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Laura Bell Bundy realized her resume had changed forever when friends started text messaging her with the phrase, "Tony-nominated actress Laura Bell Bundy."
"How crazy is that," she exclaimed, making her way down Broadway Tuesday afternoon.
In April, Laura Bell Bundy realized her dream of originating a leading role in a Broadway musical, playing Elle Woods in the musical version of Legally Blonde. Tuesday morning, she came one step closer to her dream of winning a Tony Award, though she acknowledges what everyone else seems to believe: When the prizes are handed out June 10, Christine Ebersole will walk off with the hardware for best leading actress in a musical for Grey Gardens.
But to even get the nomination, Bundy had some stiff competition from experienced and previously honored women. The other nominees for leading actress in a musical are Ebersole, Donna Murphy for LoveMusik, Audra McDonald for 110 in the Shade, and Debra Monk for Curtains.
"The company I'm in is amazing," Bundy said this afternoon. "Every single woman has already won a Tony Award, that I'm in this category with."
And several lauded actors were left out of the running, including Kristin Chenoweth, who was eligible for The Apple Tree. Before Blonde opened, Bundy said she knew this was a very competitive year for women, which prompted her to try to put the Tony nominations out of her mind.
"I had sort of let it go," Bundy, 26, said. "I had said, if it's meant to be, it will happen. My time will come eventually. I'm going to be in this business a long time, doing theater a long time. It would be nice, but every show is starring a woman this year, and not just any old woman -- very talented women.
"I had tried to emotionally detach from it . . . but please, it's always nice, right? Let's be honest. It's like a dream come true."
Hearing her name annouced promted Bundy run around her apartement squealing like a 10-year-old girl, she says.
Then came phone calls from Tony-winning friends such as Hairspray star Marissa Jaret Winokur saying, "welcome to the club."
To top it all off, today is Bundy's mother's birthday.
In an e-mail titled, "I am the happiest mom in the world right now," Lorna Bundy-Jones wrote, "I am 53 years old today and what a birthday present."
"That's my lucky number," Bundy said of her mom's age. "I got her a pink nano iPod," which will of course contain the Legally Blonde cast recording once it's completed.
Bundy's joy will have to tempered a bit by the snub of Legally Blonde in the best musical category.
"It is a big bummer to me that the show did not get nominated and that Jerry Mitchell didn't get it for director, because his work is amazing," Bundy said.
That means that the show will not have a showcase during the awards telecast on CBS. Best musical nominees perform a number during the Tony telecast. The best musical nominees are Curtains, Grey Gardens, Mary Poppins and Spring Awakening.
Blonde, which received seven nominations, has the strange distinction of being shut out of the top category, while it was nominated for best original score of a musical (Laurence O'Keefe and Nell Benjamin) and best book of a musical (Heather Hach). Mary Poppins, which seems to be a bit of a surprise best musical nominee, was the odd show out of the score and book categories. Blonde's other nominations include best featured actor in a musical (Christian Borle), best featured actress (Orfeh), best choreography (Jerry Mitchell), and best costume design (Gregg Barnes).
Spring Awakening was the leading nominee in the musical category, with 11 nominations. Tom Stoppard's The Coast of Utopia was the leading nominee among plays with 10. For a complete list of nominees, click here.