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Tony nominations 2015: Theater critic Charles McNulty fields your questions

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The nominations for the 2015 Tony Awards are out, with the musicals "An American in Paris" and "Fun Home" leading with a dozen nominations apiece , and the plays "Wolf Hall Parts 1 and 2" and "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time" taking eight and six nominations respectively. Los Angeles Times theater critic Charles McNulty will be answering your questions about the Tony nominations today. Just tweet your questions at @CharlesMcNulty or use the hashtag #asklatimes, and look for the response here.

Do you think 'Fun Home' can pull off the win for best musical?

FILE - This photo provided by O&M Co shows Sydney Lucas as Small Alison, Beth Malone as Alison, and Emily Skeggs as Medium Alison in "Fun Home" at Circle in the Square Theatre in New York. The musicals "An American in Paris" and "Fun Home" each received a leading 12 Tony Award nominations on Tuesday, April 28, 2015, showing two very different sides of this Broadway season. The Tonys will be handed out at Radio City Music Hall on June 7. (Joan Marcus via AP)

FILE - This photo provided by O&M Co shows Sydney Lucas as Small Alison, Beth Malone as Alison, and Emily Skeggs as Medium Alison in “Fun Home” at Circle in the Square Theatre in New York. The musicals “An American in Paris” and “Fun Home” each received a leading 12 Tony Award nominations on Tuesday, April 28, 2015, showing two very different sides of this Broadway season. The Tonys will be handed out at Radio City Music Hall on June 7. (Joan Marcus via AP)

(Joan Marcus / O&M Co.)

A scene from "Fun Home." (Joan Marcus)

I do. “A Gentleman's Guide to Love & Murder” didn't win last year because of its touring prospect. It won because a majority of voters thought it was the best musical of the year. The Tonys are a marketing tool, but they're not just that. The art matters, and so I think “Fun Home” has an excellent shot at the award.

-- Charles McNulty

Don't you think we make way too big a deal out of the Tonys?

Yes. The best playwriting is happening off-Broadway and the best shows of this season got their start in the regional and off-Broadway theaters -- or in England, where the government still funds the arts. But Broadway still influences a good deal of the national repertoire, great work still occurs here (great acting especially), and there's a huge appetite for coverage. The Tonys are that rare time in American culture when the theater becomes popular, when the wallflower gets to waltz.

-- Charles McNulty

If you could watch any moment again from the Broadway season which would it be?

Ryan Silverman, Emily Padgett and Erin Davie in a scene from "Side Show". (Photo Credit: Joan Marcus)

Ryan Silverman, Emily Padgett and Erin Davie in a scene from “Side Show”. (Photo Credit: Joan Marcus)

(Joan Marcus / Joan Marcus)

Ryan Silverman, left, Emily Padgett and Erin Davie in a scene from "Side Show." (Joan Marcus)

Well, probably Erin Davie and Emily Padgett singing either "Who Will Love Me as I Am?" or "I Will Never Leave You” from “Side Show." But there was an unscripted moment involving a cellphone that I wish I could re-experience. Yes, an infernal cellphone. During a climactic moment in "Constellations," a very tricky play in which the actors have to repeat scenes with slight variations, a cellphone rang and rang and rang and to make matters worse, it was one of those old-fashioned rotary rings. (A vintage pest!) Jake Gyllenhaal and Ruth Wilson paused, both waiting for the noise to cease. Once it finally stopped, Gyllenhaal gave Wilson sufficient time to gather herself. He just held her for a moment, which was perfectly in character, and then they resumed. It couldn't have happened at a worse time, yet the disruption had a way of magnifying the feeling between the two actors. I thought it was such a tender, generous gesture on Gyllenhaal's behalf. It actually made me cry. Good actors use everything that happens on stage, and they were both great that afternoon.

-- Charles McNulty

Performance of the year?

Micah Stock, Megan Mullally, Rupert Grint, and Nathan Lane in a scene from Broadway's IT'S ONLY A PLAY (Photo by Joan Marcus). It's Only a Play Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre Cast List: F. Murray Abraham Matthew Broderick Stockard Channing Rupert Grint Nathan Lane Megan Mullally Micah Stock Production Credits: Jack O'Brien (Direction) Ann Roth - Costumes Scott Pask - Sets Phillip S. Rosenberg - Lighting Other Credits: Written by: Terrence McNally

Micah Stock, Megan Mullally, Rupert Grint, and Nathan Lane in a scene from Broadway’s IT’S ONLY A PLAY (Photo by Joan Marcus). It’s Only a Play Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre Cast List: F. Murray Abraham Matthew Broderick Stockard Channing Rupert Grint Nathan Lane Megan Mullally Micah Stock Production Credits: Jack O'Brien (Direction) Ann Roth - Costumes Scott Pask - Sets Phillip S. Rosenberg - Lighting Other Credits: Written by: Terrence McNally

(Joan Marcus / Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre)

A scene from "It's Only a Play." (Joan Marcus / Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre)

I still haven't seen everything yet. I'm heading to New York next week to catch up. What stands out in my memory are superb smaller performances, such as Micah Stock in "It's Only a Play" and Clare Higgins in "A Delicate Balance." I thought Alessandro Nivola's concentrated intelligence was the best thing about "The Elephant Man" revival. (Nivola's part was in some ways the play's most demanding.) In terms of lead performances, Ruth Wilson broke my heart in "Constellations," Ben Miles was a better Thomas Cromwell for my money than Mark Rylance (an actor I revere), and Carey Mulligan in "Skylight" was exquisitely and resonantly restrained. She just keeps getting better.

-- Charles McNulty

What disappointed you most about this year's Tony nominations?

David St. Louis, center, looks toward Emily Padgett and Erin Davie, right, during "Side Show" at the St. James Theatre in New York.
David St. Louis, center, looks toward Emily Padgett and Erin Davie, right, during “Side Show” at the St. James Theatre in New York.
(Joan Marcus / Associated Press)

(Joan Marcus / The O and M Company)

I'd like to have seen a little love thrown "Side Show's” way. That's a tough show, and director Bill Condon did a fabulous job balancing pizazz with heart. I also wish that Hari Dhillon, the star of "Disgraced," had received a nomination. I hate to keep picking on Bradley Cooper, but I don't think he would have been nominated without his movie star fame.

-- Charles McNulty

'Wolf Hall': Read the review

Ben Miles plays Thomas Cromwell to Lydia Leonard’s Anne Boleyn in the RSC production of “Wolf Hall.”

Ben Miles plays Thomas Cromwell to Lydia Leonard’s Anne Boleyn in the RSC production of “Wolf Hall.”

(Johan Persson, AP)

Johan Persson / AP

As Thomas Cromwell, the Machiavellian mastermind behind Henry VIII, Ben Miles surveys the comings and goings at court with a watchful reserve that shifts imperceptibly into murderous stealth.

A survivor who happens also to be a ruthless tactician, he moves like a shark whose fin is spotted by a swimmer only as teeth are clamping down on his leg.

-- Charles McNulty

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ICYMI: Elisabeth Moss and Carey Mulligan's shared sensibility

In "Skylight," Carey Mulligan plays a woman trying to stay true to her principles regardless of the costs.
In “Skylight,” Carey Mulligan plays a woman trying to stay true to her principles regardless of the costs.
(John Haynes / AP)

John Haynes / AP

Elisabeth Moss in "The Heidi Chronicles" and Carey Mulligan in "Skylight" (pictured) make politics personal.

Both actresses were nominated for Tonys in the category of best performance by an actress in a leading role in a play on Tuesday.

-- Charles McNulty

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