Hit musical 'Hamilton' leads Broadway's Tony nominations with record 16 nods

Tue May 3, 2016 6:59pm EDT
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By Chris Michaud

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The Broadway musical "Hamilton," which has triggered a ticket-buying frenzy not seen in years, scored a record 16 Tony Award nominations on Tuesday, solidifying its front-runner status for the top prize of best musical.

"Hamilton" features a multiracial cast in a hip-hop and R & B-inflected musical that tells the story of U.S. Founding Father Alexander Hamilton, who was killed in an 1804 duel with Vice President Aaron Burr.

The show won nominations for lead actors Lin-Manuel Miranda as Hamilton and Leslie Odom Jr. as Burr, for lead actress Phillipa Soo, and for best score and book, both written by Miranda. Four featured cast members also received nods.

The haul for "Hamilton" on Tuesday surpassed previous record-holders "The Producers" and "Billy Elliot," which each received 15 nominations.

"It's almost impossible to process," Miranda said in an interview afterward.

"I became aware that if my life were a movie, this would be a montage, playing on fast-forward. And now I'm just trying to slow down the montage."

"Hamilton" had already received widespread critical acclaim, including a Pulitzer Prize, and amassed dozens of rave reviews. First lady Michelle Obama described it in March as "simply ... the best piece of art in any form that I have ever seen in my life."

The "Hamilton" soundtrack has sold more than 325,000 copies in the United States and has been streamed more than 279 million times across online platforms since its release in September, according to figures from Nielsen Music.   Continued...

Lin-Manuel Miranda, actor and creator of the of the play "Hamilton," addresses the audience after the plays opening night on Broadway in New York August 6, 2015.  REUTERS/Lucas Jackson