Entertainment & Arts

Tony Awards 2018: Mean Girls and SpongeBob lead nominations

Mean Girls on Broadway Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Tina Fey (centre) is nominated for writing Mean Girls

Broadway musicals based on Mean Girls and SpongeBob SquarePants lead the nominations for the 2018 Tony Awards.

Mean Girls, based on the 2004 film, has 12 nominations - including one for Tina Fey, who wrote both versions.

SpongeBob has taken Broadway by storm and is also up for 12 trophies.

They are ahead of Angels In America, which has 11 nominations, and Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, with 10. Both productions opened in London before transferring to New York.

Mean Girls - 12 nominations

Image copyright Getty Images

The hit film about the perils of high school cliques starred Lindsay Lohan, and the stage version opened to warm - if not rave - reviews in April.

Tina Fey is nominated for best book (IE script) of a musical, while cast members Taylor Louderman, Grey Henson and Ashley Park are up for acting prizes.

Casey Nicholaw is nominated for two awards - best direction of a musical and best choreography.

SpongeBob SquarePants: The Musical - 12 nominations

Image copyright Getty Images

Ethan Slater is up for best leading actor in a musical for playing the show's leading sponge (and doing so without any elaborate square costume or prosthetics or even yellow face paint).

That's not because of a lack of money - the show has a reported budget of $20m (£15m).

Its nominations also include one for the score, which features songs written especially by stars including John Legend, Lady Antebellum, Panic! At the Disco, Aerosmith's Steven Tyler and Joe Perry, Sara Bareilles, The Flaming Lips and Cyndi Lauper.

Angels In America - 11 nominations

Image copyright Helen Maybanks/National Theatre

Actors Andrew Garfield, Nathan Lane, Denise Gough and Susan Brown are all nominated for their roles in Tony Kushner's pioneering play, which is set amid the Aids crisis in 1980s America.

It was revived by the National Theatre in London last May before moving to Broadway this March.

The epic production is in two halves - when the play first opened, the first half won the Tony Award for best play in 1993, and the second half won the same prize the following year.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child - 10 nominations

Image copyright Charlie Gray

In its first week of previews on Broadway in April, the Harry Potter stage show smashed the box office record for a non-musical show. That follows huge success - including nine Olivier Awards - for its original run in London.

Jamie Parker (Harry), Noma Dumezweni (Hermione) and Anthony Boyle (Scorpius) - who all won Oliviers - are in with a chance of adding Tony trophies to their collections.

Writer Jack Thorne is nominated for best play, while John Tiffany is shortlisted for best director of a play.

Other notable nominees

Image copyright Getty Images
  • The Band's Visit, about Egyptian musicians stranded in a small Israeli town, and a revival of Rodgers & Hammerstein's Carousel, each have 11 nominations
  • Big names include Amy Schumer (above), who's shortlisted for her Broadway debut in comedy Meteor Shower, written by actor Steve Martin
  • Denzel Washington is up for best leading actor in a play for The Iceman Cometh, which has eight nominations overall
  • The stage adaptation of Disney's Frozen is up for three awards, including best musical

More British talent at the Tonys:

  • Farinelli and the King, which premiered at Shakespeare's Globe in London in 2015, is up for best play, with its star Mark Rylance also nominated
  • British playwright Lucy Kirkwood and actress Deborah Findlay have nods for The Children, which premiered at London's Royal Court Theatre in 2016
  • The transferred West End production of Tom Stoppard's Travesties is up for four awards, including one for actor Tom Hollander
  • Glenda Jackson is nominated for best actress in a play for her first Broadway role in 25 years - in Edward Albee's Three Tall Women
  • Dame Diana Rigg is up for her role in My Fair Lady, which also has a total of 10 nominations

The 72nd Tony Awards will be presented at Radio City Music Hall in New York on 10 June.

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