Tony Awards Hosts Annual Nominee Luncheon

Idina Menzel, Chris O’Dowd and Andy Karl were at the Diamond Horseshoe inside the Paramount Hotel in New York on Tuesday for the event.

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Who’s going to win the Tony Award for best musical actor this year? There’s no contest.

“Neil Patrick Harris, it’s gotta be. He’s the mayor of Broadway.” And this was coming from an actor who’s up against Harris — Andy Karl, who plays Rocky Balboa in the new musical “Rocky.” But it’s hard to argue with his line of thinking. Harris’ momentum stems not only from his performance in “Hedwig and the Angry Inch,” but also his rise to popular culture phenomenon. At 40, he’s hotter than ever — he’s Doogie Howser, he’s Barney Stinson, he’s naked on the cover of Rolling Stone.

Harris and Karl were two of the actors Tuesday afternoon at the Diamond Horseshoe inside the Paramount Hotel in New York for the annual luncheon for Tony Award nominees. The mayor of Broadway wore Hedwig’s signature blue-sparkle manicure and was there “just mingling,” he said. Idina Menzel, Chris O’Dowd, Kelli O’Hara, Sophie Okonedo, Adriane Lenox, Celia Keenan-Bolger, Jessie Mueller and Anika Noni Rose were among the others.

Menzel, a prior winner for “Wicked,” is up for the best actress award again for the musical “If/Then.”

“I’m a New York girl, and to come back to New York City after several years and do a Broadway show here — it’s everything culminating,” she said.

Awards sponsor Audemars Piguet had constructed a time capsule for the nominees to contribute items from the past Broadway season — a model boxing ring came from “Rocky,” a teal-tinged lock of hair came from “Hedwig.”

O’Dowd, starring in “Of Mice and Men” with the mayor of Instagram, James Franco, fished a furry memento out of his pocket. “It’s a mouse. I’m going to put it in there because I’m in ‘Of Mice and Men’ and I kill mice every night.” This mouse, luckily, was neither alive nor dead.

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