2016 Tony Award Nominations – Best Performance by an Actor/Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical/Play

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Broadway In Chicago is beyond excited for the 2016 Tony Awards on Sunday June 12th 7-10PM CT! We’ll be highlighting the nominees in each category and filling you in on some fun facts each week leading up to the award ceremony.

Here are the actors and actresses in musicals and plays nominated for Best Performance in a Leading Role:

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE IN A MUSICAL

Alex Brightman – “School of Rock – The Musical”

Danny Burstein – “Fiddler on the Roof”

Zachary Levi – “She Loves Me”

Lin-Manuel Miranda – “Hamilton”

Leslie Odom, Jr. – “Hamilton”

Fun Facts:

-Alex Brightman played “Zacky Price” in the original cast of Big Fish which originated here in Chicago at the Oriental Theatre April 2 – May 5, 2013.

-Although Lin-Manuel Miranda has gained so much recognition for his creation of Hamilton, he was well known before that as well for writing the music and lyrics for both In the Heights and Bring It On: The Musical, both which have toured through Chicago.

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE IN A MUSICAL

Laura Benanti – “She Loves Me”

Carmen Cusack – “Bright Star”

Cynthia Erivo – “The Color Purple”

Jessie Mueller – “Waitress”

Phillipa Soo – “Hamilton”

Fun Facts:

-Carmen Cusack was just recently in Chicago premiering the First Wives Club musical at the Oriental Theatre February 17 – March 29, 2015.

-Jessie Mueller won the 2014 Tony Award for her portrayal of Carole King in Beautiful: The Carole King Musical which was last seen at the Oriental Theatre December 1, 2015 – February 21, 2016 and will be returning to Chicago in the upcoming 2017 holiday season.

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE IN A PLAY

Gabriel Byrne – “Long Day’s Journey Into Night”

Jeff Daniels – “Blackbird”

Frank Langella – “The Father”

Tim Pigott-Smith – “King Charles III”

Mark Strong – “A View from the Bridge”

Fun facts:

-You may recognize Jeff Daniels from movies such as The Martian, Steve Jobs and also the classic 1994 comedy, Dumb and Dumber.

-Both Frank Langella and Anthony Hopkins received Oscar nominations for portraying Richard Nixon: Hopkins for Nixon in 1995 and Langella for Frost/Nixon in 2008.

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE IN A PLAY

Jessica Lange – “Long Day’s Journey Into Night”

Laurie Metcalf – “Misery”

Lupita Nyong’o – “Eclipsed”

Sophie Okonedo – “The Crucible”

Michelle Williams – “Blackbird”

Fun Facts:

-You’ll recognize Jessica Lange from movies such as Big Fish, Tootsie or Cape Fear, but most recently because of her work in the hit TV show American Horror Story.

-Lupita Nyong’o won an Oscar in 2014 for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in the movie 12 Years a Slave.

-Michelle Williams starred as Sally Bowles in the Cabaret revival on Broadway, which then toured through Chicago recently at The PrivateBank Theatre February 9 – 21, 2016 with Andrea Goss in the leading role.

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