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'Ragtime,' 'Lion' Top Tony Nods

Theater: Livent production leads the pack with 13 nominations, two ahead of the Disney stage adaptation of the animated film.

May 05, 1998|DON SHIRLEY | TIMES STAFF WRITER

"Ragtime," the musical adaptation of E.L. Doctorow's novel about American life in the early 20th century, garnered 13 of Broadway's Tony Award nominations on Monday, two more nods than Disney's stage adaptation of "The Lion King," which inspired new respect from the theatrical community for its producer.

The nods intensify the competition between the two corporate giants--Livent, which produced "Ragtime," and Disney--who have recently become major fixtures on Broadway.

The revival of "Cabaret" was close behind with 10 nominations. Leading the nonmusical categories were "The Beauty Queen of Leenane" and a revival of Eugene Ionesco's "The Chairs," both with six nods.

"Golden Child," David Henry Hwang's play that was commissioned by South Coast Repertory, which produced it in January 1997, took three nominations, including one for best play.

Three of the shows nominated for best musical also have Southland ties. L.A. hosted the U.S. premiere of "Ragtime," and Disney's theatrical wing is based in Burbank. "The Scarlet Pimpernel," nominated for three Tonys including one for the performance of L.A. actor and producer Douglas Sills, was primarily produced by L.A.-based Pierre Cossette.

Brian Stokes Mitchell, who appeared in L.A. as Coalhouse Walker in "Ragtime," is probably the favorite for best actor in a musical, but he will face competition from within his own show--Peter Friedman, New York's Tateh though not L.A.'s, was also nominated. Alice Ripley and Emily Skinner, who played Siamese twins in "Side Show," were nominated for one joint Tony.

Denver Center Theatre Company won the annual Tony for an outstanding regional theater, which carries a $25,000 grant. The company's artistic director is Donovan Marley, who ran Pacific Conservatory of the Performing Arts in Santa Maria for many years before taking the Denver job.

Among well-known names, Jane Alexander was nominated for her role in "Honour"--her first appearance since she left the top job at the National Endowment for the Arts, and Paul Simon was nominated for his score of "The Capeman."

The Tonys will be presented on June 7. Parts of the ceremony will be televised on both PBS and CBS, with Rosie O'Donnell hosting.

The nominees:

* Play: "Art," by Yasmina Reza; "Freak," by John Leguizamo; "Golden Child," by David Henry Hwang; "The Beauty Queen of Leenane," by Martin McDonagh

* Musical: "Ragtime," "Side Show," "The Lion King," "The Scarlet Pimpernel"

* Revival/Play: "A View From the Bridge," "Ah, Wilderness!," "The Chairs," "The Diary of Anne Frank"

* Revival/Musical: "Cabaret," "1776," "The Sound of Music"

* Book of a Musical: Terrence McNally, "Ragtime"; Bill Russell, "Side Show"; Roger Allers and Irene Mecchi, "The Lion King"; Nan Knighton, "The Scarlet Pimpernel"

* Original Score: Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens, "Ragtime"; Henry Krieger and Bill Russell, "Side Show"; Paul Simon and Derek Walcott, "The Capeman"; Elton John, Tim Rice, Lebo M, Mark Mancina, Jay Rifkin, Julie Taymor and Hans Zimmer, "The Lion King"

* Director/Musical: Scott Ellis, "1776"; Frank Galati, "Ragtime"; Sam Mendes with Rob Marshall, "Cabaret"; Julie Taymor, "The Lion King"

* Director/Play: Garry Hynes, "The Beauty Queen of Leenane"; Michael Mayer, "A View From the Bridge"; Simon McBurney, "The Chairs"; Matthew Warchus, "Art"

* Leading Actor/Play: Richard Briers, "The Chairs"; Anthony LaPaglia, "A View From the Bridge"; John Leguizamo, "Freak"; Alfred Molina, "Art"

* Leading Actress/Play: Jane Alexander, "Honour"; Allison Janney, "A View From the Bridge"; Geraldine McEwan, "The Chairs"; Marie Mullen, "The Beauty Queen of Leenane"

* Leading Actor/Musical: Alan Cumming, "Cabaret"; Peter Friedman, "Ragtime"; Brian Stokes Mitchell, "Ragtime"; Douglas Sills, "The Scarlet Pimpernel"

* Leading Actress/Musical: Betty Buckley, "Triumph of Love"; Marin Mazzie, "Ragtime"; Natasha Richardson, "Cabaret"; Alice Ripley and Emily Skinner, "Side Show"

* Featured Actor/Play: Tom Murphy, "The Beauty Queen of Leenane"; Brian F. O'Byrne, "The Beauty Queen of Leenane"; Sam Trammell, "Ah, Wilderness!"; Max Wright, "Ivanov"

* Featured Actress/Play: Enid Graham, "Honour"; Linda Lavin, "The Diary of Anne Frank"; Anna Manahan, "The Beauty Queen of Leenane"; Julyana Soelistyo, "Golden Child"

* Featured Actor/Musical: Gregg Edelman, "1776"; John McMartin, "High Society"; Ron Rifkin, "Cabaret"; Samuel E. Wright, "The Lion King"

* Featured Actress/Musical: Anna Kendrick, "High Society"; Tsidii Le Loka, "The Lion King"; Audra McDonald, "Ragtime"; Mary Louise Wilson, "Cabaret"

* Scenic Design: Bob Crowley, "The Capeman"; Richard Hudson, "The Lion King"; Eugene Lee, "Ragtime"; Quay Brothers, "The Chairs"

* Costume Design: William Ivey Long, "Cabaret"; Santo Loquasto, "Ragtime"; Martin Pakledinaz, "Golden Child"; Julie Taymor, "The Lion King"

* Lighting Design: Paul Anderson, "The Chairs"; Peggy Eisenhauer and Mike Baldassari, "Cabaret"; Jules Fisher and Peggy Eisenhauer, "Ragtime"; Donald Holder, "The Lion King"

* Choreography: Graciela Daniele, "Ragtime"; Garth Fagan, "The Lion King"; Forever Tango Dancers, "Forever Tango"; Rob Marshall, "Cabaret"

* Orchestrations: William David Brohn, "Ragtime"; Robert Elhai, David Metzger and Bruce Fowler, "The Lion King"; Michael Gibson, "Cabaret"; Stanley Silverman, "The Capeman"

* Special Tonys: Denver Center Theatre Company; attorney Edward E. Colton; set designer Ben Edwards. A Tony Honor for Excellence in the Theater to International Theatre Institute of the United States

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