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View clips from nominated plays and musicals

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Broadway buzzing with 'Tony' anticipation

Web posted on: Wednesday, June 03, 1998 3:46:26 PM

From Correspondent Cynthia Tornquist

NEW YORK (CNN) -- Will the organization dedicated to recognizing theatrical excellence finally give a woman a best director Tony -- an award named after a woman -- in the musical or play categories? Will pop music score a Broadway coup? Will John Leguizamo earn honors for acting like a "Freak"?

Answers to these questions will come on Sunday, June 7, as Broadway holds its collective breath in anticipation of the 52nd Annual American Theatre Wing's Antoinette Perry "Tony" Awards, which honor the best and brightest in theater.

Talk show host Rosie O'Donnell will host the awards as they are broadcast at 9:00 p.m. (ET) on CBS. It's the second year in a row she has hosted the awards.

"The Beauty Queen of Leenane" and "The Lion King"

Tony goes 'Ragtime?'

This season saw a global community on Broadway. Nominees come from Ireland, Britain, Scotland and even South Africa.

One question on everyone's lips is whether a woman will capture best director for a play or musical. This year women are nominated in both categories -- Garry Hynes for the play "The Beauty Queen of Leenane," and Julie Taymor for the musical "The Lion King."

"There's never been a woman that won it, so we don't know, there may never be," Taymor said. "But there have not been that many women on Broadway directing, period."

Another question: Will it be a night of glory for "Ragtime"? The musical is nominated for 13 awards, the most of any entry.

Paul Simon and Elton John

Pop Broadway

Paul Simon and Elton John have infiltrated the Tonys best score category with their work.

Simon is recognized for his musical, "The Capeman," which was panned by critics during its short run despite its strong score.

John is up for a Tony for his work on "The Lion King."

Emily Skinner and Alice Ripley

Actors and actresses

Two actresses were joined at the hip on stage. Now Emily Skinner and Alice Ripley, who portrayed Siamese twins in "Side Show," share a musical actress nomination.

What will they do if they win?

"I hope they give us two because I'm not sharing," Ripley said.

John Leguizamo is a double nominee -- as the star and playwright of his one-man show, "Freak." It is unusual for a one-man show to be so honored.

"It's the story of my life," he said. "They voted the right way, I think."

The 1997-98 season was also the Year of the Play. Nineteen dramas -- revivals and new works -- were produced on Broadway, the most in any season in the past 15 years.

The Antoinette ("Tony") Perry Awards recognize outstanding plays, musicals, performers and technical accomplishments.

Antoinette Perry, who died in 1946, was an actress, director, producer and leader in the American Theater Wing, a service organization founded by theater personnel.

The awards are jointly administered by the American Theater Wing and the League of American Theaters and Producers.


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