'Kinky Boots,' 'Matilda' lead Tony nominations

Billy Porter performs in "Kinky Boots." Billy Porter performs in "Kinky Boots." Photo Credit: AP

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"Kinky Boots," about a drag queen's rescue of a British shoe factory, and "Matilda: The Musical," about a little girl's triumph over evil English grown-ups, are virtually tied for nominations for the 2013 Tony Awards.

"Kinky Boots," adapted from a 2005 English musical with a score by Cyndi Lauper and a book by Harvey Fierstein, came out slightly on top with 13 nominations, compared with 12 for the hit London transfer based on Roald Dahl's mordant 1988 children's book. As revealed before Tuesday's announcement of the nominations, the four girls who alternate as the title character will be awarded a special Tony, which reduces the "Matilda" possibilities by removing them from lead-actress competition.

In the unusually strong group for best new play, the late Nora Ephron's "Lucky Guy" earned six nominations, including one for Tom Hanks in his Broadway debut. Also with six is Christopher Durang's comedy, "Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike," including nominations for David Hyde Pierce, Kristine Nielsen (best actor/actress), Shalita Grant and Billy Magnussen (featured actor/actress)-- though none for Sigourney Weaver.

Nor was she the only star conspicuously left off the list. Also omitted are Scarlett Johansson, Jessica Chastain, Alec Baldwin, Al Pacino, Katie Holmes, Debra Winger and Paul Rudd. Neither the much-admired Bette Midler nor her solo play, "I'll Eat You Last" was nominated. Similarly, Alan Cumming and his one-man "Macbeth" got no nominations.

The other two nominees for best musical are "Bring It On: The Musical," which has two," and "A Christmas Story, The Musical," a surprise holiday favorite with three nominations.

The other nominations for best play went to Richard Greenberg's "The Assembled Parties," which has two other nominations, including a featured-acting nomination for Judith Light, and Colm Toibin's "The Testament of Mary." But Fiona Shaw, who plays Mary, is not nominated, and shortly after the nominations came out, it was announced that the play will close on Sunday.

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Other nominees for best actor in a play are Nathan Lane in "The Nance," and Tom Sturridge in "Orphans," also nominated for best revival of a play, as is "Golden Boy," with eight nominations and "The Trip to Bountiful," with four. "Edward Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf" which has five nominations, including best revival and actors Tracy Letts and Amy Morton. Other nominees for best actresses in a play are Laurie Metcalf for "The Other Place," Holland Taylor in "Ann" and Cicely Tyson in "The Trip to Bountiful," which has four nominations.

The circus-themed revival of "Pippin" leads the musical revivals with 10 nominations. "Rodgers & Hammerstein's "Cinderella" has nine, and "The Mystery of Edwin Drood" got five, but the revival of "Annie" is mentioned only in the list for best revivals.

Performances not forgotten in long-gone shows include Rob McClure in "Chaplin" and Carolee Carmello in Kathie Lee Gifford's "Scandalous." Other lead actors in a musical are Bertie Carvel in "Matilda," Billy Porter and Stark Sands in "Kinky Boots" and Santino Fontana in "Cinderella." Other actresses in a musical are Patina Miler in "Pippin," Laura Osnes in "Cinderella," Valisia LeKae in "Motown, The Musical" and Stephanie J. Block in "Drood."

@Newsday

The Tonys will be telecast June 9 on CBS.

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