accessAtlanta

City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP
City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP

Atlantan Kenny Leon gets best-director Tony Award nomination

KennyLeon

BY HOWARD POUSNER / AJC

Atlanta-based director Kenny Leon has received a best-director Tony Award nomination for his  revival of  “A Raisin in the Sun.”

The play, on the boards through June 15 at Ethel Barrymore Theatre with Denzel Washington as Walter Younger, received five nominations, announced Tuesday morning. The other four:

  • best revival of a play
  • best performance by an actress in a leading role in a play, for LaTanya Richardson Jackson (the one-time Atlantan who is married to Samuel L. Jackson)
  • best performance by an actress in a featured role in a play, for Anika Noni Rose
  • best performance by an actress in a featured role in a play, for Sophie Okonedo

Leon was nominated for a best director Tony in 2010 for his revival of August Wilson’s “Fences,” also starring Washington. He didn’t win but Washington and Viola Davis took home best actor and actress trophies.

The director also is readying a Broadway premiere of “Holler If Ya Hear Me,” featuring the songs of the late Atlantan Tupac Shakur. The musical is to open June 19 at the Palace Theatre.

“I’m humbled and grateful,” Leon said in a statement to the AJC. “It’s been an amazing year. So proud of the production and especially proud of the women and LaTanya. Denzel made it all work and is is indeed an American treasure. Onwards, ‘Holler If Ya Hear Me’.”

Leon will next be seen in Atlanta in an acting role. He is scheduled to star, opposite Phylicia Rashad, in a Kenny Leon’s True Colors Theatre Company production of  ”Same Time Next Year,”  July 8 through Aug. 3 at 14th St. Playhouse.

The Tony Awards will air 8 p.m. June 8 on CBS.

11 comments Add your comment

Esther James

April 29th, 2014
9:07 am

Congratulations, Kenny Leon!!

Valerie Billings

April 29th, 2014
10:08 am

Congrats Kenny! Well deserved!

Janice Carll

April 29th, 2014
10:40 am

Excellent choice, hope you get the award. I have heard wonderful things about you.

Mel Vanterpool

April 29th, 2014
11:22 am

Kenny: Truck loads of Kudos to you and all the wonderful players. Continue the great work! We hear you and we’re “Hollering!!”

Elouise Wilson Jefferson

April 29th, 2014
11:44 am

I’m hearing all kinds of good things about you and your work as a director,congratulation on the nomination. I’m hoping that you will have a winner this time around, but I still love you.

ruth and john stockinger

April 29th, 2014
1:58 pm

dear Kenny – what exciting news!!! we’ll be watching the tony’s on 6/8! you’re always #1 in our book!! MANY CONGRATULATIONS!!!

Cheryl

April 29th, 2014
6:23 pm

Cheers to you, Kenny! Terrific news on being nominated for your wonderful work; hard work, talent, vision, dedication and discipline–not to mention an open heart: you’ve got it all and are deserving of this recognition and much more. Congratulations!

Miriam & Dr. Ted Levitas

April 29th, 2014
10:36 pm

“Best Director Tony Award” nomination to you, Kenny,because YOU ARE THE BEST!
Love,
Us

Marie

April 30th, 2014
6:01 am

Congratulations Kenny!!! Hope you win because you deserve it. Will definitely be seeing you in Atlanta at the 14th Street Playhouse with Phylicia Rashad. Can’t wait.

Ron Berman

April 30th, 2014
3:53 pm

Hi Kenny- Tried to contact you. No valid e-mail address. We met last year @ Bklyn HS of Performing Arts with Sam L., Angela B. and Chancellor Walcott. Wife M. is Principal. Please e-mail me- Have a super project and can use you help- TY Ron

Rhonda Bellamy Hodge

May 3rd, 2014
9:42 pm

Congrats classmate – Class of ‘79 Clark College. Hoping to see you in one of your productions/roles this year. I’ve enjoyed following your career over the years and recent interviews on http://www.NPR.org. Best wishes for your continued success.