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"History Boys," "Drowsy Chaperone" lead Tony list

Written by: Staff
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NEW YORK, May 17 (Reuters) Alan Bennett's ''The History Boys'' received seven Tony Award nominations confirming it as favorite to be named best play, while ''The Drowsy Chaperone'' led the field among musicals with 13 nominations.

The nominations for US theater's equivalent of the Oscars went largely as predicted by critics. The biggest star of the season on Broadway, Oscar-winner Julia Roberts, was not among those named as best actress in a play.

Her Broadway debut was panned by critics but in a year with few outstanding female performances there was speculation she could make the grade, particularly if organizers had hoped to tempt her to be a presenter at the ceremony on June 11.

Oprah Winfrey's ''The Color Purple,'' which got a lukewarm reception from critics but which has been a box office hit, made a surprisingly strong showing, taking 11 nominations, more than the widely acclaimed ''Jersey Boys'' about 1960s music band Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons which took eight.

The nominations for best play were ''The History Boys,'' Martin McDonagh's ''The Lieutenant of Inishmore,'' ''Rabbit Hole'' starring Cynthia Nixon, who is among the favorites for best actress in a play, and ''Shining City,'' whose star Oliver Platt was nominated for best actor.

The nominations for best musical were ''The Color Purple,'' ''The Drowsy Chaperone,'' ''Jersey Boys,'' and ''The Wedding Singer,'' which was adapted from the film starring Adam Sandler.

REUTERS SK PM0602

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