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The Tony Award Nominees React! Hear How They Found Out and More

May 1, 2018 by Suzy Evans
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From waking up to a hundred text messages to watching the nominations announcement from bed, the 2018 Tony Award nominees are having an emotional and exciting morning. After the announcement, we chatted with this year’s nominees to hear how they found out and what the recognition means to them. Check out what they had to say below!

Get tickets to see this year’s Tony Award nominees.

 

 

 

Noma Dumezweni (Photographed by Jenny Anderson)

Noma Dumezweni, Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Feature Role in a Play, “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts 1 and 2”

What were you doing when you found out?
I was in the bathroom actually, and my friend gave me a call and said, you’ve been nominated! And I went, “What? I’m waking up.” And that was a lovely way to receive it.

Who were some of the first people who texted you?
Loads of friends, it’s been lovely. And loads of messages via the Twittersphere from loads of lovely people. I’m just so proud of the whole show. This is a gorgeous moment, and it’s a beautiful thing. I’m looking forward to sorting out what frocks I’m going to wear. Just to be in the company that I’m nominated with — Susan Brown, Deborah Findlay, and Denise Gough — I know them, I’ve worked with all of them in various different ways in London. Then to be in the same space as Miss Laurie Metcalf, she’s a phenomenal actress. I’m just there for the party, and it’s going to be a lovely thing. It’s an honor.

Are you going to do anything fun today to celebrate?
I’ve got my mentor, Tony, who came here for opening. I didn’t do drama school so to know that the show was opening on Broadway, I was like, “Come on over.” He’s going back today, so it’s been the most perfect thing for me. When I came out of the bathroom, I was like, “Tony, I’ve been nominated for a Tony.” It was really lovely. So what I’m doing today is taking off to the airport and just being with him and enjoying today. Some of the “Harry Potter” crew, we’re all meeting up this afternoon so that will be lovely.

You won the Olivier for this role, does it feel different to be nominated for a Tony?
Yes, it does. One thing I’ve learned is to get rid of expectations. Any time something like that comes up, it’s a beautiful thing. For the Oliviers, I was so shocked then as well. I’m always surprised. One must never ever take these for granted. I’ve watched the Tony Awards for years, especially in London where we don’t see them in real time. I always wanted to see what the opening of the show is going to be and how they were going to do it. So I get to see that live for the first time.

What would you tell your younger self?
Breathe. Don’t be hard on yourself. Enjoy yourself. Be kind, and keep working.

Mark Rylance

Mark Rylance, Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play, “Farinelli and the King”

What were you doing when you found out?
I’d been out talking with a couple of architects about the Globe Theatre and the National Theatre, and when I came home, [my wife] Claire [van Kampen] had got the news and was very very delighted here at home.

You must be so excited to be celebrated along with your wife, who wrote the play.
I think we’re going to celebrate tonight. We’re just looking around to see if we’ve got any champagne. So I think I’m going to go out to the shops.

You’ve won three Tony Awards. How does it feel to be a part of the community again this season?
It feels lovely. I love being part of the Broadway community. I get very celebrated there, it’s very nice to be celebrated. It’s the second time I’ve been at the Belasco Theatre. I’m fond of the crews at each of the theaters I’ve been in, the Longacre and the Music Box. But I’ve got to know the Belasco crew very well and we have a lovely team there. There’s a very deep substage where Houdini used to make an elephant disappear so we often most nights gather down there and play ping pong and hang out. So it has what I value most in the theater which is a sense of community and family.

What would you tell your younger self?
I think about that a lot. I would be so surprised to know as a teenager in Milwaukee, Wisc., I just wouldn’t believe it. I just wouldn’t believe that this was something that was ahead for me to be a Broadway actor. But I suppose I would say, keep going. Keep following and doing the thing you love to do. If you love something, then you’ll get better at it.

Amy Schumer (Photographed by Noam Galai)

Amy Schumer, Outstanding Performance by a Leading Actress in a Play, “Meteor Shower”
“Hey! I got nominated for a Tony for being in Steve Martin’s play ‘Meteor Shower.’ I don’t think I have a shot at winning so I’ll thank everyone here. I’m really grateful and proud as hell. Thank you Jerry Zaks for directing and encouraging me. Steve for your confidence in me and for writing this play. Getting to spend time with you laughing and listening to you play the banjo was heaven. Jeremy Shamos, for being such a great partner. Keegan Michael-Keey, for tirelessly showing up each show and always being so kind. And Laura Benanti for being my absolute partner in crime and making me laugh every day and being my friend and flawless in this play. You are a real Broadway star and taught me everything with grace and patience. And you’re a c***! All my friends for showing up and supporting me. My girls from home. Comics and friends. My family. Molly Fischer for going over lines with me. Kim Caramele and Vinny BoomBotz for always showing up for me. Chris and Tati for coming a million times and for loving me. The producers. The crew who were so giving with their work and their time and their baking skills. My girls André Tiller, Kimberly Gueldner and Robin Fitz for keeping me looking right. Vickie and Kunchok and @clubsodakenny for keeping me safe and getting me Korean food. And the audiences who came. Even though sometimes I would yell at them for eating m and ms too loud. I’ve dreamt about being on Broadway since I was a little idiot and man it delivered. The Broadway community made me feel welcome and i think it’s because they know how much love and respect i have for their work. Seeing theater is one of the greatest joys in my life. I’m proud to have studied under Bill Esper at the William Esper studio and of my theater company The Collective NY Who I am a founding member of. Thank you Kevin Kane as always for your guidance. Thank you. I love you all! #balmain”

Tina Fey and Jeff Richmond (Photographed by Jenny Anderson)

Tina Fey, Best Book of a Musical, “Mean Girls”
Jeff Richmond, Best Original Score, “Mean Girls”
“We are honestly too excited and too proud of our ensemble to make a joke about this. We are so grateful to be embraced by the Broadway community in this way and that we get to work together 25 hours a day with the same amount of excitement as our young cast. This is new for all of us.”

Alexander Gemignani (Photographed by Jenny Anderson)

Alexander Gemignani, Outstanding Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical, “Carousel”

What were you doing this morning when you found out, and how do you feel?
I feel amazing and pleasantly shocked. I was with my two favorite people, my wife and my daughter so that was great. We were just doing our normal morning, and my wife reminded me that the nominations were coming out this morning and so we put them on on the computer and watched it as a family. Then we had a big family hug and danced around the living room a little bit and then had sort of a peaceful walk down the street to the train. It was a really beautiful morning.

What are you going to do to treat yourself today?
I’m working on a bunch of other things so I’ve been working all day which is probably good. It keeps me humble and focused and all of those good things. There’s been a lot of love flowing through my phone. My friends and family have been texting and calling, I’ve always felt like a super supported artist, but it’s in these moments where you’re lucky enough to get recognized, it’s a nice reminder to know that your friends are watching you and supporting you as well.

What would you tell your younger self in this moment?
Be patient. Keep doing good work and treating people well and good things will come your way.

Ari’el Stachel (Photographed by Coty Tarr)

Ari’el Stachel, Outstanding Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical, “The Band’s Visit”

How did you find out?
We were all together, but the caveat was that we were performing as the nominations were coming out, and the company was advised and told we couldn’t look at our phones so we had to leave those in the green room. And then as I finished the performance, the lead producer Orin Wolf came and gave me a hug and said “Congratulations.” And I said, “For what?” And he said, you got nominated. And I started crying. It was a really special way to find out to be with the whole company.

Who was one of the first people to text you?
I got a bunch of them, but the first thing I did was text my mom who’s in London. She was waiting by her phone hoping for me to share the news so that’s who I texted.

What are you going to do to celebrate?
I had already scheduled a therapy session, so that’s happening. And I’m probably just going to have a cheat meal, something really greasy and then do the show as we do and then celebrate with friends and castmates after the show.

What would you tell your younger self?
I would tell him to enjoy it and that he’s worked for it for his entire adult life and to relish it and savor every moment.

Lindsay Mendez (Photographed by Jenny Anderson)

Lindsay Mendez, Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical, “Carousel”

How did you find out?
[My husband] Philip and I talked about it, and we were like, “Should we like watch it?” And we were like, “Yeah we should.” Let’s watch it and then we’ll just know. It’s like a dentist appointment. It could be great, or it could be terrible. So we watched together, but I had trouble getting my live feed to work. I was behind, and I didn’t know what to do. So I was like, “Did I miss it? What happened?” So many categories had “Carousel” so I was like, “Oh my god, my friends!” I was definitely in bed in pajamas and then my agent rang my doorbell five minutes after it was announced with all this breakfast stuff for me. I was wearing my Judy and Barbra and Liza and Bette shirt from “Significant Other,” and I was wearing pajama pants that were my mother’s, who’s no longer with us. So I had a lot of good juju on.

Who were some of the first people who texted you?
We have a text chain between myself, Jessie [Mueller], Josh [Henry], Renée [Fleming], and Alex [Gemignani] so we were all nominated so we all celebrated together. I heard from my dad, who woke up California time, and my sister and brother and [composer] Ryan Scott Oliver, of course, was one of the first people. Stephanie Block texted me, Gavin Creel. Just so many friends right away. I was like, everyone’s awake!

Are you going to do anything fun to celebrate today?
I literally have people coming to inspect my apartment for the insurance policy so that’s happening in 20 minutes. I’m so thrilled I scheduled that today. Ryan and Matt [Murphy] are coming over to celebrate in a couple hours and Sass Goldberg. We’re going to have lunch together. And then I have a meeting totally unrelated to any of this, and then I have a show.

What would you tell your younger self?
I would be like, girl hang in there! I know you don’t see it now, but you’re going to be accepted and there’s a place for you. I don’t think I knew that when I came here. I was shockingly not afraid, but I didn’t really know what my path would be and I definitely didn’t see this. I would just say, “Hang on girl, it’s going to be an amazing ride.”

 

Laurie Metcalf (Photographed by Jenny Anderson)

Laurie Metcalf, Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play, “Edward Albee’s Three Tall Women”

Congratulations! How does it feel?
This is a really special play. This was a real team effort to get this thing up. When I read it on the page, I wasn’t sure what was there, and it took an effort from all of us, including [director] Joe [Mantello], in the rehearsal room to come up with what we have, which I love. I never would have imagined that there was that much humor in the play, and I had no idea what the audience take away would be at the end of it. It’s so strong and people really identify with it.

How does it feel to be honored alongside Glenda Jackson and with the show?
I’ll be with Glenda and Alison in Glenda’s dressing room at 4:30 running our lines for the whole show, which we do on every Tuesday. Because we’ve had a day off so we meet in Glenda’s room at 4:30 and start in again.

What are you going to do today to celebrate?
I promised a friend that I would shoot a scene in his webisode so I’m going down to Midtown to some church where they’re shooting and do that for him and then run the lines.

What’s one of your favorite parts of being a part of the Tonys?
I do love all the events because I get to see friends who maybe I haven’t been able to see their play yet because we’re on the same schedule, but it’s great to catch up with people. And the Tony show itself is fantastic to be at and so exciting. For a working actor, it’s the epitome of where you want to be sitting that night.

What would you tell your younger self?
I would go back at least 40 years and tell myself, because I was interested in theater,  I had a love of theater and let myself know that that would still be with me all these many years later. I’d still be looking forward to the rehearsal room and doing the eight shows a week and that that passion has never left me. I think that would be a cool thing to know back at age 20.

Ashley Park (Photographed by Nathan Johnson)

Ashley Park, Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical, “Mean Girls”

How did you find out?
I went on a walk in Central Park this morning with two of my girlfriends, and we put our phones away, we got some coffee, and we just caught up. I was like, “I know that if I check my phone in about an hour and there’s a bunch of texts on it then, we’ll see either way. So that’s what we did. I think they were both really excited to check but were trying to be engaged, and we were talking about all sorts of stuff. I’ve just been wandering around Central Park ever since. I think I need to find water somewhere. I’m just trying to be zen. It’s beautiful out here.

What are you going to do to celebrate today?
Oh my gosh, we’re going to rehearse for “The Today Show,” and I think it’s actually planned that our cast is going to go look at the billboard in Times Square. We have a show tonight at 7. I think I will try to get a good night’s sleep after that.

What would you tell your younger self?
That it never happens the way you think it’s going to happen. I’m so beyond grateful to have been a part of this season especially.  I can’t wait to respond to all the loved ones who have reached out. It’s just the outpouring of genuine love and congratulations from all the people I’ve worked with in the past few years and people who have been rooting for me — not just for an award, but who have really believed in me and helped me grow as a performer and as a person. To the core of my heart, I’m just so grateful. I’m going to celebrate by giving Tina [Fey] and Casey [Nicholaw] and our entire cast just the biggest hug. I’m having the time of my life. I’m having so much fun doing this show. I think it’s so hard to stay truly genuinely happy in this industry sometimes, but at the end of the day, I’m so thrilled to have been part of this season both with “K-POP,” and with “Mean Girls.”

Susan Brown (Photographed by Natalie Powers)

Susan Brown, Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play, “Angels in America”

How did you find out and how do you feel?
I’m in shock, and I’m completely delighted of course. I didn’t know what time the nominations would be made and so I went to bed making myself a cup of tea. My husband rang me from London to tell me so it was rather a glorious thing that I actually got this fabulous news from my husband in London this morning. I’m absolutely thrilled and have spent most of the day just getting in touch with lovely friends in London. I’m very blessed and flattered and completely thrilled that “Angels” broke the record of the most nominations for a play revival.

What are you going to do to treat yourself?
Well we get Mondays and Tuesdays off and quite honestly the show is so monumental so Mondays are really the only days you can really let go a little bit. I am going out tonight with a friend for supper and yes of course there will be some celebration.

What would you tell your younger self?
I would say something that I’ve always said to myself – just keep the heart of a baby and the skin of a rhino.

Norbert Leo Butz (Photographed by Jenny Anderson)

Norbert Leo Butz, Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical, “My Fair Lady”
“I’m thrilled and honored! This project has been a dream job from the beginning. The role, the script and score, a brilliant Bart Sher at the helm, a dream cast and design team, and to top it all off, that wonderful, legendary Vivian Beaumont stage at Lincoln Center Theater. I heard about the nomination from my manager (and, yes, I had to be woken up. My 7-year-old was up throughout the night with a fever and sore throat, so dad was sleeping in. One of the ironic benefits of having a sick kid the morning of Tony nominations is that one tends to forget the nominations are coming out! Which removes a lot of useless stress over the whole thing! On the down side, however, I may infect the entire cast with strep throat in the next 24 hours).”

Joshua Henry (Photographed by Nathan Johnson)

Joshua Henry, Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical, “Carousel”
“The gratitude I feel being celebrated by my theater community while watching the announcements with my wife and newborn son, Samson, is more than I can put into words. I’m extremely proud to be a part of this show and am lucky to work with such an amazing cast and crew. “

Katrina Lenk (Photographed by Nathan Johnson)

Katrina Lenk, Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical, “The Band’s Visit”

How did you find out?
We were doing a thing on “The Today Show,” and [Director] David Cromer wisely said to all of us, “Put your phones away. Don’t be looking at your phones. It’s not about that.” So none of us knew what was going on. We were just about to do the song, and Hoda and Savannah came over and said, “By the way…” and told us that way, which was very funny.

What are you going to do today to celebrate?
I’m going to take a nap, which I’m very excited about. We were up quite early today to do “The Today Show.” So I have heart bubbles all around the image of my bed in my mind right now.

Who were some of the first people who texted you?
My best friend who lives in Michigan. She got up early. Some friends from high school and just yes oh my gosh I’m looking at my phone right now so many people! It’s really wonderful.

What would you tell your younger self in this moment?
Hang in there because it gets better. I bet my young self wouldn’t believe it, even my older self came back and said it. My young self would be like, “What?”

Lauren Ridloff (Photographed by Jenny Anderson)

Lauren Ridloff, Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play, “Children of a Lesser God”
“It has been a very, very, very unusual morning!  First, my son wakes me up at 5AM demanding a bath. Very unusual. Then I get a text from my masseuse that he was here — my first at-home massage and I forgot all about it. And then my husband says, “Congratulations, babe!” And I realize I’m nominated for a Tony Award for my role in ‘Children of a Lesser God.’ A very unusual morning, indeed! Joshua Jackson, my co-star, told me last summer in the Berkshires to just shoot for the moon, and I might land among the stars. I never dreamt I’d land among stars like Glenda Jackson, Condola Rashad, and Amy Schumer.”

Harry Hadden-Paton (Photographed by Jenny Anderson)

Harry Hadden-Paton, Outstanding Performance by an Actor in Leading Role in a Musical, “My Fair Lady”
“Thank you to the Tony nominators, André Bishop and Lincoln Center Theater, and to our director Bartlett Sher for believing in me. I truly could not have imagined a better and more welcoming Broadway experience and am continuously grateful to our cast, crew, and to my family for their amazing dedication to the work, and support. Not to mention the wonderful and loyal theatergoers who make this job such an absolute pleasure. Cheers to all the nominees.”

Lauren Ambrose (Photographed by Nathan Johnson)

Lauren Ambrose, Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical, “My Fair Lady”

How did you find out?
Well, walking to kindergarten drop-off. I was on the way back because it would be very gauche to answer the phone in the kindergarten hallways. So I was very well-behaved. Then I looked at my phone and there were about 500 messages, including angry agents wanting to know why on Earth I wouldn’t pick up my phone, which is kind of a classic for me I have to admit.

Who were some of the first people who texted you?
Let’s look! My aunt, who just came to see the show, and she’s very excited. My mom, [director] Bart Sher. Harry [Hadden-Paton]!

Are you going to do anything to celebrate?
No, probably not. We have an early show tonight. We’re going to work a little more on the cast recording today and continue with my monastic life of hydration and sleep and then go do some vocal warmups and get over to the recording studio to finish our recording and then get over to the theater and start warming it all up. It’s such a beast of a show that there really is not time for much else.

What would you tell your younger self in this moment?
Hard work. Practice makes progress. Stick with it, kid.

Taylor Louderman (Photographed by Jenny Anderson)

Taylor Louderman, Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical, “Mean Girls”

How did you find out this morning?
I was just checking my phone and I think I had just woken up and it was blank, I had no messages and then the next moment there were 20 message all at once.

Who were some of the first people to text you?
My mom, my friend Ben Rauhala. Lin-Manuel sent me a little text which was very sweet and some of my cast mates as well. It’s been really exciting!

“Mean Girls” is tied for the most nominations with 12. How does it feel?
I feel like we’ve all worked so hard on this and it’s been a real collaboration and so I’m really happy that it’s getting the recognition it deserves.

What are you going to do today to celebrate?
I don’t know! Ashley Park was just like, “Wanna meet up?” I’ll probably go celebrate with her a little bit. I need to go the gym, but I don’t know if I’ll be able to stay focused. I need to go to the gym, have you seen the costumes I have to wear?

What would you tell your younger self in this moment?
I was just talking to my mom about that. I just remember feeling like this was never in the cards for me.  I’m from a small town, I didn’t know anyone from New York, I didn’t know anyone in this field. Listening to Kelli O’Hara in my car being like, “Oh my gosh it’s just hopeless.” So to be here is really unbelievable. I know I’ve worked really hard but it does feel like I don’t deserve it.

Condola Rashad (Photogrpahed by Nathan Johnson)

Condola Rashad, Outstanding Actress in a Leading Role in a Play, “Saint Joan”
“A huge thank you to the American Theater Wing and the Broadway League. I am thrilled for all of this year’s nominees, and am deeply humbled and grateful to have been acknowledged in this way. I am constantly moved and inspired by Joan, and I can’t wait to get back to the theater this afternoon to continue to tell her story to people of all ages and backgrounds, as many times as I possibly can!”

Ethan Slater (Photographed by Jenny Anderson)

Ethan Slater, Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical, “SpongeBob SquarePants”

How does it feel to be nominated?
It feels pretty amazing to honest. It’s really surreal. It was really special to watch the nominations roll out and see all of my friends and coworkers being nominated. That was the coolest part of the morning so far.

How did you find out?
I was watching. I was making breakfast, trying to be casual about it. I made an omelette that is overcooked with sweet potato fries that are overcooked and burnt because I stopped paying attention.

What are you going to do to treat yourself today?
First I’m going to eat this breakfast. I’m going to go to the theater and do the show and that’s going to be pretty wild now that the nominations are out. I watched the Tonys for years since I was a little kid. Being able to be a part of that legacy and now to perform in our show knowing that we’re a part of that, it feels pretty cool and exciting.

What would you tell your younger self?
I would say that there is an intrinsic element to making the art and creative stuff that is going to be incredibly fulfilling. As exciting as these nominations are, to keep doing that because you love because that’s what’s going to get you further.

Andrew Garfield (Photographed by Natalie Powers)

Andrew Garfield, Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play, “Angels in America”

“I feel beyond honored to be nominated in this category with stage acting heroes of mine. The sun is finally shining in New York, and to be telling the story of ‘Angels in America’ on Broadway at this particular moment in time feels like the greatest gift and opportunity already. And to have the Tonys and the theater community here in this city recognize our work in this way feels like icing on top of icing on top of icing. I’m so proud of this production and all of our crew, actors, designers, and crafts people and perhaps most especially for our warrior director, Marianne Elliot, who’s vision is bringing Tony Kushner’s masterpiece of a play to the Neil Simon Theater every night in its full glory; offering healing and medicine and hope to an audience of hungry souls that truly need it. Congratulations to all the nominees in all categories. How beautiful to be a part of such a rich and heartfelt community. I’ll be beaming til 2019!”

Nathan Lane (Photographed by Natalie Powers)

Nathan Lane, Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Play, “Angels in America”

“I am thrilled to be a part of the most-nominated revival in Tony history. Just to be in this company of extraordinary actors under the direction of the brilliant Marianne Elliott in Tony Kushner’s masterwork has been an incredible gift. So today is more than just the proverbial icing on the cake, it’s the entire dessert tray at the Four Seasons. I feel very happy and grateful and a little bloated.”

Hailey Kilgore (Photographed by Jenny Anderson)

Hailey Kilgore, Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical, “Once On This Island”
“This morning was a morning that I swore I would treat like any other. I looked out the window and thought to myself, ‘I’m just gonna take a walk.’ Cue airpods, fresh air, and Ariana Grande. 8:44AM my phone rings. On the other end, my beautiful parents screaming, crying, laughing…all of it! My whole world was rocked. I literally ran to the nearest tree and held my hand to it. The initial thing that drew me to Ti Moune’s story was the sense of love and community. Not only among the people who raised her, but the people who raised her up on her journey. In this journey of mine, I have been so lucky to have a village of people to teach me the importance of hard work, perseverance, asking questions, and most importantly to love. Humbled. Honored. Grateful.”

Jamie Parker (Photographed by Jenny Anderson)

Jamie Parker, Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play, “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts 1 and 2”
“This is like some excruciating teenaged day dream that you’d be mortified if anyone found out about it even 25 years later. I’m literally the only person here I’ve never heard of. Tony’s, what the hell? Thanks, by the way. That was very lovely of you. Let me say also to the Tony nominators thanks for acknowledging every possible corner of the production they could. The whole team is world class and every last one of them deserves a late night special of their own. Thanks for recognizing them as a whole group, I wouldn’t want to be on this ride with anyone else.” 

Jessie Mueller (Photographed by Jenny Anderson)

Jessie Mueller, Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical, “Carousel”
“I’m so thrilled for the show. I couldn’t be surrounded by better people and better artists; my heart is so happy right now.”

David Morse (Photographed by Jenny Anderson)

David Morse, Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Play, “Eugene O’Neill’s The Iceman Cometh”
“Needless to say I am happy to be nominated for a Tony Award. It is a rare honor. But, I am especially thrilled that the whole company has been recognized for their beautiful work. I get to be on that stage every night witnessing it all. It is a joy.”

Denzel Washington (Photographed by Jenny Anderson)

Denzel Washington, Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play, “Eugene O’Neill’s The Iceman Cometh”
“Coming back to Broadway is like coming home again. ‘The Iceman Cometh’ experience has been especially gratifying, working with our sensational director George C. Wolfe and my 18 wonderful castmates.”

Anthony Boyle (Photographed by Jenny Anderson)

Anthony Boyle, Outstanding Performance by a Featured Actor in a Play, “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts 1 and 2”
“I was so nervous! I was biting my nails and refreshing the Facebook page over and over. I’m blown away, truly honored to be in such amazing company.”

Denise Gough (Photographed by Nathan Johnson)

Denise Gough, Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play, “Angels in America”
“I’m so thrilled for everybody. I’m so thrilled to be nominated, but more than anything, I’m especially excited to be nominated in the same category as Susan Brown.”

Gavin Lee, Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical, “Spongebob Squarepants The Broadway Musical” 
“OMG! I am over the moon for ‘SpongeBob.’ Getting recognized for so many categories is awesome for our fabulous show. I was actually taking my oldest daughter to school when the nominations happened, but my fabulous agent called me to let me know that I’d gotten nominated. Thank you Tony Awards!”

LaChanze (Photographed by Sean Tracy)

LaChanze, Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical, “Summer: The Donna Summer Musical”
“I am so thrilled and honored to be nominated this year for Outstanding Leading Actress in a Musical for the Tony Awards. And I am very grateful to be in the category of women that have been selected who are all divas in their own right, so I celebrate this moment with them all.”

Ariana DeBose (Photographed by Jenny Anderson)

Ariana DeBose, Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical, “Summer: The Donna Summer Musical”
“I am absolutely beside myself! I’m thrilled to be included in this incredible lineup of powerhouse women. My high school self is absolutely geeking out right now! To be able to represent our show, to represent Donna is priceless! Needless to say I burst into tears when I saw my face on that screen during the livestream. It’s a proud moment, indeed… I’m just so GRATEFUL!”

Grey Henson (Photographed by Jenny Anderson)

Grey Henson, Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical, “Mean Girls”
“In true New York fashion, I stepped on a roach in my apartment this morning and then found out one of my dreams came true. I couldn’t be happier to be a part of this show. Truly too gay/overwhelmed to function.”

Bartlett Sher (Photographed by Nathan Johnson)

Bartlett Sher, Best Direction of a Musical, “My Fair Lady”

“I am genuinely excited for our show. ‘My Fair Lady’ was the largest undertaking I have ever attempted at LCT.  It was a huge risk, and I felt very fortunate to share this work with such an astonishing group of artists. People don’t realize how hard it is to make these musicals, and how intense the pressure is, and how close a company can become. So the recognition from the Tony Awards is well deserved for all us, and it feels especially good because it acknowledges profoundly all of our commitment and hard work. And I feel especially honored to be in the company of such an amazing group of nominees. All of my fellow nominees have done mind-blowing work. They are all exceptional artists and I am honored to be in their company. I am really looking forward to the joyful celebrations ahead.”

Jack Thorne (Photographed by Jenny Anderson)

Jack Thorne, Best Play, “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts 1 and 2”

How did you find out you were nominated?
I was trying to make live feed work. I’m very technically illiterate and the whole thing wasn’t working for me. I was pressing all sorts of buttons. And then we missed all the bits about Best Play. We saw all the other nominations, but we missed our bit. I was with my wife being nervous.

Who was the first person to text you?
I’d seen John was nominated so I texted him, and then I got a “Yay” back. That was the first person, John Tiffany.

What are you going to do to celebrate today?
My five-year-old nephew Buzz is coming over so he’s going to create havoc in the house is what’s going to happen. We’re not going to have much fun to celebrate, but we’ll be dealing with him and we’ll be dealing with my two-year-old who was born as the play was rehearsed. So he’s the proper cursed child. I’ve already given him a big hug. So we’ll play pirates or something. Or wizards! Maybe we’ll play wizards.

What would you tell your younger self?
I would probably slap my younger self on the face and say, “You’re not going to believe it.” I would probably shake him and say, “This won’t make sense to you at all, but it’s going to happen.” And then I’d probably hug him too and say, “It’s all going to be okay, and you will have friends eventually.”

Marianne Elliott (Photographed by Natalie Powers)

Marianne Elliot, Best Director of a Play, “Angels in America”
“I would never have expected this honor, and I am thrilled to have been nominated alongside such remarkable fellow nominees. Thank you to The Broadway League and The American Theatre Wing. A huge thank you also to Tony Kushner for taking the chance on an English woman to direct this seminal American classic. I love this play and our extraordinary creative team and cast of actors.”

Justin Peck (Photographed by Jenny Anderson)

Justin Peck, Outstanding Choreography, “Carousel”
“You know it’s funny because I had a conversation with my then girlfriend, now fiancée Patricia, and she asked what award or recognition would really mean a lot to you and it was really early on when we started dating, and I said to her a Tony Award. It was before she knew about my interest and passion for theater so that caught her by surprise, and that was five years ago so it really feels like an amazing full circle moment that’s happening right now. I would probably tell myself to be patient and keep your head focused and that hard work will be recognized in the end.”

John Tiffany (Photographed by Jenny Anderson)

John Tiffany, Best Director of a Play, “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts 1 and 2”
“I’m over the moon that so many of the brilliant artists who I have had the great fortune of collaborating with on ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’ have been recognized by the Broadway League and the American Theater Wing.”

David Yazbek (Photographed by Natalie Powers)

David Yazbek, Best Original Score, “The Band’s Visit” 

Who were some of the first people to text you?
Like a read hodge-podge. My agent. People from the show. My beloved producer Orin Wolf. Our publicists who really are great. So some of the people you’d expect and family, my dad. And then you always get someone you have to remember who they are, did I go to school with this person and why do they have my number? They’re coming in as we speak the texts.

What are you going to do today to celebrate?
I will listen to the Norm MacDonald audio book of his novel on my way into the city for a meeting. I may go on a hike a little later. What am I going to do, get drunk?

What would you tell your younger self?
My first nomination came when I was maybe 40 years old so I wasn’t that young. I would tell that younger self, knowing that I’m going have to wear a tuxedo to try it on now. What happens if it’s a little tight? That can ruin your whole night. That’s what I would say. Try on the tuxedo and also make sure you have the right kind of shoes for a nice tuxedo. Don’t wear wing-tips with a tuxedo. And buy talcum powder now.

David Cromer (Photographed by Jenny Anderson)

David Cromer, Best Direction of a Musical, “The Band’s Visit”

How did you find out this morning?
“The Band’s Visit” was performing on “The Today Show,” so we kind of had to say, “We have one shot at doing this live. Everyone turn your phones off, and we’ll all find out when it’s over.” Right before we started, Tony Shalhoub and Katrina Lenk were being interviewed by Savannah Guthrie  and Hoda Kotb, and they said by the way, “You got six Tony nominations. No I think you’ve got seven,” so then we had to do the number. So, we all found out. We had 11.

What are you going to do today to celebrate?
Take a nap. We had “The Today Show,” so we were up really early. That’s my reward for anything is nap. We were all together this morning. I figure we’ll all just go to the show and maybe grab a drink after. We’re a low-key group.

What would you tell your younger self?
You’re going to get to see a clip of your musical on Showtune Night at Sidetrack on Musical Mondays!

Michael Arden (Photographed by Jenny Anderson)

Michael Arden, Best Direction of a Musical, “Once on This Island”

“To be honored in such incredible company of artists and theatre is truly a career highlight thus far. I am so incredibly proud of the work of all the artists, technicians, musicians, designers and producers who toiled in the sand and debris to make ‘Once on this Island’ the magical and relevant piece of theater that it is. It’s apparent that art is needed now more than ever, and I am humbled to be part of this brilliant community. Congrats to all the nominees and everyone making theatre this season.”

Tina Landau (Photographed by Jenny Anderson)

Tina Landau, Best Direction of a Musical, “SpongeBob SquarePants”
“I’m so crazy proud of our entire ‘SpongeBob’ team! – that’s how I feel. Thrilled for the show itself. I’m most proud of the multiple nominations because making theater comes from an ‘us’ not a ‘me,’ you know? I was watching live online with my girlfriend, and as names were being read aloud – Tom Kitt, Walter Trarbach and Mike Dobson, Kyle Jarrow, Chris Gatelli, our designers, actors, composers – I kept fist pumping the air and saying, ‘Yes!’ When my name was read, I fell completely silent. Much to my own surprise, it brought me to a place of quiet reflection. It’s moving and layered for me, and causing me to reflect on the whole 10-year journey this has been for me so far. So yes, I’m quiet and humbled and grateful this moment – but tonight I get to go to the Palace Theater where pure joy is spread in abundance each night, and I get to celebrate with the whole friggin’ town of Bikini Bottom!! Also, congrats to every single person who has made theater this year, that’s what I say!”

Scott Pask (Photographed by Nathan Johnson)

Scott Pask, Outstanding Scenic Design of a Musical, “Mean Girls” and “The Band’s Visit”

What were you doing when you found out and how do you feel?
I’m sitting on a train in the Scottish highlands an hour outside of Glasgow heading North, and I just got a text from Tony Marion. Paule Constable is next to me on the train with her husband we are taking a field trip and we are both over the moon. It’s amazing.

What are you going to do to celebrate today?
We actually packed two bottles of wine so we are breaking them out early.

What would you tell your younger self?
Follow your gut and follow your dreams because you know what? They are going to take you to the places that make you happiest.

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