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Tony Awards 2011: It's a boy's life?

Male-focused and male-written shows dominate this year's Tony nominations. Most went to Americans who have won before, changing trends that rewarded Brits and newcomers.

In this theater publicity image, Seth Numrich is shown in a scene from the 'War Horse,' at the Lincoln Center Theater in New York. A Special Tony Award recognized the Handspring Puppet Company for the artistry behind the title character.

Paul Kolnik / Lincoln Center Theater / AP / File

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The Tony nominations are in – and by the looks of it, it was a boy’s life on and off Broadway this past year. The raucous musical “The Book of Mormon” – co-written by Matt Stone and Trey Parker, the duo behind TV’s raunchy “South Park” – led the pack with 14 nods, followed by “The Scottsboro Boys,” with 12, despite having closed early in the season.

“War Horse,” a British import about a boy and his pony, scored a special recognition for its eye-popping use of puppetry in bringing the lead equine character to life.

But despite the glaring deficit of women, particularly in the writing category, the nominations reveal heartening trends, especially in the musical theater realm, says Robert Meffe, director of the BFA musical theater program at Pace University.

For one, they've gone native.

In the musical categories, especially for best musical, Professor Meffe sees a new and exciting trend in that the four new musicals were written by established American musical theater composers. Each of these composers has won Tony Awards for their previous shows, he points out via email.


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