The musicals "An American in Paris" and "Fun Home" each received a leading 12 Tony Award nominations on Tuesday, showing two very different sides of this Broadway season.
One side is sunny – the dance-heavy stage adaptation of the 1951 musical film choreographed by Gene Kelly – and the other moody – the dark show based on Alison Bechdel's coming of age graphic novel about her closeted and suicidal dad.
Michael Cerveris got one of the dozen nods for "Fun Home" – as best leading actor in a musical – and hopes that will attract more people to see his poignant show that might not initially be a lure for tourists.
"The real value of the Tonys – and I suppose any awards – is to draw attention to something that people otherwise might not seek out. So the fact that every aspect of the production has been acknowledged is the best kind of advertising," he said.
The nominations also ranged from 11-year-old Sydney Lucas in "Fun Home" to the 82-year-old Chita Rivera, looking for her third Tony. Helen Mirren and Bradley Cooper each got nominations but Matthew Morrison from "Glee" did not get a nod in his return to Broadway.
The best new play category will include the candidates "Wolf Hall, Parts One & Two," ''Hand to God," ''Disgraced," and "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time." Larry David's "Fish in the Dark" was snubbed entirely.
In addition to "An American in Paris" and "Fun Home," the best new musical category includes "Something Rotten!" and "The Visit." The Peter Pan-themed "Finding Neverland," marking Harvey Weinstein's first-ever venture into Broadway as a lead producer, didn't get a single nomination.
The British did well, with transfers "Wolf Hall Parts One & Two," ''The Audience", "The Curious Case of the Dog in the Night-Time," and "Skylight" grabbing 24 nominations. Sting's "The Last Ship" earned the rocker a nomination for best original score.
The nominations were announced in a televised event co-hosted by Mary-Louise Parker and Bruce Willis. The Tonys will be handed out at Radio City Music Hall on June 7.
The best actress in a musical category includes Kristin Chenoweth for "On the Twentieth Century," Kelli O'Hara for "The King and I," Chita Rivera for "The Visit," Leanne Cope from "An American in Paris," and Beth Malone from "Fun Home."
The best actor in a musical nominees are Brian d'Arcy James for "Something Rotten!", Michael Cerveris in "Fun Home," Ken Watanabe in "The King and I," Tony Yazbeck in "On the Town," and Robert Fairchild in "An American in Paris."
The best actor in a play nominees include Bradley Cooper for "The Elephant Man," Ben Miles for "Wolf Hall, Parts One & Two," Alex Sharp in "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time," Steven Boyer in "Hand to God," and Bill Nighy for "Skylight."
The five best actresses in a play nominees are: Carey Mulligan in "Skylight," Helen Mirren in "The Audience," Ruth Wilson in "Constellations," Geneva Carr in "Hand to God," and Elisabeth Moss in "The Heidi Chronicles."
Mirren earned her nod for playing Queen Elizabeth II in "The Audience," which imagines the private weekly meetings between the monarch and eight of Britain's prime ministers over her six-decade reign. Mirren already has an Oscar for playing the same sovereign in the film "The Queen" and was a hit in the play in London.
"I've studied the shape of her mouth. I know her face probably better than anyone else does. But it's only my portrait," she said. "I can only surmise and imagine."