‘SpongeBob,’ ‘Mean Girls’ Lead 2018 Tony Award Nominations

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Photo Source: “SpongeBob SquarePants”: Joan Marcus

The 72nd annual Tony Awards will include wizards, sponges, angels, and mean girls, all competing for theater’s top accolades.

Announced May 1 by Leslie Odom Jr. and Katharine McPhee not far from Broadway, the list of 2018 Tony nominees was led by two new musicals, “SpongeBob SquarePants” and “Mean Girls,” both receiving 12 nods. “The Band’s Visit,” plus revivals “Carousel” and “Angels in America” earned 11; the latter broke the record for most Tony-nominated play in history.

While the categories for leading actress in a play (Glenda Jackson for “Three Tall Women,” Condola Rashad for “Saint Joan,” Lauren Ridloff for “Children of a Lesser God,” and Amy Schumer for “Meteor Shower”) and leading actor in a musical (Harry Hadden-Paton for “My Fair Lady,” Joshua Henry for “Carousel,” Tony Shalhoub for “The Band’s Visit,” and Ethan Slater for “SpongeBob”) included only four nominees instead of the usual five, leading actress in a musical has a surprise six nominees: Lauren Ambrose for “My Fair Lady,” Hailey Kilgore for “Once On This Island,” LaChanze for “Summer: The Donna Summer Musical,” Katrina Lenk for “The Band’s Visit,” Taylor Louderman for “Mean Girls,” and Jessie Mueller for “Carousel.”

Among the play acting nominees are Oscar winners Jackson, Mark Rylance for “Farinelli and the King,” and Denzel Washington for “The Iceman Cometh.” This year’s nominees for Best New Play are Jack Thorne’s “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts One and Two” (which topped the play nominations with 10), Lucy Kirkwood’s “The Children,” Claire van Kampen’s “Farinelli and the King,” Ayad Akhtar’s “Junk,” and John Leguizamo’s “Latin History for Morons.” It was also revealed that Special Tony Awards will go to both Leguizamo, recognizing his commitment to theatrical storytelling, and Bruce Springsteen, whose “Springsteen on Broadway” is still dazzling audiences.

Your Official 2018 NYC Theater Awards Calendar

As was recently announced, La MaMa E.T.C. of New York City will be the recipient of the 2018 Regional Theatre Tony Award. “La MaMA E.T.C. is a staple of the New York theatre scene,” said Broadway League President Charlotte St. Martin and American Theatre Wing President Heather Hitchens in a statement. “It is an exciting space where artists can grow, create and push boundaries, and we are thrilled to be able to honor them this year.” The honor, which includes a grant of $25,000, has been presented to some of the country’s best regional theater companies.

Receiving the annual awards for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre are Chita Rivera and Andrew Lloyd Webber. The Isabelle Stevenson Tony Award, honoring humanitarian or charitable work, will go to Nick Scandalios. Photographer Sara Krulwich, costume beading designer Bessie Nelson, and the Ernest Winzer Cleaners will also be receiving special Tonys. Selecting the nominees was an independent committee of 43 theater professionals appointed by the Tony Awards Administration Committee.

Broadway’s biggest night, presented by the Broadway League and the American Theatre Wing, will be held at Radio City Music Hall June 10, broadcast on CBS. This year’s co-hosts are Tony nominees Sara Bareilles and Josh Groban. For a full list of nominees, click here. For more on the 72nd Antoinette Perry Awards, visit backstage.com/awards-season.

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