Broadway's 'Show Boat' Sails Through Act I of Tonys

THE lavish revival of ''Show Boat,'' directed by Harold Prince, received 10 1995 Tony Award nominations today, dominating the list of plays and musicals in contention for Broadway's highest honor.

''Sunset Boulevard'' followed with nine nominations, and has also won two awards already -- for best score and best book of a musical -- it was the only contender in those categories.

In what is generally agreed to be the slimmest musical season in Broadway history, ''Sunset'' faces only ''Smokey Joe's Cafe,'' a rock-and-roll revue, for the best-musical prize. And in the best musical-revival category, there were also only two nominees, ''Show Boat'' and ''How To Succeed in Business without Really Trying.''

Nominated for best play were ''Arcadia,'' by Tom Stoppard, ''Having Our Say,'' by Emily Mann, ''Indiscretions,'' by Jean Cocteau, and ''Love! Valour! Compassion!'' by Terrence McNally.

''Indiscretions,'' written by Cocteau in 1938 but never done on Broadway, also received nine nominations, including nods for four of its five cast members -- Eileen Atkins, Roger Rees, Jude Law, and Cynthia Nixon.

In addition to Atkins, those nominated for best actress were Mary Alice in ''Having Our Say,'' Cherry Jones in ''The Heiress,'' and Helen Mirren in ''A Month in the Country.''

There were only two nominees in the best-actress musical category: Glenn Close for her performance as silent-screen star Norma Desmond in ''Sunset Boulevard'' and Rebecca Luker who plays Magnolia Hawks in ''Show Boat.''

Best-actor play nominations went to Ralph Fiennes for his portrayal of the title character in ''Hamlet,'' Brian Bedford in ''The Moliere Comedies,'' Rees in ''Indiscretions,'' and Joe Sears in ''A Tuna Christmas.''

Two ''Show Boat'' performers received best-actor musical nominations: Mark Jacoby and John McMartin. They face Matthew Broderick in ''How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying'' and Alan Campbell in ''Sunset Boulevard.''

Best revival-play nominees are ''Hamlet,'' ''The Heiress,'' ''The Moliere Comedies,'' and ''The Rose Tattoo.''

Special lifetime achievement awards will be given to Carol Channing, currently touring the country in a revival of ''Hello, Dolly!'' and Harvey Sabinson, head of the League of American Theaters and Producers.

The Goodspeed Opera House in East Haddam, Conn., will be given a special award for regional theater. The National Endowment for the Arts will also be awarded a special Tony.

Winners will be announced June 4.

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