- Associated Press - Thursday, June 4, 2015

NEW YORK (AP) - When it comes to favorite Tony Award moments, some of this year’s nominees are divided into two main camps: The moments with Neil Patrick Harris and the ones with Hugh Jackman.

Then, of course, there’s Tony-winner, and current nominee for “Something Rotten!” Christian Borle. His favorite moment is much more personal.

“It was just awfully surreal to hear Jessica Chastain say my name and pronounce it correctly. It was very nice,” said Borle, who won in 2012 for “Peter and the Starcatcher.” (And, just in case you’re wondering, it’s pronounced “bor-EL.”)

Best actor nominee Ken Watanabe for “The King and I” doesn’t have a specific moment, but says he’s always been a fan of the show, watching it in Japan via satellite.

“It’s always an amazing show and a good time,” Watanabe said.

“Fun Home” lead actress nominee Beth Malone said her favorite was one of last year’s acceptance speeches: “I loved it when Lena Hall lost it last year that made me a little happy. I love her voice as an unlikely candidate; I thought that was really cool.”

And then there’s Geneva Carr, the leading actress nominee for the dark comedy “Hand to God.” For her, it’s not really about the performances. “I’ve got to be honest, I watch for the clothes. I want to know what everybody is wearing,” she said with a giggle.

While their favorite moments are diverse, many of the others - including the likes of Bradley Cooper, Sting, Helen Mirren - picked performances of Harris or Jackman.

Here are some of their favorite moments:

BRADLEY COOPER: The Tony nominee for “The Elephant Man” leans toward four-time Tony host Neil Patrick Harris, calling his favorite moment when Harris performed last year as the lead in “Hedwig and the Angry Inch.” That was awesome.”

STING: A Tony nominee for best musical score for “The Last Ship,” the 16-time Grammy winner likes the other four-time host. “I thought my friend Hugh Jackman did amazing last year. It was a fantastic performance.”

PATRICIA CLARKSON: Another Tony nominee for “The Elephant Man,” Clarkson is a Harris fan, saying “He is so brilliant. I think anything he does is indelible.”

ELISABETH MOSS: The “Mad Men” star and current Tony nominee for “The Heidi Chronicles” thinks “Neil Patrick Harris was an amazing host,” but also said she’s excited about his year’s hosts, Alan Cumming and Kristin Chenoweth. “I’m huge fans of the both of them, so I think they’re both amazing… They’re going to be hilarious and awesome.”

HELEN MIRREN: Nominated for her role as Queen Elizabeth II in “The Audience,” Mirren finds herself in the Jackman camp. “I had the great privilege of watching him present the Tonys and shall never forget him walking out on the enormous stage. With just one look and one smile he had the whole house in the palm of his hand.”

STEPHEN SCHWARTZ: This year’s Isabelle Stevenson Tony Award recipient and the composer of “Wicked” feels two moments stand out: The first was in 1972. “When ‘Pippin’ did the opening number, Ben Vereen’s performance was simply indelible, especially within the context of the television show.” The other was the opening number “Bigger” that Harris did in 2013. “That was incredibly clever and written by Lin-Manuel Miranda and Tom Kitt. Perhaps it’s one of the best host’s numbers that I have ever seen.”

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Online: http://www.tonyawards.com

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Follow John Carucci at http://www.twitter.com/jacarucci

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