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The Tony Award nominations: everything you need to know

Bruce Willis and Mary-Louise Parker announce the 69th annual Tony Award nominations.
Bruce Willis and Mary-Louise Parker announce the 69th annual Tony Award nominations.
Bryan Bedder/Getty Images

Nominations for the 69th annual Tony Awards, honoring the best of Broadway productions, were announced Tuesday, April 28. The awards show will air Sunday, June 7, at 8 pm Eastern on CBS.

You can read more information on all of the nominated plays and musicals at the Tony Award website.

Who received the most nominations?

As always, the nomination totals were dominated by musicals. With generally larger casts, flashier technical elements, and the opportunity to receive nominations for score and book (essentially the "script" of a musical), musicals have always had this advantage.

This year's nomination leaders were An American in Paris and Fun Home with 12 nominations apiece. American is a big, glitzy adaptation of the famous George Gershwin score that also gave rise to the 1951 Best Picture–winning film of the same name. Fun Home is a musical adaptation of Alison Bechdel's graphic memoir about coming of age and coming to terms with her sexuality, all while struggling with her relationship with her father, a closeted gay man.

The only other nominee to score in the double digits was musical Something Rotten, which is set in the 1590s and involves Elizabethan playwrights trying to come up with the world's first musical, to get a leg up on their contemporary, William Shakespeare.

The most-nominated play was Wolf Hall Parts One & Two, an adaptation of Hilary Mantel's best-selling novels about the life of Thomas Cromwell.

Were any people I've heard of nominated?

Yes! The Tonys often shy away from famous faces who come to star in Broadway shows — even if they receive good reviews — but this year proved an exception to that general rule. Bradley Cooper and Patricia Clarkson received nominations for their performances in The Elephant Man, while Elisabeth Moss and Carey Mulligan received nominations for starring in revivals of the plays The Heidi Chronicles and Skylight, respectively.

Perhaps the most unexpected famous person nominated was Sting — yes, the Sting who was in the Police — who managed a nomination for Best Original Score for the musical The Last Ship. The show closed in January, after a short run and tepid reviews, but most of those reviews singled out Sting's work as noteworthy, so here he is.

Wait — shows can be nominated after they close?

They can. So long as a production opened after April 24, 2014 and before April 23, 2015, it is eligible for a Tony Award nomination. Shows that close are nominated all the time, though hit shows that run for many years are only eligible in the year they opened.

What does "featured role" mean?

It's a supporting role. The word "featured" is meant to suggest the difference between the stars who have their names "above the title" on a Broadway poster and those who are stuck below the title, but this really just means "lead versus supporting performance." Don't worry about it too much.

Can I just see a list of the nominees?

You can.

Best Musical

An American in Paris

Fun Home

Something Rotten!

The Visit

Best Play

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

Disgraced

Hand to God

Wolf Hall Parts One & Two

Best Revival, Musical

The King and I

On the Town

On the Twentieth Century

Best Revival, Play

The Elephant Man

Skylight

This Is Our Youth

You Can’t Take It With You

Best Lead Actor, Musical

Michael Cerveris, Fun Home

Robert Fairchild, An American in Paris

Brian d’Arcy James, Something Rotten!

Ken Watanabe, The King and I

Tony Yazbeck, On the Town

Best Lead Actress, Musical

Kristin Chenoweth, On the Twentieth Century

Leanne Cope, An American in Paris

Beth Malone, Fun Home

Kelli O’Hara, The King and I

Chita Rivera, The Visit

Best Lead Actor, Play

Steven Boyer, Hand to God

Bradley Cooper, The Elephant Man

Ben Miles, Wolf Hall Parts One & Two

Bill Nighy, Skylight

Alex Sharp, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

Best Lead Actress, Play

Geneva Carr, Hand to God

Helen Mirren, The Audience

Elisabeth Moss, The Heidi Chronicles

Carey Mulligan, Skylight

Ruth Wilson, Constellations

Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Play

Matthew Beard, Skylight

K. Todd Freeman, Airline Highway

Richard McCabe, The Audience

Alessandro Nivola, The Elephant Man

Nathaniel Parker, Wolf Hall Parts One & Two

Micah Stock, It's Only a Play

Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play

Annaleigh Ashford, You Can't Take It With You

Patricia Clarkson, The Elephant Man

Lydia Leonard, Wolf Hall Parts One & Two

Sarah Stiles, Hand to God

Julie White, Airline Highway

Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical

Christian Borle, Something Rotten!

Andy Karl, On the Twentieth Century

Brad Oscar, Something Rotten!

Brandon Uranowitz, An American in Paris

Max von Essen, An American in Paris

Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical

Victoria Clark, Gigi

Judy Kuhn, Fun Home

Sydney Lucas, Fun Home

Ruthie Ann Miles, The King and I

Emily Skeggs, Fun Home

Best Direction of a Play

Stephen Daldry, Skylight

Marianne Elliott, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

Scott Ellis, You Can't Take It With You

Jeremy Herrin, Wolf Hall Parts One & Two

Moritz von Stuelpnagel, Hand to God

Best Direction of a Musical

Sam Gold, Fun Home

Casey Nicholaw, Something Rotten!

John Rando, On the Town

Bartlett Sher, The King and I

Christopher Wheeldon, An American in Paris

Best Book of a Musical

An American in Paris, Craig Lucas

Fun Home, Lisa Kron

Something Rotten!, Karey Kirkpatrick and John O'Farrell

The Visit, Terrence McNally

Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) Written for the Theatre

Fun Home, Music: Jeanine Tesori, Lyrics: Lisa Kron

The Last Ship, Music and Lyrics: Sting

Something Rotten!, Music and Lyrics: Wayne Kirkpatrick and Karey Kirkpatrick

The Visit, Music: John Kander, Lyrics: Fred Ebb

Best Choreography

Joshua Bergasse, On the Town

Christopher Gattelli, The King and I

Scott Graham & Steven Hoggett, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

Casey Nicholaw, Something Rotten!

Christopher Wheeldon, An American in Paris

Best Orchestrations

Christopher Austin, Don Sebesky, Bill Elliott, An American in Paris

John Clancy, Fun Home

Larry Hochman, Something Rotten!

Rob Mathes, The Last Ship

Best Scenic Design of a Play

Bunny Christie and Finn Ross, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

Bob Crowley, Skylight

Christopher Oram, Wolf Hall Parts One & Two

David Rockwell, You Can't Take It With You

Best Scenic Design of a Musical

Bob Crowley and 59 Productions, An American in Paris

David Rockwell, On the Twentieth Century

Michael Yeargan, The King and I

David Zinn, Fun Home

Best Costume Design of a Play

Bob Crowley, The Audience

Jane Greenwood, You Can't Take It With You

Christopher Oram, Wolf Hall Parts One & Two

David Zinn, Airline Highway

Best Costume Design of a Musical

Gregg Barnes, Something Rotten!

Bob Crowley, An American in Paris

William Ivey Long, On the Twentieth Century

Catherine Zuber, The King and I

Best Lighting Design of a Play

Paule Constable, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

Paule Constable and David Plater, Wolf Hall Parts One & Two

Natasha Katz, Skylight

Japhy Weideman, Airline Highway

Best Lighting Design of a Musical

Donald Holder, The King and I

Natasha Katz, An American in Paris

Ben Stanton, Fun Home

Japhy Weideman, The Visit

Special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre

Tommy Tune

Regional Theatre Tony Award

Cleveland Play House, Cleveland, Ohio

Isabelle Stevenson Tony Award

Stephen Schwartz

Special Tony Award

John Cameron Mitchell

Tony Honors for Excellence in the Theatre

Arnold Abramson

Adrian Bryan-Brown

Gene O’Donovan

Correction: This post originally said Wolf Hall was about Oliver Cromwell. It is about Thomas Cromwell instead.

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