updated 05/01/2012 AT 9:00 AM ET
•originally published 05/01/2012 AT 9:40 AM ET
Broadway’s biggest night – the 66th annual Tony Awards – may be 40 days away, but the celebrating has already kicked in, especially for a modest new musical called Once, a love story set in Ireland that scored the most nominations of any show this year: 11, including best musical.
Not celebrating: the much-maligned Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, which, despite an expenditure of $70 million, scads of publicity and the music of U2’s Bono and the Edge, landed with only two nominations, for costume and scenic design.
Faring better after the nominations were announced Tuesday morning – by a chipper Kristin Chenoweth and a droll star Jim Parsons, who is about to star in a Broadway revival of the comedy Harvey – were such nominees as Andrew Garfield, Cynthia Nixon, Philip Seymour Hoffman, James Earl Jones, Stockard Channing, Linda Lavin, John Lithgow and Frank Langella.
Right behind Once, with 10 nods each, were two “new” Gershwin musicals: the revised revival of The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess, with the nominated leads Norm Lewis and Audra McDonald (who never seems to lose a Tony), and Nice Work If You Can Get It, starring Kelli O’Hara, who was nominated, and Matthew Broderick, who was not.
Also overlooked were such stars as Ricky Martin, in the Evita revival (which otherwise scored three nominations, including choreography and featured actor Michael Cerveris), and James Earl Jones’s costars in The Best Man revival: Angela Lansbury, Eric McCormack, John Larroquette and Candice Bergen.
Among those touched by Tony were the revivals of Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman, with Hoffman and Garfield (seven nominations, including best revival and director Mike Nichols), and the Disney musical Newsies (eight, including best musical). The uproarious new British comedy, One Man, Two Guvnors, scored seven nods, including one for its leading actor, James Corden.
Special awards will be going to Hugh Jackman, who had a sold-out one-man show this season, and to Bernadette Peters for her “Broadway Barks, which helps finds homes for pets. She also starred in a revival of Stephen Sondheim’s Follies, which received eight nominations.
For the complete list of Tony nominations, click here.
Once again being hosted by Neil Patrick Harris, this year’s Tonys will air live on CBS Sunday night, June 10.