CANADIAN DIRECTOR AND CHOREOGRAPHER OF TEMPTATIONS MUSICAL NOMINATED FOR TONYS

Several Canadian theatre-makers have been nominated at the Tony Awards for their work on a musical based on the story of the Temptations.

Colombian choreographer/director Sergio Trujillo is photographed at the Mirvish rehearsal studio in Toronto on Monday, October 21, 2013. American-Canadian director Des McAnuff and Toronto-raised choreographer Sergio Trujillo have been nominated for Tony Awards for "Ain't Too Proud _ The Life and Times of The Temptations.'' THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

NEW YORK — Several Canadian theatre-makers have been nominated at the Tony Awards for their work on a musical based on the story of the Temptations.

According to Toronto-raised choreographer Sergio Trujillo, it’s all part of a Canadian plot to reign over the Great White Way.

“We (Canadians) do try to stick together,” said Trujillo, who was nominated alongside American-Canadian director Des McAnuff, for “Ain’t Too Proud — The Life and Times of The Temptations.”

“I keep on telling Des that we’re spies and we’re slowly trying to take over Broadway.”

As the Tony nominations were announced Tuesday morning, Trujillo said he was engrossed in drama of a different sort — trying to convince his one-year-old to eat his breakfast.

But then Trujillo heard his husband, who was watching the awards broadcast, screaming for him in the other room of their New York home.

He said the news he had received a nod for best choreography, his second Tony nomination, sent him “levitating” with joy. But it wasn’t long before his son’s nutritional needs brought him back down to earth.

“My son required feeding, and that was the most important thing,” said Trujillo. “He continues to ground me all day.”

Trujillo said he called up McAnuff, former artistic director of the Stratford Shakespeare Festival, to congratulate him on his nomination for best direction of a musical in “Ain’t Too Proud.”

The two staged a brief run of the Motown-inspired musical at Mirvish’s Princess of Wales Theatre in Toronto last fall, and previously worked together on the Tony-winning musical “Jersey Boys.”

“We’re such great collaborators … and I think this show is just a true reflection of our collaboration,” said Trujillo

“Ain’t Too Proud” racked up a total of 12 Tony nods, including best musical and best book, which Trujillo sees as validation that the show is more than just a “jukebox musical.”

“I think this particular story speaks volumes to North American history. For us Canadians, we’re very connected to it, especially in Toronto. Detroit is right next door, so we’re very connected to this music,” said Trujillo.

“I’m just very proud of this moment, and proud to celebrate being part of the Canadian culture and the musical theatre community.”

Toronto-born theatre projection designer Peter Nigrini is also being recognized for best scenic design of a musical in “Ain’t Too Proud,” a nomination he shares with set designer Robert Brill, and best lighting design of a musical for “Beetlejuice” alongside Kenneth Posner.

Toronto’s Bob Martin and collaborator Chad Beguelin are also vying for best book of a musical for “The Prom.”

“Hadestown” earned a leading 14 Tony nominations Tuesday. The show, which intertwines the myths of Orpheus and Eurydice and Hades and Persephone, enjoyed a brief run at Edmonton’s Citadel Theatre in late 2017 before making its Broadway debut earlier this year.

The Tony Awards will be handed out in New York City on Sunday, June 9 during a three-hour broadcast hosted by James Corden.

Select nominations for the 2019 Tony Awards, announced Tuesday.

Best Musical: “Ain’t Too Proud — The Life and Times of the Temptations,” “Beetlejuice,” “Hadestown,” “The Prom,” “Tootsie”

Best Play: “Choir Boy,” “The Ferryman,” “Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus,” “Ink,” “What the Constitution Means to Me”

Best Book of a Musical: “Ain’t Too Proud — The Life and Times of the Temptations,” “Beetlejuice,” “Hadestown,” “The Prom,” “Tootsie”

Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) Written for the Theatre: “Be More Chill,” “Beetlejuice,” “Hadestown,” “The Prom,” “To Kill a Mockingbird,” “Tootsie”

Best Revival of a Play: “Arthur Miller’s All My Sons,” “The Boys in the Band,” “Burn This,” “Torch Song,” “The Waverly Gallery”

Best Revival of a Musical: “Kiss Me, Kate,” “Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Oklahoma!”

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play: Paddy Considine, “The Ferryman”; Bryan Cranston, “Network”; Jeff Daniels, “To Kill a Mockingbird”; Adam Driver, “Burn This”; Jeremy Pope, “Choir Boy”

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play: Annette Bening, “Arthur Miller’s All My Sons”; Laura Donnelly, “The Ferryman”; Elaine May, “The Waverly Gallery”; Janet McTeer, “Bernhardt/Hamlet”; Laurie Metcalf, “Hillary and Clinton”; Heidi Schreck, “What the Constitution Means to Me”

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical: Brooks Ashmanskas, “The Prom”; Derrick Baskin, “Ain’t Too Proud — The Life and Times of the Temptations”; Alex Brightman, “Beetlejuice”; Damon Daunno, “Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Oklahoma!”; Santino Fontana, “Tootsie”

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical: Stephanie J. Block, “The Cher Show”; Caitlin Kinnunen, “The Prom”; Beth Leavel, “The Prom”; Eva Noblezada, “Hadestown”; Kelli O’Hara, “Kiss Me, Kate”

Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Play: Bertie Carvel, “Ink”; Robin De Jesus, “The Boys in the Band”; Gideon Glick, “To Kill a Mockingbird”; Brandon Uranowitz, “Burn This”; Benjamin Walker, “Arthur Miller’s All My Sons”

Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play: Fionnula Flanagan, “The Ferryman”; Celia Keenan-Bolger, “To Kill a Mockingbird”‘; Kristine Nielsen, “Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus”; Julie White, “Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus”; Ruth Wilson, “King Lear”

Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical: Andre De Shields, “Hadestown”; Andy Grotelueschen, “Tootsie”; Patrick Page, “Hadestown”; Jeremy Pope, “Ain’t Too Proud — The Life and Times of the Temptations”; Ephraim Sykes, “Ain’t Too Proud — The Life and Times of the Temptations”

Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical: Lilli Cooper, “Tootsie”; Amber Gray, “Hadestown”; Sarah Stiles, “Tootsie”; Ali Stroker, “Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Oklahoma!” Mary Testa, “Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Oklahoma!”

THE CANADIAN PRESS

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