It’s been a glorious season for Broadway enthusiasts and tomorrow (May 1) Tony Award winner Leslie Odom, Jr. (“Hamilton”) and current “Waitress” star Katharine McPhee will announce the 2018 Tony Award nominations. The Broadway League and the American Theatre Wing will present the 72nd Annual Tony Awards ceremony. Tony Award nominees Josh Groban (“Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812”) and Sara Bareilles (“Waitress”) will host the ceremony at New York’s world-renowned Radio City Music Hall on Sunday, June 10. The ceremony will air nationwide at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on CBS and via CBS All Access.
Here’s a look at the seven musicals and three musical revivals from the 2017-2018 Broadway season which are eligible (and hoping for) for 2018 Tony Award nominations.
"The Band’s Visit"
This bold new musical is based on the screenplay by Eran Kolirin for the 2007 film of the same title. The story follows an Egyptian police band who travel to Israel for a concert, but become stranded in the middle of the desert where locals take them in. Katrina Lenk originated the role of Dina, for which she has already won awards, including the 2017 Theatre World Awards Dorothy Loudon Award for Excellence in Theater, among others. Tony Award nominee Tony Shalhoub (“Conversations with my Father”) is best known for his Golden Globe and Primetime Emmy Award-winning lead role in the USA network TV series “Monk.” He stars opposite Lenk as Tewfiq Zakaria. David Cromer directed the musical with music and lyrics by David Yazbek and book by Itamar Moses.
"Escape to Margaritaville"
This vibrant musical comedy takes place in fictional island paradise Margaritaville where the sun is hot, the water is warm and the drinks are cold and refreshing and in great supply. Relax, kick back and escape all your troubles in this romantic, carefree place which features new original songs and Jimmy Buffett classics. Music and lyrics are by Jimmy Buffett, with the show being titled after his 1973 hit single “Margaritaville.” The book is by Greg Garcia and Mike O’Malley. It is directed by Christopher Ashley and choreographed by Kelly Devine. Paul Alexander Nolan and Alison Luff star in the lead roles of Tully and Rachel. Buffett previously earned Broadway producing credits for "Doctor Zhivago" and "Big Fish."
This dazzling musical is based on the Oscar-winning 2013 animated film, which became one of the highest-grossing, most successful Walt Disney animated films of all time. It tells the twisting, magical tale of two sisters who are torn apart by a secret. An epic adventure to find love and reunite a family stands at the heart of the story. Caissie Levy and Patti Murin star in the lead roles of Elsa and Anna. Music and lyrics are by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez, with book by Jennifer Lee.
This stunning musical adaptation of the 2004 film of the same name marks nine-time Emmy Award-winning actress and SNL star Tina Fey’s first Broadway endeavor. Fey wrote the book, along with her husband, Jeff Richmond, who composed the music. Lyrics are written by Neil Benjamin. “Mean Girls” is ultimately an empowering story about struggling to fit in and believing in yourself while enduring the ruthless and wild antics of the “popular” crowd. “Saturday Night Live” producer Lorne Michaels is the musical’s lead producer and he is also produced the film. Erika Henningsen stars as new-girl-in-town Cady Heron, while Taylor Louderman stars as cunning and vicious social queen Regina King. Casey Nicholaw directed and choreographed the musical.
"Prince of Broadway"
This glittering new musical production pays homage to acclaimed American musical director and producer Harry Prince. Prince’s Best Musical Tony Award-winning productions include “The Pajama Game,” “Damn Yankees,” “Fiddler on the Roof,” “Cabaret,” and more. His captivating Broadway career spans six decades and includes a staggering 21 Tony Award wins, including a 2006 Special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement. This production features music from 16 different Broadway shows and cast members take turns playing Prince, introducing each number. The book is by David Thompson and Jason Robert Brown is the show’s arranger, musical director and orchestrator.
"SpongeBob SquarePants: The Musical"
This comedic Broadway take on Nickelodeon’s beloved animated series takes a musical plunge into SpongeBob SquarePants’ colorful but chaotic undersea world. Life in Bikini Bottom is at risk as turmoil erupts and SpongeBob and his friends must work together to avoid disaster. Ethan Slater stars in the leading role of SpongeBob with Danny Skinner cast as his friend Patrick Star. The musical’s book is by Kyle Jarrow with music and lyrics by various artists. The show is directed by Tina Landau.
"Summer: The Donna Summer Musical"
The late, great, Queen of Disco Donna Summer forged an iconic career which spanned over four decades and produced scores of chart-topping hits. In selling more than 130 million records worldwide, Donna Summer was one of the best-selling artists of all time. In this sensational Broadway tribute to her life and music, Summer is portrayed at three different times in her life: Duckling Donna, Disco Donna and Diva Donna, which are all brought to life by a different actress. More than 20 hit songs are featured in the musical including “Bad Girls,” “Hot Stuff,” “Love to Love You Baby,” “MacArthur Park,” and “Last Dance.” Colman Domingo, Robert Cary and Des McAnuff wrote the book while music and lyrics are by Donna Summer, Giorgio Moroder, Paul Jabara and others.
"My Fair Lady"
The new production of Lerner and Loewe’s classic musical adaptation of George Bernard Shaw’s play “Pygmalion” marks the first time it has returned to the Broadway stage in 25 years. The treasured story tells the tale of teacher Henry Higgins and his student Eliza Dolittle, a Cockney flower girl, as she takes speech lessons from him so she may pass as a lady. These two indelible characters ultimately make a lasting impression on each other. Bartlett Sher directed the musical revival with choreography by Christopher Gattelli. Lauren Ambrose and Harry Haden-Paton star in the iconic lead roles.
"Once On This Island"
The original Broadway production was nominated for eight Tony Awards in 1991 including Best Musical, Best Book of a Musical for Lynn Ahrens and Best Original Score for Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty. It is based on Rosa Guy’s novel “My Love, My Love; or, The Peasant Girl” and tells a timeless “Romeo and Juliet”-style love story of a peasant girl who falls in love with a rich boy from the other side of the island. Hailey Kilgore reprises the lead role of Ti Moune, who seeks guidance from island gods played by Tony winner Lea Salonga, “Glee” star Alex Newell, “American Idol” finalist Tamyra Gray and more.
"Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Carousel"
Rodgers & Hammerstein’s tragic love story is given new life in a musical revival which is directed by Jack O’Brien and choreographed by Justin Peck. “Carousel,” which made Time magazine called the Best Musical of the 20th Century, is adapted from Ferenc Molnar’s 1945 play, “Liliom.” The story is centered on the tragic romance between carousel baker Billy Bigelow and millworker Julie Jordan. The revival stars Joshua Henry and Jessie Mueller in the indelible lead roles.