Tony Nominations For 3 Westporters

The Tony Award nominations were announced moments ago — and a trio of former Staples Players standouts work on shows that could win.

Justin Paul

Justin Paul

Justin Paul (Staples Class of 2003) and his writing partner, Benj Pasek, were nominated for Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) Written for the Theatre, for their work on “A Christmas Story, The Musical.” Their competition is “Hands on a Hardbody, “Kinky Boots” and “Matilda the Musical.”

Gina Rattan ’04 is associate director of “Rogers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella.” It’s up for Best Revival of a Musical, going against “Annie,” “The Mystery of Edwin Drood” and “Pippin.”

Michael Altbaum (Staples ’02) is assistant company manager for “Matilda the Musical.” It vies for “Best Musical,” with “Bring It On: The Musical,” “A Christmas Story, The Musical” and “Kinky Boots.”

Gina Rattan

Gina Rattan

The winners will be announced on Sunday, June 9 at Radio City Music Hall (and televised live on CBS).

Justin, Gina and Michael should have a great time — and will greet each other warmly.

All 3 were together for a year at Staples. In addition, Justin and Gina had wonderful theater careers just a year apart at the University of Michigan.

PS: This just in! Kate Bosch (Staples ’05) is a set painter for the Huntington Theatre Company of Boston — which will receive the Regional Theatre Tony at the June 9 awards ceremony.

7 responses to “Tony Nominations For 3 Westporters

  1. Very cool! Congrats to all.

  2. I know Staples Players alums have had a lot of success in the world of professional theatre but is this the first Tony nomination for a Staples alum? Perhaps David Roth knows the answer. Thanks.

  3. Joanne Avery

    My exact response: Very Cool! Tells me Staples still has amazing drama and music programs. Al Pia could have inspired anyone and a team of other talented music and dance professionals was in place even back in the 70’s. Congratulations to all three Tony nominees and Good Luck!

  4. Steve Stein

    We have been going to plays at Staples since their production of “Stalag 17” in the early 1980’s – and we never miss the opportunity to take our grandkids to the recent Staples players shows!! The productions are amazing and always of BROADWAY caliber!!

    By the way- The recent Long Lots production of “Peter Pan” was great (reported to me by our daughter and grand daughters)!!

  5. Fred-
    We are so proud of all of our alumni, especially Justin Paul. Justin actually is NOT the first Staples Players Alum to receive a Tony nomination. David Marshall Grant (who was President of Players in 1972-1973) received a nomination as Best Actor in 1994 for ANGELS IN AMERICA. There may be other alums to have been nominated but he is the first that came to mind. You can find out more about Players’ fantastic alumni at
    This section of the site is a work in progress and we welcome updates and suggestions!
    By the way- Here is a photo of Justin at the Tony Nomination Reception:

  6. Update: Michael Hayden, who served as President of Staples Players in 1981-1982 was nominated for Best Supporting Actor for JUDGEMENT AT NUREMBERG in 2001.

  7. Fred Cantor

    David, thanks for the info.