'Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812' leads Tony nods

  • John Earl Jelks, left, Michelle Wilson, Johanna Day and Alison Wright during a performance of Lynn Nottage's play, "Sweat," which was nominated for a Tony Award for best play.

    John Earl Jelks, left, Michelle Wilson, Johanna Day and Alison Wright during a performance of Lynn Nottage's play, "Sweat," which was nominated for a Tony Award for best play. Associated Press/Boneau.Bryan-Brown

  • Michelle Wilson, left, and Johanna Day star in Lynn Nottage's play, "Sweat," which was nominated for a Tony Award for best play.

    Michelle Wilson, left, and Johanna Day star in Lynn Nottage's play, "Sweat," which was nominated for a Tony Award for best play. Associated Press/Boneau.Bryan-Brown

 
By Mark Kennedy
AP Entertainment Writer
Posted5/2/2017 8:17 AM

NEW YORK -- "Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812," a sung-through musical that dramatizes a 70-page melodrama at the center of Leo Tolstoy's "War and Peace," earned a leading 12 Tony Award nominations on Tuesday, which also saw nods for Bette Midler, Kevin Kline, Josh Groban, Danny DeVito and Cate Blanchett.

Groban earned a nod for portraying -- in a fat suit -- an unhappy husband in "Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812." His musical will now compete for the best new musical Tony with "Come From Away," "Dear Evan Hansen" and "Groundhog Day."

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The best play nominees are "Sweat," "Oslo," "Indecent" and "A Doll's House, Part 2." The best play revivals are "August Wilson's Jitney," "Lillian Hellman's The Little Foxes," "Present Laughter" and "Six Degrees of Separation."

The Midler-led revival of "Hello, Dolly!" was the second-highest nominated show this season with 10 nods. The quirky coming-of-age musical "Dear Evan Hansen" earned nine.

This year, there are 24 competitive Tony categories. Winners will be determined by some 850 industry insiders. Kevin Spacey will host the awards show June 11 from Radio City Music Hall.

Midler will compete with Patti LuPone and Christine Ebersole, both who star in "War Paint," which premiered at Chicago's Goodman Theatre last summer, Denée Benton, Natasha of "Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812" and Eva Noblezada of "Miss Saigon."

In a quirk, Midler actually earned her first Tony nomination but has already won one of the trophies -- the 1974 Special Tony Award for "for adding luster to the Broadway season" during a concert stand the year before at the Palace Theatre.

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