was a very difficult part, and I felt I really got more of the measure of it in New York, thanks particularly to the imagination and the wit of the audience. Their willingness to go with my rather unusual take on it is really helpful. Being nominated is really lovely. That's much nicer than winning."

Estelle Parsons, Best Leading Actress in a Play Nominee, The Velocity of Autumn

(statement from press representative)

"This is such a great honor and I am so happy to think my work is noteworthy. Eric has written me a wonderful character full of love and life who continues to inspire me."

Brian J. Smith is a first-time nominee for his performance in The Glass Menagerie.
(© David Gordon)

Brian J. Smith, Best Featured Actor in a Play Nominee, The Glass Menagerie

"I'm about to have a panic attack. It's so exciting. I've watched the Tony Awards since I was a little kid, and all I ever really wanted to do was make a living being an actor in New York City, and that has always been award enough for me. But this is so special to be recognized by the theater community in such a really generous way. It's fantastic. I was actually in the back seat of a Chicago P.D. patrol car wearing a bullet-proof vest in the middle of a high-speed pursuit of some guy who had just robbed an apartment complex. I'm here doing research for my next project. My phone just started going crazy in my pocket and that's how I found out about it. I think I might be the first Tony nominee who found out about the nomination from the backseat of a police car. I'm still in Chicago, but when I get home I think I've got a bottle of champagne that I still have from the opening night of Glass Menagerie, and I'm going to drink a toast. I'll drink a couple. I'm hoping to see Cherry [Jones] and Celia [Keenan-Bolger] tomorrow, and I'm sure there's going be lots of hugs. I think we all feel like we share in these awards. I know it sounds kind of corny, but the four of us were a real quartet. A real tight, tight, tight foursome. It was like a dance. We all breathed the same air, and it only worked because all four of us worked together in such a great way."

Rita Ryack, Best Costume Design of a Play Nominee, Casa Valentina

"I watched the presentation. I swore I was not going to get up and watch it, but of course I was wide awake at seven o'clock. So yes, I watched it on my computer. I felt stunned and fantastic and happy. I am especially happy because this show, it just really meant a lot. I've been in Hollywood for twenty years and this was the welcome home. It was really, really wonderful."