Page last updated at 14:02 GMT, Tuesday, 5 May 2009 15:02 UK

Billy Elliot dominates Tony nods

Sir Elton John and cast of Billy Elliot
Sir Elton John was at the opening night on Broadway

The Broadway production of British hit musical Billy Elliot has picked up 15 nominations at the US Tony Awards.

It is in the running for best musical and best original music for Sir Elton John, while its three young stars are jointly nominated for best actor.

The musical competes with other newcomers Shrek, Rock of Ages and Next to Normal for best musical.

Sir Elton will go head-to-head with Dolly Parton in the best music category at the awards ceremony on 7 June.

British hopefuls

The Tonys have also recognised the work of Stephen Daldry with a nomination for his direction of the musical.

The British film-maker also directed the 2000 Oscar-nominated film which the original West End production is based upon.

Its run of nominations also include nods for costumes, scenic design and other technical categories.

Geoffrey Rush in Exit The King
Geoffrey Rush is nominated for Exit The King

In nominations for plays, Oscar winner Geoffrey Rush and former Sopranos star James Gandolfini are shortlisted for best actor, with Jane Fonda up for best actress.

British stage stars Janet McTeer and Harriet Walter are also nominated for their work in Mary Stuart, which is in the running for best revival.

33 Variations, Dividing The Estate, Reasons To Be Pretty and and God of Carnage are the best play candidates.

Next To Normal, a play about a woman battling mental illness, receives the most nominations - 11 - behind Billy Elliot.

The musical has been a big hit on the Broadway stage.

Sir Elton, speaking on US television, said the show has "made an incredible impact on my life, and said it had been "an amazing experience".

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