Originally created 05/11/04

'Wicked' dominates for 2004 Tonys



NEW YORK -- "Wicked," a quirky and fantasy-filled musical about those folks who live along the Yellow Brick Road, picked up 10 Tony Award nominations Monday.

"Assassins," the controversial Stephen Sondheim musical, followed with seven and four shows tied with six nominations apiece: "Caroline, or Change," "Fiddler on the Roof," "Avenue Q" and the Lincoln Center revival of "Henry IV."

Mega-hunk Hugh Jackman, who will host the Tony ceremony on June 6, was among the nominees for outstanding actor in a musical for his portrayal of flamboyant entertainer Peter Allen in "The Boy From Oz." Kevin Kline and Christopher Plummer picked up nominations for best actor in a play.

"Anna in the Tropics," last year's Pulitzer winner; "Frozen," the chilling tale of a young girl's disappearance; "I Am My Own Wife," winner of the 2004 Pulitzer Prize for drama; and "The Retreat From Moscow," got nods for best play.

Besides "Wicked," "Avenue Q" and "Caroline, or Change," the other best musical nominee was "The Boy From Oz."

Jackman will compete with Hunter Foster, "Little Shop of Horrors"; Alfred Molina, "Fiddler on the Roof," Euan Morton, "Taboo" and John Tartaglia, a puppeteer in "Avenue Q."

Competing for best actress in a musical were Kristin Chenoweth and Idina Menzel for "Wicked," Donna Murphy for "Wonderful Town," Tonya Pinkins for "Caroline, or Change" and Stephanie D'Abruzzo, who sings the part of a puppet in "Avenue Q."

Kline and Plummer were nominated for their roles in two Shakespeare productions, "Henry IV" and "King Lear," respectively. They face Simon Russell Beale, "Jumpers"; Frank Langella, "Match"; and Jefferson Mays, "I Am My Own Wife."

Nominated for best performance by an actresses in a play were: 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."

"Wicked," which tells the story of the witches in "The Wizard of Oz" before Dorothy arrived, was one of the season's most expensive musicals, costing $14 million. Despite some mixed reviews, it has been a consistent sellout, grossing more than $1 million each week.

Besides best musical and leading actresses in a musical, it garnered nominations for book, score, choreography, orchestrations, sets, costumes and lighting.

Joe Mantello, snubbed for his direction of "Wicked," still received a best director nomination - for his other Broadway musical, "Assassins." The Sondheim-John Weidman musical, which deals with presidential assassins from John Wilkes Booth to Lee Harvey Oswald, was nominated for best musical revival along with "Wonderful Town," "Fiddler on the Roof" and "Big River."

"Assassins," panned by many critics during its original off-Broadway run in 1991, was much more favorably reviewed in its latest incarnation by the Roundabout Theatre Company. The show also picked up nominations for two of its featured actors (Michael Cerveris and Denis O-Hare), sets, lighting and orchestrations.

Sean Combs may have been passed over for an acting nomination for his work in the revival of "A Raisin in the Sun," but the landmark Lorraine Hansberry drama was nominated for its three actresses (Rashad, Sanaa Lathan and Audra McDonald) and revival of a play, along with two Shakespeare epics - Henry IV" and "King Lear" - and Tom Stoppard's "Jumpers."

The 2003 Tony Award nominations:

BEST PLAY: "Anna in the Tropics," "Frozen," "I Am My Own Wife," "The Retreat From Moscow."

BEST MUSICAL: "Avenue Q," "The Boy From Oz," "Caroline, or Change," "Wicked."

BEST BOOK OF A MUSICAL: Winnie Holzman, "Wicked"; Tony Kushner, "Caroline, or Change"; book, Martin Sherman and original book, Nick Enright, "The Boy From Oz"; Jeff Whitty, "Avenue Q."

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE (Music and/or Lyrics): "Taboo," Boy George (music); "Avenue Q," Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx (music); "Wicked," Stephen Schwartz (music); "Caroline, or Change," Jeanine Tesori (music), Tony Kushner (lyrics).

BEST REVIVAL OF A PLAY: "Henry IV," "Jumpers," "King Lear," "A Raisin in the Sun."

BEST REVIVAL OF A MUSICAL: "Assassins," "Big River," "Fiddler on the Roof," "Wonderful Town."

BEST PERFORMANCE BY A LEADING ACTOR IN A PLAY: Simon Russell Beale, "Jumpers"; Kevin Kline, "Henry IV"; Frank Langella, "Match"; Jefferson Mays, "I Am My Own Wife"; Christopher Plummer, "King Lear."

BEST PERFORMANCE BY A LEADING ACTRESS IN A PLAY: Eileen Atkins, "The Retreat From Moscow"; Tovah Feldshuh, "Golda's Balcony"; Anne Heche, "Twentieth Century"; Swoosie Kurtz, "Frozen"; Phylicia Rashad, "A Raisin in the Sun."

BEST PERFORMANCE BY A LEADING ACTOR IN A MUSICAL: Hunter Foster, "Little Shop of Horrors," Hugh Jackman, "The Boy From Oz," Alfred Molina, "Fiddler on the Roof," Euan Morton, "Taboo," John Tartaglia, "Avenue Q."

BEST PERFORMANCE BY A LEADING ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL: Kristin Chenoweth, "Wicked"; Stephanie D'Abruzzo, "Avenue Q"; Idina Menzel, "Wicked"; Donna Murphy, "Wonderful Town"; Tonya Pinkins, "Caroline, or Change."

BEST PERFORMANCE BY A FEATURED ACTOR IN A PLAY: Tom Aldredge, "Twentieth Century"; Ben Chaplin, "The Retreat From Moscow"; Aidan Gillen, "The Caretaker"; Omar Metwally, "Sixteen Wounded"; BrDian F. O'Byrne, "Frozen."

BEST PERFORMANCE BY A FEATURED ACTRESS IN A PLAY: Essie Davis, "Jumpers"; Sanaa Lathan, "A Raisin in the Sun"; Margo Martindale, "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof"; Audra McDonald, "A Raisin in the Sun"; Daphne Rubin-Vega, "Anna in the Tropics."

BEST PERFORMANCE BY A FEATURED ACTOR IN A MUSICAL: John Cariani, "Fiddler on the Roof"; Michael Cerveris, "Assassins"; RaDul Esparza, "Taboo"; Michael McElroy, "Big River"; Denis O'Hare, "Assassins."

BEST PERFORMANCE BY A FEATURED ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL: Beth Fowler, "The Boy From Oz"; Isabel Keating, "The Boy From Oz"; Anika Noni Rose, "Caroline, or Change"; Jennifer Westfeldt, "Wonderful Town"; Karen Ziemba, "Never Gonna Dance."

BEST SCENIC DESIGN: Robert Brill, "Assassins"; Ralph Funicello, "Henry IV"; Eugene Lee, "Wicked"; Tom Pye, "Fiddler on the Roof."

BEST COSTUME DESIGN: Jess Goldstein, "Henry IV"; Susan Hilferty, "Wicked"; Mike Nicholls and Bobby Pearce, "Taboo"; Mark Thompson, "Bombay Dreams."

BEST LIGHTING DESIGN: Jules Fisher and Peggy Eisenhauer, "Assassins"; Brian MacDevitt, "Fiddler on the Roof"; Brian MacDevitt, "Henry IV"; Kenneth Posner, "Wicked."

BEST DIRECTION OF A PLAY: Doug Hughes, "Frozen"; Moises Kaufman, "I Am My Own Wife"; David Leveaux, "Jumpers"; Jack O'Brien, "Henry IV."

BEST DIRECTION OF A MUSICAL: Joe Mantello, "Assassins"; Kathleen Marshall, "Wonderful Town"; Jason Moore, "Avenue Q"; George C. Wolfe, "Caroline, or Change."

BEST CHOREOGRAPHY: Wayne Cilento, "Wicked"; Kathleen Marshall, "Wonderful Town"; Jerry Mitchell, "Never Gonna Dance"; Anthony Van Laast and Farah Khan, "Bombay Dreams."

BEST ORCHESTRATIONS: Paul Bogaev, "Bombay Dreams"; William David Brohn, "Wicked"; Larry Hochman, "Fiddler on the Roof"; Michael Starobin, "Assassins."

SPECIAL TONY AWARD FOR LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT IN THE THEATRE: James M. Nederlander.

REGIONAL THEATRE TONY AWARD: Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park.