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La Cage dominates Tony nominations

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The UK’s Menier Chocolate Factory has scored another hit with its production of La Cage Aux Folles – this time on Broadway.

La Cage Aux Folles starring Douglas Hodge and Kelsey Grammer

The small South London arts venue has dominated this year’s Tony Awards nominations – with a total of 15 nods. Its musical productions of Jerry Herman’s La Cage Aux Folles and Stephen Sondheim’s A Little Night Music have both garnered multiple nominations for their Broadway transfers.

La Cage Aux Folles premiered at the Chocolate Factory in 2008 before transferring the Playhouse Theatre in London, and opened at the Longacre Theatre on Broadway last month to enormous critical acclaim.

The show features original London star Douglas Hodge and US actor Kelsey Grammer, both of whom have been nominated in the best actor in a musical category. In total the show has picked up 11 nominations, including best revival of a musical, scenic design (Tim Shortall), costume design  (Matthew Wright),  lighting design (Nick Richings), sound design (Jonathan Deans), direction (Terry Johnson), choreography (Lynne Page), orchestrations (Jason Carr) and best supporting actor (Robin De Jesus).

A Little Night Music, which started life at the Menier in 2008 before transferring to the Garrick theatre in the West End, opened on Broadway at the Walter Kerr theatre in December 2009. It has picked up 4 nominations, including competing against La Cage in the best musical revival category, and nods for Catherine Zeta-Jones (best actress in a musical), Angela Lansbury (best supporting actress in a musical), and sound design (Dan Moses Schreier and Gareth Owen).

Catherine Zeta Jones and Angela Lansbury in A Little Night Music

Overall, it has been a successful year for the UK on Broadway, with a total of 28 nominations going to UK creatives. Other celebrated UK shows include the Donmar Warehouse’s transfer of Red which enjoys 7 nominations including best play, best actor for Alfred Molina, best supporting actor for Eddie Redmayne, and best scenic design (Christopher Oram), lighting design (Neil Austin), sound design (Adam Cork) and direction (Michael Grandage).

The Donmar also saw its production of Hamlet garner a best actor nod for Jude Law and best lighting design of a play for Neil Austin.

The Royal Court’s production of Enron, which transferred to Broadway but was not well received and has closed early at the Broadhurst Theatre, was nominated for best original score (music by Adam Cork and lyrics by Lucy Prebble), best supporting actor for Stephen Kunken, best sound design (Adam Cork) and best lighting design (Mark Henderson). Enron is currently playing to strong audiences in London at the Noel Coward Theatre.

Veteran UK actress Rosemary Harris also received a best supporting nod for The Royal Family and one of the UK’s greatest living playwrights, Alan Ayckbourn, will receive a lifetime achievement award.

Other big hitters nominated this year include a revival of August Wilson’s Fences starring Denzel Washington (10 nominations); Broadway musical Fela! (11 nominations) – and which makes its UK premiere at the National Theatre in November; and nods for a number of high-profile Hollywood stars including Christopher Walken (Behanding in Spokane), Liev Schreiber (A View From The Bridge), and Scarlett Johansson (A View from the Bridge).

Recent Broadway musical The Addams Family starring Nathan Lane and Bebe Neuwirth, failed to find favour with the Tony awards committee, scoring only two nominations – best original score and best supporting actor in a musical for Kevin Chamberlin.

The 64th awards will be presented on 13 July in New York.

See a list of Tony Award 2010 nominations here

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