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Last Updated: Monday, 12 May, 2003, 13:52 GMT 14:52 UK
Hairspray leads Tony nominations
Linda Hart and  Joel Vig in Haispray
Hairspray started life as a film
The musical Hairspray has swept the Tony Awards shortlist, with 13 nominations.

Hairspray is based on the John Waters film of the same name and is a musical celebration of life in 1960s Baltimore.

British mentions for the prestigious US theatre awards include actor and comedian Eddie Izzard, nominated for his debut Broadway performance in A Day in the Death of Joe Egg.

Fiona Shaw and Vanessa Redgrave are also shortlisted for the best actress in a play category - Shaw for Medea, which transferred to Broadway from London, and Redgrave for Long Day's Journey Into Night.

Star names to receive nominations include Antonio Banderas, also making his first Broadway appearance, in Nine The Musical, and Bernadette Peters for Gypsy.

Eddie Izzard
Izzard was nominated for Joe Egg
Movin' Out, a musical based on the songs of Billy Joel, received 10 nominations, with Nine The Musical getting eight nominations.

Baz Luhrmann's La Boheme picked up six mentions, including best musical director for the Moulin Rouge film-maker.

Izzard faces screen legend Paul Newman, for his role in Our Town, in the best leading actor in a play category.

His show Joe Egg, one of a number of shows to receive four nominations, is a dark comedy about a couple with a handicapped girl and the strains put on their marriage.

The revival of Eugene O'Neill's epic family drama Long Day's Journey Into Night received seven nominations in all.

Redgrave's fellow cast members Brian Dennehy, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Robert Sean Leonard are also nominated.

British writers and performers Hamish McColl and Sean Foley received a special theatrical event nomination for The Play What I Wrote, which is directed by Kenneth Branagh.

Hamish McColl and Sean Foley
Theatrical event: Hamish McColl and Sean Foley
Hairspray is nominated for best musical, as well as for both its leading performers, best original score and best direction.

It is competing with Movin' Out, Amour and A Year With Frog and Toad in the best musical category.

The best play nominees are Enchanted April, Take Me Out, Say Goodnight Gracie and Vincent in Brixton.

Nominations were announced by actors John Lithgow and Melanie Griffith.

The awards will be handed out on 8 June at Radio City Music Hall in New York.

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