The big-budget musical “Finding Neverland’’ was shut out entirely as the Tony Award nominations were announced on Tuesday morning. The production, helmed by American Repertory Theater artistic director Diane Paulus and produced by Harvey Weinstein, made its debut in Cambridge last year before moving to Broadway.
It was a good day for other musicals, however. “An American in Paris’’ and “Fun Home’’ led the field with 12 nominations apiece. Close behind was “Something Rotten!’’ with 10 Tony nods and “The King and I’’ with nine.
When it came to drama, British imports fared well: “Wolf Hall, Parts One & Two’’ received eight nominations — the most for any play — while “Skylight’’ garnered seven and “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time’’ got six.
Though “Finding Neverland’’ was deemed unlikely to earn a nod for best musical, the fact that it received not a single nomination was considered surprising. The hard-charging Weinstein did not sound chastened Tuesday, issuing this statement via e-mail: “With 27 nominations today for Fun Home, The Elephant Man, The Audience and Wolf Hall, shows that we either co-invested or co-produced, we couldn’t be more thrilled. As for Finding Neverland, our passion for it remains unwavering. I could not be more proud of the magic created on our stage by Diane Paulus and the entire Neverland team night after night, which has made this show a smash hit.”
The musical about J.M. Barrie and the family that inspired him to write “Peter Pan’’ has been grossing more than $1 million a week at the Broadway box office and has announced a national tour for next year.
“Finding Neverland’’ stars Matthew Morrison (“Glee’’) and Kelsey Grammer (“Frasier’’) were not the only big-name actors to be snubbed by Tony voters. “Fish in the Dark,’’ Larry David’s much-ballyhooed comedy, received no nominations, either. However, Bradley Cooper earned a nod for his performance on Broadway as John Merrick in “The Elephant Man,’’ a production that originated at Williamstown Theatre Festival, where Cooper also played the role three years ago. Helen Mirren received a Tony nomination for her portrayal of Queen Elizabeth II in “The Audience.’’
The legendary Chita Rivera, 82, earned a nomination for her starring role in “The Visit,’’ a macabre Kander & Ebb musical about a vengeful billionaire that is being produced on Broadway in association with Williamstown Theatre Festival, where Rivera played the role last summer. For Elisabeth Moss of “Mad Men’’ fame, her Tony nod for “The Heidi Chronicles’’ must be bittersweet, given that the show is set to close this Sunday due to a weak box office. No mixed feelings at “Fun Home,’’ where the entire principal cast earned Tony nominations, an impressive feat.
The category of best musical is not just hotly contested but diverse, featuring “The Visit’’; “An American in Paris,’’ a dance musical adapted from the beloved 1951 movie; “Something Rotten!,’’ about two playwriting brothers in Elizabethan England who decide to create the world’s first musical; and the groundbreaking “Fun Home,’’ based on Alison Bechdel’s graphic novel about the awakening of her lesbian identity and her complicated relationship with her closeted gay father. All three actresses who played Alison at various stages of her life earned Tony nominations: Beth Malone for the character at middle age, Emily Skeggs for college-age Alison, and the 11-year-old Sydney Lucas for young Alison.
Competing for best play will be Ayad Akhtar’s searing, Pulitzer-winning “Disgraced’’; Robert Askins’s “Hand to God’’; “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time,” adapted by Simon Stephens from Mark Haddon’s novel; and “Wolf Hall Parts One & Two,’’ by Hilary Mantel (author of the novels on which it was based) and Mike Poulton.
For best revival of a play, the nominees are Kenneth Lonergan’s “This Is Our Youth,’’ Bernard Pomerance’s “The Elephant Man,’’ David Hare’s “Skylight,’’ and “You Can’t Take It With You,’’ by Moss Hart and George S. Kaufman. Only three shows were nominated for best revival of a musical: “The King and I,’’ “On the Twentieth Century’’ and “On the Town.’’
In the extremely competitive category of best lead actress in a musical, Rivera of “The Visit’’ and Malone of “Fun Home’’ will vie with Kristin Chenoweth of “On the Twentieth Century,’’ Leanne Cope of “An American in Paris,’’ and Kelli O’Hara of “The King and I.’’ For best lead actor in a musical, the nominees are Michael Cerveris for “Fun Home,’’ Robert Fairchild for “An American in Paris,’’ Brian d’Arcy James for “Something Rotten!,’’ Ken Watanabe for “The King and I,’’ and Tony Yazbeck for “On the Town.’’
In addition to Cooper, the nominees for best lead actor in a play are Steven Boyer for “Hand to God,’’ Ben Miles for “Wolf Hall, Parts One & Two,’’ Bill Nighy for “Skylight,’’ and Alex Sharp for “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.’’ For best lead actress in a play, Mirren and Moss are up against Geneva Carr for “Hand to God,’’ Carey Mulligan for “Skylight,’’ and Ruth Wilson for “Constellations.’’Don Aucoin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.