"In the Heights" leads Broadway's Tony nominations

NEW YORK (Reuters) - “In the Heights,” an original musical written by a university student about life in a working-class New York neighborhood, led the nominations for Broadway’s top theater honors, the Tony Awards, on Tuesday.

Among the 13 nominations for “In The Heights” were best musical, best original score, best performance by a featured actor in a musical for Lin-Manuel Miranda, who also wrote the musical, and best direction of a musical for Thomas Kail.

Miranda wrote the musical, set in Manhattan’s largely Hispanic Washington Heights neighborhood, while in his second year at Wesleyan University and after graduating he and Kail reworked it for a larger audience. It first played in Connecticut before moving to an off-Broadway theater and then making its Broadway debut on March 9 this year.

“Rodgers and Hammerstein’s South Pacific” picked up 11 nominations, followed by “Sunday in the Park with George” with nine. Both received a nod for best revival of a musical, along with “Grease,” the only nomination for that musical, and “Gypsy,” which had seven nominations.

After an award-winning run in London’s West End, “Macbeth,” starring Patrick Stewart, moved across the Atlantic this year to pick up six nominations, including best revival of a play, best performance by a leading actor for Stewart, and best performance by a leading actress for Kate Fleetwood.

“It’s so deeply satisfying to find that the production has been recognized across the creative board,” Stewart told Reuters. “Macbeth does not have too glowing a history with Tony voters.”

Also up for best revival of a play is “Boeing-Boeing,” which grabbed six nominations; “Les Liasons Dangereuses,” which had five; and “The Homecoming” with three nominations.

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Pulitzer Prize-winning play “August: Osage County” received seven nominations, including best play, for which it is competing against Tom Stoppard’s “Rock ‘n’ Roll” and “The Seafarer” -- each with four nominations -- and “The 39 Steps,” which ended up with six nominations.

“Passing Strange,” a tale of a young American’s travels from black, middle-class America to Amsterdam and Berlin that was written by a performance artist known as Stew, pulled in seven nominations, including best musical.

Also nominated for best musical were “Xanadu” and “Cry-Baby,” which both received a total of four nominations, and “In The Heights.”

The complete list of Tony Award nominations can be found at The awards will be presented June 15.