Kinky Boots

When it comes to the Oscars and the Emmys, gay folks often latch onto minor categories to get our queer fix: Jim Parsons and Neil Patrick Harris and Jane Lynch for TV, more obscure categories like documentary short and adapted screenplay for the movies having the gay nominees; when a movie like Brokeback Mountain gets nominated a lot, we salivate.

One needn’t look nearly so hard with the Tony Awards, however. The announcement this morning of the nominees in theater is fairly flush with gay-interest candidates. (Heck, even Jesse Tyler Ferguson announced the nominees with the queens’ favorite Sutton Foster.)

The big vote-getter was Kinky Boots, pictured, with 13 nominations, including for it gay author (Harvey Fierstein), gay director/choreographer (Jerry Mitchell) and gay star (Billy Porter, who is up against Dallas native Stark Sands). Porter and Sands will compete against Bertie Carvel as a cross-dressing headmistress in the hit transplant from London, Matilda The Musical. (Adored gay rights activist Cyndi Lauper is also nominated for her score for Kinky Boots.)

Douglas Carter Beane, who re-wrote the script for Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella, was nominated for book of a musical against Fierstein, though Bring It On‘s gay scribe, Jeff Whitty, was unfairly overlooked for his clever script. The show itself, however, is up for best musical and best choreography (well deserved) for out director/choreographer Andy Blankenbuehler.

In the play category, two of the authors of best play nominees (Richard Greenberg and Christopher Durang) will be up against each other for The Assembled Parties and Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, respectively. And on Broadway, even the actors are proudly out: Nathan Lane (The Nance) and David Hyde Pierce (Vanya and…) are both up for best leading actor in a play.

Some gay faves are also in the running, including Stephanie J. Block (her first nomination!) for The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Judith Light for The Assembled Parties and the Rum Tum Tugger himself, Terrence Mann, in Pippin. And Holland Taylor snapped up a best actress nod playing Texas legend Ann Richards in her tour de force show Ann.

Of course, not everyone we wanted got nominated. Bette Midler was overlooked for best actress playing hard-driving Hollywood agent Sue Mengers in I’ll Eat You Last from gay writer John Logan. Well, we do need something to bitch about …