The nominees for the Tony Awards were announced to recognize the best of what Broadway has to offer over the last year, and this group features an amazing array of talent on the NYC stage - bringing 5 good reasons for you to plan a trek to the theater district.

1) Philip Seymour Hoffman -- How good of an actor is Hoffman?  He played a baseball guy convincingly, and he does not look like he belongs in uniform (playing former Oakland A's manager Art Howe in the Oscar nominated Moneyball).  The former Academy Award winner (for portraying Truman Capote) a 3-time nominee has been the big buzz upon his arrival onto the Broadway stage for the revival of Death Of A Salesman.  His run ends in June, so act fast to see the Tony nominee for Best Actor-Lead Role in a Play (sales peaked at the Barrymore Theater this past week approaching $1 Million at the box office)

2) Porgy and Bess -- The musical earned 10 Tony Award nominations yesterday, and this musical revival brings 2 stars with interesting stories: Audra McDonald had been one of the key members of the ensemble cast of Private Practice, but changes for the show brought the former 4-time Tony Award winner back to her home on Broadway (and maybe a record tying 5th Tony), and confusion for the ABC show that may not make it to Season 6.  David Alan Grier has never seemed to get the respect he deserves for his 90's run on In Living Color, but this comedic talent has been branching out and showing he can do it all, including earn a Tony nomination in a musical.  Find out more about this wonderful production at the Richard Rogers Theater.

3) Evita -- Don't cry for Ricky Martin.  He was not a Tony nominee, but the production revival did.  The pressure of this play was immense because the original Broadway run featured 2 legends of the stage - Patti Lupone (who won a Tony for playing the lead) and Mandy Patinkin (also won the Tony for playing Che').  Evita has broken $10 Million at the box office in 7 weeks, making it the hottest ticket in NYC right now.  Evita is at The Marquis Theater.

4) The Lion King -- Something for the whole family!  You know the animated movie, now have your kids enjoy the stage spectacle.  The show is averaging about $2 Million at the box office weekly this year (ranking #1 on Broadway).  The Lion King is at The Minskoff Theater (and may be there for another several years at this rate).

5) Ellen's Stardust Diner -- There are many wonderful dining options around all these amazing theaters, but this one brings you the singing wait staff, and a menu with something for everyone.  My girlfriend and her daughter give this a major thumbs up for atmosphere, fun, and good food that will not leave you hungry.