Standing before a podium straight out of a retro game show, Matthew Broderick and Anika Noni Rose, the Broadway actress best known for her star-making turn in Tony Kushner’s "Caroline, or Change," announced the 2011 Tony Award nominees from New York City's Lincoln Center Tuesday Morning.
Noticeably missing from the list of nominees? Hollywood stars.
Despite leading roles in the past year for the likes of Daniel Radcliffe, Keifer Sutherland, Chris Rock, Robin Williams, Kathleen Turner, Jim Belushi, James Earl Jones and Ben Stiller, most of the acting nominees this year are theatre veterans, rather than TV and film transplants.
However, a few Hollywood types found room to make a splash. “The Book of Mormon,” which features a book from “South Park” creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone and music from Robert Lopez, led the pack with 14 nominations, including nods for Best Musical, Direction, and Best Leading Actor, as well as Featured Actor and Actress.
Parker and Stone’s subversive and widely-praised musical -- which follows two Mormon missionaries in Africa as they meet the locals and sing rollicking show-stoppers about AIDS, female circumcision, scrotal maggots and guerilla warfare -- has been a box office smash and a rousing tourist attraction, despite its lack of marquee name actors.
Al Pacino, no stranger to the Broadway stage, was nominated for his turn in “The Merchant of Venice," as was Frances McDormand for her work in "Good People." Ellen Barkin, currently making her Broadway debut in "A Normal Heart," received a nomination as well.
But plenty of other celebrities were passed over. Daniel Radcliffe, once considered a front-runner for his high-energy, razzle dazzle turn in “How To Succeed In Business,” came up empty, as did Chris Rock and Robin Williams, who headline “Motherf**ker with the Hat” and “Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo,” respectively.
Radcliffe, who took months of voice and dance lessons to prepare for "How to Succeed," previously starred in a 2008 Broadway revival of Peter Shaffer's dark psychological drama, "Equus." The nominating committee left him out that year, as well.
Ben Stiller, who helped usher in this year's revival of John Guare's "House of Blue Leaves," was also snubbed, as were Kathleen Turner, star of the short-lived drama “High,” and Kiefer Sutherland of “That Championship Season."
Perhaps the Tony committee is responding to the backlash stemming from last year’s acting awards for movie stars Scarlett Johanssen and Catherine Zeta-Jones, whose surprising Tony victories turned heads.
The 2010 the list of Tony nominees included other big-name actors like Christopher Walken, Jude Law, Denzel Washington and Kelsey Grammer.
A host for this year's June 12th Tony broadcast has not been named. Chris Rock, considered as a possible MC at one point, has since been ruled out.
"Spiderman: Turn Off The Dark," the beleaguered $65 million musical with music from international megastars U2, has still not officially opened, so it wasn't eligible for nominations.
Check out AOL's coverage of the nomination announcement below, and see a full list of the nominees here.
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