An especially warm tropical breeze is blowing through Lincoln Center Theater today as the Tony nominations were just announced and South Pacificreceived eleven of them - the most for any revival. Here are the artists who will be primping for the red carpet on awards night, which is Sunday, June 15. (These names are in addition to the show's nomination for Best Revival of a Musical.) Congratulations to everyone on this list, who, it must be said, would be quick to point out that South Pacific is above all a gigantic team effort. If there were a Tony Award for best ensemble, I suspect that South Pacific would wins hands down!
Tony award nominees:
Paulo Szot, who is Emile de Becque, received a nomination for Best Actor in a Musical. About his nomination, Szot told Playbill.com: "A friend called to give me the news, and I was very surprised and very, very happy for that. I lost my time a little bit. I was so exhausted. I didn't really wake up to listen to the nominations, though I had it all the time in my mind. I tried to relax, because if I don't I wouldn't sleep at all. I'm very glad. We worked so hard all this time, and it's good to know that people are recognizing that. I'm sure tonight's show is going to be a special one."
Kelli O'Hara, the show's Nellie Forbush, received a nomination for Best Actress in a Musical. O'Hara told Broadway.com: "In past years, I've gone out of town, trying to pretend like all this wasn't happening. This time, I knew I didn't want to get up and watch the announcements myself - I wanted somebody to call me. So I had my phone with me, and thought, 'I'll just sleep and if I get a call from my manager or my agent, that'll be good.' But I'd gone to an event last night and turned off my phone, and - I'm serious about this - I forgot to turn it back on. So when I finally did wake up after nine and hadn't gotten a call, I was like, 'Oh, no!' But I looked and I had five voice messages, so I was relieved. You never know...You can never plan on anything. You just hope. I'd love to go out and celebrate, but I'm going to rehearsal for a reading of a new musical, and I've got the show tonight. I'm basically celebrating by doing more work, which is good."
Danny Burstein, who plays Luther Billis, is nominated for Best Featured Actor in a Musical. Burstein told Playbill.com: "[My wife and I] have a little place in Pennsylvania. It's only about an hour-and-a-half away. I knew I wouldn't be able to see my category on television, but I did turn on CBS to see the beginning of the nominations and heard the major ones. Then we turned off the TV, had a cup of coffee, and waited around to see if the phone rang. My buddy Patrick Wetzel, who was in The Drowsy Chaperone, called me and literally it sounded something like this: 'Aaaeeaaaeeyyahhh!' I couldn't even understand what he was saying. But I got the picture."
Loretta Ables Sayre, who is Bloody Mary, is up for Best Featured Actress in a Musical. Sayre told Broadway.com: "I can't believe this! I'm just dreaming. I'm absolutely totally crazy-wild-happy out of my mind. What an unbelievable honor! I didn't think that anybody here even knew who I was. And then to wake up this morning with two phones ringing and having Bart [Sher] scream, 'You got nominated! You got nominated!' I thought the announcements were gonna be on Thursday, and I was just coming out of a deep sleep, so I was totally in shock. I still am."
Bartlett Sher is nominated for Best Direction of a Musical.
Christopher Gattelli is on the list for Best Choreography.
Michael Yeargan is nominated for Best Scenic Design of a Musical. Yeargan told Playbill.com: "I do so much regional theater and opera, it's rare that I'm in these circles. It's always such a thrill to be nominated. I saw the announcement on television, so I pulled up the website and there is all was! It's always so nervous-making. It's a relief if you don't win because you don't have to make a speech."
Catherine Zuber is nominated for Best Costume Design of a Musical.
Donald Holder is nominated for Best Lighting Design of a Musical. (Holder is also nominated for Best Lighting Design of a Play, for his work on Les Liaisons Dangereuses.)
Scott Lehrer received a nomination for Best Sound Design of a Musical.
Finally, a Special Tony Award will be given to Robert Russell Bennett(1894-1981), "in recognition of his historic contribution to American musical theater in the field of orchestrations, as represented on Broadway this season by Rodgers & Hammerstein's South Pacific.
BRENDAN LEMON is the American theater critic for the Financial Timesand the editor of lemonwade.com