'Hairspray,' 'Movin' Out,' 'Nine,' top nominations for 2003 Tony Awards

Monday, May 12th 2003, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

NEW YORK (AP) _ ``Hairspray,'' the buoyant, bouffant musical celebration of 1960s Baltimore, dominated the 2003 Tony Award nominations Monday with 13, while ``Movin' Out'' _ Twyla Tharp's all-dance tribute to Billy Joel set during the Vietnam War, received 10.

The revival of ``Nine,'' a 1982 Tony winner about a woman-obsessed Italian film director, earned eight nominations, including one for its star, Antonio Banderas, and three for its actresses in the feature category. ``Long Day's Journey Into Night,'' a revival of Eugene O'Neill's epic family drama, got seven nominations, including nods for its stars Brian Dennehy, Vanessa Redgrave, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Robert Sean Leonard.

Paul Newman picked up a nomination for his role as the avuncular stage manager in a revival of ``Our Town,'' while Bernadette Peters received a nomination for playing Mama Rose, the ultimate stage mother, in ``Gypsy.''

Vying with ``Hairspray'' and ``Movin' Out'' for best musical are the short-lived ``Amour,'' a Gallic fantasy about a man who could walk through walls, and the charming children's show ``A Year With Frog and Toad.''

Best play nominees include ``Take Me Out,'' about a gay baseball player; ``Enchanted April,'' the story of four Englishwomen on vacation in Italy; ``Say Goodnight Gracie,'' a one-man show about George Burns; and ``Vincent in Brixton,'' about artist Vincent van Gogh's brief stay in London.

Banderas' main competition is Harvey Fierstein, who plays the housewife Edna Turnblad in ``Hairspray.'' Brian Stokes Mitchell, Don Quixote in a revival of ``Man of La Mancha,'' Malcolm Gets from ``Amour'' and John Selya, a troubled Vietnam War vet in ``Movin' Out,'' fill out the category.

Peters, who recently missed performances because of a respiratory ailment, faces Melissa Errico, ``Amour''; Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, ``Man of La Mancha''; Elizabeth Parkinson, ``Movin' Out''; and Marissa Jaret Winokur, who plays Fierstein's daughter in ``Hairspray.''

Besides Newman and Dennehy, leading actor nominations in a play include Brian Bedford for ``Tartuffe,'' Eddie Izzard for ``A Day in the Death of Joe Egg'' and Stanley Tucci for ``Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune.''

Leading actress nominees include Redgrave, Jayne Atkinson for ``Enchanted April ,'' Victoria Hamilton for ``A Day in the Death of Joe Egg,'' Clare Higgins for ``Vincent in Brixton'' and Fiona Shaw for ``Medea.''

In an unusual move, special Tony Awards will be given to the principal ensemble performers in Baz Luhrmann's lavish retelling of Puccini's opera, ``La Boheme.'' The 10 actors play Mimi, Rudolfo, Musetta and Marcello in the production's revolving casts.

``La Boheme'' will also compete in the musical revival category, going up against ``Gypsy,'' ``Nine'' and ``Man of La Mancha.''

In another strongly competitive category _ play revival _ ``Long Day's Journey Into Night'' faces ``A Day in the Death of Joe Egg,'' ``Medea'' and Lincoln Center Theater's opulent production of Kaufman and Hart's comedy, ``Dinner at Eight.''

Nominees were announced at Sardi's, the theater-district restaurant. John Lithgow and Melanie Griffith did the honors. Lithgow was a Tony winner last year for the musical ``Sweet Smell of Success,'' while Griffith goes into the cast of ``Chicago'' in July to play Roxie Hart.

Tony winners will be announced June 8 in televised ceremonies from Radio City Music Hall.