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'Anastasia' Receives Two Tony Nominations

Anastasia didn't get much recognition from the Tony Award nominating committees Tuesday morning. But her grandmother did all right.

Mary Beth Peil was nominated for Best Featured Actress in a Musical for her role as the austere Dowager Empress in the musical "Anastasia."

The only other nomination for "Anastasia" was for Best Costume Design. Linda Cho earned the nod for the play's dreamy gowns and scruffy Russian street clothes.

"Anastasia" had its world premiere at Hartford Stage a year ago.

The production already has 13 Outer Critics Circle Award nominations (the most for any musical this year) and nine Drama Desk Award nominations. The Tony nominations were disappointing in comparison, but this was an unusually competitive year for Broadway musicals.

In an interview last week, before the nominations were announced, Tresnjak said the enthusiasm at the Broadhurst Theatre when the musical opened was "infectious.

"'Anastasia' is a very good thing for Hartford Stage," Tresnjak said. "If it runs a long time, it will mean a lot for Hartford Stage."

Tresnjak won a Tony for the previous Hartford Stage to Broadway transfer, "A Gentleman's Guide to Love & Murder," but was not nominated Tuesday for "Anastasia."

"Anastasia" underwent a few changes in its move from Hartford Stage to New York's Broadhurst Theatre, but retained nearly all of the same cast members and design team. Peil and Cho were both part of the Hartford Stage production.

The Tony nominations were announced at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday morning in a live webcast on the tonyawards.com website. The winners will be revealed June 11 in a televised ceremony hosted by Kevin Spacey. The awards, formally known as the Antonette Perry Awards for Excellence in Broadway Theatre, are presented annually by the Broadway League and the American Theatre Wing.

Several other Tony-nominated shows have Connecticut origins.

The historical drama "Indecent" was nominated for Best Play, Best Direction of a Play and Best Lighting Design of a Play. The show, which had its world premiere at the Yale Repertory Theatre in 2015, has a script by Paula Vogel, who has taught at the Yale School of Drama and once chaired that school's Playwriting Program. "Indecent" grew out of a show that director Rebecca Taichman created for her YSD thesis project in 2001.

"Holiday Inn," the Irving Berlin musical that premiered at the Goodspeed Opera House in 2014, was nominated for Best Choreography. That nominee, Denis Jones, directed and choreographed the new production of "Thoroughly Modern Millie" that is now at the Goodspeed.

Westport-raised composer/lyricist Justin Paul and his collaborator, Benj Pasek, were nominated for their musical "Dear Evan Hansen," which received nine Tony nominations overall.

The revival of the musical "Falsettos" received five nominations. The show combines two short musicals by William Finn. Hartford Stage was the first to combine the shows, in 1991.

"Come From Away," which had a reading at the Goodspeed Festival of New Artists in 2013, received seven nominations, including Best Musical.

Bartlett Sher, who was associate artistic director at Hartford Stage in the 1990s (and whose Broadway production of "The King & I" will be at The Bushnell next month on tour), was nominated as Best Director for the play "Oslo."

A revival of "The Price" by Arthur Miller, who lived and wrote in Roxbury for much of his life, received a nomination for Danny DeVito as featured actor. There were six nominations for "Jitney" by August Wilson, who had a long association with the Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center in Waterford and the Yale Repertory Theatre.

The Tolstoy-based musical "Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812" received 12 Tony nominations, the most for any show for 2017. The Bette Midler revival of "Hello, Dolly" earned 10.

The nominees in the major categories are:

Musical: "Come From Away," "Dear Evan Hansen, "Groundhog Day," and "Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812."

Play: "A Doll's House Part 2" by Lucas Hnath, "Indecent" by Paula Vogel, "Oslo" by J.T. Rogers, and "Sweat" by Lynn Nottage.

Revival of a Musical: "Falsettos," "Hello, Dolly," and "Miss Saigon."

Revival of a Play: "Jitney," "The Little Foxes," "Present Laughter," and "Six Degrees of Separation."

Best Leading Actor in a Musical: Christian Borle (Marvin in "Falsettos"); Josh Groban (Pierre in "Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812"); David Hyde Pierce (Horace Vandergelder in"Hello, Dolly!"); Andy Karl (Phil Connors in "Groundhog Day"); and Ben Platt (Evan Hansen in "Dear Evan Hansen").

Best Leading Actress in a Musical: Denée Benton (Natasha in "Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812"); Christine Ebersole (Elizabeth Arden in "War Paint"); Patti LuPone (Helena Rubinstein in "War Paint"); Bette Midler (Dolly in "Hello, Dolly!"); Eva Noblezada (Kim in "Miss Saigon").

Best Featured Actor in a Musical: Gavin Creel (Cornelius Hackl in "Hello, Dolly!"); Mike Faist ("Dear Evan Hansen"); Andrew Rannells (Whizzer in "Falsettos"); Lucas Steel (Anatole in "Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812"); and Brandon Uranowitz (Mendel in "Falsettos").

Best Featured Actress in a Musical: Kate Baldwin (Irene Molloy in "Hello, Dolly!"); Rachel Bay Jones (Heidi Hansen in "Dear Evan Hansen"); Stephanie J. Block (Trina in "Falsettos"); Jenn Colella (Beverly/Annette, et al., in "Come From Away"); and Mary Beth Peil (Dowager Empress in "Anastasia").

Best Leading Actor in a Play: Denis Arndt (Alex Priest, "Heisenberg"); Chris Cooper (Torvald, "A Doll's House, Part 2"); Corey Hawkins (Paul, "Six Degrees of Separation"); Kevin Kline (Gary Essendine, "Present Laughter"); and Jefferson Mays (Terje Rød-Larsen, "Oslo").

Best Leading Actress in a Play: Cate Blanchett (Anna in "The Present"); Jennifer Ehle (Mona Juul in "Oslo"); Sally Field (Amanda Wingfield in "The Glass Menagerie"); Laura Linney (Regina Giddens in "The Little Foxes"); and Laurie Metcalf (Nora in "A Doll's House, Part 2").

Best Featured Actor in a Play: Michael Aronov (Uri Savir, "Oslo"); Danny DeVito (Gregory Solomon in "The Price"); Nathan Lane (Walter Burns in "The Front Page"); Richard Thomas (Horace Giddens in "The Little Foxes"); and John Douglas Thompson (Becker in "Jitney").

Best Featured Actress in a Play: Johanna Day (Tracey in "Sweat"); Jayne Houdyshell (Anne Marie in "A Doll's House, Part 2"); Cynthia Nixon (Birdie Hubbard in "The Little Foxes"); Condola Rashad (Emmy in "A Doll's House, Part 2"); and Michelle Wilson (Cynthia in "Sweat").

Director of a Musical: Christopher Ashley ("Come From Away"); Rachel Chavkin ("Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812"); Michael Greif ("Dear Evan Hansen"); Matthew Warchus ("Groundhog Day"); and Jerry Zaks ("Hello, Dolly!").

Best Director of a Play: Sam Gold ("A Doll's House, Part 2"); Ruben Santiago-Hudson ("Jitney"); Bartlett Sher ("Oslo"); Daniel Sullivan ("The Little Foxes"); and Rebecca Taichman ("Indecent").

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