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Last Updated: Monday, 10 May, 2004, 15:47 GMT 16:47 UK
Wicked musical leads Tony field
The Boy From Oz
Hugh Jackman received his nomination for The Boy From Oz
Wizard of Oz prequel Wicked, a musical about life on the Yellow Brick Road, has won 10 Tony Award nominations.

Other musicals picking up multiple nominations include Stephen Sondheim's Assassins and Fiddler on the Roof.

Van Helsing actor Hugh Jackman, who will host the theatrical awards on 6 June, has been nominated for best musical actor for The Boy From Oz.

Simon Russell Beale was shortlisted in the best actor in a play category, with Kevin Kline and Christopher Plummer.

British success

The annual awards recognise plays and musicals staged on Broadway.

British actor Russell Beale has won acclaim for his role in Tom Stoppard's Jumpers, while Plummer appeared in King Lear and Kline in Henry IV.

In the best actress in a play category, the contenders include Hollywood star Anne Heche for Twentieth Century and Britain's Dame Eileen Atkins in The Retreat From Moscow.

The hotly contested best musical section sees Wicked line up against The Boy From Oz, Avenue Q and Caroline, or Change.

Wicked, which tells the story of Oz before Dorothy arrived, was one of the season's most expensive musicals, costing $14 million (7.8m).

Boy George and Euan Morton
Euan Morton (r) portrayed Boy George (l) in Taboo

Hollywood entertainer

In The Boy From Oz, Jackman plays the Australian composer Peter Allen, who rose from smalltown roots to become a Hollywood entertainer. He went on to marry actress Liza Minnelli.

Allen, who wrote the show's music and lyrics, died of an Aids-related illness in 1992.

Jackman's theatrical turn sees him vying with two Britons: Alfred Molina for Fiddler on the Roof and Euan Morton for his role in Taboo.

The Boy George musical, produced by talk show host Rosie O'Donnell, closed on Broadway after just three months.

The eventual winners of the 58th Tony Awards will be decided by voting members of the American Theater Wing.

The winners will be announced at a ceremony at the Radio City Music Hall in New York in June.

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