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You Can't Spell "Tonys" Without TDF How TDF impacted every Tony-nominated show this season

By MARK BLANKENSHIP

This year, there’s no separating the Tonys from Theatre Development Fund. Thanks to its many programs and services for artists and audiences, TDF has a connection to every production that was nominated for a 2010 Tony Award.

Here’s a complete list of this year’s Tony nominees. The first time a show or artist is mentioned, you’ll also find the TDF programs and services that impacted the nominee.

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Nominations for the 2010 American Theatre Wing's Tony Awards

Best Play

* In the Next Room or the Vibrator Play by Sarah Ruhl

A dramedy about a group of nineteenth-century characters facing a surprising intersection of love, sex, and technology, this play received support from TDF's subsidy program, and discounted tickets were sold to TDF members. High school students attended via TDF's Open Doors program.

Playwright Sarah Ruhl spoke about the play in an exclusive Q&A with TDF STAGES.

* Next Fall by Geoffrey Nauffts

TDF members were offered tickets to this drama about a gay couple whose political and religious beliefs are tested in a crisis. Members of TDF Accessibility Programs (TAP) saw the show, as did Open Doors students. The show also received a TDF subsidy and was reviewed in Play By Play, TDF's magazine written by and for high school students.

TDF STAGES spoke to star Connie Ray about transferring her performance from Off Broadway to Broadway.

* Red by John Logan

A recipient of TDF subsidy, John Logan's drama about the life and ideas of artist Mark Rothko is this year's most-nominated new play (with seven nods.) Open Doors students and TDF members were offered tickets.

* Time Stands Still by Donald Margulies

A drama about a photographer trying to overcome what she has seen at home and abroad, this play received a TDF subsidy and was offered to both TDF members and Open Doors students. TDF also sponsored an open captioned performance for audience members who were deaf or hard of hearing.

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Best Musical

* American Idiot

This stage adaptation of Green Day's popular rock album was attended by Open Doors students and by participants in New Audiences for New York, a new TDF program that sends local community groups to see and discuss live performances, often for the first time. The next issue of Play by Play will feature an interview with some of the musical's stars.

* Fela!

An innovative look at the life and music of Fela Kuti, Fela! is tied with La Cage aux Folles as this year's most-nominated production (with eleven nods.) It was attended by students in the Stage Doors program, and it received both a TDF subsidy and a feature in Play by Play. TDF members got tickets, as did Open Doors students, TAP members, and New Audiences for New York community groups. TDF also hosted an open captioned performance of the show.

* Memphis

An original musical about a white DJ and black performer who help bring R&B to 1950s Tennessee, Memphis was seen by TDF's Access for Young Audiences students, as well as audiences who attended the open captioned performance. TDF members were offered tickets, and groups from New Audiences for New York, TAP, Open Doors,  and Stage Doors also saw the show.

Memphis was featured on the cover of a recent Play by Play issue, and in an exclusive video for TDF STAGES, cast member Cass Morgan explained how she created her feisty role.

* Million Dollar Quartet

A reimagining of a fateful recording session that featured Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Johnny Cash, Million Dollar Quartet was reviewed in Play By Play and featured an open captioned performance. TDF members and TAP members have also gotten tickets.

TDF STAGES delivered an exclusive interview with Chuck Mead, the country music star who provides the show's orchestrations.

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Best Book of a Musical

* Everyday Rapture (Dick Scanlan and Sherie Rene Scott)

When Sherie Rene Scott's loosely autobiographical musical comedy made its Off Broadway premiere last season at Second Stage, the theatre used a TAP Plus Grant to open caption performances. Since it moved to Broadway, it has been reviewed for Play By Play and seen by Open Doors students and TDF members.

* Fela! (Jim Lewis & Bill T. Jones)

* Memphis (Joe DiPietro)

* Million Dollar Quartet (Colin Escott and Floyd Mutrux)

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Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) Written for the Theatre

* The Addams Family (Music & Lyrics: Andrew Lippa)

This stage adaptation of the beloved comic strip (and television and film series) was reviewed in Play By Play.

* Enron (Music by Adam Cork; lyrics: Lucy Prebble)

A recipient of a TDF subsidy, Enron is a surreal comedy about the Enron scandal. It had open captioned performances, and it was seen by TDF members, TAP members, and Open Doors students.

* Fences (Music by Branford Marsalis)

This star-studded revival of August Wilson's Pulitzer Prize-winning drama was seen by New Audiences for New York participants and Open Doors students, and it was reviewed in Play By Play.

* Memphis (Music by David Bryan; lyrics: Joe DiPietro and David Bryan)

TDF STAGES featured a conversation with DiPietro and Bryan about their show's delicate balance of comedy and drama.

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Best Revival of a Play

* Fences

* Lend Me a Tenor

This revival of Ken Ludwig's popular farce received a TDF subsidy and was seen by TDF members, TAP members, and Open Doors students. It was also reviewed in Play By Play.

Ludwig spoke to TDF STAGES about revisiting his play decades after he wrote it.

* The Royal Family

George S. Kaufman and Edna Ferber's classic comedy earned a TDF subsidy and a review from Play By Play. It was open captioned, and both TDF members and Open Doors students attended performances.

Director Doug Hughes spoke to TDF STAGES about his strategy for his production.

* A View from the Bridge

Arthur Miller's tragedy received a TDF subsidy, and Stuart Thompson, its lead producer, received the 2010 Robert Whitehead Award. Play By Play reviewed the show, which was seen by Open Doors students and TDF members. Select performances were also open captioned.

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Best Revival of a Musical

* Finian's Rainbow

This quirky musical was reviewed in Play By Play and offered to TDF members. It also received a TDF subsidy.

* La Cage aux Folles

A celebrated revival of Jerry Herman's drag-and-diamonds musical, this production tied with Fela! for the most overall nominations. Tickets have been sold to TDF members.

* A Little Night Music

TDF members and Open Doors students both got a chance to see this Sondheim show, and it was reviewed in Play By Play.

Orchestrator Jason Carr spoke with TDF STAGES about how he shaped the sound of the revival.

* Ragtime

This revival was open captioned and reviewed in Play By Play. TDF members, Open Doors students, and TAP members all received tickets.

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Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Play

* Jude Law, Hamlet

Open Doors students and a Play By Play reviewer saw Law's work, and select performances were open captioned.

* Alfred Molina, Red

* Liev Schreiber, A View from the Bridge

* Christopher Walken, A Behanding in Spokane

Walken's funny-creepy turn in Martin McDonagh's play was seen by TDF members, Open Doors students, and a group from New Audiences for New York.

Set and costume designer Scott Pask told TDF STAGES about how he created the look of the show.

* Denzel Washington, Fences

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Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Play

* Viola Davis, Fences

* Valerie Harper, Looped

TDF subsidized this comedy about Tallulah Bankhead, and it was attended by TAP and TDF members. In an exclusive video for TDF STAGES, the graphic artist Fraver explained how he designed the show's poster.

* Linda Lavin, Collected Stories

This production of Donald Marguiles' play received a TDF subsidy, and it will be open captioned in June. TDF members have gotten tickets.

* Laura Linney, Time Stands Still

* Jan Maxwell, The Royal Family

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Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical

* Kelsey Grammer, La Cage aux Folles

* Sean Hayes, Promises, Promises

This bubbly musical revival will be open captioned and sign language interpreted in the fall.

* Douglas Hodge, La Cage aux Folles

* Chad Kimball, Memphis

* Sahr Ngaujah, Fela!

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Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical

* Kate Baldwin, Finian's Rainbow

* Montego Glover, Memphis

* Christiane Noll, Ragtime

* Sherie Rene Scott, Everyday Rapture

* Catherine Zeta-Jones, A Little Night Music

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Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Play

* David Alan Grier, Race

Race, the newest play by David Mamet, was subsidized by TDF, reviewed in Play By Play, and attended by Open Doors students, New Audiences for New York groups, TAP members, and TDF members.

David Alan Grier spoke with TDF STAGES about how he developed his Tony-nominated performance.

* Stephen McKinley Henderson, Fences

* Jon Michael Hill, Superior Donuts

Hill was featured on the cover of Play By Play, and Superior Donuts was offered to TDF members, TAP members, and students in the Residency Arts Project. The show was open captioned and supported by a TDF subsidy.

Christopher Akerlind spoke with TDF STAGES about his lighting design for the production.

* Stephen Kunken, Enron

* Eddie Redmayne, Red

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Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Play

* Maria Dizzia, In the Next Room or the Vibrator Play

* Rosemary Harris, The Royal Family

* Jessica Hecht, A View from the Bridge

* Scarlett Johansson, A View from the Bridge

* Jan Maxwell, Lend Me a Tenor

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Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical

* Kevin Chamberlin, The Addams Family

* Robin De Jesús, La Cage aux Folles

* Christopher Fitzgerald, Finian's Rainbow

TDF STAGES interviewed Fitzgerald about how he created his role as an amorous leprechaun.

* Levi Kreis, Million Dollar Quartet

* Bobby Steggert, Ragtime

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Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical

* Barbara Cook, Sondheim on Sondheim

TDF members have purchased tickets to this revue of Sondheim's songs.

* Katie Finneran, Promises, Promises

This Friday, TDF STAGES will feature an exclusive interview with Finneran about her performance.

* Angela Lansbury, A Little Night Music

* Karine Plantadit, Come Fly Away

TDF has presented open captioned performances of Twyla Tharp's dance-focused spin on Frank Sinatra songs.

* Lillias White, Fela!

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Best Scenic Design of a Play

* John Lee Beatty, The Royal Family

* Alexander Dodge, Present Laughter

TDF members saw this revival of the classic Noël Coward play.

* Santo Loquasto, Fences

* Christopher Oram, Red

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Best Scenic Design of a Musical

* Marina Draghici, Fela!

* Christine Jones, American Idiot

* Derek McLane, Ragtime

* Tim Shortall, La Cage aux Folles

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Best Costume Design of a Play

* Martin Pakledinaz, Lend Me a Tenor

* Constanza Romero, Fences

* David Zinn, In the Next Room or the Vibrator Play

* Catherine Zuber, The Royal Family

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Best Costume Design of a Musical

* Marina Draghici, Fela!

* Santo Loquasto, Ragtime

* Paul Tazewell, Memphis

* Matthew Wright, La Cage aux Folles

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Best Lighting Design of a Play

* Neil Austin, Hamlet

* Neil Austin, Red

* Mark Henderson, Enron

* Brian MacDevitt, Fences

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Best Lighting Design of a Musical

* Kevin Adams, American Idiot

* Donald Holder, Ragtime

* Nick Richings, La Cage aux Folles

* Robert Wierzel, Fela!

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Best Sound Design of a Play

* Acme Sound Partners, Fences

* Adam Cork, Enron

* Adam Cork, Red

Cork spoke with TDF STAGES about why his compositions for this production intentionally contradicted the script.

* Scott Lehrer, A View from the Bridge

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Best Sound Design of a Musical

* Jonathan Deans, La Cage aux Folles

* Robert Kaplowitz, Fela!

* Dan Moses Schreier and Gareth Owen, A Little Night Music

* Dan Moses Schreier, Sondheim on Sondheim

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Best Direction of a Play

* Michael Grandage, Red

* Sheryl Kaller, Next Fall

* Kenny Leon, Fences

* Gregory Mosher, A View from the Bridge

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Best Direction of a Musical

* Christopher Ashley, Memphis

* Marcia Milgrom Dodge, Ragtime

Milgrom Dodge spoke with TDF STAGES about how technology impacted her production.

* Terry Johnson, La Cage aux Folles

* Bill T. Jones, Fela!

TDF STAGES spoke with Jones about his vision for the show.

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Best Choreography

Rob Ashford, Promises, Promises

Bill T. Jones, Fela!

Lynne Page, La Cage aux Folles

Twyla Tharp, Come Fly Away

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Best Orchestrations

Jason Carr, La Cage aux Folles

Aaron Johnson, Fela!

Jonathan Tunick, Promises, Promises

Daryl Waters & David Bryan, Memphis

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Mark Blankenship is TDF's online content editor.