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'Hamilton' to duel with 'Fun Home' for theater album Grammy

'Hamilton' to duel with 'Fun Home' for theater album Grammy
Phillipa Soo and Lin-Manuel Miranda star in "Hamilton" on Broadway. The cast recording of the musical was nominated for a Grammy on Monday. (Joan Marcus / Richard Rodgers Theatres)

Musical theater lovers weren't hit with too many surprises Monday with the 2016 Grammy nominations in the theater album category. Of the five Broadway cast recordings recognized, four had racked up wins at the Tony Awards this year.

The fifth was the hip-hop musical "Hamilton," which premiered on Broadway at Richard Rodgers Theatre too late to compete in the 2015 Tonys. The album, however, was released within the Grammys' eligibility period. The production, which began off-Broadway at the Public Theater, is inspired by Ron Chernow's book "Alexander Hamilton." The show pairs the trials and tribulations of 18th century American rebels with 21st music by composer and lyricist Lin-Manuel Miranda, who incorporates elements of R&B and jazz.

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Members of the Recording Academy also nominated the cast album of "Fun Home." The Broadway production, which had its world premiere at New York's Public Theater, earned five Tony Awards including best musical. It's based on Alison Bechdel's 2006 graphic memoir about growing up in an eccentric family that runs a funeral home. "Fun Home" also won the Tony for book of a musical, and Jeanine Tesori and Lisa Kron made history as the first female writing team to win original score.

Cast recordings of "The King and I" and "An American in Paris" earned Grammy nominations as well. Each Broadway production won four 2015 Tony Awards. "King," the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical based on Margaret Landon's book "Anna and the King of Siam," opened at New York's Vivian Beaumont Theater. It won the Tony for revival of a musical. "American," which opened at Broadway's Palace Theater and garnered attention for its lavish dance numbers, is an updated version of a 1951 Oscar-winning film about a romance between a French waitress and a former American soldier after World War II. It took home the Tonys for choreography and orchestrations, among other awards.

"Something Rotten!" also scored a Grammy nomination. The musical comedy, which opened at the St. James Theatre, is set in the 1590s. It follows the antics of two brothers competing in the theatrical world with a popular playwright of the day, William Shakespeare. The production received 10 Tony nominations and won one -- performance by an actor in a featured role in a musical, for Christian Borle.

The 58th Grammys take place at Staples Center in Los Angeles on Feb. 15.

Follow me on Twitter: @debvankin  

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