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Hit Musical 'Hamilton' Gets Record 16 Tony Nominations

  • Reuters

FILE - Lin-Manuel Miranda, actor and creator of the of the play "Hamilton," addresses the audience after the play's opening night on Broadway in New York, Aug. 6, 2015.

FILE - Lin-Manuel Miranda, actor and creator of the of the play "Hamilton," addresses the audience after the play's opening night on Broadway in New York, Aug. 6, 2015.

The Broadway hit "Hamilton" scored a record 16 Tony Award nominations Tuesday, solidifying its front-runner status for the top prize of best musical.

"Hamilton," which has triggered a ticket-buying frenzy not seen on Broadway in years, features a multiracial cast in a hip-hop and R&B-inflected musical that tells the story of U.S. statesman Alexander Hamilton, who was killed in an 1804 duel with Vice President Aaron Burr.

The show won nominations for lead actors Lin-Manuel Miranda as Hamilton and Leslie Odom Jr. as Burr, for lead actress Phillipa Soo, and for best score and book, both written by Miranda. Four featured cast members also received nods.

The "Hamilton" haul Tuesday surpassed those of previous record-holders "The Producers" and "Billy Elliot," which each received 15 nominations.

Miranda overcome

"It's almost impossible to process," Miranda told Reuters afterward. "I became aware that if my life were a movie, this would be a montage, playing on fast forward. And now I'm just trying to slow down the montage."

"Hamilton" had already received widespread critical acclaim and amassed dozens of rave reviews. U.S. first lady Michelle Obama described it in March as "simply ... the best piece of art in any form that I have ever seen in my life."

The "Hamilton" soundtrack has sold more than 325,000 copies in the United States and has been streamed more than 25 million times across online platforms since its release in September, according to figures from Nielsen Music.

The soundtrack won the Grammy Award this year for best musical theater album, and Miranda and his co-stars performed the opening track, "Alexander Hamilton," at the ceremony.

"Hamilton" has propelled the star status of Miranda, who composed a segment of music for December's "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" and is rumored to be starring in a movie sequel of "Mary Poppins" alongside Emily Blunt.

Up against "Hamilton" for best musical are "Shuffle Along," with 10 nominations; "Waitress"; "Bright Star"; and Andrew Lloyd Webber's "School of Rock — the Musical."

FILE - Jessica Lange was nominated for a Tony Award for her portrayal of morphine-addicted Mary Tyrone in "Long Day's Journey Into Night."

FILE - Jessica Lange was nominated for a Tony Award for her portrayal of morphine-addicted Mary Tyrone in "Long Day's Journey Into Night."

Nod for Lange

Two-time Oscar-winner Jessica Lange was nominated for her portrayal of morphine-addicted Mary Tyrone in "Long Day's Journey Into Night," which won nominations for co-stars Gabriel Byrne and Michael Shannon and for best play revival.

"Blackbird," "Noises Off" and Arthur Miller's "The Crucible" and "A View from the Bridge" were also nominated for best play revival.

Best play nominees were "The Humans," "The Father," "King Charles III" and "Eclipsed."

Best musical revival nominees were "She Loves Me," "Fiddler on the Roof," "The Color Purple" and "Spring Awakening."

Up against Lange in the category of best actress in a play are Laurie Metcalf in "Misery," Lupita Nyong'o in "Eclipsed," Sophie Okonedo for "The Crucible" and Michelle Williams in "Blackbird."

FILE - Jeff Daniels sits backstage at the Belasco Theatre in New York, where he stars with Michelle Williams in "Blackbird," an often brutal drama about an illegal relationship. Both actors and the play received Tony nominations.

FILE - Jeff Daniels sits backstage at the Belasco Theatre in New York, where he stars with Michelle Williams in "Blackbird," an often brutal drama about an illegal relationship. Both actors and the play received Tony nominations.

Williams' co-star Jeff Daniels was nominated as best actor, along with Frank Langella for "The Father," Tim Pigott-Smith for "King Charles III" and Mark Strong in "A View from the Bridge."

Best musical actress nominees included Laura Benanti for "She Loves Me," Carmen Cusack in "Bright Star," Cynthia Erivo for "The Color Purple" and Jessie Mueller for "Waitress."

Musical actor nods went to Alex Brightman for "School of Rock," Danny Burstein in "Fiddler on the Roof" and Zachary Levi for "She Loves Me."

Hollywood star Steve Martin won two nominations, for the book for "Bright Star" and co-writer of the musical's score.

But other stars who appeared this season were shut out, including Keira Knightley, Al Pacino and Saoirse Ronan, as were Clive Owen, Bruce Willis and Forest Whitaker in their Broadway debuts.

The Tony Awards will be presented on June 12 at Manhattan's Beacon Theatre in a ceremony headlined by talk show host and past Tony winner James Corden.

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