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2018 Tony Award nominations: 'Band's Visit,' 'SpongeBob' and 'Harry Potter' — and a good morning for Chicago theater

"The Band's Visit," a wry and critically acclaimed musical based on an obscure Israeli movie about an Egyptian police band lost in a small Israeli town, has emerged as the dominant new Broadway musical of the 2017-18 season, at least as far as the major Tony Award nominations are concerned.

As directed by David Cromer, who spent most of his career working in Chicago theater, "The Band's Visit" was nominated Tuesday morning for best musical, alongside "Mean Girls," "Frozen" and "SpongeBob SquarePants," the musical based on the Nickelodeon series that had its pre-Broadway tryout in Chicago and is directed by the Steppenwolf Theatre ensemble member Tina Landau.

"Harry Potter and the Cursed Child" was, as anticipated, the other dominant show in this year's nominations, announced live in New York on Tuesday by Broadway stars Leslie Odom, Jr. and Katharine McPhee, who struggled on camera with many of the nominee's names.

"Cursed Child" came from London. But artists with extensive connections to the Chicago theater had an excellent morning.

Both Landau and Cromer were nominated for best director. Steppenwolf ensemble member Laurie Metcalf was nominated for her performance in "Three Tall Women." Tina Fey, who cut her teeth at Second City in Chicago, was nominated for best book of a musical for "Mean Girls" and Fey's husband, former Second City musician Jeff Richmond, shared a nomination for best score with Nell Benjamin. Jessie Mueller, who was raised in Evanston, was nominated for her leading performance as Julie in "Carousel," as was Joshua Henry, who played opposite her as Billy Bigelow. Henry appeared as Aaron Burr in the original cast of the Chicago production of "Hamilton."

"Cursed Child" will compete against "Junk" by Ayad Akhtar, "The Children" by Lucy Kirkwood, "Farinelli and the King" by Claire Van Kampen and John Leguizamo's "Latin History for Morons."

But perhaps in anticipation of the dominance of the Potter blockbuster, most of the major non-musical productions this season were revivals, which meant multiple nominations for "Angels in America" (also from London), "Lobby Hero," "Three Tall Women" (Tony nominations included a spot for the actress Glenda Jackson and the director Joe Mantello), "The Iceman Cometh" (the star Denzel Washington scored a Tony nomination as did the director George C. Wolfe), and "Travesties."

The category of best revival of a musical is especially competitive this year with "Carousel," "My Fair Lady" and "Once On This Island" all nominees with a shot at Tony glory.

Bruce Springsteen is already assured of his place at the podium. Along with Leguizamo, the Boss will receive a special Tony in recognition of a solo show that was arguably the best of the entire 2017-18 season.

The 72nd annual Tony Awards themselves will be presented at Radio City Music Hall in New York on June 10 by the Broadway League and American Theatre Wing.

A few other awards already have been announced: Actress Chita Rivera and composer Andrew Lloyd Webber are the 2018 recipients of Tony Awards for Lifetime Achievement. And the Regional Theater Tony goes to New York’s La MaMa. (The regional award originally honored only theaters outside the New York area, but in more recent years, regional theaters have alternated with New York organizations that aren’t eligible for Tonys because they aren’t classified as Broadway.)

Nominations for 2018 Tony Awards

Best Play

“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

“Latin History for Morons” by John Leguizamo

Best Musical

“The Band’s Visit”

“Frozen”

“Mean Girls”

“SpongeBob SquarePants: The Musical”

Best Revival of a Play

“Angels in America”

“Three Tall Women”

“The Iceman Cometh”

“Lobby Hero”

“Travesties”

Best Revival of a Musical

“My Fair Lady”

“Once on This Island”

“Carousel”

Best Book of a Musical

“The Band's Visit” by Itamar Moses

“Frozen” by Jennifer Lee

“Mean Girls” by Tina Fey

“SpongeBob SquarePants: The Musical” by Kyle Jarrow

Best Original Score

“Angels in America” with music by Adrian Sutton

“The Band's Visit” with music and lyrics by David Yazbek

“Frozen” with music and lyrics by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez

“Mean Girls” with music by Jeff Richmond, lyrics by Nell Benjamin

“SpongeBob SquarePants: The Musical” with music and lyrics by Yolanda Adams, Steven Tyler & Joe Perry of Aerosmith, Sara Bareilles, Jonathan Coulton, Alex Ebert of Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, The Flaming Lips, Lady Antebellum, Cyndi Lauper & Rob Hyman, John Legend, Panic! at the Disco, Plain White T's, They Might Be Giants, T.I., Domani & Lil'C

Best Leading Actor in a Play

Andrew Garfield, “Angels in America”

Tom Hollander, “Travesties”

Jamie Parker, “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child”

Mark Rylance, “Farinelli and the King”

Denzel Washington, “The Iceman Cometh”

Best Leading Actress in a Play

Glenda Jackson, “Three Tall Women”

Condola Rashad, “Saint Joan”

Lauren Ridloff, “Children of a Lesser God”

Amy Schumer, “Meteor Shower”

Best Leading Actor in a Musical

Harry Hadden-Paton, “My Fair Lady”

Joshua Henry, “Carousel”

Tony Shalhoub, “The Band’s Visit”

Ethan Slater, “SpongeBob SquarePants”

Best Leading Actress in a Musical

Lauren Ambrose, “My Fair Lady”

Hailey Kilgore, “Once on This Island”

LaChanze, “Summer: The Donna Summer Musical”

Katrina Lenk, “The Band’s Visit”

Taylor Louderman, “Mean Girls”

Jessie Mueller, “Carousel”

Best Featured Actor in a Play

Anthony Boyle, “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child”

Michael Cera, “Lobby Hero”

Brian Tyree Henry, “Lobby Hero”

Nathan Lane, “Angels in America”

David Morse, “The Iceman Cometh”

Best Featured Actress in a Play

Susan Brown, “Angels in America”

Noma Dumezweni, “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child”

Deborah Findlay, “The Children”

Denise Gough, “Angels in America”

Laurie Metcalf, “Three Tall Women”

Best Featured Actor in a Musical

Norbert Leo Butz, “My Fair Lady”

Alexander Gemignani, “Carousel”

Grey Henson, “Mean Girls”

Gavin Lee, “SpongeBob SquarePants”

Ari’el Stachel, “The Band’s Visit”

Best Featured Actress in a Musical

Ariana DeBose, “Summer: The Donna Summer Musical”

Renée Fleming, “Carousel”

Lindsay Mendez, “Carousel”

Ashley Park, “Mean Girls”

Diana Rigg, “My Fair Lady”

Best Direction of a Play

Marianne Elliott, “Angels in America”

Joe Mantello, “Three Tall Women”

Patrick Marber, “Travesties”

John Tiffany, “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child”

George C. Wolfe, “The Iceman Cometh”

Best Direction of a Musical

Michael Arden, “Once on this Island”

David Cromer, “The Band’s Visit”

Tina Landau, “SpongeBob SquarePants”

Casey Nicholaw, “Mean Girls”

Bartlett Sher, “My Fair Lady”

Best Choreography

Rob Ashford, “Frozen”

Christopher Gatelli, “My Fair Lady”

Christopher Gattelli, “SpongeBob SquarePants”

Steven Hoggett, “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child”

Casey Nicholaw, “Mean Girls”

Justin Peck, “Carousel”

Best Scenic Design of a Play

Miriam Buether, “Three Tall Women”

Jonathan Fensom, “Farinelli and the King”

Christine Jones, “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child”

Santo Loquasto, “The Iceman Cometh”

Ian MacNeil and Edward Pierce, “Angels in America”

Best Scenic Design of a Musical

Dane Laffrey, “Once on this Island”

Scott Pask, “The Band’s Visit”

Scott Pask, Finn Ross and Adam Young, “Mean Girls”

Michael Yeargan, “My Fair Lady”

David Zinn, “SpongeBob SquarePants”

Best Costume Design of a Play

Jonathan Fensom, “Farinelli and The King”

Nicky Gillibrand, “Angels in America”

Katrina Lindsay, “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child”

Ann Roth, “Three Tall Women”

Ann Roth, “The Iceman Cometh”

Best Costume Design of a Musical

Gregg Barnes, “Mean Girls”

Clint Ramos, “Once on this Island”

Ann Roth, “Carousel”

David Zinn, “SpongeBob SquarePants”

Catherine Zuber, “My Fair Lady”

Best Lighting Design of a Play

Neil Austin, “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child”

Paule Constable, “Angels in America”

Jules Fisher and Peggy Eisenhauer, “The Iceman Cometh”

Paul Russell, “Farinelli and the King”

Ben Stanton, “Junk”

Best Lighting Design of a Musical

Kevin Adams, “SpongeBob SquarePants”

Jules Fisher and Peggy Eisenhauer, “Once On This Island”

David Holder, “My Fair Lady”

Brian MacDevitt, “Carousel”

Tyler Micoleau, “The Band’s Visit”

Best Sound Design in a Play

Adam Cork, “Travesties”

Ian Dickinson, “Angels in America”

Gareth Fry, “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child”

Tom Gibbons, “1984”

Dan Moses Schreier, “The Iceman Cometh”

Best Sound Design in a Musical

Kai Harada, “The Band’s Visit”

Peter Hylenski, “Once On This Island”

Scott Lehrer, “Carousel”

Brian Ronan, “Mean Girls”

Walter Trarbach and Mike Dobson, “SpongeBob SquarePants”

Best Orchestrations

John Clancy, “Mean Girls”

Tom Kitt, “SpongeBob SquarePants”

Annmarie Milazzo and Michael Starobin, “Once on this Island”

Jamshied Sharifi, “The Band’s Visit”

Jonathan Tunick, “Carousel”

Special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theater

Chita Rivera

Andrew Lloyd Webber

Special Tony Award

John Leguizamo

Bruce Springsteen

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