Ben Platt, Jessica Chastain, Samuel L. Jackson And More React To 2023 Tony Award Nominations

Refresh for updates: Tony Award nominees were celebrating today, with the stars, producers and creative teams of Parade, Kimberly Akimbo, Shucked and The Piano Lesson among those reacting to their nominations.

“I am beyond excited to be nominated this year, and I’m deeply honored to be recognized for this role especially,” said Ben Platt, nominated in the Best Leading Actor/Musical category for his performance in Parade. “As a lifelong lover of musical theatre, this show has always had a special place in my heart. And as a Jew, giving a voice to Leo Frank’s story and bringing him to life each night is so wonderfully meaningful. It’s incredibly special to be included among such talented actors and friends and I’m feeling so grateful and so proud of my entire company.”

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“This morning was absolutely incredible,” said Casey Nicholaw, nominated for both his direction and choreography for the musical Some Like It Hot. “It’s the first time I got to experience hearing the nominations with one of my casts instead of at home. And to add to it, we were performing on the Today Show and we couldn’t make any noise – so there were just real tears and fake clapping! And then when we were done with the segment, there was so much screaming and camaraderie. I will never forget it. Childhood dreams come true.”

Corey Hawkins, Leading Actor/Play, Topdog/Underdog: “A huge honor to be nominated again in this category, this year alongside my brother Yahya! I had the privilege of embodying a character in Lincoln that will live with me and with countless others forever. One of the most challenging and rewarding roles I’ve ever taken on. Suzan-Lori Parks wrote a masterful symphony, Topdog/Underdog. All we had to do was play the music under the skilled leadership of our conductor, Kenny Leon. It is an homage to black men, to the unseen, to the underdogs. Grateful for the journey and to the audiences we got to share each night with on the boards. Big ups to the Topdog team!”

Saheem Ali, Direction/Play, Fat Ham: “I’m floored by this honor. Making Fat Ham was a joyous experience from the get-go, so this is icing on the cake. I’m grateful to James Ijames and all of my extraordinary collaborators; we made something special.”

Cynthia Erivo (producer), Best Play, Fat Ham: “These nominations mark an exciting and joyful moment in our theater community, with a mix of productions that celebrate representation and humanity. I’m in awe of James ljames, Saheem Ali and the brilliant actors, designers, crew members and more who make it all possible to tell this poignant tale eight shows a week. To return to Broadway in this capacity is a dream come true and a full circle moment for me. I am thrilled to share in this honor with the most incredible Hamily a girl could ask for!!!”

Stephen McKinley Henderson, Leading Actor/Play, Between Riverside and Crazy: I am grateful to be part of a wonderful journey with Stephen Adley Guirgis and Austin Pendelton. It takes an ensemble for an actor to get a nomination. I’ve been surrounded by a family of actors and a village of stage managers and crews. from beginning to end. To be nominated in this exceptional Broadway season is a tremendous joy.

Kevin Del Aguila, Featured Actor/Musical, Some Like It Hot: “My jaw hit the floor and it’s been there ever since! I was cheering and hugging, flooded with gratitude and love, and then I had to quickly run off to a dental appointment. Now I’m spending the rest of the day sporting a giant, sparklingly bright smile.”

Jodie Comer, Lead Actress/Play, Prima Facie: “I love getting to play the role of Tessa in Prima Facie, so to receive this Tony Award nomination for my Broadway debut is beyond my wildest dreams. Broadway audiences have been so welcoming to me, so it has truly been an amazing experience. I am grateful to get to speak Suzie Miller’s words in her vital and urgent play, and for director Justin Martin, who guided me every step of the way.”

Jessica Chastain, Leading Actress/Play, A Doll’s House: “If I could tell that girl who yearly recorded the Tony Awards on her VHS that this would happen, it would have blown my world open. To tell her she’d be living in New York, performing in A Doll’s House, and nominated for a Tony Award for Best Actress… It is a dream come true. Thank you so much to The Wing and the Tony Awards for recognizing our play. Thank you, The Jamie Lloyd Company, Ambassador Theatre Group, Wessex Grove, Hudson Theatre, Gavin Kalin Productions and 101 for believing in us. Everyday I get to say Amy Herzog’s words and act with the most incredible group of artists. Jamie Lloyd, none of this would have happened without you. Love you very much.”

Sean Hayes, Leading Actor/Play, Good Night, Oscar: “Thank you to The Broadway League and The American Theatre Wing for this incredibly humbling nomination…I am honored to be included in such esteemed company. I am forever grateful to Doug Wright and Lisa Peterson for giving me the opportunity, and the stage, to bring Oscar Levant to life alongside a brilliant cast, crew and producers who work tirelessly to make this show so special. It is a privilege to portray someone so complex; someone who is both hilarious and heartbreaking and I am truly grateful and thankful for this beautiful acknowledgement.”

Arian Moayed, Featured Actor/Play, A Doll’s House: “I don’t have enough words to describe how honored and excited I am. The only joy greater than this Tony nomination is sharing it with Jessica, Jamie, Amy and the incredible company of A Doll’s House.”

Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Leading Actor/Play, Topdog Underdog: “I was introduced to you at 20 years old. You taught me that there was a place in the theater if I were daring enough to take up space. You were confirmation that I belonged. Today, 16 years later, as I wake up to news of a Tony Award Nomination for the role I’ve dreamt about for so long, you continue to be the gift that keeps on giving. I’m grateful to Suzan-Lori Parks, to my Director Kenny Leon, the entire creative team including our producers, and especially my brother on the boards, Corey Hawkins. Congratulations to my fellow nominees. It’s a pleasure to be amongst great company.”

Samuel L. Jackson, Best Featured Actor/Play, The Piano Lesson: “It’s a thrill to be nominated – this honor is particularly special having been under the direction of LaTanya and getting to continue August Wilson’s legacy on Broadway after first performing The Piano Lesson on stage at the Yale Repertory Theater 35 years ago. Thank you to the members of the American Theater Wing & Broadway League. Congratulations to all of the nominees.”

Bonnie Milligan, nominated for her Featured performance in Kimberly Akimbo, said, “I am absolutely blown away by this nomination. Growing up in a double wide trailer in the Midwest, dreaming of Broadway seemed so far away. To be embraced by the Broadway community, means the world to me. My ‘great adventure’ with Kimberly Akimbo has been one of the most beautiful of my life, and I feel so lucky to be in this gorgeous show, with these gorgeous people.”

Jordan E. Cooper, Playwright/Featured Actor/Play, Ain’t No Mo: “What a morning! I got to watch the nominations in Texas with my parents in the same living room that I used to do plays in as a kid. Ain’t No Mo’ may not have had a long life on Broadway but it sure did have an impactful one. The work matters. I’m so incredibly grateful to the American Theater Wing, Lee Daniels, my incredible director, cast and crew along with everyone who championed this bold play all over the country.”

Annaleigh Ashford, Leading Actress/Musical, Sweeney Todd: “Thank you American Theatre Wing! It is an honor to be nominated alongside these talented women. I am deeply proud to be part of a show that has long inspired so many people to become artists and continues to do so today. Steve Sondheim was masterful at ensuring that the female counterpoint in his shows was equal and he was authentically interested in telling the whole, full story of all humans. I couldn’t be more thrilled to be telling his story with this magical cast, crew, and creative team. Congratulations to you all.”

Miriam Silverman, Featured Actress/Play, Lorraine Hansberry’s The Sign in Sidney Brustein’s Window: “I was dropping off my four year old at preschool this morning when the nominations started being read. I was nervous but felt like it was such a long shot, I kept telling myself to chill. I got home in time to watch the category read live, and fell into my husbands arms in disbelief.

“I’m utterly floored and blown away. This is a dream come true. I’ve been with this play and this character since we did it in Chicago at the Goodman in 2016. This production, and everyone involved have been so incredible. The last few months have been simultaneously the hardest of my life and the more glorious. I’m so grateful for this acknowledgment, and so grateful to get to bask in Lorraine’s genius every night.

“Now I’m on my way to teach my students at NYU. Last week they insisted I was going to be nominated… I said no way… I would buy them all donuts if I got nominated…. So I’m on my way to buy a bunch of donuts.”

Kevin Cahoon, Featured Actor/Musical, Shucked: “I did my first Broadway show 29 years ago and this honor had never come my way. Today, I received a Tony Nomination for Best Featured Actor in a Musical and the feeling is unlike anything I could have ever imagined. I am so filled with gratitude and thanks for everyone who has believed in me and invested in me and sacrificed for me and hustled for me. However, to stand alongside the incredible company of Shucked at The Nederlander Theatre 8 times a week is is the greatest gift of all. This 9 year labor of love that is Shucked affects audiences in a way that I have never experienced and I can’t wait to get back to that theater tonight and watch in awe as that show works its magic.”

Robert Horn, Book/Musical, Shucked: “I could not be more thrilled and excited for our 9 nominations. Shucked is a show about community and family, a show that leads with laughter and heart, and what better tonic for a post pandemic world! Personally, I am honored to be in such distinguished company, in such a vibrant season, and after 10 years of working on this, it’s a lesson in perseverance! Congrats to my Shucked family, and thank you to the nominators, The Broadway League and The American Theater Wing for this great honor!”

Greg Nobile, Sue Wagner, and John Johnson (producers), Best Play Revival, The Sign in Sidney Brustein’s Window: “More than anyone, this Best Revival of a Play nomination belongs to Lorraine Hansberry, who generously chose to share her remarkable talent, wisdom, and worldview with this brilliant-but-little-known play. We are all the lucky beneficiaries of her largesse, and we hope we’ve done her proud. This nomination is also a tribute to everyone who took part in the herculean effort to move The Sign in Sidney Brustein’s Window to Broadway over an incredibly short period of time.”

Martyna Majok (playwright), Best Play, Cost of Living: “I am beaming with joy for this incredible honor. It means the world for this story and these beautiful artists to be recognized by our community that I feel so grateful to be a part of every day. Cost of Living is about hoping for miracles and searching for a home in others, and that’s what this gift feels like to me right now.“

Helen Park, Best Original Score, KPOP: “After dedicating eight years of my life to working on KPOP and dreaming of sharing my music with the world, I am honored and humbled to be included in such an esteemed group. The recognition of my work through this nomination is a testament to the tireless efforts of my incredible creative team and cast who joined me in pushing boundaries and bringing a never-before-seen performance to the Broadway stage. Their hard work and dedication have truly paid off, and I am thrilled to share this moment with them. I am at a loss for words, and deeply grateful for this recognition.”

Max Vernon, Best Original Score , KPOP: “I’m thrilled to be nominated and also feel like I just drank ten coffees! KPOP‘s run was cut short, but it’s so wonderful and moving to know that our score lives on. This month it will be nine years since our first workshop at Ars Nova. What a wild journey! I wish I could tell the five year old me who wanted to be Cosette in Les Miz about this.”

Sophia Choi and Clint Ramos, Best Costume Design/Musical, KPOP: “Happy AAPI Heritage Month! Thank you and we are so proud of our show. We dedicate this honor to the entire company of KPOP! “

Brian Moreland (producer), Best Play Revival, The Piano Lesson: “We were honored to be selected by Constanza Romero Wilson to lead this new production for our generation. We are here because of LaTanya Richardson Jackson’s singular vision and are gratified that Mr. Wilson’s work is living on. On behalf of Kandi Burruss, Todd Tucker, Tom Kirdahy, Sonia Friedman and our co-producers, and especially August Wilson, we give thanks.”

Kandi Burruss and Todd Tucker (producers), Best Play Revival, The Piano Lesson: “Every bit of this experience of being producers on August Wilson’s The Piano Lesson has been a dream come true. Starting with Constanza Romero Wilson giving her blessing for us to bring Mr. Wilson’s great work back to Broadway. On day one of seeing our amazing cast and phenomenal director Latanya Richardson Jackson in rehearsals, we knew this show was special and that we were making August Wilson proud. We are so grateful for this nomination! Thank you!”

LaTanya Richardson Jackson (director), Best Play Revival, The Piano Lesson: “This glorious recognition of August Wilson’s beautiful work , The Piano Lesson, amplifies his legacy and supports it as a living representation of our culture. It honors August and I am overjoyed.”

Colton Ryan, Leading Actor/Musical, New York, New York: “The act of coming together to create is my love language, and the theater has been my lifelong sordid love affair. After two years of being told we are essentially non-essential, the biggest honor is just being able to do it at all. And to do it with such extraordinary company (especially my friend and singular talent, Anna Uzele), I figured I couldn’t get any luckier. But whaddaya know? To John Kander, thank you for dedicating your life to this art form. My life is infinitely fuller because of it.”

J. Harrison Ghee, Lead Actor/Musical, Some Like It Hot: “I’m thrilled! It has been a fantastic journey to portray Jerry/Daphne, and I’ve been overwhelmed — in a good way — to see how audiences have received these characters. I’m thankful to every member of this production for creating such an affirming space where I get to show the complexity of this human and go on a beautiful ride every time the curtains go up. I’m grateful to the committee for recognizing this work. It’s a moment I will cherish forever.”

Suzan-Lori Parks (playwright), Best Play Revival, Topdog/Underdog: “I am thrilled and deeply honored to have my work embraced and recognized! And I’m also so happy for Corey and Yahya! Our Topdog revival was a joyous team effort, with Kenny Leon leading the way! I’m doing my happy dance!”

Shane McAnally, Best Score, Shucked: “When we started this show a decade ago, just getting to Broadway seemed like a dream too big to dream, so to be recognized by the Tony’s is truly beyond my wildest.”

Brandy Clark, Best Score, Shucked: “The first musical I ever saw was Oklahoma and I fell in love. It’s been a lifelong love affair for me and musical theater, but I never dreamed I’d be a part of the musical theater/Broadway world. Shucked has made dreams I never dreamed come true.” 

Alex Newell, Feature Actor/Musical, Shucked: “To be nominated alongside such talented individuals is a tremendous honor. I grew up dreaming of singing my heart out on a Broadway stage, and to not only accomplish that, but also receive a nomination for it? It is beyond a dream come true. This is a surreal moment for me and I’m feeling deeply grateful and happy.”

Jack O’Brien, Best Direction/Musical, Shucked: “As someone whose first nomination dates to 1977, which was Porgy & Bess, you can imagine how proud and thrilled I am to be included in this raft of ravishing young talent. We had one of the great collective community experiences I have ever known and that must have been evident from the amount of joy every night in our theater. Since, for me, it can’t be called a competition, because our work is all so varied and different. This is the best gift I could have asked for.”

David Lindsay-Abaire, Book/Musical, Kimberly Akimbo: “I’m completely over the moon that Kimberly Akimbo has gotten so much love from the Tony nominators. It’s an amazing season on Broadway and I’m thrilled that our scrappy musical has been so embraced and recognized. I’m beyond proud of our director and actors and orchestrator, and I’m especially happy to share a nomination with my co-creator and partner in crime Jeanine Tesori.”

Jeanine Tesori, Score/Musical, Kimberly Akimbo: “My pulse is still going bop bop bop bop from hearing our names called. Kimberly Akimbo was written from the deepest place in my heart all the way to my funny bone. Honored and thrilled.”

Brian d’Arcy James, Lead Actor/Musical, Into The Woods: “I’m so grateful to have gotten a chance to interpret and give life to such a special character from the hearts and minds of Steven Sondheim and James Lapine. It’s a task not to be taken lightly and so to receive this honor of a nomination in this way is extraordinary. Congratulations to all the other nominees as well.”

Max Webster, Direction/Play, Life of Pi: “It’s been such a privilege and honour to present Life of Pi on Broadway, and I’m so thrilled we have received this recognition. It feels like an important story of survival and hope to be telling right now, and I am thrilled audiences have responded with such wonderful warmth open heartedness to our show.”

Matthew López & Amber Ruffin, Book/Musical, Some Like It Hot: “We are thrilled to be nominated alongside so many from our Some Like It Hot family. Our show has always been to us about the power of the community to uplift individuals. That it has been received by audiences and by the Tony nominators with that same spirit makes this all feel full circle. We hope these nominations help bring the show and its message of self-acceptance and self-fulfillment to an even wider audience than before.”

Marc Shaiman & Scott Wittman, Score/Musical, Some Like It Hot: “We love our show, we love our collaborators, we love our cast. We are thrilled and honored to be the most nominated musical of the season. In fact, we are joyous and celebrating… eight shows a week at the Shubert Theatre!”

Victoria Clark, Lead Actress/Musical, Kimberly Akimbo: “It is a thrill to be nominated for a Tony this season among such outstanding actors who are also phenomenal human beings. I’m proud of our industry, for the strength of this season across all categories of stage work, after the devastation of Covid and everything we lost- from jobs, to creative expression, to community and collaboration. To be back in the rehearsal room and onstage building this iconic show has been the ride of a lifetime for me. I’m so delighted for Kimberly Akimbo and for all the artists who were nominated from our little show village who work with such craft and delicacy to create this incredible world and these indelible characters that make our musical so unique and life-changing. I feel incredibly humbled, blessed, and over the moon.”

Michael Arden, Director/Musical, Parade: “Overwhelmed to be included in such incredible company. To be at the helm of both Parade and Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol this Broadway season has been the honor of my career thus far. I am indebted to all the artists who came together to make both these singular productions possible.”

Bradley King, Lighting Design/Play, Fat Ham: “Wow wow wow wow wow! My heart is so full this morning. It is a tremendous honor to have been nominated alongside so many wonderful friends and collaborators, and I want to give a special shout out to the whole Fat Ham design team of Dominique, Maruti, and Mikaal, with whom I am absolutely sharing this honor. Joy is at the heart of Jame’s beautiful play, and joyous is the perfect word to capture my reaction!”

Jonathan Deans, Sound Design/Play, Ain’t No Mo’: “With much thanks. The Producers and Management supported Taylor and I to join together allowing us to shape the invisible with Stevie and Jordan, reflecting on the stunning performances with an amazing collaboration from everyone. “

Taylor J Williams, Sound Design/Play, Ain’t No Mo’: “I’m still floored that I was invited into the vortex of this show. Jonathan’s collaboration, along with the amazing work of so many people at the Belasco, have made this a dream experience. The honor of a nomination this morning is a (very big) cherry on top of it all!”

Jordan Donica, Featured Actor/Musical, Camelot: “Words simply cannot describe the differing and constant emotions that I am feeling. I am a wee bit sleepy, a lot bit energized, and just at peace with whatever has been and whatever will be. It is an honor to be nominated along such incredible talents and, more importantly, incredible people. Thank you for the recognition and thank you to Lincoln Center Theater and the beautiful cast and crew of Camelot. No one gets to where they are alone. Thank you to everyone on Team Jordan and thank you to my entire family for the never-ending love, support, and guidance. ‘Every day is a gift’ (Kathy Schutte).”

Tim Hatley, Scenic Design and Costume Design, Life of Pi: “I am absolutely thrilled to be included in this year’s nominations. The scenic builders, costume makers, and all of our wonderful crews in the Broadway theatre community have been so welcoming to me. The design for Life of Pi is a very special piece of creativity, so it’s simply wonderful to have nominations!”

Jamie Lloyd, Direction/Play, A Doll’s House: “Working with Jessica Chastain, Arian Moayed, Amy Herzog and the entire company of A Doll’s House has been one of the greatest experiences of my career. It was a privilege to create this new production of Ibsen’s masterpiece for Broadway audiences with a team of exceptional artists. We are honored and grateful to be recognised with these Tony nominations.”

Brandon Uranowitz, Featured Actor/Play, Leopoldstadt: “I’m just floored and overwhelmed with gratitude. This play means more to me than I could ever articulate and to be recognized in this way is the honor of a lifetime. But, I have to say, Leopoldstadt is an ensemble piece in the truest sense of the word and my work cannot exist without the 37 extraordinary other actors on stage with me each night. I share this with them.”

Colman Domingo (producer), Best Play, Fat Ham: “I am beyond thrilled today as a Tony nominated producer on James Ijames exquisite Pulitzer Prize winning play, Fat Ham. To champion this Black playwright from the Public Theater/NBT production to Broadway is very meaningful to me. No Black playwright has won the Tony Award for Best Play since 1987. This is a master work, that I hope goes all the way because I truly believe that this is the daring, bold and light filled work that needs to brighten and add more color to the great white way.”

Scott Pask, Scenic Design/Musical, Shucked and Some Like It Hot: “I couldn’t be more stunned, or more thrilled about the nominations for my work on Shucked and Some Like it Hot! To be recognized for both of these incredible productions – well, the enormity of it all is still sinking in. I have been a part of these very special shows long before the pandemic began, so to have the designs accomplished, and then realized during such a precarious time in the world, and especially within our live arts community, makes this recognition all the more special and significant.”

Jordan Roth (producer) Revival/Musical, Into the Woods: “Into the Woods has always been the show that holds our hand through so many moments in life. To have so many of our Into the Woods family recognized today is one more moment that makes it worth the journeying.”

Lear DeBessonet, Direction/Musical, Into The Woods: “My heart bursts with gratitude for the recognition of our work on Into the Woods. I always thought of this show as a great expression of love and humanity, and I am so honored that our intention was embraced with this incredible generosity.”

Sara Bareilles, Leading Actress/Musical, Into the Woods: “I’m absolutely reeling. My heart is so full with love for the show- and for what this story meant to all of us onstage, backstage, as well as in the audience. I am beyond honored for this acknowledgement and I reserve the right to spontaneously start screaming with joy at any point today.”

Julia Lester, Featured Actress/Musical, Into the Woods: “I’m a theatre kid from a theatre family. The Tony’s are our Super Bowl. Every year when they roll around, we gather together to cheer on the nominees. Hearing my name in the mix this year was …. well, I’ll never find the right words to describe what this feels like. I am so insanely grateful to the American Theatre Wing and the Tony Nominating Committee for recognizing not only my performance, but also our entire show with so many nominations. The first Broadway show I ever saw was at the St. James Theatre and to have my Broadway debut on that same stage was so surreal and full circle. Thank you to the entire Broadway community for being so welcoming to me and Little Red.”

Michael Yeargan, jointly nominated with 59 Productions, Scenic Design/Musical, Camelot: “It’s a thrill to be nominated, but more-so for the collaboration with Ben Pearcy and 59 Productions, the extraordinary company and the brilliant Camelot production team at Lincoln Center Theatre – it just doesn’t get any better!”

Lorna Courtney, Leading Actress/Musical, & Juliet: “It feels amazing to be honored and recognized in this way, and for this show, it means everything. Congratulations to my fellow nominees, they are all incredibly talented. And thank you so much to the Tonys. To be a young Black woman, from Queens, New York, this is truly a dream come true!”

Jennifer Weber, Choreography, KPOP and & Juliet: “When I was a kid, I used to watch the Tony Awards, tape the performances and teach myself the choreography. To be a part of this community is an incredible honor and it is beyond my wildest dreams to have my work recognized alongside legends such as Nicholaw, Stroman and Hoggett. So much heart went into both of these productions and I’m so proud of everyone that contributed to bringing these two unique stories to the Broadway stage!”

John Shivers, Sound Design/Musical, Shucked: “I am absolutely thrilled to have been nominated for my work on Shucked. It has been an extremely rewarding production to be a part of. I can’t say enough about the incredibly talented creative team, cast, orchestra and crew. I am so happy our work was collectively recognized with the Best Musical nomination.”

Jason Howland, Orchestrations, Shucked: “I am thrilled to be nominated for my work as an orchestrator on Shucked! Shane McAnally and Brandy Clark’s songs are fantastic, and the combination of working with them and Jack O’Brien, Robert Horn and Sarah O’Gleby has been an absolute joy. You can feel that joy coming back to us every night in spades from the audiences who are laughing and cheering 8 times a week at the Nederlander theater. I am so proud of this team, our producer Mike Bosner, and this cast! Get Shucked!”

Emilio Sosa, Costume Design, Ain’t No Mo’, and Good Night, Oscar: “I’m completely floored by this amazing acknowledgement by my peers. I truly love what I do and hope to continue to add to the fabric of inclusion and diversity in our community. Go Theater!!!!”

Scott Lehrer and Alex Neumann, Sound Design/Musical, Into the Woods: “We’re so pleased to have been nominated for this incandescent production working with such a great creative team. We especially thank our collaborator Music Director Rob Berman and his whole music department.”

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