The low-tech musical "Once," based on the love story of a Czech flower seller and an Irish street musician in Dublin, got a leading 11 Tony Award nominations Tuesday, proving sentiment can sway nominators just as much as special effects.
Two other musicals — "The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess" and "Nice Work If You Can Get It" — each got 10 nominations as the Tony committee spread the wealth. Unlike last year's "The Book of Mormon," no monster single hit dominated the nominations.
"Peter and the Starcatcher," a play about the origins of Peter Pan, earned nine nominations and the now-closed revival of "Follies" and the new Disney musical "Newsies" got eight nods each.
"Other Desert Cities," a play by Jon Robin Baitz that moved to Broadway after critical acclaim at Lincoln Center Theater, earned five nominations, including best play.
"My psychology is such that I can't jump up and down. I suppose that makes me Jewish and of the theater," he said after the announcement.
"Once," with songs by Marketa Irglova and Glen Hansard, was originally a low-budget movie made for about $150,000. The film earned $20 million, thanks in part to an original score that included the sublime, 2007 Oscar-winning song, "Falling Slowly."
The musical captured the film's spirit and earned Steve Kazee and Cristin Milioti best actor nominations. It also earned nods for best scenic design, best book of a musical and Elizabeth A. Davis got best performance by an actress in a featured role, among other nods.
The Tony Awards will be broadcast on CBS from the Beacon Theatre on June 10. Neil Patrick Harris, the star of "How I Met Your Mother," will be the host.
Broadway's most expensive show, the $75 million "Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark," got only two nominations, for best scenic design and costume.
In the musical revival category, "Follies" and "The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess" will compete against two Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice works: "Jesus Christ Superstar" and "Evita."
The best leading actor in a play Tony will pit James Corden from the British import "One Man, Two Guvnors," Philip Seymour Hoffman from Arthur Miller's "Death of a Salesman," James Earl Jones from "Gore Vidal's The Best Man," Frank Langella from "Man and Boy" and John Lithgow of "The Columnist."