Theater nerds, like myself, wait patiently all year for the Tony Awards, an awards ceremony for everything Broadway. This past Tuesday, May 1, the nominations for the 2018 Tony Awards were released and I am prepared to give you a full break down of the biggest categories.
There are four new musicals up for Best Musical. The first musical is The Band’s Visit which tells the story of a group of Egyptian musicians who find themselves in a remote Israeli town. The locals take them in for the night allowing for their lives to impact one another bringing life to a once bland town. The Band’s Visit has 10 other nominations including Best Performance by an Actor and Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical.
The remaining three shows nominated for Best Musical have more recognizable names: Frozen, Mean Girls, SpongeBob SquarePants: The Musical. Both Mean Girls and SpongeBob SquarePants: The Musical have twelve nominations, leading the race, while Frozen is trailing behind with only three.
The next category is Best Play which has five nominated shows including The Children by Lucy Kirkwood, Farinelli and The King by Claire van Kampen, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts One and Two by Jack Thorne, Junk by Ayad Akhtar, and Latin History for Morons by John Leguizamo.
The Children by Lucy Kirkwood is a new play following two retired nuclear engineers who leave the busy life due to a devastating series of events occurring in the world. After an old friend shows up at their door, they are shocked to find out her true intentions behind her visit.
Farinelli and The King by Claire van Kampen tells the story of the Spanish King Philippe V who hires the singer Farinelli to help him cope with his insomnia. When the king begins to be captivated, Farinelli must make the decision between his keeping his career or staying alone with his king.
Coming from London there is Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts One and Two by Jack Thorne which is a continuation of the beloved Harry Potter series following Harry’s son Albus Potter as he journeys through Hogwarts. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is leading in nominations with 10.
Junk by Ayad Akhtar retells the story of a financier Robert Merkin fights to take over an iconic American manufacturing company showing how money becomes the only thing that mattered. Finally, Latin History for Morons by John Leguizamo, starring John himself, is a story about a father searching for a Latin hero for his son’s school project after discovering the absence of Latinos in his son’s American History Class.
There were only three musical revivals this season allowing My Fair Lady, Once On This Island, and Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Carousel to all leave with nominations for Best Revival of a Musical. My Fair Lady story concerns Eliza Doolittle who is a flower girl that takes voice lessons from a phonetician to become more of a lady.
Once On This Island, a favorite of the season, tells the story of two lover torn apart due to their difference in social class and the four gods of the island guide one of the lovers through a test of love against prejudice and hate to reunite the two lovers.
Lastly, Carousel follows Billy Bigelow and his love Julie Jordan. Their love results in the loss of both of their jobs, forcing Billy to participate in a robbery to provide for his lover and unborn child, and he is given the chance to make things right after the robbery goes tragically wrong. Carousel is the play with the most nominations totaling up to 11.
Best Revival of a Play is the last big category for the Tony Awards that has five nominations: Angels in America, Edward Albee's Three Tall Women, Eugene O'Neill's The Iceman Cometh, Lobby Hero, and Travesties. Angels in America, first released in 1991, tells the story of people of all different backgrounds battling through both the AIDS crisis and the Reaganite politics of 1980s America.
Angels in America has gotten 11 Tony nominations, the most nominations a play has ever received. Three Tall Women first show was in 1991 as well and uncovers the life of three women of different ages discussing their lives, gradually it is revealed that they may all be the same woman. In 1946, The Iceman Cometh is a play which a desperate denial is the biggest problem with suicide and murder shown as a reasonable choice for people who truly see the world as it is.
Lobby Hero originally premiered in 2001 and is now starring popular actors Michael Cera and Chris Evans. The story concerns a young security guard with strong ambitions as he clashes with his stern boss, an intense rookie cop and her unpredictable partner during a murder investigation as their personal and professional personas are put to the test and find themselves at odds.
Travesties, original production in 1974, focuses on Henry Carr as he reminisces about his time in Zürich during World War 1, following his interactions with Tristan Tzara during the rise of Dada, James Joyce while he wrote Ulysses and Lenin leading toward Russia’s Bolshevik Revolution.To view the rest of the nominations, you can find them on www.playbill.com. The Tony Awards are set to air on June 10 at 8pm EST. From a fellow theater nerd to you, keep singing your heart out and dancing like nobody’s watching.