NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – The nominees for Best Musical include stage productions based on movies, as well as a legendary singing group.

But the show with the most nominations is a modern day take on Greek mythology.

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CBS2’s Dick Brennan takes a look at the creative process to get to Broadway.


It’s an old tale: In Hadestown, nominated for 14 Tonys, the cast brings the story of the underworld to life.

The musical’s journey was 13 years in the making, in what began as a concept album.

“I’m thrilled! I never expected it and I’m so grateful on behalf of myself and the many, many artists who have come together to make this show happen over many years,” said nominee Anais Mitchell.

Hadestown’s creative team is led by three women. Mitchell wrote the book, music and lyrics.

“Rachel Chavkin and Rachel Hauck are just so great. So intuitive about how to create a world that people want to be in for a couple of hours,” Mitchell said.

“I love doing new shows. It’s always been sort of my artistic turn on and my bread and butter in the last few years,” said Amber Gray, who is a featured actress nominee for “Hadestown.”

From the fateful to the familiar and the songs millions know and love.

“Ain’t Too Proud: The Life and Times of the Temptations” is nominated for 12 Tonys. It takes a keen eye from the creative team to hit all the right notes when retelling the Temptations’ life stories.

“I just have to tell the kind of story that I know I want to tell, with the kind of music I know I’m inspired by,” said Dominque Morisseau, Best Book nominee for “Ain’t Too Proud.”

“So a lot of times we will weave several scenes in one song or several songs in one scene. And it kind of makes it feel less like a musical and more like a play,” said Derrick Baskin, leading actor nominee for “Ain’t Too Proud.”

“This is a remarkable group of artists. The actors are spectacular,” said Des McAnuff, director nominee for “Ain’t Too Proud.”

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“Well this is full of real triple threats and it’s a dying form but I’m glad we’re getting an opportunity to showcase their talents. And there’s only 6 of them but they all have to sing and dance,” said “Ain’t Too Proud” choreography nominee Sergio Trujillo.

“The thing I’ve had to work the hardest for is the vocals. I’m playing David Ruffin and he has a sound that we all know is so harsh and almost like an ugly beauty,” said “Ain’t Too Proud” featured actor nominee Ephraim Sykes.

From the film to the stage, the musical comedy “Tootsie” has 11 nominations, including lead actor Santino Fontana.

“At the heart of this is an incredible story. A guy who was told he could no longer do the one thing he loves more than anything. What do you do if the world tells you that?” said Robert Horn, Best Book nominee for “Tootsie.”

“It’s not that easy to do comedy. It’s not easy to write and it’s not easy to perform, and they’re all at the top of their game,” said David Yazbek, nominated for music & lyrics for “Tootsie.”

“And that’s what I think is the heart of the show is it’s so funny. But it’s also just about these people that we can relate to especially as actors,” said Lilli Cooper, featured actress nominee for “Tootsie.”

“Beetlejuice” is another movie adaptation. With eight Tony nominations, the Best Musical nominee is creepy and courageous.

“This was a different thing. It’s called ‘Beetlejuice,’ it has all the characters in it, but the story we’re telling is very different, very relatable, has a really big beating emotional heart at the center of it,” said leading actor nominee Alex Brightman.

Making the set magical is the brainchild of designer David Korins.

“It’s for sure the most complicated set design I have ever done. And I think it’s the most complicated set design I have ever seen. It is a massive show. It has multiple worlds, multiple sets and every single piece of scenery has some lighting trick, some illusions, some magic trick, some puppet, some crazy thing happening in it. And then we try and make it feel like none of that exists. And we have a kind of do it yourself quality to it. But it has been such a thrill ride,” Korins said.

“The Prom” is the final show nominated as Best Musical. It has seven Tony nominations, including leading actress Caitlin Kinnunen.

“They did such a great job of writing Emma honestly and she’s such a real character and people connect with that and people are coming up to me and saying they feel seen for the first time,” Kinnunen said. “Part of what I love so much about the show is this balance between the two worlds but then there’s always this nugget of gold and heart in the middle of it and you leave crying the happiest of tears.”

To see more interviews with Tony nominees, click here.

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And don’t forget to watch the Tony Awards, hosted by James Corden, live Sunday night at 8 p.m. on CBS2.