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Norton nominations announced

April 14, 2011

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The American Repertory Theater and ArtsEmerson are positioned for big wins on May 23, when the Boston Theater Critics Association holds the 29th annual Elliot Norton Awards at the Paramount Theatre.

The ART garnered 11 award nominations for productions of “Johnny Baseball,’’ “Cabaret,’’ “R. Buckminster Fuller: The History (and Mystery) of the Universe,’’ “Prometheus Bound,’’ and “The Blue Flower,’’ while ArtsEmerson earned nine nominations for “Fraulein Maria,’’ “Fragments,’’ “Petrushka,’’ “The Merchant of Venice,’’ and “The Select (The Sun Also Rises).’’

Three other companies — Broadway Across America, the Huntington Theatre Company, and Lyric Stage Company — earned six nominations each, while SpeakEasy Stage Company and Company One garnered five nominations each.

Diane Paulus, Will Pomerantz, and Darko Tresnjak will vie for the award for outstanding director at a large theater, with David R. Gammons, Spiro Veloudos and Courtney O’Connor, and Paul Daigneault competing for the same prize in the midsize-theater category. The nominees for outstanding actor and actress at large theaters were F. Murray Abraham, Noah Bean, Thomas Derrah, Estelle Parsons, Kate MacCluggage, and Tonye Patano.

Scott Edmiston, a veteran director of more than 50 New England productions who also serves as director of the Office of the Arts at Brandeis University, will receive the Norton prize for sustained excellence, and the Wheelock Family Theatre will receive a special citation in honor of its 30th anniversary.

In the past, the Norton Awards have been attended by, among others, Julie Harris, Elaine Stritch, Irene Worth, and Al Pacino. The committee is waiting to hear back from potential celebrity attendees, according to spokeswoman Joanne Barrett.

For a complete list of nominees, visit www.nortonawardsboston.com.

GEOFF EDGERS