"Hadestown," singer-songwriter Anaïs Mitchell's Broadway debut, earned a leading 14 Tony Award nominations Tuesday, followed by the jukebox musical "Ain't Too Proud," built around songs by the Temptations, which received a dozen nominations.
The musical "Hadestown," which intertwines the myths of Orpheus and Eurydice and Hades and Persephone, bested more familiar names, including stage adaptations of the hit movies "Tootsie" and "Beetlejuice," which both also got best musical nods. The giddy, heartwarming "The Prom" rounds out the best new musical category.
"Hadestown" also was the only new musical on Broadway directed by a woman, Tony Award nominee Rachel Chavkin, who earned another one Tuesday.
"I'm trying not to swear, but I am so proud of the 14 nominations. There is just not a weak spot on the team. There is no place where we haven't all been working our asses off to make this show feel as ancient and as 'now' as possible, simultaneously," she said by phone.
The best-play nominees are the Northern Irish drama "The Ferryman," from Jez Butterworth; James Graham's "Ink," about Rupert Murdoch; Taylor Mac's Broadway debut, "Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus"; Tarell Alvin McCraney's "Choir Boy"; and Heidi Schreck's "What the Constitution Means to Me," a personal tour of the landmark document at the heart of so many American divisions.
Theater veterans were surprised to see Aaron Sorkin's adaptation of "To Kill a Mockingbird"; "Hillary and Clinton," about Hillary Clinton's 2008 presidential campaign; and the stage adaptation of the media satire film "Network" not getting best play nods, though they did earn recognition in other categories.
The nomination for "Tootsie" means composer and lyricist David Yazbek could be one step closer to getting back-to-back wins. His show "The Band's Visit" won best new musical last year.
Laurie Metcalf got an acting nod for "Hillary and Clinton" and if she wins the Tony this year, she will be the first person to win acting Tonys three years consecutively. (She won in 2018's "Three Tall Women" and "A Doll's House, Part 2" in 2017).
A sweet "Kiss Me, Kate" and a dark "Oklahoma!" make up the best musical revival category; they were the only eligible nominees. The best play revival nominees are "Arthur Miller's All My Sons," ''The Boys in the Band," ''Burn This," ''Torch Song" and "The Waverly Gallery."
Ali Stroker, the first actress who needs a wheelchair for mobility known to have appeared on a Broadway stage, earned a Tony nomination for "Oklahoma!"
Nominees for best actor in a play include Paddy Considine from "The Ferryman," Bryan Cranston in "Network," Jeff Daniels in "To Kill a Mockingbird," Adam Driver from "Burn This" and Jeremy Pope in "Choir Boy." Pope is also up for a featured role in "Ain't Too Proud — The Life and Times of the Temptations."
The category of best actress in a play includes Annette Bening in "Arthur Miller's All My Sons," Laura Donnelly in "The Ferryman," Elaine May in "The Waverly Gallery," Janet McTeer in "Bernhardt/Hamlet," Metcalf in "Hillary and Clinton" and Schreck from "What the Constitution Means to Me."
Those nominated for best actor in a musical are Brooks Ashmanskas from "The Prom," Derrick Baskin in "Ain't Too Proud — The Life and Times of the Temptations," Alex Brightman from "Beetlejuice," Damon Daunno in "Rodgers & Hammerstein's Oklahoma!" and Santino Fontana in "Tootsie."
Nominees for best leading actress in a musical are Stephanie J. Block in "The Cher Show," Caitlin Kinnunen and Beth Leavel both in "The Prom," Eva Noblezada in "Hadestown" and Kelli O'Hara in "Kiss Me, Kate."
Leavel, who earned a Tony in 2006 for "The Drowsy Chaperone," joked that she paced "about 4 miles" waiting for the live announcement: "I got my steps in!"
Her musical, about four fading stars whose desperate need for a new stage leads them to protest a small-town prom, earned seven nods. She expects an especially fun performance Tuesday night following the nominations: "It's just a special evening," she said. "We get to share this moment. It's really cool."
Hollywood A-listers Cranston, Driver, May and Daniels made the cut but some of their starry colleagues did not, including Kerry Washington, Armie Hammer, Ethan Hawke, Joan Allen, Michael Cera, Lucas Hedges and Keri Russell.
The awards will be presented June 9 at Radio City Music Hall in New York City, airing on CBS. James Corden, the host of CBS' "The Late Late Show" and a Tony winner himself, will host.