In 2016 it was Hamilton. In 2017 it was Dear Evan Hansen. In 2018 it will be… Spongebob? In a year with no runaway, blow-it-out-of-the-water, no-one-can-get-tickets-for-less-than-the-down-payment-on-a-car new Broadway show (not counting Springsteen on Broadway, which wasn’t eligible for the honors), the Tony Awards once again feel like a competition instead of a coronation. Here are the 4 most surprising facts about the 2018 nominations – and the 1 fact that isn’t surprising at all.
1. Spongebob Squarepants Received More Noms Than Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
In fact, Spongebob Squarepants received more noms than any other show except for Mean Girls – and they are tied. When Patrick headed to Broadway, he came armed with giant, psychedelic sets, a score written one song at a time by a group of pop stars, and a story that can best be classified as charmingly ridiculous. On the surface, the show seemed a bit too campy and silly for frequent theater goers, but it turns out, the love for Bikini Bottom runs deep.
2. Angels in America received a Nomination for Best Original Score – Even Though It’s a Play
Angels in America, the epic revival play, snapped up a whopping 11 nominations, including Best Original Score for the music penned by Adrian Sutton. The Tony Kushner drama will compete against The Band’s Visit (David Yazbek), Frozen (Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez), Mean Girls (Jeff Richmond and Nell Benjamin), and Spongebob Squarepants (various contributors).
3. (Almost) All of Your Favorite Pop Stars Could Be Tony Winners
Unlike many musicals, Spongebob Squarepants essentially crowdsourced its score… from a group of the most famous musicians on the planet. Panic! At the Disco, Cyndia Lauper, The Flaming Lips, Sara Bareilles, Steven Tyler and Joe Perry, Lady Antebellum, They Might Be Giants and John Legend all contributed to the list. There are so many, in fact, that the official nominee list just reads “various contributors” in place of their names. Look forward to a party on the stage if Spongebob takes home that prize.
4. David Zinn Is Living Life
David Zinn received nominations for both Best Scenic Design of a Musical and Best Costume Design of a Musical for Spongebob Squarepants. It’s not unheard of to be nominated in more than one area, of course, but to be named in both of those two relatively heavyweight categories isn’t all that common.
And… They Found a Way to Give Bruce Springsteen a Tony
Just FYI, Bruce Springsteen’s one-man show was ineligible for the Tony Awards by design – because of the scarcity of tickets, the Boss opted not to hand out comp tickets to awards voters. Still, his sold-out run has been something of a revelation on the Great White Way, so the fact that the powers-that-be figured out a way to bestow him with an award is hardly a surprise. On June 10, he will receive a Special Tony Award for Springsteen on Broadway.
The Tony Awards will take place on June 10 in New York City & you can see the nominated shows through Broadway Roulette!