SpongeBob, Mean Girls up for Tonys

The theater community honors the newest class of Tony nominees.
Musical SpongeBob SquarePants (right) is based on Nickelodeon's animated television series about underwater sea creatures.
Musical SpongeBob SquarePants (right) is based on Nickelodeon's animated television series about underwater sea creatures.PHOTO: NYTIMES

NEW YORK • The box-office magic of Tony Awards glory was bestowed on Tuesday on Mean Girls and SpongeBob SquarePants, as these new musicals led nominations for Broadway's highest honours.

Mean Girls, Tina Fey's musical adaptation of her 2004 film about high-school social dynamics, and the eye-popping SpongeBob, based on Nickelodeon's animated television series about underwater sea creatures, each earned 12 nods.

Both are spearheaded by cultural powerhouses: Fey is one of the United States' most well-liked comedic writers and performers, and SpongeBob is the first Broadway venture led by Nickelodeon, the children's cable network.

The Band's Visit - an elegiac musical adapted from a fictional 2007 Israeli film about what happens when an Egyptian police band becomes stranded for a night in an Israeli desert town - had 11 nominations.

Harry Potter And The Cursed Child, the two-part stage sequel to the popular J.K. Rowling franchise, led all new plays with 10 nominations, including an unusual one, for Best Choreography, a category typically reserved for musicals.

Mean Girls, SpongeBob and Harry Potter are among numerous big brands that have dominated a season whose new shows have also included Disney's Frozen and Summer: The Donna Summer Musical.

The nominators also showered affection on acclaimed productions. A revival of Angels In America got 11 nominations, including Best Actor for Andrew Garfield. A revival of Carousel also rounded up 11 nominations and a revival of My Fair Lady picked up 10.

Mean Girls, SpongeBob and The Band's Visit will vie with Frozen for Best Musical, while Harry Potter And The Cursed Child will be up against Claire van Kampen's Farinelli And The King, Lucy Kirkwood's The Children, Ayad Akhtar's Junk and John Leguizamo's Latin History For Morons for the title of Best Play.

On Tuesday, two special Tonys to Bruce Springsteen and Leguizamo were revealed. Springsteen On Broadway is one of the season's biggest hits, and Leguizamo, who appeared this season in his solo show, Latin History For Morons, is a well-liked return visitor to Broadway.

Among the other boldface names who scored nominations: Denzel Washington (Best Actor for The Iceman Cometh), Tony Shalhoub (Best Actor for The Band's Visit), Michael Cera (Best Featured Actor for Lobby Hero), Amy Schumer (Best Actress for Meteor Shower), Renee Fleming (Best Featured Actress for Carousel) and Diana Rigg (Best Featured Actress for My Fair Lady).

The winners will be announced at Radio City Music Hall on June 10.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 03, 2018, with the headline 'SpongeBob, Mean Girls up for Tonys'. Print Edition | Subscribe