The 2016 Tony Awards are almost here, and some of the year's most talked-about shows are musicals. From Hamilton to Waitress, lyrical hits have taken over Broadway, turning their shining stars into Tonys nominees. So who is in the race for Lead Actress in a Musical? Everyone from a five-time Tony nominee to a young star making her Broadway debut.
Theater veterans and Tony Award winners Jessie Mueller (Waitress) and Laura Benanti (She Loves Me) have their hat in the ring, and they're facing fierce competition from three up-and-comers who have earned their first nod.
Cynthia Erivo earned a nomination for her leading role as Celie in The Color Purple, Carmen Cusack is awing critics in Bright Star, and Phillipa Soo has made a name for herself as Eliza Hamilton in the pop culture sensation, Hamilton.
Before the awards are handed out on June 12, here's everything you need to know about the five nominees for lead actress in a musical.