May 17, 2006

Jersey Boys’ Tony Nominees React to the BIG News

May 17th, 2006 contacted many of this year’s Tony nominees to congratulate them and to find out how they heard the news.

Here’s what Christian Hoff, Des McAnuff, and John Lloyd Young had to say:

Christian Hoff, Best Featured Actor in a Musical Nominee:

“My alarm went off at 8:30, and I was lying in bed thinking, ‘There’s something I’ve gotta do.’ Then my phone rang, and it was my agent. I called my wife, Melissa, first— she’s in California doing Zhivago at La Jolla Playhouse. My wife and children have supported me and encouraged me all these years, and I’m so proud of them. Then I spoke to my mom and my brother, who are my biggest fans. They had the live feed from the internet, and it was 5:45AM for them; they were far more diligent than me. I wasn’t expecting it—or maybe I was; there are all kinds of psychological defense mechanisms that kick in. I tried to remove myself from it a little bit so I wouldn’t be disappointed. Now, of course, I’m ecstatic! I’ve been an actor for 30 years, since I was 8 years old; it’s been a struggle at times, and to be able to walk onstage in a great role like this and be recognized is very rewarding.”

Des McAnuff, Best Director of a Musical Nominee:

“My 15-year-old daughter called me from L.A. She was up early doing homework and saw the nominations online. It’s nice to be awakened by your daughter with news like this! I’m sort of superstitious about these things, so I would never check myself; I knew someone would call me either way. I feel wonderful— obviously there were categories we weren’t eligible for, such as Best Score, and I was disappointed that [choreographer] Sergio Trujillo and [costume designer] Jess Goldstein didn’t get recognized, but no sour grapes here! I am more excited about this show than anything I’ve done because it reaches such a broad audience, including people who don’t traditionally go to the theater. I felt it was a story we had to tell, and I’m very, very excited about being part of the Tonys this year.”

John Lloyd Young, Best Leading Actor Nominee:

“I was on my way into the shower when my girlfriend said, ‘It’s on!’ So I threw on a towel and ran into the bedroom. It used to be four nominees in each category rather than five, so when I heard the fourth name, I had a sinking feeling—even though I’ve always been at the end of the alphabet. Then I felt relief! When you’re a struggling actor, you dream of things like Tony nominations, but you never expect them. I’ve been watching the Tonys since I was a kid; I remember B.D. Wong winning his Tony for M. Butterfly. I didn’t relate to the Academy Awards as much because it seemed more distant, but the Tonys have such a mythic stature. I’ve gotten messages from my parents in upstate New York, my sister in the D.C. area and all my cousins in the Syracuse area. In fact, three busloads of people came down from there last week to see the show!”

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