After the Tony nominations were announced Wednesday, Porgy and Bess star Audra McDonald celebrated her nomination by making sure she would be prepared for the actual Awards ceremony—she asked her fiance to be her date for the big night.
“When we finally got up I asked him [Will Swenson] to be my date for the Tonys—he said yes!—so I guess that was our little celebration,” McDonald said.
In an interview with BroadwayWorld.Com, several nominees from the critically-acclaimed revival, The Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess, gave their reactions to the announcements.
There was one commonality amongst the cast and nominees: They were all thrilled.
“I am honored and grateful and I’m super thrilled for the production as a whole to get so many nominations,” McDonald said.
McDonald, who starred in the musical as the tormented and beautiful Bess, was nominated as Best Actress in a Leading Role for a musical. As no stranger to the awards, with four Tonys currently under her belt, she seemed humbled by the announcement and treated the day as any other.
“As usual, it was up at 6:15 for me to get the kids to school and I was back in bed by 8!” McDonald said. “Will was here though so it was nice to roll over when I got the news and say ‘Hey I got a nomination!’ Then we both conked out again.”
The Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess swept the Tony Nominations, earning ten in multiple categories, including Best Actress, Best Musical Rendition and Best Actor. Porgy and Bess placed second in nominations to one musical, Once, which received 11 Tony nominations.
Joining McDonald as a nominee are castmates Philip Boykin, who was nominated as Best Featured Actor, and Norm Lewis, as Best Actor in a Leading Role.
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Boykin, who made his Broadway debut with his performance as Bess’s lover Crown said it was “outrageous” that he had gotten a nomination.
“I cannot believe it!” Boykin told BroadwayWorld.Com. “I sing and perform because I love it and I never even considered the awards or being nominated. I never even thought about it!”
Long-time theater actor, Norm Lewis, who played Porgy in the musical, said he rewound the broadcast on his DVR just to be sure because he didn’t believe his name had been called.
“I think we’ll have a little celebration at work tonight!” Lewis said.
The Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess is an opera, first performed in 1935 and written by George Gershwin. The landmark play drew considerable attention when it opened because celebrated playwright Suzan Lori-Parks and Dierdre L. Murray updated dialogue and scenes to make the play less offensive to modern audiences—though composer Stephen Sondheim objected to the changing of song lyrics.
For a complete list of the nominations, click here.
The Tony Awards will be broadcast in a live three-hour ceremony from the Beacon Theatre on CBS on Sunday, June 10, 2012.