La Jolla Playhouse Musical among Tony Award Nominees

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The Tony Award nominations were announced Tuesday and “Memphis,” a rock and roll musical that premiered at the La Jolla Playhouse in 2008 and later moved to Broadway, was nominated for eight Tony Awards.

The musical was among the top nominees with only three other plays, “Fela!” ,”La Cage Aux Folles” and “Fences”, earning more nominations. “Memphis is nominated for Best Musical and Christopher Ashley, the Playhouse’s artistic chief, is nominated for Best Director.

Top honors for “Memphis” also include nominations for Best Performance by a  Lead Actor for Chad Kimball whose fellow nominees include “Frasier” star Kelsey Grammer and “Will and Grace” star Sean Hayes. Montego Glover is nominated for Best Performance by a Lead Actress along with Catherine Zeta-Jones, both Kimball and Glover stared in the La Jolla production of “Memphis”.

Other nominations for “Memphis” include Best Book for a Musical, Best Original Score, Best Costumes and Best Orchestrations. “Memphis” was developed at the La Jolla Playhouse and moved to Broadway last October. The musical features music and lyrics by David Bryan from Bon Jovi and has been compared to “Dreamgirls” and “Hairspray.”

The 2010 Tony Awards are getting a little extra attention this year thanks to the amount of movie stars dominating many of the award categories. Jude Law, Liev Schreiber, Christopher Walken and Denzel Washington are all nominated for the Best Actor in a play Tony. Scarlett Johansson is nominated for Best Featured Actress for her role in the play “A View From the Bridge.” Green Day’s “American Idiot” is nominated for Best Musical and received nominations in two other categories. “Fela!” was produced by Jay-Z and Will Smith and is tied for the most nominations with “La Cage Aux Folles”, with 11 nominations.

The Tony Awards will air live on CBS on Sunday, June 13th from Radio City Music Hall, a host has yet to be announced. The awards show was hosted by Neil Patrick Harris last year and featured a now infamous performance by Bret Michaels where he was hit in the head by a moving piece of scenery.

Be sure to tune in this year to see if local nominees for “Memphis” take home any awards.

*Picture from Tomas Fano via Flickr

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