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Britons show way in US theatre award nominations.

BRITONS dominate the 2008 Tony Award nominations for best actors in a play.

Patrick Stewart, Ben Daniels, Mark Rylance and Rufus Sewell were all nominated for best actor in a play, while Eve Best and Kate Fleetwood were nominated for best actress in the awards which celebrate excellence in Broadway theatre.

In other categories, In the Heights, a barrio musical that brought fresh salsa and hiphop beat to the Great White Way picked up 13 nominations, more than any other show.

Stewart, who plays the title character in Macbeth, which was imported from the Chichester Festival, said: "There's never been an actor who has had greater, brilliant support than I do from our other 17 actors.

"So in this fantastically creative environment, (director) Rupert (Goold) just set me free to explore this poor, sad, murderous madman and have as much fun with it as possible."

Stewart, alongside Daniels, who plays a scheming nobleman in Les Liaisons Dangereuses; Rylance, who plays a mild-mannered visitor to Paris in Boeing-Boeing; and Sewell, an accidental Czech dissident in Rock 'n' Roll, face competition from American actor Laurence Fishburne, who plays US Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall in the one-man show Thurgood.

Fleetwood, Stewart's bloody helpmate in Macbeth, and Best, the sexually provocative wife in The Homecoming, will face S Epatha Merkerson, of US TV's Law & Order, in the best actress in a play category for her portrayal of a lonely housewife in a revival of William Inge's Come Back, Little Sheba.

They will also face two women from August: Osage County, Deanna Dunagan and Amy Morton, who play a combative mother and daughter.

In the Heights will compete against Passing Strange, Cry- Baby and Xanadu in the best musical category while its star and composer Lin-Manuel Miranda was nominated for both best actor in a musical and best score for the show which looks at the lives of Latino residents of New York.

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Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:May 14, 2008
Words:323
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