2011 Tony Nominations Announced - The Scottsboro Boys receive 12 nominations!

BY ANDREW GANS, Playbill.com

Tony winners Matthew Broderick and Anika Noni Rose announced the nominations for the 65th Annual Tony Awards May 3 at The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts' Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center at Lincoln Center.

Two new musicals scored the most nominations of any productions of the season: The Book of Mormon, which received 14 nominations, and the already-closed The Scottsboro Boys, which earned 12 nominations.

It was a good morning for The Scottsboro Boys, the musical about a grim chapter in American justice. The conceptual entertainment by librettist David Thompson, composer John Kander and the late Fred Ebb closed last fall after a brief run, but Tony nominators remembered the ambitious show that used a minstrel show as a frame to tell the tale of nine black boys wrongly jailed in the Depression-era South.

Shortly after Scottsboro closed, producers Fran and Barry Weissler said they were exploring bringing the musical back to Broadway this spring, but a return did not materialize. Joshua Henry, a relative newcomer to Broadway, was nominated as Best Actor for playing righteous Haywood Patterson, who refused to confess guilt for crimes that he didn't commit. In the Featured Actor category, Colman Domingo and Forrest McClendon were nominated for playing multiple roles in the positions of classic side-men Mr. Bones and Mr. Tambo, respectively.

The Tonys had faith in the director-choreographer this year: Rob Ashford of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, Kathleen Marshall of Anything Goes, Casey Nicholaw and Trey Parker of The Book of Mormon and Susan Stroman of The Scottsboro Boys were all nominated for their Direction of a Musical. All but Mormon co-director Parker (who is not a choreographer) were nominated in the Choreography category for the same shows.

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