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Tonywood: Marquee names up for Broadway's big night

Wow, we might actually pay attention to the Tony Awards this year.

Nominations announced Tuesday for the best of Broadway read more like a roll call for the Oscars or Emmys. Among the big names up for the Tony: Denzel Washington, Jude Law, Catherine Zeta-Jones (left, photo by AP), Kelsey Grammer and Scarlett Johansson.

The long-awaited (by us) head-to-head between Washington and Law is in the best actor in a play category for, respectively, "Fences" and "Hamlet." Zeta-Jones was nominated for lead actress in a musical for "A Little Night Music," and Grammer scooped up a nod for lead actor in a musical for revival "La Cage aux Folles."

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"La Cage aux Folles" and musical "Fela!" lead all nominations with 11 each. You can expect Jay-Z, Alicia Keys, Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith to walk to Tony red carpet for "Fela!" about Nigerian musician and political figure Fela Kuti — the quartet helped produce the acclaimed musical. "American Idiot," based on the Green Day album of the same name, was also nominated for best musical.

There's a ton of other big names in the Tony mix. The lead actor in a play category also includes Alfred Molina ("Reds"), Liev Schreiber" (A View from the Bridge") and Christopher Walken ("A Behanding in Spokane"). Laura Linney made the lead actress in a play category for "Time Stands Still." David Alan Grier got a featured actor in a play nod for "Race" and Scarlett Johansson earned a featured actress in a play mention for "A View from the Bridge."

Not all of the famous names on the Great White Way were as successful. Nathan Lane and Bebe  Neuwirth, the leads in "The Addams Family" musical, were shut out. Ditto Hugh Jackman and Daniel Craig, who shared the stage in "A Steady Rain."

The 64th Tony Awards will air June 13 on CBS.

Jordan Bartel is assistant editor at b. Follow him on Twitter, @jordanbartel. 

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