kinky boots

Kinky Boots’ composer and lyricist Cyndi Lauper with leading cast members Celina Carvajal, Stark Sands and Billy Porter at post party celebration at Marriot Marquis hotel (Photo courtesy broadway.com)

*Blacks are breaking many legs on Broadway in box office hit plays and their stellar performances did not go unnoticed by Tony voters and have landed them Tony nods.   And the proof is in the pudding.

At the 2013 Tony Award nominations announced on Tuesday, April 30, 2013 by actor Jesse Tyler Ferguson and five-time nominated Broadway veteran Sutton Foster, the musical Kinky Boots – playing at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre (302 West 45th Street, NYC) — starring Billy Porter as Lola and Stark Sands as Charlie, nabbed the most nominations with a total of 13 Tony nods – including one for Porter in the Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical category, making the happy feet and smiling toes footwear-themed production this year’s front runner.

Kinky Boots reunites four-time Tony Award-winner Harvey Fierstein (book) and Grammy Award-winner Cyndi Lauper (music & lyrics); and Fierstein with director, choreographer and Tony Award-winner Jerry Mitchell.

The hit revival of Pippin at the Music Box Theatre (239 West 45th Street, NYC) starring Tony and Olivier Award nominee Patina Miller as leading player and Matthew James Thomas in the lead role as Pippin got a respectable 10 nods.

The late Nora Ephron’s Lucky Guy starring Tom Hanks and Courtney Vance and directed by George C. Wolfe earned six nods including one for Hanks, Vance and Wolfe.  The production is playing at the Broadhurst Theatre, 235 West 44th Street, NYC.

The critically acclaimed revival of Horton Foote’s American masterpiece, The Trip To Bountiful, directed by Michael Wilson, and playing at the Stephen Sondheim Theatre (124 W. 43rd Street, NYC)  had been scheduled for a 14-week limited engagement through July 7, 2013 but because of ticket demands has been extended through September 1, 2013.

One of the most distinguished productions on Broadway, The Trip To Bountiful has been nominated for 4 Tony Awards, including Best Actress in a Play (Cicely Tyson), Best Featured Actress in a Play (Condola Rashad), Best Sound Design for a Play (John Gromada), and Best Revival of a Play.

The Trip To Bountifu cast

The Trip To Bountiful stars Cuba Gooding Jr., Cicely Tyson, Vanessa Williams, Condola Rashad celebrate at post party at The Copacabana (Photo courtesy broadway.com)

In its first Broadway revival, the production stars Academy Award nominee and Emmy Award-winning actress Cicely Tyson (who is returning to Broadway for the first time in over 30 years), Academy Award winner Cuba Gooding Jr., Emmy Award nominee and recording star Vanessa Williams, Tony Award nominee Condola Rashad, and Tony Award nominee Tom Wopat.  The Trip To Bountiful also features Devon Abner, Curtis Billings, Pat Bowie, Leon Addison Brown, Arthur French, Susan Heyward, Bill Kux, Linda Powell, and Charles Turner.

The inspiring American classic, The Trip To Bountiful, tells the story of Carrie Watts (Cicely Tyson), who is trapped in a cramped Houston apartment with her soft-spoken son (Cuba Gooding Jr.) and out-spoken daughter-in-law (Vanessa Williams), dreaming of a return to her home in the small Gulf Coast town of Bountiful, where she grew up and raised her family. Fearing that she’s an imposition and chafing under her daughter-in-law’s watchful eye, she steals away with her latest pension check and heads home in the journey of a lifetime. The result is an unforgettable play about the idea of home and its power to sustain us.

Motown: The Musical playing at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre (Broadway & 46th Street, NYC)  also received 4 Tony nominations:  Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role (Charl Brown); Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical (Valisia LeKae); Best Orchestrations (Ethan Popp and Bryan Crook); and Best Sound Design of a Musical (Peter Hylenski).

Broadway’s highest honor, the 67th annual Tony Awards, will be broadcast on June 9, 2013 in a live three-hour ceremony from Radio City Music Hall on the CBS television network.  For more information on the Tony Awards, please visit www.TonyAwards.com.

The American Theatre Wing’s Antoinette Perry “Tony” Awardsis presented by The Broadway League and the American Theatre Wing.  At The Broadway League, Nick Scandalios is chairman and Charlotte St. Martin is executive director.  At the American Theatre Wing, William Ivey Long is chairman and Heather Hitchens is executive director. Ricky Kirshner and Glenn Weiss of White Cherry Entertainment are the executive producers of the 2013 Tony Awards. Mr. Weiss will also serve as director of the 2013 Tony Awards.

IBM, the official information technology partner of the Tony Awards, develops, designs, and hosts the official Tony Awards website, www.TonyAwards.com across digital platforms.  Audemars Piguet is the presenting sponsor of the Tony Awards Red Carpet and Green Room.  United Airlines is the official airline of the Tony Awards. The New York Times is the official and exclusive print media partner of the Tony Awards. Nexxus Salon Hair Care is the official beauty partner of the Tony Awards.  PEOPLE is the official magazine partner of The Tony Awards.

The nominees are…

Best play
“The Assembled Parties” by Richard Greenberg
“Lucky Guy” by Nora Ephron
“The Testament of Mary” by Colm Toibin
“Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike” by Christopher Durang

Best musical
“Bring It On, The Musical”
“A Christmas Story, The Musical”
“Kinky Boots, The Musical”
“Matilda, The Musical”

Best book of a musical
“A Christmas Story, The Musical” Joseph Robinette
“Kinky Boots” Harvey Fierstein
“Matilda, The Musical” Dennis Kelly
“Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella” Douglas Carter Beane

Best revival of a play
“Golden Boy” Producers: Lincoln Center Theater, André Bishop, Bernard Gersten
“Orphans”
“The Trip to Bountiful”
“Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?”

Best revival of a musical
“Annie”
“The Mystery of Edwin Drood”
“Pippin”
“Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella”

Best original score (music and/or lyrics) written for the theatre
“A Christmas Story, The Musical” Music and Lyrics: Benj Pasek and Justin Paul
“Hands on a Hardbody” Music: Trey Anastasio and Amanda Green Lyrics: Amanda Green
“Kinky Boots” Music and Lyrics: Cyndi Lauper
“Matilda, The Musical” Music and Lyrics: Tim Minchin

Best performance by an actor in a leading role in a play
Tom Hanks, “Lucky Guy”
Nathan Lane, “The Nance”
Tracy Letts, “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?”
David Hyde Pierce, “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike”
Tom Sturridge, “Orphans”

Best performance by an actress in a leading role in a play
Laurie Metcalf, “The Other Place”
Amy Morton, “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?”
Kristine Nielsen, “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike”
Holland Taylor, “Ann”
Cicely Tyson, “The Trip to Bountiful”

Best performance by an actor in a leading role in a musical
Bertie Carvel, “Matilda, The Musical”
Santino Fontana, “Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella”
Rob McClure, “Chaplin”
Billy Porter, “Kinky Boots”
Stark Sands, “Kinky Boots”

Best performance by an actress in a leading role in a musical
Stephanie J. Block, “The Mystery of Edwin Drood”
Carolee Carmello, “Scandalous”
Valisia LeKae, “Motown, The Musical”
Patina Miller, “Pippin”
Laura Osnes, “Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella”

Best performance by an actor in a featured role in a play
Danny Burstein, “Golden Boy”
Richard Kind, “The Big Knife”
Billy Magnussen, “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike”
Tony Shalhoub, “Golden Boy”
Courtney B. Vance, “Lucky Guy”

Best performance by an actress in a featured role in a play
Carrie Coon, “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?”
Shalita Grant, “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike”
Judith Ivey, “The Heiress”
Judith Light, “The Assembled Parties”
Condola Rashad, “The Trip to Bountiful”

Best performance by an actor in a featured role in a musical
Charl Brown, “Motown, The Musical”
Keith Carradine, “Hands on a Hardbody”
Will Chase, “The Mystery of Edwin Drood”
Gabriel Ebert, “Matilda, The Musical”
Terrence Mann, “Pippin”

Best performance by an actress in a featured role in a musical
Annaleigh Ashford, “Kinky Boots”
Victoria Clark, “Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella”
Andrea Martin, “Pippin”
Keala Settle, “Hands on a Hardbody”
Lauren Ward, “Matilda, The Musical”

Best scenic design of a play
John Lee Beatty, “The Nance”
Santo Loquasto, “The Assembled Parties”
David Rockwell, “Lucky Guy”
Michael Yeargan, “Golden Boy”

Best scenic design of a musical
Rob Howell, “Matilda, The Musical”
Anna Louizos, “The Mystery of Edwin Drood”
Scott Pask, “Pippin”
David Rockwell, “Kinky Boots”

Best costume design of a play
Soutra Gilmour, “Cyrano de Bergerac”
Ann Roth, “The Nance”
Albert Wolsky, “The Heiress”
Catherine Zuber, “Golden Boy”

Best costume design of a musical
Gregg Barnes, “Kinky Boots”
Rob Howell, “Matilda, The Musical”
Dominique Lemieux, “Pippin”
William Ivey Long, “Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella”

Best lighting design of a play
Jules Fisher & Peggy Eisenhauer, “Lucky Guy”
Donald Holder, “Golden Boy”
Jennifer Tipton, “The Testament of Mary”
Japhy Weideman, “The Nance”

Best lighting design of a musical
Kenneth Posner, “Kinky Boots”
Kenneth Posner, “Pippin”
Kenneth Posner, “Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella”
Hugh Vanstone, “Matilda, The Musical”

Best sound design of a play
John Gromada, “The Trip to Bountiful”
Mel Mercier, “The Testament of Mary”
Leon Rothenberg, “The Nance”
Peter John Still and Marc Salzberg, “Golden Boy”

Best sound design of a musical
Jonathan Deans & Garth Helm, “Pippin”
Peter Hylenski, “Motown, The Musical”
John Shivers, “Kinky Boots”
Nevin Steinberg, “Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella”

Best direction of a play
Pam MacKinnon, “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?”
Nicholas Martin, “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike”
Bartlett Sher, “Golden Boy”
George C. Wolfe, “Lucky Guy”

Best direction of a musical
Scott Ellis, “The Mystery of Edwin Drood”
Jerry Mitchell, “Kinky Boots”
Diane Paulus, “Pippin”
Matthew Warchus, “Matilda, The Musical”

Best choreography
Andy Blankenbuehler, “Bring It On: The Musical”
Peter Darling, “Matilda, The Musical”
Jerry Mitchell, “Kinky Boots”
Chet Walker, “Pippin”

Best orchestrations
Chris Nightingale, “Matilda, The Musical”
Stephen Oremus, “Kinky Boots”
Ethan Popp & Bryan Crook, “Motown, The Musical”
Danny Troob, “Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella”

Recipients of awards and honors in non-competitive categories

Special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre
Bernard Gersten
Paul Libin
Ming Cho Lee

Regional Theatre Award
Huntington Theatre Company, Boston

Isabelle Stevenson Award
Larry Kramer

Tony Honor for Excellence in the Theatre
Career Transition for Dancers
William Craver
Peter Lawrence
The Lost Colony
The four actresses who created the title role of “Matilda, The Musical” on Broadway – Sophia
Gennusa, Oona Laurence, Bailey Ryon and Milly Shapiro

Audrey J. Bernard is an established chronicler of Black society and Urban happenings based in the New York City area.

audrey bernard

Audrey J. Bernard