“Billy” Leads Tony Noms With 15

billytony1531The nominations for the 2009 Tony awards were announced this morning. “Billy Elliot” (pictured) led the field with 15 nominations, but the runner-up, “Next To Normal,” got 11, and still has a shot at knocking little Billy out of the winner’s circle come June 7th. “9 to 5” didn’t get a Best Musical nom, but will probably get a number on the telecast, especially if Dolly Parton shows up. There was no Best Revival of a Play nod for “The Seagull,” partly because the competition in that category is the toughest of the year, and partly because the production, starring Kristin Scott Thomas, closed months ago. Slightly scandalous is “Seagull” being shut out in every category. Also head-scratching: no Arthur Laurents nomination for directing “West Side Story.” (Karma is a boomerang.) Based on the reviews, the omission of John Goodman and Bill Irwin from acting noms for “Waiting for Godot” is a surprise, but the notices don’t always determine things: “33 Variations,” starring Jane Fonda, got tepid reviews, but 5 nominations. If I had to put on my prognosticator’s hat, I’d say that “God of Carnage,” with 6 noms, has the edge for Best Play; “Hair,” with 8, has a slight edge over “West Side Story” (4) for Best Revival of a Musical; and that Best Play Revival (“Norman Conquests,” 7; “Mary Stuart,” 7; and “Joe Turner’s Come and Gone,” 6) is still too close to call. Slightly depressing for an American-theatre cheerleader like me: the prospect that 3 of the 4 major awards could got to productions imported from London (though some were recast in NY): “Billy Elliot,” “God of Carnage,” and “Norman Conquests”/Mary Stuart.”

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