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Last Updated: Tuesday, 10 May, 2005, 14:37 GMT 15:37 UK
Python show tops stage shortlist
Spamalot
Spamalot has been a Broadway hit since opening in March
Spamalot, the stage musical based on the Monty Python and the Holy Grail film, has topped the nominations for Broadway's main awards, the Tonys.

Spamalot received 14 nominations on Tuesday, including nods for actors Hank Azaria and Tim Curry.

Another movie-turned-stage show, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, and musical The Light in the Piazza, both have 11.

Dame Edna Everage and Whoopi Goldberg are among the other nominated stars. The ceremony takes place on 5 June.

Spamalot, which has been endorsed by the original Monty Python crew, retains the zany style and story of the 1975 film while also spoofing other Broadway musicals.

John Lithgow in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
John Lithgow stars in the stage version of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
Its nominations include best musical, best original score, best direction of a musical and best choreography.

British actor Curry, who plays King Arthur, and Hank Azaria - best-known as a voice in The Simpsons - are both up for best leading actor in a musical.

Another three Spamalot cast members are nominated - but David Hyde Pierce, who played Niles in TV sitcom Frasier, has missed out.

Dirty Rotten Scoundrels is an adaptation of the 1988 film comedy that starred Michael Caine and Steve Martin.

Phylicia Rashad in Gem of the Ocean
Phylicia Rashad is nominated after making Tonys history last year
Their stage counterparts John Lithgow and Norbert Leo Butz will compete with Curry and Azaria to be named best musical actor.

On the best musical shortlist, Spamalot, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels and The Light in the Piazza are joined by The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.

Doubt, the Pulitzer Prize-winning play about abuse in the Roman Catholic church, has eight nominations, including best play.

That category also includes two productions from London's National Theatre - political thriller Democracy by playwright Michael Frayn and Martin McDonagh's comedy-drama The Pillowman.

The best play shortlist is rounded off by Gem of the Ocean, about the African American experience in 1904.

Kathleen Turner in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf
Kathleen Turner is nominated for Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf
It features former Cosby Show actress Phylicia Rashad, who is nominated for best leading actress in a play a year after becoming the first black woman to win the award.

Kathleen Turner is also in the running for her role in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf, along with Laura Linney for Sight Unseen.

Billy Crudup, James Earl Jones, Christina Applegate and Alan Alda are among the other acting nominees.

In the best special theatrical event category, comedian Barry Humphries is nominated for Dame Edna: Back With a Vengeance! while Goldberg is nominated for Whoopi: The 20th Anniversary Show.



SEE ALSO:
Spamalot takes US critics awards
09 May 05 |  Entertainment
Spamalot reaps show nominations
29 Apr 05 |  Entertainment
Church abuse play wins Pulitzer
05 Apr 05 |  Entertainment
Spamalot arrives on Broadway
18 Mar 05 |  Entertainment
Ex-Cosby star makes Tonys history
07 Jun 04 |  Entertainment


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