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Tough choices for the Tonys

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What emerged was one of the most memorable seasons on Broadway in recent years, which will be celebrated on June 7 with the 63rd annual Tony awards honoring the best and brightest of the 2008-09 season.

With economic storm clouds gathering, black comedy was in abundance. Look no further than two of the top nominees in the most competitive Tony category, Best Revival of a Play: the first Broadway remounting of Beckett's classic "Waiting for Godot" in more than 50 years (starring Nathan Lane, Bill Irwin, and John Goodman) and Alan Ayckbourn's 1970s trilogy, "The Norman Conquests." One of the most important artistic works of the 20th century, "Godot" combines the silly and the somber in its story of a couple of bedraggled hobos waxing nonsensical and poetical while facing the existential void. And while "The Norman Conquests" trilogy is ostensibly a sex farce about two characters' attempt to sneak off for a "dirty weekend" in the country, its ensemble of damaged and self-involved souls grasp for meaningful connection and a respite from the mire of their lives. As the three plays unfold, the hopes, unfulfilled dreams, and regrets of the characters are illuminated in increasingly profound ways.

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