- Associated Press - Tuesday, May 3, 2011

NEW YORK (AP) — “The Book of Mormon” nabbed a leading 14 Tony Award nominations Tuesday morning, earning the profane musical nods for best musical, best book of a musical, best original score, two leading-actor spots and two featured-actor nominations, among others.

The second-highest nominations went to “The Scottsboro Boys,” a searing tale of 1930s injustice framed as a minstrel show. It received 12 nominations, including best musical, best book of a musical, best original score, leading actor, and two featured-actor nods.

Among others who earned nominations were Al Pacino, who played Shylock in “The Merchant of Venice”; Vanessa Redgrave in “Driving Miss Daisy”; Edie Falco in “The House of Blue Leaves”; and Ellen Barkin in “The Normal Heart.”

Some notable snubs included James Earl Jones in “Driving Miss Daisy,” Daniel Radcliffe in “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying” and Aaron Tveit in “Catch Me If You Can.”

The Cole Porter comedy “Anything Goes” was nominated for nine awards, including best revival, best leading actress for Sutton Foster, a best-featured-role nomination for Adam Godley, best scenic and costume design.

“I’m very happy. I’m thrilled for our show,” said Kathleen Marshall, who picked up her sixth and seventh nominations for directing “Anything Goes” and its high-kicking choreography. “‘Anything Goes’ is one of those shows that is there to delight and entertain and transport the audience.”

“The Book of Mormon,” about two Mormon missionaries who find more than they bargained for in Africa, was written by Trey Parker and Matt Stone, the creators of Comedy Central’s irreverent “South Park,” and Robert Lopez, co-creator of the equally irreverent Tony Award-winning musical “Avenue Q.”

The trio teamed up with Casey Nicholaw, who co-directed with Mr. Parker and choreographed. Both won nominations for best direction, and Mr. Nicholaw won a best choreography nomination. “Mormon” also earned its two missionaries — Josh Gad and Andrew Rannells — acting nominations as well as Nikki M. James for featured actress.

Of the 42 new productions this season, there were 14 musicals — 12 new ones and two revivals — and 25 plays, a whopping 16 of them brand-new. The last time there were 16 new plays produced in a single season was 1986-87.

This year also is shaping up to be lucrative for Broadway, with total box-office grosses already at more than $987,057,484, or 3.6 percent more than the similar time last year. Attendance this season is above 11.4 million, up 3 percent from this time last year.

The awards will be handed out June 12 at a new location: the Beacon Theatre on the Upper West Side of Manhattan after producers lost their long-term space at Radio City Music Hall. It will be broadcast live by CBS.