Midler, Groban score Tony nominations, 'Sunset Boulevard' snubbed

Big names appearing this season who were not nominated included Diane Lane, Mark Ruffalo and Allison Janney.

Josh Groban. Picture: CNN

NEW YORK –Cate Blanchett, Sally Field and Bette Midler received acting nominations for Broadway's Tony Awards on Tuesday, while Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812 led the pack with 12 nods including the top prize, best musical.

Close behind was the hit revival of _Hello, Dolly! _which took 10 nominations, including one for lead actor David Hyde Pierce. He will compete against Josh Groban making his Broadway debut in "Natasha, Pierre," a lavish spectacle based on a snippet of Tolstoy's "War and Peace."

Groundhog Day The Musical, Come From Away and teen-aged angst dramaDear Evan Hansen, which won rave reviews and took nine nominations, were other best musical nominees.

Best play nominees were led by A Doll's House, Part 2 with eight nominations including ones for stars Laurie Metcalf and Chris Cooper, Oslo, about the 1993 Oslo peace accords, Pulitzer Prize winning drama Sweat and Indecent.

Only three shows were nominated for best musical revival: Falsettos, Miss Saigon and Hello, Dolly!.

In a year crowded with dozens of new plays and musicals, major productions of Cats, Sunset Boulevard starring Glenn Close, A Bronx Tale and _Charlie and the Chocolate Factory _were shut out.

Big names appearing this season who were not nominated included Diane Lane, Mark Ruffalo and Allison Janney.

The best play revival nominees were Present Laughter, August Wilson's Jitney, Six Degrees of Separation and Lillian Hellman's The Little Foxes, which won nominations for actresses Laura Linney and Cynthia Nixon.

Nixon, who has been exchanging roles with Linney during the play's run, said she found out about her featured actress nomination by text message and had not yet heard from Linney. "I'm sure we will be chatting this morning," she added.

Joining Midler, whose turn in "Hello, Dolly!" has been breaking box office records, as best actress in a musical, are Patti LuPone and Christine Ebersole in War Paint, newcomer Denée Benton for Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812 and Eva Noblezada in Miss Saigon.

Blanchett, who made her Broadway debut in The Present, is joined by Jennifer Ehle (Oslo) in addition to Field (The Glass Menagerie), Linney and Metcalf.

Best play actor nominees included Denis Arndt in Heisenberg, Kevin Kline in Present Laughter, Jefferson Mays in _Oslo _and Corey Hawkins in Six Degrees of Separation.

The Tony Awards will be presented on 11 June at Manhattan's Radio City Music Hall in a ceremony headlined by film and stage star Kevin Spacey.