Branagh and Izzard lead British assault on Tonys

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The Independent US

A play inspired by Morecambe and Wise joined Eddie Izzard in the British charge on Broadway last night when the nominations for the Tonys were announced.

A play inspired by Morecambe and Wise joined Eddie Izzard in the British charge on Broadway last night when the nominations for the Tonys were announced.

The Play What I Wrote, directed by Kenneth Branagh, was nominated for best theatrical event at next month's awards ceremony. The play is a homage to the comedy duo, and features a celebrity in a cameo performance each night.

Izzard was shortlisted for best leading man for his role in A Day in the Death of Joe Egg. He faces another British actor, Brian Bedford, nominated for the Molière play Tartuffe.

British women also fared well. Vanessa Redgrave was nominated for her role in a revival of Eugene O'Neill's Long Day's Journey Into Night. She faces competition from Fiona Shaw, recognised for Medea, for the best leading actress award.

Hairspray, the musical of the 1988 John Waters film, received 13 nominations. The sell-out stage version of the camp film set in Baltimore led the field ahead of Movin' Out. Twyla Tharp's dance-based tribute
to Billy Joel, featuring the singer's music, was nominated for 10 awards.

Vincent in Brixton, which transferred to Broadway this winter from London, was nominated for best play, as was Take Me Out. The gay-themed play, centred on the world of baseball, became one of the season's unexpected hits.

Baz Luhrmann, the Australian director of films such as Moulin Rouge, was celebrating six nominations for his staging of Puccini's La Bohème. He was nominated as best director of
a musical.

Paul Newman, who appeared last winter on Broadway in a brief revival of Our Town by Thornton Wilder, was nominated for best actor.

The Tony awards will be presented at the Radio City
Music Hall on 8 June.

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