Tony Awards playing favorites

Two shows sweep the nomination list

More stories from Alivia Kistler


Nominations were decided on April 27 for the 2017-2018 Broadway season’s Tony Awards.

On May 1, The New York Times announced the Tony Award nominees for the 2018 season. This year there is little diversity in the musicals chosen for the categories, as is the status quo for the Tonys.

The Tony’s are the only award show that I manage to watch each year, so I am always checking up on the nomination status. Each year it seems that despite the vast variety of musicals and plays that appear on Broadway, there are two or three shows that are nominees for almost every category. This year is no different.

Best Musical is the biggest category of the entire night; it is similar to the Best Picture award for the Oscars. This year the nominees for this award are: “The Band’s Visit,” “Frozen,” “Mean Girls” and “Spongebob Squarepants: The Broadway Musical.”

These nominees also appear in almost every other category available. “Mean Girls” and “Spongebob Squarepants: The Broadway Musical” are both separately nominated in 12 different categories.

Last year the shows: “Dear Evan Hansen,” “Come From Away,” “Groundhog Day” and “Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812” overtook the nomination list. They also managed to win many of their categories; for example, “Dear Evan Hansen” won five of the six nominations it was up for.

It is interesting to me that such iconic popular culture movies and television shows are now making appearances on Broadway stages. Disney movies such as “Frozen,” “Beauty and the Beast,” “The Little Mermaid,” “The Lion King” and many more have been adapted to stage renditions of the classic animated movies. The television shows have followed this lead as “Spongebob Squarepants” and “The Addams Family” have now been transported to the stage.

Broadway is becoming more mainstream, thanks to the huge popularity of original musicals like “Hamilton” and “Dear Evan Hansen.”

It makes sense for popular shows and movies to make the move to the stage, so they can transfer their popularity into a new medium, but I much prefer to see original stories come to life on the stage. At the very least, I would prefer to see original musicals sweep the nomination lists over musicals based on a preexisting show or movie.

Many of the shows this season are products of preexisting albums, so original music was hard to come by. I hope next season there is more diversity in the original ideas to appear alongside the well-known names on Broadway.

Despite the domination of both “Spongebob” and “Mean Girls” I have to say that these musicals do provide great entertainment. The music for these shows is classically Broadway and the set designs hold the ability to transport any theater to another world. They do deserve the nominations they received, as is typical for those nominations that sweep the awards (such as “Hamilton”).

This year’s hosts are Sara Bareilles and Josh Groban. It will undoubtedly be a great award show, full of entertaining performances.