MICHELE NORRIS, host:
The nominees for Broadway's Tony Awards were announced this morning. Leading the pack was the musical "Spring Awakening" with 11 nominations. But it's crowded at the top. Bob Mondello reports two other shows had 10 nominations each.
BOB MONDELLO: Teenagers with raging hormones are ideal subjects for a rock musical but these teenagers hail from the 19th century.
(Soundbite of Broadway play, "Spring Awakening")
Unidentified Man #1: (Singing) This night is like that fantastic tossing and turning without rest because my days at the piano with my teacher and her breast.
MONDELLO: "Spring Awakening," a rambunctious ultimately tragic tale of teens in the 1800s who know less than they need to know about sex was nominated for Best Musical, Best Score, Best Book, Best Actor and six other Tonys. And close behind with 10 nominations was an equally unconventional show, "Grey Gardens," a musical based on a famous documentary about a pair of eccentric, reclusive relatives of First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy.
(Soundbite of Broadway play, "Grey Gardens")
Unidentified Woman: I found your pet cat, my darling.
Unidentified Man #2: Meow.
Unidentified Woman: I think it's that time the light looks fading. It's a pet tale that sends shivers to the cats.
Unidentified Man #3: Meow.
Unidentified Man #4: Meow.
Unidentified Group #1: Meow.
Unidentified Group #2: (Singing) The fog will clear and there it stays. It's on a cage - the house in Hades.
MONDELLO: Also nominated for Best Musical are "Curtains," a murder-mystery spoof with a score by John Kander and Fred Ebb, a team that already has a shelf full of Tonys for "Cabaret" and "Chicago," and a stage version of the Disney classic "Mary Poppins." Not nominated for Best Musical but a contender for seven other awards is the splashy, pink just opened "Legally Blonde," yet another film-to-stage transplant.
Tony nominees in the Best Play category include the docudrama "Frost/Nixon," which brings TV to the stage in the form of David Frost's interviews with Richard Nixon; "Radio Golf," the final installment in August Wilson's 10-play cycle about the African-American experience in the 20th century; "The Little Dog Laughed," a recently closed show about a closeted gay film star; and the Tom Stoppard epic trilogy, "The Coast of Utopia."
(Soundbite of Broadway play, "The Coast of Utopia")
Unidentified Man #5: I give you a toast - the liberty of each for the equality of all.
Unidentified Group #3: The liberty of each for the equality of all.
Unidentified Man #5: What does that mean - it doesn't mean anything.
MONDELLO: "The Coast of Utopia" has been a hit with both critics and audiences despite the fact that's it nearly nine hours long and is concerned with the thought processes of pre-revolutionary Russian intellectuals. That it should be nominated in lots of categories makes sense as it has an enormous cast and elaborate production effects. "The Coast of Utopia" is nominated for 10 awards - five of them for acting, which may be why a number of bankable stars in other shows including Kevin Spacey, Nathan Lane and Brian Dennehy didn't make the cut. But Angela Lansbury, returning to Broadway after nearly a quarter of a century away, stands a decent chance of adding to the four Tonys she already has. This despite the fact that almost no one likes "Deuce," the play that's brought her back to New York.
The Broadway season has been a record-setter at the box office bringing in some $876 million in part because of ever-rising ticket prices all of which means a lot is riding on the Tony Awards which will be telecast on Sunday, June 10.
I'm Bob Mondello.
(Soundbite of music)
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