2018 Tony Award Nominations: Best Musical


Angela Torricella, Editor-in-Chief

With the Tony Awards just over two weeks away, now is the time to get to buckle-down on your Broadway knowledge.  The 2017-2018 Broadway season has been dominated by productions inspired by movies and television, with Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts One and Two, Children of a Lesser God, Mean Girls, and Frozen all gaining massive media attention due to the popularity of the movies on which they are based.  Spongebob Squarepants even made its way onto Broadway, with songs written by David Bowie, Plain White T’s, Panic! at the Disco, Cyndi Lauper, John Legend, Steven Tyler, Joe Perry, and many more.  These movie- and TV-inspired shows received numerous nominations, with three of the four nominations for Best Musical being based on film or television. The nominees for Best Musical include Mean Girls, Spongebob Squarepants, The Band’s Visit, and Frozen.  Here’s everything you need to know about this year’s nominees.


Mean Girls

Based on the 2004 film, Mean Girls was written by comedian, actress, producer, and writer Tina Fey.  The production premiered in Washington D.C. in the fall of 2017, and opened on Broadway in April 2018.  Erika Henningsen plays Cady Heron, a girl moving from the savannas of Kenya to the halls of North Shore High School.   Barrett Wilbert Weed, best known for originating the role of Veronica Sawyer in the off-Broadway production of Heathers, and Grey Henson play best friends Janis Sarkisian and Damian Hubbard, who attempt to take Cady under their wings.  That is until Regina George, played by Taylor Louderman, known for her role as Campbell in Bring It On, decides Cady will be one of “The Plastics”, an untouchable, feared, and envied trio, including Regina, Gretchen Wieners and Karen Smith.  The show follows the drama, love triangles, and mathetes of North Shore High, with choreography by Casey Nicholaw, music by Jeff Richmond, and lyrics by Nell Benjamin.


Spongebob Squarepants

Spongebob Squarepants is based on the children’s television show of the same name.  The plot is not inspired by any one episode, but is a totally new storyline.  Ethan Slater makes his Broadway debut as Spongebob, Danny Skinner plays Patrick Star, and Lilli Cooper, previously in the Tony-winning Spring Awakening, plays Sandy Cheeks.  The trio attempts to save Bikini Bottom from an impending volcanic eruption, encountering numerous obstacles along the way.  The production ran in Chicago before opening on Broadway in December of 2017. The show’s book is written by Kyle Jarrow and is choreographed by Christopher Gattelli.


The Band’s Visit

The Band’s Visit tells the story of the members of an Egyptian police orchestra who lose their way en route to a ceremony in Israel.  After a miscommunication with a bus station attendant, the band ends up not at their ceremony, but in a small town in the middle of the desert.  The band is forced to stay with the locals, and spends the night building unexpected relationships with the people of the small Israeli town. The show stars Katrina Lenk, Tony Shalhoub, John Cariani, and Ari’el Stachel, with a book by Itamar Moses and music by David Yazbek.



Based on the record-breaking hit movie of the same name, Frozen made its way to Broadway in February of 2018.  The production involved the same creative team as the movie, with the book written by Jennifer Lee and music written by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez.  After Elsa, the soon-to-be queen of Arendelle who has the power to create ice and snow, plunges her kingdom into an eternal winter, her sister, Anna, sets out on a quest to save Elsa and Arendelle.  The show stars Cassie Levi as Elsa, Patti Murin as Anna, Jelani Alladin as Kristoff, John Riddle as Hans, and Greg Hildreth as Olaf. The plotline delves deeper into the topics of love and family than the movie, and addresses much more dark aspects of the story.


The Tony’s are to be co-hosted by Josh Groban, who originated the lead role of Pierre in the Tony-winning musical Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812, and Sara Bareilles, who wrote and starred in Tony-nominated Waitress.  The awards will take place on Sunday, June 10, at Radio City Music Hall.