Irish love story "Once" leads with 11 Tony nominations

Tue May 1, 2012 12:17pm EDT
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By Christine Kearney

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The Broadway musical version of the Irish love story "Once" about a Dublin busker and Czech piano player who share a passion for music and an impossible attraction to each other gained the highest number of Tony Award nominations announced on Tuesday.

The intimate stage musical, adapted from the hit 2006 indie Irish film and featuring the Oscar-winning song, "Falling Slowly," gained 11 nominations, including nods for its main stars, Steve Kazee and Cristin Milioti.

"Once," was followed closely by musicals "The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess", a reinvention of the 1935 opera and "Nice Work If You Can Get It," starring Matthew Broderick as a wealthy playboy. Both of those shows, which feature music and songs from George and Ira Gershwin, gained ten nominations.

The innovative play "Peter and the Starcatcher," a prequel to the Peter Pan story, followed with nine nominations.

Actress Kristin Chenoweth and actor Jim Parsons announced the nominations in New York. The Tony Awards, which honors Broadway's best musicals and plays, will be broadcast live from New York's Beacon Theater on June 10.

Besides "Once," and "Nice Work If You Can Get It," best musical nominations included the Disney production "Newsies," based on the 1899 New York newsboys strike, and "Leap of Faith," starring Raul Esparza about a con man posing as a man of faith.

"Other Desert Cities," "Venus in Fur," "Clybourne Park," and "Peter and the Starcatcher" gained nods for best new play, while best play revival nominations included "Death of a Salesman," "The Best Man," "Master Class," and "Wit."

Among the well known names nominated for best actor in a play were Philip Seymour Hoffman for a revival of Arthur Miller's "Death of a Salesman", James Earl Jones for "The Best Man," Frank Langella for "Man and Boy", John Lithgow for "The Columnist" and British comedian and actor James Corden for "One Man, Two Guvnors."   Continued...

Emmy and Golden Globe winning actor Jim Parsons (L) and Tony and Emmy award winning actress Kristin Chenoweth announce the Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical award during 2012 Tony Awards Nominations in New York May 1, 2012. REUTERS/Jason Szenes