Dallas connections to the 2012 Tony noms

The 2012 Tony Award nominations came out this morning, with the new musical Once (based on the Irish film) getting the most nominations (11). But actually a couple of other productions are even more interesting to Dallas audiences.

The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess, which features Dallas actor Cedric Neal, received 10 noms, including best revival of a musical. And Lysistrata Jones, which began as a world premiere at the Dallas Theater Center (under the name Give It Up) received a nom for best book of a musical for Douglas Carter Beane. He’ll go up against fellow gay writer Joe DiPietro for Nice Work If You Can Get It. Unfortunately, Liz Mikel, who wowed Dallas and New York audiences, was not singled out for her performance.

This is the Tonys, so gay nominees abound. The revival of Sondheim’s Follies scored a number of nominations (including, for my money, likely winner Jan Maxwell). Gay playwright Jon Robin Baitz got a nod for best play for Other Desert Cities. Gore Vidal’s The Best Man (with a gay twist) was nominated for best revival of a play as well as best actor James Earl Jones; he’ll face against John Lithgow, who was nominated for another gay play, The Columnist (which also features former Dallasite Brian J. Smith as Lithgow’s  six-pack-ab’d trick). Lesbian actress Cynthia Nixon is up for her performance in Wit.

Jeff Calhoun, whom I interviewed last year, is nominated for best director of a musical for Newsies. Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark got only two design nominations, though ironically, the new movie Spider-Man, Andrew Garfield, was nominated for best featured actor in a play for Death of a Salesman.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Exclusive: Theatre 3’s missing play

Last month, Theatre 3 announced its 50th anniversary season, a line-up that includes the very gay musical A Catered Affair, the Aaron Sorkin drama The Farnsworth Invention and the raucous musical Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson. Missing from the season announcement was the fifth show, which executive producer Jac Alder was trying to schedule.

Last night, Jac told me he had just picked the final show:  Art of Murder by Joe DiPietro, a comedy thriller set in the world of fine art that won the Edgar Award for best play. It will probably be a good fit for T3 — DiPietro’s I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change has been a staple at T3 for a decade (it’s Dallas’ longest-running show ever — three years in its initial run). DiPietro won two Tony Awards last year for the Broadway hit Memphis.

Art of Murder runs April 12–May 12, 2012.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones