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2010 Tony Awards: La Cage leads the pack | Buzz reviews, news & interviews

2010 Tony Awards: La Cage leads the pack

Formidable British presence in the prized Broadway gongs

Tony nominees Angela Lansbury and Catherine Zeta-JonesJoan Marcus

Daniel Craig and Hugh Jackman didn't make the cut; Denzel Washington and Broadway neophyte Douglas Hodge did. And so the race is on for the 2010 Tony Awards, heralding the best of the 39 shows that opened on Broadway across the past season. As always, the British presence is formidable, and this year ranges from Catherine Zeta-Jones (A Little Night Music, pictured above) to Alfred Molina (Red) and on to composer and sound designer Adam Cork, who snared an astonishing three nominations, including one for Enron's original score. (Huh?)

But while the Donmar is doubtless celebrating its nine nominations spread across two plays (Red and Hamlet), both directed by Michael Grandage, the champagne must be flowing across town at the Menier Chocolate Factory. The little-theatre-that-could has seen two musical revivals spawned in modest circumstances gather 15 Tony nominations between them: 11 for the Terry Johnson-directed La Cage Aux Folles, which is the odds-on favourite to win Best Revival of a Musical, and a further four for Trevor Nunn's chamber-sized Night Music, in which Zeta-Jones has been joined on Broadway by octogenarian Angela Lansbury, in what could bring the Broadway legend a historic sixth Tony. (Lansbury won her fifth only last year for her performance alongside Rupert Everett in Blithe Spirit.)

What's interesting is the increasing synergy of New York and London, as borne out by this list of nominees. The Afrobeat musical Fela!, with 11 nods of its own, has announced a transfer in the autumn to the National Theatre, where it will play in repertory with, of all things, the Rory Kinnear Hamlet. (There's a scenario you would never find in New York.) And first-time Tony nominee Sarah Ruhl is a richly deserved Best Play candidate (for In the Next Room, or the Vibrator Play) in the same week that her play Eurydice has its London opening at the Young Vic.

Which of this year's British lot will emerge victorious when the winners are named on 13 June at a Radio City gala that might give the vapours to trophy-seekers accustomed only to the bowels of London's Grosvenor House? Molina, perhaps, though he faces strong competition from Hollywood heavyweight Washington, in Fences, while Zeta-Jones is up against local favourite Sherie Rene Scott for her breakout hit, Everyday Rapture.

The surest bet might well be first-time Broadway player Hodge, who has gained kudos in La Cage for shedding the artsy trappings of Pinter and Shakespeare and putting on a dress. New Yorkers tend to love it when classical artistes get down and dirty (Jonathan Pryce dry-humping a car in Miss Saigon, remember?), in which case if Ian McKellen is looking to return to Broadway, he might want to show all New York his Widow Twankey.

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