The musical A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder, a musical romp in which a poor man comically eliminates the eight heirs ahead of him for a title, has nabbed a leading 10 Tony Award nominations.
Hedwig and the Angry Inch, a cult off-Broadway hit that this season stars Neil Patrick Harris, won eight nominations, while After Midnight, a musical celebrating Duke Ellington's years at the Cotton Club nightclub, got seven, tied with Beautiful: The Carole King Musical and Twelfth Night.
"I'm in shock," said Lena Hall, a Broadway veteran who earned a best featured actress in a musical for her gender-bending part beside Harris in the rock show Hedwig.
The lesson she said of her nomination — in addition to always jump at the chance to work with Harris — is to "do what you believe in and do what you love." Hall, who has appeared in Cats, Tarzan and Kinky Boots, said she was waiting to call her parents who were still asleep in San Francisco.
"I really wasn't expecting this at all. This is crazy."
The nominations announced Tuesday morning also made waves for snubbing some big names, including Denzel Washington, Daniel Radcliffe, James Franco, Zachary Quinto and Michelle Williams.
The musicals up for the big prize in June are: After Midnight, A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder, Aladdin, and Beautiful: The Carole King Musical. Shows that failed to make the cut include Bullets Over Broadway, Rocky, "If/Then" and The Bridges of Madison County.
"It's good to be acknowledged," said Andy Karl, who plays Rocky and has transformed his body over three years into a fearsome boxer. "It's nice to know it was worth the time and effort."
Of the lack of a best musical nomination for the show, he said he was disappointed, adding: "That's how the Tony cookie crumbles."
Canadian actor Ramin Karimloo, acclaimed for his starring role in Les Misérables, is nominated in the category of best lead actor in a musical while the show itself will vie for best musical revival against Hedwig and Violet.
Karimloo, who was raised in Richmond Hill, Ont., faces tough competition in his race, however, facing Hedwig's Harris and Jefferson Mays and Bryce Pinkham from leading nominee A Gentleman's Guide to Love & Murder. Karl of Rocky rounds out the contenders.
Nick Cordero of Hamilton, Ont. is also a Tony nominee, up for best performance by an actor in a featured role in a musical for Bullets Over Broadway.
Five-time Tony Award winner Audra McDonald earned a nomination for Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill, meaning she is in a position to make history as the Tonys' first grand-slam performance winner.
The best new play category has James Lapine's Act One, Terrance McNally's Mothers and Sons, Robert Schenkkan's All the Way, John Patrick Shanley's Outside Mullingar and Harvey Fierstein's Casa Valentina.
Select nominations for the 2014 American Theatre Wing's Tony Awards, announced Tuesday.
Best Play: Act One, All The Way, Casa Valentina, Mothers and Sons, Outside Mullingar.
Best Musical: After Midnight, Aladdin, Beautiful-The Carole King Musical, A Gentleman's Guide to Love & Murder.
Best Book of a Musical: Aladdin, Beautiful-The Carole King Musical, Bullets Over Broadway, A Gentleman's Guide to Love & Murder.
Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) Written for the Theatre: Aladdin, The Bridges of Madison County, A Gentleman's Guide to Love & Murder, If/Then.
Best Revival of a Play: The Cripple of Inishmaan, The Glass Menagerie, A Raisin in the Sun, Twelfth Night.
Best Revival of a Musical: Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Les Misérables, Violet.
Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play: Samuel Barnett, Twelfth Night, Bryan Cranston, All the Way, Chris O'Dowd, Of Mice and Men, Mark Rylance, Richard III, Tony Shalhoub, Act One.
Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play: Tyne Daly, Mothers and Sons, LaTanya Richardson Jackson, A Raisin in the Sun, Cherry Jones, The Glass Menagerie, Audra McDonald, Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill, Estelle Parsons, The Velocity of Autumn.
Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical: Neil Patrick Harris, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Ramin Karimloo, Les Misérables, Andy Karl, Rocky, Jefferson Mays, A Gentleman's Guide to Love & Murder, Bryce Pinkham, A Gentleman's Guide to Love & Murder.
Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical: Mary Bridget Davies, A Night With Janis Joplin, Sutton Foster, Violet, Idina Menzel, If/Then, Jessie Mueller, Beautiful-The Carole King Musical, Kelli O'Hara, The Bridges of Madison County.
Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Play: Reed Birney, Casa Valentina, Paul Chahidi, Twelfth Night, Stephen Fry, Twelfth Night, Mark Rylance, Twelfth Night, Brian J. Smith, The Glass Menagerie.
Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play: Sarah Greene, The Cripple of Inishmaan, Celia Keenan-Bolger, The Glass Menagerie, Sophie Okonedo, A Raisin in the Sun, Anika Noni Rose, A Raisin in the Sun, Mare Winningham, Casa Valentina.
Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical: Danny Burstein, Cabaret, Nick Cordero, Bullets Over Broadway, Joshua Henry, Violet.