The great and powerful Oz struck again on Monday, as Broadway announced its Tony Award nominees for last season’s shows and performances.
Leading the list, with 10 nods, is Wicked, a lavish (though some critics found it lumbering) musical prequel to The Wizard of Oz, which was followed by composer Stephen Sondheim’s controversial Assassins, about presidential killers in U.S. history.
Four shows each nabbed six nominations: Tony Kushnir’s chamber musical Caroline, or Change, also nominated as best musical; the R-rated Muppets-like satire, Avenue Q, also up for the top prize; the revival of Fiddler on the Roof with nominee Alfred Molina as the milkman; and the Lincoln Center revival of Shakespeare’s Henry IV, which starred the nominated Kevin Kline.
Hugh Jackman, who will host the June 6 ceremony (to be broadcast live on CBS), was nominated as best actor in a musical for the critically blasted The Boy from Oz, which nevertheless is up for the best musical award.
Fellow nominees in the musical actor category are Molina, Hunter Foster in Little Shop of Horrors, Euan Morton in the (now closed) Boy George show Taboo and puppeteer John Tartaglia in Avenue Q.
Best actress in a musical nominees: Kristin Chenoweth and Idina Menzel (Wicked), Donna Murphy (Wonderful Town), Tonya Pinkins (Caroline, or Change) and Stephanie D’Abruzzo, (Avenue Q).
Besides Kline, best actor in a play nominees are Christopher Plummer (King Lear), Simon Russell Beale (Jumpers), Frank Langella (Match) and Jefferson Mays (“I Am My Own Wife.”)
Best performance by an actresses in a play: Eileen Atkins (The Retreat From Moscow), Tovah Feldshuh (Golda’s Balcony), Anne Heche (Twentieth Century), Swoosie Kurtz (Frozen) and Phylicia Rashad (A Raisin in the Sun).
Best play nominees: Anna and Tropics, Frozen, I Am My Own Wife and The Retreat From Moscow.