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The nominees, in alphabetical order, are:
For proving that great stage acting isn’t limited to dramatic roles with his side-splitting, no-holds-barred, Tony-winning comic performance in the British farce One Man, Two Guvnors.
For taking the pressure-packed title role in Annie—including three major songs in the show’s first half hour!—and making it look easy, blending pint-sized charm with an adult-sized belt.
For his star-is-born leap from a fast-closing musical (Bonnie & Clyde) to one of the year’s biggest hits (Newsies), sealing his reputation as Broadway’s most charismatic young song-and-dance man. A high profile role on TV's Smash is also on the horizon.
For bringing romance back to Broadway with his soulful, beautifully sung performance as an Irish busker in the Tony-winning musical Once, plus a hot duet (with Christina Perri) in the final Twilight flick.
For giving a fearless, towering performance in one of the most demanding musical roles ever written, Bess in Porgy and Bess, winning an astonishing fifth Tony Award and cementing her spot in Broadway history.