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Allen High School, Collin College Alumnus Brian J. Smith Earns Tony Award Nomination

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Outside of New York City, those of us who care about the Tony Awards are few and far between. But real theater nerds aren't that different than movie enthusiasts or sports fans and today we started building our brackets. Because today is Tony nomination day. Sure, you may not have seen even a small fraction of the shows or performances on this list, but you can still get in the spirit of competition. The New York Times even broke down the nominations by show on the arts blog this morning and created an interactive ballot so you can really get hyped. Besides, you're sure to see a few names on this list you recognize. Neil Patrick Harris, for example.

There's only one actor on this list that you just have to choose and that is hometown boy, Brian J. Smith. He's nominated for his performance as The Gentleman Caller in Tennessee Williams' masterpiece, The Glass Menagerie. Smith is an alumni of Allen High School and Collin College, which has been the training ground for many actors that go on to attend prestigious schools and earn leading roles in Broadway shows. Since the beginning of his career, Dallas Observer's theater critic Elaine Liner has kept a watchful eye on Smith, describing him as a young John Malkovich and predicting great things from him. Earlier this year, she interviewed Smith about his role in Menagerie, which you can read here.

On another hometown note, best new musical nomination, After Midnight, stars former Dallas Theater Center Resident Company member Cedric Neal. Maybe add that one to your bracket as well.

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