The American Theatre Wing announced its nominees for the 68th annual Tony Awards yesterday. Whether you are counting down the days to watch Hugh Jackman wear a tux host the show on June 8 or were outraged by the Wing’s choices, the razzle dazzle event is always highly anticipated (think the Super Bowl, but with jazz hands).

This year, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder appears to be the crowd favorite, receiving a whopping ten nominations yesterday, including one for Best Musical and two for Best Leading Actor in a Musical. Gentleman’s Guide’s nomination status follows suit to 2013’s Best Musical winner Kinky Boots, which received six Tony Awards. Kinky’s Billy Porter (aka Miss Lola) took one of those six home last year. Porter recently paid a visit on OutQ to discuss his new album, Billy’s Back on Broadway, and Kinky’s success one year later (the show is currently grossing over $1 million each week).

“I used Kinky Boots as a springboard for the expansion of my life. It’s representative of all the work up until now. I’m living in the moment that I’m in. I think we live in a culture that’s always about ‘What’s next?'” Porter said. “I think what I’m doing [right now] is actually something that should be honored… I’m paying my rent on time for the first time in 13 years.”

Porter has received unprecedented recognition playing the fabulous Lola on the Great White Way. Larry Flick asked Porter how he avoided bitterness during his long strife in the entertainment industry pre-Kinky.

“My mother always says and the Bible says, ‘The race is not given to the swift nor is it given to the strong, but [to] the one who endures to the end,'” Porter said. “It simply was THAT… I can look back at that and know that it wasn’t my time – yet. The world was not ready for me yet… I had to wait, and I had to fight, and I had to struggle, and I had to do the work and put the time in.”

Flick also recently sat down with Wicked, 9 to 5, and Smash star Megan Hilty. Though Smash was cancelled after a dismal run on NBC, the musical drama showed off Hilty’s powerful pipes on a massive scale. On May 9, Hilty will be featured as the voice of China Princess in the animated film Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return.

“Animation in general is super fun for us musical theater people because we are trained to use our voices to tell a story,” Hilty said. “Going into a booth and having no limits and being able to try anything is really artistically fulfilling.”

Neil Patrick Harris may be breaking his Tony-Award-hosting streak for Hedwig and the Angry Inch; however, we all hope Hilty makes another hilarious appearance at the star-studded event this year. Watch Hilty’s uproarious performance from the 2013 Tony Awards below!

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