Tony Award nominations 2016: Will anything beat 'Hamilton'?

The musical about the Founding Father has now received the most Tony nominations of any show in history. The production has become a phenomenon, with critics praising the show and tickets extremely difficult to obtain.

Joan Marcus/The Public Theater/AP
'Hamilton' stars Lin-Manuel Miranda (center).

We know his name, all right.

The musical "Hamilton" has received a record-breaking 16 Tony Award nominations, including best musical; best book; best performance by an actor in a leading role in a musical, for both Lin-Manuel Miranda and Leslie Odom Jr.; and best performance by an actress in a leading role in a musical for Phillipa Soo.

Mr. Miranda's show about the Founding Father has taken down the musicals "Billy Elliot" and "The Producers" for the record of most Tony nominations received, with the two shows each having gotten 15 nods. 

In the best play category, the contenders will be "King Charles III," "The Humans," "Eclipsed," and "The Father," while the shows competing against "Hamilton" for best musical are "School of Rock," "Shuffle Along, or the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed," "Bright Star," and "Waitress." 

The shows that are nominated in the best revival of a musical category are "Spring Awakening," "She Loves Me," "Fiddler on the Roof," and "The Color Purple," while the best revival of a play nominees are "A View From the Bridge," "Noises Off," "Long Day's Journey Into Night," "The Crucible," and "Blackbird." 

For the category of best actor in a leading role in a play, Mark Strong ("A View From the Bridge"), Tim Pigott-Smith ("King Charles III"), Frank Langella ("The Father"), Jeff Daniels ("Blackbird"), and Gabriel Byrne ("Long Day's Journey Into Night") are nominated. Jessica Lange ("Long Day's Journey Into Night"), Laurie Metcalf ("Misery"), Lupita Nyong'o ("Eclipsed"), Sophie Okonedo ("The Crucible"), and Michelle Williams ("Blackbird") are nominated for best actress in a leading role in a play. 

In addition to Ms. Soo, "She Loves Me" actress Laura Benanti is nominated for best actress in a leading role in a musical, as is "Bright Star" actress Carmen Cusack, "The Color Purple" actress Cynthia Erivo, and "Waitress" actress Jessie Mueller. "School of Rock" actor Alex Brightman, "Fiddler on the Roof" actor Danny Burstein, and "She Loves Me" actor Zachary Levi are nominated for best actor in a leading role in a musical, alongside Miranda and Mr. Odom Jr. 

"Hamilton"'s strong presence continues in the category of best actor in a featured role in a musical, with actors Jonathan Groff, Christopher Jackson, and Daveed Diggs receiving nods for their work in "Hamilton." "Shuffle Along" actor Brandon Victor Dixon and "Waitress" actor Christopher Fitzgerald also received nominations. 

Contenders for best performance by an actress in a featured role in a musical are Adrienne Warren for "Shuffle Along," "Disaster!" actress Jennifer Simard, Jane Krakowski for "She Loves Me," Danielle Brooks for "The Color Purple," and Renée Elise Goldsberry for "Hamilton."

The actors who are nominated for best featured actor in a play are Reed Birney for "The Humans," Bill Camp for "The Crucible," David Furr for "Noises Off," Richard Goulding for "King Charles III," and Michael Shannon for "Long Day's Journey Into Night." The actresses nominated for best featured actress in a play are Pascale Armand for "Eclipsed," Megan Hilty for "Noises Off," Jayne Houdyshell for "The Humans," Andrea Martin for "Noises Off," and Saycon Sengbloh for "Eclipsed."

"Hamilton" achieving a new record for most Tony nominations demonstrates its cultural dominance. The stellar reviews it has received, among other things, means that wins at the Tony Awards are viewed as all but a sure thing. 

New York Times writer Michael Paulson, writing about productions competing with "Hamilton" for best musical, notes that "Those shows will now market themselves as best-musical nominees, knowing that a win is highly unlikely, but hoping for a box office increase from the nomination," while Gerry Smith of Bloomberg wrote that the show is "considered to be the favorite to win many of the prizes."

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