2012 Tony nominees John Lithgow and Audra McDonald feel the 'thrill'

john-lithgow-audra-mcdonald-linda-lavin-judith-light-2012-tony-nominees.jpgTV stars from the 1970s through today were basking in their Tony Awards nominations Wednesday (May 2).

It seemed like a genuine love fest at the Millennium Broadway as actors embraced and congratulated one another for their nominations. Among them: Audra McDonald ("Private Practice"), Christian Borle ("Smash"), Michael Cerveris ("Fringe"), John Lithgow ("3rd Rock from the Sun"), Linda Lavin ("Alice") and Judith Light ("Who's The Boss") all honored for their work now on Broadway.

Lithgow, who plays the waspish, egomaniacal writer Joseph Alsop in "The Columnist," says of his sixth Tony nod, "It does not get old. It is equally exciting and thrilling." 

In Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play category, Lithgow competes against James Corden of "One Man, Two Guvnors," Philip Seymour Hoffman of "Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman," James Earl Jones of "Gore Vidal's The Best Man" and Frank Langella of "Man and Boy."

McDonald, who left "Private Practice" to star in "The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess," is nominated for what could be her fifth Tony Award.

"I am absolutely thrilled," she says. "It's too overwhelming, and for something like this, which we worked so hard, it is quite a boon."

McDonald's category, Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical, also includes: Jan Maxwell of "Follies," Cristin Milioti of "Once," Kelli O'Hara of "Nice Work If You Can Get It" and Laura Osnes of "Bonnie & Clyde."

Lavin, who plays the merry widow in "The Lyons" says, "There is nothing old hat about this. Don't we all want to be invited to the party?"

She's nominated in the Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Leading Role in a Play, which includes, Nina Arianda of "Venus in Fur," Tracie Bennett of "End of the Rainbow,"  Cynthia Nixon of "Wit" and  Stockard Channing of "Other Desert Cities."

Also nominated for "Other Desert Cities" is Light, but in the featured actress category with Linda Emond from "Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman," Spencer Kayden from "Don't Dress for Dinner" Celia Keenan-Bolger from "Peter and the Starcatcher" and Condola Rashad of "Stick Fly."

Light, who plays a dowdy alcoholic in "Other Desert Cities," is so excited about being on Broadway that, she says, "My friend, Katie Finneran said to me, 'You are still like an ingenue. I am the oldest ingenue on Broadway!"
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