Tony Nominees Reaching New Heights

Nikki M. James lights up the Empire State Building as she enjoys the excitement leading to the Broadway awards.

Livingston has reason to watch the 65th Tony Awards on Sunday night: Two are up for awards for their work in The Book of Mormon.

Mormon is expected to dominate the awards ceremony at the Beacon Theater in New York. And Nikki M. James, an actress who grew up on Livingston stages, is enjoying every minute.

Earlier this week, the pre-Tony buzz had her scaling new heights to the top of the Empire State Building for a photo shoot with some of the other nominated stars of this season’s Broadway hits.

“I keep getting introduced as a Tony nominee, which is amazing. I can’t get enough of hearing that,” James told Speakeasy, the Wall Street Journal blog.

Stephen Oremus, the show's musical director, was nominated with Larry Hochman for best orchestrations for The Book of Mormon.

Oremus also appeared on the LHS stage. He has an impressive list of credentials, including music supervisor/arranger of Wicked, music supervisor/vocal arranger/orchestrator of Avenue Q, music supervisor/vocal arranger/co-orchestrator of All Shook Up; and vocal arranger of High Fidelity. He is a graduate of the Berklee College of Music in Boston. 

The Book of Mormon has been an unlikely hit about two Mormon missionaries who find more than they bargained for in Africa. It nabbed a leading 14 Tony Award nominations.

earned her nomination for best performance by an actress in a featured role in a musical. She plays the role of Nabalungi, a young African girl swept up in a promise of hope and salvation.

In recent interviews, she tells how she set her mind on becoming an actress at age 12 and spent $75 from babysitting money to buy her first headshots. She shined on the LHS stage and went on to graduate from NYU’s Tisch School, receiving a BFA in drama. 

She made her Broadway debut in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, appeared in All Shook Up, and received critical acclaim when she appeared opposite Christopher Plumber at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival playing Cleopatra to Plummer’s Caesar. 

Her mom will join her at the Tony Awards. "My mom is my hero," she says. Her other big champion, her father, died while she was in high school, though James told CBS News that she feels his presence every day and sings in his honor every night.

"I can't rule out the fact that he had something to say up there for me," she says. "I think that naive arrogance that I had as a 12-year-old is a testament to my parents always telling me that I was the best at everything I did. So my dad gets to travel with me every day. He's like an angel on my shoulder. I'm sure he'll be there."

Thank you to Laurence Agron, a member of the , who contributed these photos of Nikki M. James. The photographer had the opportunity to take photos of James and some of the other Tony nominees on June 8 at the Observatory in the Empire State Building.

The Tony Awards will be broadcast live, from the Beacon Theatre on CBS, Sunday, 8-11 p.m.


Bob Daniel June 12, 2011 at 11:29 PM
Watch Tony awards 2011 Online at http://www.movies-tvshowsonline.com/tony-awards-2011/ With this, you will also get unlimited access to watch any event live at any point of time in future and that all at only $49.95 for lifetime
Marilyn Joyce Lehren June 13, 2011 at 12:24 AM
First Tony Awards in and Livingston has a winner: Stephen Oremus (LHS Class of '89) and Larry Hochman win for Best Orchestration for The Book of Mormon.
Marilyn Joyce Lehren June 13, 2011 at 01:04 AM
And a win for Nikki M. James! Congratulations.


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