- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 15, 2007

NEW YORK — “Spring Awakening,” the Duncan Sheik-Steven Sater rock musical about the sexual longing of 19th-century German teenagers, yesterday received a leading 11 Tony nominations.

“The Coast of Utopia,” Tom Stoppard’s epic trilogy about 19th-century Russian intellectuals, and “Grey Gardens,” a musical look at two of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis’ more eccentric relatives, each garnered 10 nominations.

“Curtains,” a backstage whodunit set during a theatrical tryout in Boston, got eight.

Besides “The Coast of Utopia,” the nominees for best play were “Radio Golf,” the final chapter in August Wilson’s decade-by-decade look at the black experience in 20th-century America; “Frost/Nixon,” Peter Morgan’s docudrama about the celebrated interviews between British journalist David Frost and Richard M. Nixon; and “The Little Dog Laughed,” Douglas Carter Beane’s social comedy about Hollywood hypocrisy.

“Mary Poppins,” a lavish adaptation of P.L. Travers’ novels and the classic Disney movie, picked up seven nominations during the morning announcement at Lincoln Center. Besides “Poppins,” best-musical nominations went to “Spring Awakening,” “Grey Gardens” and “Curtains.”

“Legally Blonde the Musical,” a frothy, fast-paced stage adaptation of the Reese Witherspoon movie, failed to pick up a coveted best-musical nod — important because nominees get a number on the nationally televised awards show — but “Blonde” did get seven other nominations, including ones for book and score of a musical as well as for its leading lady, Laura Bell Bundy.

Miss Bundy’s competition includes Christine Ebersole, “Grey Gardens”; Audra McDonald, “110 in the Shade”; Debra Monk, “Curtains”; and Donna Murphy, “LoveMusik.”

Angela Lansbury, a four-time Tony winner, has a chance for a fifth prize. She was nominated for her performance as a tennis legend in Terrence McNally’s “Deuce.”

“What a surprise — I never thought it could happen again,” Miss Lansbury said after the nominations were announced. “I am overwhelmed. I am proud for the play and proud for the extraordinary lady I am out there playing every night.”

In the actress-play category, Miss Lansbury faces Eve Best, “A Moon for the Misbegotten”; Swoosie Kurtz, “Heartbreak House”; Vanessa Redgrave, “The Year of Magical Thinking”; and Julie White, “The Little Dog Laughed.”

In the actor-play category, the nominees are Boyd Gaines, “Journey’s End”; Frank Langella, “Frost/Nixon”; Brian F. O’Byrne, “The coast of Utopia”; Christopher Plummer, “Inherit the Wind”; and Live Schreiber, “Talk Radio.”

Jonathan Groff, the young rebel in “Spring Awakening,” heads the actor-musical nominations. The other nominees include Michael Cerveris, “LoveMusik,” Raul Esparza, “Company”; Gavin Lee, “Mary Poppins”; and David Hyde Pierce, “Curtains.”

The regional theater Tony Award will go to the Alliance Theatre in Atlanta.

The Tonys will be broadcast June 10 on CBS from Radio City Music Hall.

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