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Stars get little love at Tony nods

BY MARK KENNEDY Associated Press

NEW YORK - It was a brutal Tuesday morning for some A-list stars on Broadway.

Snubbed for Tony Award nominations were Denzel Washington, James Franco, Zachary Quinto, Michelle Williams, Orlando Bloom, Ethan Hawke, Zach Braff, Billy Crudup, Rachel Weisz and Daniel Craig. Daniel Radcliffe struck out for his third consecutive Broadway show.

Neil Patrick Harris, who won a nomination for his brilliant performance in the punk-rock show "Hedwig and the Angry Inch," said he was surprised by the final list. But he's been a Tony host and knows from experience the process is often rough.

"Having been the host in previous years, it's always interesting and surprising," he said. "It's a small group of people that nominate and you're never quite sure what they're responding to. That being said, it does get to showcase the talents of people who often don't get their moment in the spotlight."

One of the winners on Tuesday was unconventional musicals: "A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder," a romp with a leading man killed eight times, led the field with 10 nods. It was followed by "Hedwig and the Angry Inch," a rock concert by a transgender German, with eight, and "After Midnight," a candy sampler of stunning dance and singing acts, with seven.

When the dust settled, the musicals up for the Tony's biggest prize are: "After Midnight," ''A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder," ''Aladdin," and "Beautiful: The Carole King Musical." Not one of the shows has a big movie star.

"It's going to be a really exciting Tony race to watch," said Scott Sanders, who produced "After Midnight," which celebrates Duke Ellington's years at the Cotton Club nightclub.

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