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'Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812' leads Tony nods

Associated Press logo Associated Press 5/2/2017 By MARK KENNEDY, AP Entertainment Writer
This image released by Boneau.Bryan-Brown shows, foreground from left, John Earl Jelks, Michelle Wilson, Johanna Day and Alison Wright during a performance of Lynn Nottage's play, "Sweat," at Studio 54 in New York. The play, which was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for drama on April 10, is a likely contender for a Tony Award for best play. Tony Award nominations will be announced on Tuesday, May 2, 2017. (Joan Marcus/Boneau/Bryan-Brown via AP) © The Associated Press This image released by Boneau.Bryan-Brown shows, foreground from left, John Earl Jelks, Michelle Wilson, Johanna Day and Alison Wright during a performance of Lynn Nottage's play, "Sweat," at Studio 54 in New York. The play, which was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for drama on April 10, is a likely contender for a Tony Award for best play. Tony Award nominations will be announced on Tuesday, May 2, 2017. (Joan Marcus/Boneau/Bryan-Brown via AP)

NEW YORK (AP) — "Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812," a sung-through musical that dramatizes a 70-page melodrama at the center of Leo Tolstoy's "War and Peace," earned a leading 12 Tony Award nominations on Tuesday, which also saw nods for Bette Midler, Kevin Kline, Josh Groban, Danny DeVito and Cate Blanchett.

This image released by Boneau/Bryan-Brown shows, Michelle Wilson, left, and Johanna Day during a performance of Lynn Nottage's play, "Sweat," at Studio 54 in New York. The play, which was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for drama on April 10, is a likely contender for a Tony Award for best play. Tony Award nominations will be announced on Tuesday, May 2, 2017. (Joan Marcus/Boneau/Bryan-Brown via AP) © The Associated Press This image released by Boneau/Bryan-Brown shows, Michelle Wilson, left, and Johanna Day during a performance of Lynn Nottage's play, "Sweat," at Studio 54 in New York. The play, which was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for drama on April 10, is a likely contender for a Tony Award for best play. Tony Award nominations will be announced on Tuesday, May 2, 2017. (Joan Marcus/Boneau/Bryan-Brown via AP)

Groban earned a nod for portraying — in a fat suit — an unhappy husband in "Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812." His musical will now compete for the best new musical Tony with "Come From Away," ''Dear Evan Hansen" and "Groundhog Day."

This image released by O&M/DKC shows Ben Platt, center, during a performance of "Dear Evan Hansen." Platt, the star of “Dear Evan Hansen,” with songs by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, the recent Oscar winners for "City of Stars" from the movie “La La Land,” is a shoo-in for a nomination for best actor in a musical. Tony Award nominations will be announced on Tuesday, May 2, 2017. (Matthew Murphy/O&M/DKC via AP) © The Associated Press This image released by O&M/DKC shows Ben Platt, center, during a performance of "Dear Evan Hansen." Platt, the star of “Dear Evan Hansen,” with songs by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, the recent Oscar winners for "City of Stars" from the movie “La La Land,” is a shoo-in for a nomination for best actor in a musical. Tony Award nominations will be announced on Tuesday, May 2, 2017. (Matthew Murphy/O&M/DKC via AP)

The best play nominees are "Sweat," ''Oslo," ''Indecent" and "A Doll's House, Part 2." The best play revivals are "August Wilson's Jitney," ''Lillian Hellman's The Little Foxes," ''Present Laughter" and "Six Degrees of Separation."

This image released by O&M/DKC shows a performance of "Dear Evan Hansen." Tony Award nominations will be announced on Tuesday, May 2, 2017. The biggest crown is the best new musical trophy and most observers expect “Dear Evan Hansen” _ a critical and box office hit _ to easily claim a nomination. Others who hope to land a coveted spot include “A Bronx Tale,” “Come From Away,” "Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812,” “Bandstand,” “War Paint” and "Groundhog Day." (Matthew Murphy/O&M/DKC via AP) © The Associated Press This image released by O&M/DKC shows a performance of "Dear Evan Hansen." Tony Award nominations will be announced on Tuesday, May 2, 2017. The biggest crown is the best new musical trophy and most observers expect “Dear Evan Hansen” _ a critical and box office hit _ to easily claim a nomination. Others who hope to land a coveted spot include “A Bronx Tale,” “Come From Away,” "Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812,” “Bandstand,” “War Paint” and "Groundhog Day." (Matthew Murphy/O&M/DKC via AP)

The Midler-led revival of "Hello, Dolly!" was the second-highest nominated show this season with 10 nods. The quirky coming-of-age musical "Dear Evan Hansen" earned nine.

This image released by O&M/DKC shows Taylor Trensch, fromleft, Bette Midler, and Gavin Creel during a performance of "Hello, Dolly!" in New York. Tony Award nominations will be announced on Tuesday, May 2, 2017. (Julieta Cervantes/O&M/DKC via AP) © The Associated Press This image released by O&M/DKC shows Taylor Trensch, fromleft, Bette Midler, and Gavin Creel during a performance of "Hello, Dolly!" in New York. Tony Award nominations will be announced on Tuesday, May 2, 2017. (Julieta Cervantes/O&M/DKC via AP)

This year, there are 24 competitive Tony categories. Winners will be determined by some 850 industry insiders. Kevin Spacey will host the awards show June 11 from Radio City Music Hall.

Midler will compete with Patti LuPone and Christine Ebersole, both who star in "War Paint," Denée Benton, Natasha of "Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812" and Eva Noblezada of "Miss Saigon."

In a quirk, Midler actually earned her first Tony nomination but has already won one of the trophies — the 1974 Special Tony Award for "for adding luster to the Broadway season" during a concert stand the year before at the Palace Theatre.

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