'Hamilton' earns record 16 Tony nominations
New York (AFP) – The wildly popular hip-hop musical “Hamilton,” a tale of America’s founding fathers that has won fans as high-profile as US President Barack Obama, netted a record 16 Tony nominations Tuesday.
The much-acclaimed production by creator-star Lin-Manuel Miranda — who recently won the Pulitzer Prize for drama for the work — received nods across the board for the awards honoring Broadway’s best, to be handed out in June.
“Hamilton” — a major success story driven by social media buzz and its catchy score merging hip-hop, rap, blues, jazz and more — earned nominations in all aspects of show-making: from best musical and best original score to nods for directing, choreography, costumes and scenery.
In the best actor and featured actor categories, the show’s stars — including Miranda as Alexander Hamilton — will compete against each other for top honors. The show’s main actresses also earned nominations.
The haul is the most in Broadway history, surpassing the 15-nominations record previously held by “The Producers” in 2001 and “Billy Elliot” in 2009.
“The Producers” holds the record for the most wins with 12.
“Hamilton” is the wide favorite to take home the best musical prize — it will compete against “Bright Star,” “School of Rock – The Musical,” “Shuffle Along, Or the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed” and “Waitress.”
The show — recounting the life of Hamilton, the colorful first US Secretary of the Treasury who was fatally shot in a pistol duel with rival and then vice president Aaron Burr in 1804 — has earned widespread praise.
Last month, the cast was invited to the White House for a workshop with high school students. First Lady Michelle Obama called it “the best piece of art in any form that I have ever seen in my life.”
“Hamilton” — which features mainly black and Latino actors — took home the Grammy this year for best musical theater album.
Miranda, who is up for three trophies for “Hamilton,” previously earned Tonys glory with his first musical “In the Heights,” taking home the award for best score.
Tickets for the show are sold out for the foreseeable future — but can go for hundreds of dollars each on resale websites.
– Year of Arthur Miller? –
In the best play category, two works by Arthur Miller are in contention: “The Crucible” and “A View from the Bridge.” Other nominees are “Blackbird,” Eugene O’Neill’s “Long Day’s Journey Into Night” and “Noises Off.”
Vying for best lead actress in a play are two Oscar winners — Jessica Lange for “Long Day’s Journey Into Night” and Lupita Nyong’o for “Eclipsed,” which is set amid the chaos of civil war in Liberia.
They will face off against Laurie Metcalf in a stage adaptation of Stephen King’s thriller “Misery,” British actress Sophie Okenedo in “The Crucible” and Michelle Williams in “Blackbird.”
Among the five in the running for best actor in a play are Irish actor Gabriel Byrne, former Tony winner Frank Langella for “The Father” and Jeff Daniels in “Blackbird.”
The Tonys will be awarded June 12 at New York’s Beacon Theatre.