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Tony Award nominations without 'Hamilton' are murky indeed

Associated Press logo Associated Press 5/2/2017 By MARK KENNEDY, AP Entertainment Writer
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)

NEW YORK (AP) — If last year's Tony Award nomination announcement was pretty simple, this year's is much, much messier.

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)

The question around this time in 2016 was just how many Tony nods the megahit "Hamilton" would earn. This season there's a glut of 13 musicals all vying for four best new musical slots (or five if voting is close).

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 long-term fate of many shows now on Broadway often rests on how many nominations — and later wins — they can accumulate. Answers will become clearer after Christopher Jackson and Jane Krakowski announce the candidates Tuesday from 37 eligible shows.

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 in contention 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."

Likely best play nominees are "Sweat," ''Oslo," ''Indecent," ''A Doll's House, Part 2" and "Heisenberg." The best musical revival candidates are "Hello, Dolly!" — easily the leading candidate in the category thanks to star Bette Midler — as well as "Falsettos," ''Sunset Boulevard," ''Miss Saigon" and "Cats."

Ben 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.

He might be joined by "Groundhog Day" star Andy Karl, who is bravely nursing a torn ACL onstage, David Hyde Pierce from "Hello, Dolly!" Christian Borle from "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory," Corey Cott of "Bandstand" and Josh Groban from "Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812." (One likely candidate — Jake Gyllenhaal, in a nifty revival of "Sunday in the Park With George" — isn't competing since producers of the show chose not to enter it for consideration.)

Midler, Patti LuPone and Christine Ebersole from "War Paint," Phillipa Soo from "Amelie," Laura Osnes from "Bandstand" and Denee Benton of "Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812" are all good bets to be contenders for best actress in a musical. (Glenn Close is out of eligibility having won for her role in "Sunset Boulevard" in a previous year.)

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.

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Mark Kennedy is at http://twitter.com/KennedyTwits

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