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Mel Brooks and “The Producers” Rule Tony Nominations

Posted in News on May 8, 2001
With 15 nominations in 12 categories, the mega-hit Mel Brooks musical "The Producers" set a Broadway record by earning the most Tony Award nominations of any show in history. Brooks's show surpasses the Stephen Sondheim musical "Company," which received 14 in 1971. The finalists for the 55th annual Tony Awards, presented by the League of American Theaters and Producers and the American Theater Wing, were announced in New York on May 7.

Brooks, a BMI writer, received three mentions, the most of any individual: for Best Original Score (Music & Lyrics) Written for the Theatre, for Best Book of a Musical (with Thomas Meehan), and as (what else) a Producer of Best Musical.

BMI represents three finalists in the category of Best Original Score (Music & Lyrics) Written for the Theatre. Nominated alongside "The Producers" are Edward Kleban for A Class Act and David Yazbek for "The Full Monty" (one of the show's ten nods).

 

Both shows were also included on the Best Musical slate. "A Class Act," the life story of Kleban, a BMI-Lehman Engel Musical Theater Workshop alumnus, also saw a Tony nomination for BMI-affiliated Larry Hochman in the Best Orchestrations category.

"The Producers," which broke box office records with more than $3 million in ticket sales the day after it opened April 19, drew nominations in almost every possible category; its two stars, Matthew Broderick and Nathan Lane, are competing against each other for Best Performance By a Leading Actor In a Musical.

Based on Mr. Brooks's 1968 movie of the same title, "The Producers" even won three nominations in another acting category, that of Best Featured Actor in a Musical. The nominees are Brad Oscar, who plays the unreconstructed Nazi who writes the show within the show, "Springtime for Hitler"; Gary Beach, who plays "Springtime For Hitler"'s director; and Roger Bart, who plays Mr. Beach's sidekick. The show's Cady Huffman is up for Best Featured Actress in a Musical. The remaining Tony taps for "The Producers" are Susan Stroman for Best Choreography and Best Direction of a Musical; William Ivey Long for Best Costume Design; Doug Besterman for Best Orchestrations; Peter Kaczorowski for Best Lighting Design; and Robin Wagner for Best Scenic Design.

The 55th annual Tony Awards will be broadcast live from Radio City Music Hall on Sunday, June 3. PBS will broadcast the first hour (8 pm ET), including most of the craft and technical awards, and the remaining two hours will be seen on CBS.