2011 Awards Season
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Joe Mantello on His 'Completely Unexpected' Tonys Experience

The 2011 Tony Award nominees were announced live from the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts in New York City on Tuesday, May 3, 2011. The next day, proud nominees gathered at the Millenium Hotel in Times Square to celebrate and meet the press. Broadway Beat caught up with Joe Mantello, Best Actor in a Play nominee for The Normal Heart, who had this to say about his nomination:

"It's completely surreal, it's completely unexpected. It's an amazing, amazing event in my life, and I'm so grateful." On receiving a nomination in an acting category, he continued, "I thought I was in some sort of strange universe. It was such a book that I had closed in my life- truly closed, and happily. It didn't ever occur to me that I would be sitting here today with you." 

As for the whirlwind that was the show's rehearsal process, he added, "It took a long time for us to get a commitment for a theatre, so we had to kind of be ready to go. And then once we pulled the trigger and said 'it's happening,' we had allowed, I think, two weeks of rehearsal and two days of tech and very few previews before we opened. George Wolfe at that point was doing the day-to-day rehearsal of it, and he has a way of inspiring, and instilling courage and passion, and I couldn't have done it without him."

On what he enjoys most about the show, Mantello concluded: "It's extraordinary, because there is an undeniable power that that play has. Seeing it on Broadway only elevates that power. There's such stillness in the audience, and there's such an electric feeling between the actors and the audience. It's been a long time since I've acted, so maybe that happens more often than I remember. But in my experience it's a very rare occurrence."

To watch the full interview, click here!

The American Theatre Wing's 65th Annual Antoinette Perry "Tony" Awards, which are presented by The Broadway League and the American Theatre Wing, will air on CBS on Sunday, June 12th from 8:00 - 11:00 PM (ET/PT time delay).

THE 65th ANNUAL TONY AWARDS take place at the Beacon Theatre. The awards will be followed by the invite-only Tony Gala which will take place at The Plaza Hotel in New York City.


Photo Credit: Walter McBride/WM Photos

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