By Wire services
The Tony Awards committee largely favored tried-and-true stage veterans over flashy visitors Tuesday when announcing this year's Tony nominations, with Hollywood stars such as Bette Midler, Jessica Chastain, Al Pacino, Katie Holmes and Scarlett Johansson never hearing their names called.
With the exception of Broadway debutant Tom Hanks, the acting categories were mostly filled by established theater creatures such as Laurie Metcalf, Amy Morton, Laura Osnes, Nathan Lane, Tracy Letts, David Hyde Pierce and Kristine Nielsen.
Hanks, who earned a best actor nod playing gutsy New York City newspaper columnist Mike McAlary in the late Nora Ephron's "Lucky Guy," joked that he was out of his league and that to win he'd have to beat Lane and Pierce.
"Olivier and Gielgud!" Hanks exclaimed. "It's such a thrill and a delight to be included with these guys."
The awards will be broadcast June 9 on CBS from Radio City Music Hall. The snubs of big-name actors may mean a less starry telecast.
Stage veterans littered the play and musical categories, including the tight race to be crowned best musical. The leading contenders "Kinky Boots" and "Matilda: The Musical" are both stories that celebrate the little guy.
"Kinky Boots," with a leading 13 nominations, is based on the 2005 British movie about a real-life shoe factory that struggles until it finds new life making fetish footwear. Cyndi Lauper's songs and a story by Harvey Fierstein both nominated have made it a crowd-pleaser.
"When we were writing this, I kept thinking, 'I don't know if this show is going to be any good, but at the very least I think I've discovered a new Broadway composer,"' Fierstein said of Lauper, who was writing songs for the stage for the first time. "I could hear it. My feeling is Cyndi's going to be around for a while."
Shriver back with NBC News
After nearly a decade away, former California first lady Maria Shriver is returning to NBC News for a job where she will concentrate on the roles of women in American life.
Shriver on Tuesday was named a "special anchor" who will appear on various NBC programming, including CNBC, MSNBC and NBC Sports, and be an editor at large on women's issues for the network's digital properties. She had worked at NBC from 1986 to 2004, much of it on "Dateline NBC."
Originally published by Wire services .
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