‘Mean Girls’ & ‘SpongeBob’ Lead the Tony Nominations This Year

Mean Girls and SpongeBob Squarepants: The Musical top the list of most Tony-nominated shows this year, with 12 apiece, Vulture reports.

The nominees were announced this morning by Smash duo Leslie Odom Jr. and Katharine McPhee. Mean Girls and SpongeBob both picked up nominations for top honors including Best Musical, Best Score, Best Book, and Best Director. The Band’s Visit came in close behind them with 11 nominations total, as did the revival of Angels in America. Rounding out the top contenders is Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, with 10.

Big film industry imports like Andrew Garfield, Amy Schumer, Michael Cera, and Denzel Washington all received nominations, while legends like Nathan Lane and Laurie Metcalf also received their due. Tina Fey scored a nom for Best Book.

The Tonys will take place June 10 at 8 PM EST on CBS, and will be hosted by Sarah Bareilles and Josh Groban.

Best Book of a Musical

The Band’s Visit, Itamar Moses
Frozen, Jennifer Lee
Mean Girls, Tina Fey
SpongeBob SquarePants: The Musical, Kyle Jarrow

Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) Written for the Theatre

Angels in America, Music: Adrian Sutton
The Band’s Visit, Music & Lyrics: David Yazbek
Frozen, Music & Lyrics: Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez
Mean Girls, Music: Jeff Richmond; Lyrics: Nell Benjamin
SpongeBob SquarePants: The Musical, Music & Lyrics: 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 Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play

Andrew Garfield, Angels in America
Tom Hollander, Travesties
Jamie Parker, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts One and Two
Mark Rylance, Farinelli and The King
Denzel Washington, Eugene O’Neill’s The Iceman Cometh

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play

Glenda Jackson, Edward Albee’s Three Tall Women
Condola Rashad, Saint Joan
Lauren Ridloff, Children of a Lesser God
Amy Schumer, Meteor Shower

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical

Harry Hadden-Paton, My Fair Lady
Joshua Henry, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Carousel
Tony Shalhoub, The Band’s Visit
Ethan Slater, SpongeBob SquarePants: The Musical

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role 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, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Carousel

Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Play

Anthony Boyle, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts One and Two
Michael Cera, Lobby Hero
Brian Tyree Henry, Lobby Hero
Nathan Lane, Angels in America
David Morse, Eugene O’Neill’s The Iceman Cometh

Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play

Susan Brown, Angels in America
Noma Dumezweni, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts One and Two
Deborah Findlay, The Children
Denise Gough, Angels in America
Laurie Metcalf, Edward Albee’s Three Tall Women

Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical

Norbert Leo Butz, My Fair Lady
Alexander Gemignani, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Carousel
Grey Henson, Mean Girls
Gavin Lee, SpongeBob SquarePants: The Musical
Ari’el Stachel, The Band’s Visit

Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical

Ariana DeBose, Summer: The Donna Summer Musical
Renée Fleming, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Carousel
Lindsay Mendez, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Carousel
Ashley Park, Mean Girls
Diana Rigg, My Fair Lady

Best Scenic Design of a Play

Miriam Buether, Edward Albee’s Three Tall Women
Jonathan Fensom, Farinelli and The King
Christine Jones, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts One and Two
Santo Loquasto, Eugene O’Neill’s 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 & Adam Young, Mean Girls
Michael Yeargan, My Fair Lady
David Zinn, SpongeBob SquarePants: The Musical

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, Parts One and Two
Ann Roth, Edward Albee’s Three Tall Women
Ann Roth, Eugene O’Neill’s The Iceman Cometh

Best Costume Design of a Musical

Gregg Barnes, Mean Girls
Clint Ramos, Once On This Island
Ann Roth, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Carousel
David Zinn, SpongeBob SquarePants: The Musical
Catherine Zuber, My Fair Lady

Best Lighting Design of a Play

Neil Austin, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts One and Two
Paule Constable, Angels in America
Jules Fisher + Peggy Eisenhauer, Eugene O’Neill’s The Iceman Cometh
Paul Russell, Farinelli and The King
Ben Stanton, Junk

Best Lighting Design of a Musical

Kevin Adams, SpongeBob SquarePants: The Musical
Jules Fisher + Peggy Eisenhauer, Once On This Island
Donald Holder, My Fair Lady
Brian MacDevitt, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Carousel
Tyler Micoleau, The Band’s Visit

Best Sound Design of a Play

Adam Cork, Travesties
Ian Dickinson for Autograph, Angels in America
Gareth Fry, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts One and Two
Tom Gibbons, 1984
Dan Moses Schreier, Eugene O’Neill’s The Iceman Cometh

Best Sound Design of a Musical

Kai Harada, The Band’s Visit
Peter Hylenski, Once On This Island
Scott Lehrer, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Carousel
Brian Ronan, Mean Girls
Walter Trarbach and Mike Dobson, SpongeBob SquarePants: The Musical

Best Direction of a Play

Marianne Elliott, Angels in America
Joe Mantello, Edward Albee’s Three Tall Women
Patrick Marber, Travesties
John Tiffany, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts One and Two
George C. Wolfe, Eugene O’Neill’s The Iceman Cometh

Best Direction of a Musical

Michael Arden, Once On This Island
David Cromer, The Band’s Visit
Tina Landau, SpongeBob SquarePants: The Musical
Casey Nicholaw, Mean Girls
Bartlett Sher, My Fair Lady

Best Choreography

Christopher Gattelli, My Fair Lady
Christopher Gattelli, SpongeBob SquarePants: The Musical
Steven Hoggett, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts One and Two
Casey Nicholaw, Mean Girls
Justin Peck, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Carousel

Best Orchestrations

John Clancy, Mean Girls
Tom Kitt, SpongeBob SquarePants: The Musical
Annmarie Milazzo & Michael Starobin, Once On This Island
Jamshied Sharifi, The Band’s Visit
Jonathan Tunick, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Carousel

Best Play

The Children
Farinelli and The King
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts One and Two
Latin History for Morons

Best Musical

The Band’s Visit
Mean Girls
SpongeBob SquarePants: The Musical

Best Revival of a Play

Angels in America
Edward Albee’s Three Tall Women
Eugene O’Neill’s The Iceman Cometh
Lobby Hero


Best Revival of a Musical

My Fair Lady
Once On This Island
Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Carousel

Special Tony Awards for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre

Chita Rivera
Andrew Lloyd Webber

Special Tony Awards

John Leguizamo
Bruce Springsteen

Regional Theatre Tony Award

La MaMa E.T.C., New York City

Isabelle Stevenson Tony Award

Nick Scandalios

Tony Honors for Excellence in the Theatre

Sara Krulwich
Bessie Nelson
Ernest Winzer Cleaners

Amy Poehler and Tina Fey Are Probably Laughing Into Their Copies of ‘Vanity Fair’

"There’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women," Katie Couric apparently told Taylor Swift once, which Swift reveals in this month’s Vanity Fair cover story while giving a metaphoric side-eye to Amy Poehler and Tina Fey. This is, of course, in response to Poehler and Fey joking about Swift’s love life at the Golden Globes back in January (when they told her to stay away from Michael J. Fox’s son). Can’t you just imagine those two fortysomething mean girls Tina and Amy calling each other this morning, giggling and scribbling over Taylor’s face in their burn books? I bet one of them will call to apologize, but the other one will be listening in on a sneaky three-way call. It’s kind of a shame, huh, that Tina Fey and Amy Poehler care so much about Taylor Swift. Ugh, they are probably JUST JEALOUS. 

[via Vanity Fair]

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Imagined Production Numbers From the ‘Mean Girls’ Musical

Tina Fey devotees all ‘round the Internet have been rejoicing since last night, when during the Screen Actors Guild Awards red carpet interviews, Fey mentioned to E!’s Giuliana Rancic that the Mean Girls musical may actually become a thing, and she doesn’t appear to be trolling. We hope. Maybe. Please?

"I’m trying to develop it actually with my husband who does all the music for ’30 Rock,” she told Rancic. “I think Paramount’s on board. Yeah." A bit later, when Rancic asked about the fight American Idol judges Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carey had over Mean Girls on the show, Fey expressed her admiration for Carey and suggested that she could play Mrs. George, Amy Poehler’s cocktail-sipping, slang using, implant-donning “Cool Mom.”

If it’s not even fully in development yet, the Mean Girls musical is a long way off, much like “Fetch” as a popular slang term. And musicals adapted from popular films are always sort of hit-and-miss territory (see Legally Blonde: The Musical, Shrek: The Musical, TRON: The Musical*) But with Fey helming the project and the right casting, this could actually be pretty excellent. And you’d see it regardless of whether or not it was good, obvs. Because it’s a Mean Girls musical. And what would the Original Broadway Cast soundtrack look like? A sampling of imagined musical numbers:

  • “Out of Africa”
  • “Navigating the Cafeteria” (This would be a big dance number featuring the different cliques/lunch tables each showing off their moves, a la “Mambo” from West Side Story)
  • “She Keeps Me Young (Song of the Cool Mom)” (Mariah’s big number)
  • “The Burn Book Tango”
  • “Damn, Africa, What Happened?”
  • "The Secret In the Projection Room Above the Auditorium”
  • “And None For Gretchen Wieners” (a tender moment in which Gretchen Wieners laments her second-banana status, in the style of “Valjean’s Soliloquy”)
  • "Kevin Gnapoor’s Rap (Full Version)”
  • “Jingle Bell Rock”
  • “Damn, Africa, What Happened? (Reprise)”
  • “The Burn Book, Revealed” (instrumental dance number/staged fight)
  • “Oh Hell No, I Did Not Leave the South Side For This!” (duet between Ms. Norbury and the principal with a few Chicago in-jokes, with love, from Tina)
  • "The Limit (Does Not Exist)”
  • “Girl World, At Peace”

*Yes, it exists. Thanks, UCB! 

MTV’s ‘Awkward’: The Return of the Nice Girls

In preparation for a Jersey Shore comedown, MTV is filling out its slate with scripted programming—not Laguna Beach “scripted,” but writers’ room scripted. And leading these shows, at least in critical praise from reputable folks, is Awkward,a comedy (now in its second season) about a teenage girl at a Los Angeles high school.

Besides minor tweaks (“I haven’t reinvented the wheel,” Lauren Iungerich, the showrunner, told me), it fits neatly in the canon of all your shows featuring a teenage girl as the protagonist. Thus, the onslaught of nostalgically waxed comparisons—the main character, Jenna, is Angela Chase-meets-Daria Morgendorffer-meets-Lindsay Weir-meets-whoever the hell else you grew up with. Or rather, she’s an everygirl. “I hadn’t seen My So-Called Life until after our first season,” concedes Iungerich.

Jenna, played with a ton of heart by Ashley Rickards (age 20, playing 15), is witty, approachably pretty, and transitions honestly between rolling her eyeballs and bawling her eyes out. She keeps a blog, which is the presumed diegetic root for the voiceover narration. Also: she’s a really nice person. “I wanted to write about a girl who’s a kind heroine, someone who looks for the greater good in someone,” said Iungerich. “It hurts her to be unkind.” Here, here!

Inversely, the “mean girls” of the show are a wealthy-but-chubby girl and an attractive-but-dogmatically-religious girl. The treatments of theology and weight issues make you scrunch your nose at times, but for whatever it’s worth, there’s absolutely no reason why any viewer would admire these girls. I’m still shaking my head from this bit of Lizzie Widdicombe’s 2011 profile of Taylor Swift:

In her sophomore year, Swift bought a car with the money she’d earned from songwriting—a silver Lexus SC430 convertible. “It was the car that Regina George drives in ‘Mean Girls,’ ” she said. “Because all the girls back in Pennsylvania idolized her, and I think I just thought it would be fun to have that car.”

And then there are the boys. Matty, a handsome soccer player with a Cadillac pickup truck, is the main object of Jenna’s affection. But then there’s Jake, the handsome soccer player with a vintage muscle car. They’re as dynamic as you’d expect—Jenna at one point refers to Matty as “funny,” which is completely nonsensical—but again, these boys are both so nice. Matty’s reluctance to “DTR” (define the relationship) with Jenna is at least paired with his genuine consciousness of how he treats her.

“It feels like in most girl shows, there’s always a boy who prompts a ‘fuck the boys’ attitude, and the truth is, so many boys are exceptional human beings. They’re confused in this generation of Millennials, coming off a feminist boom—they’re wondering, ‘do I pay on a date?’” explains Iungerich. “They’re confused, but they’re not assholes.”

The show has no pretense about being a mouthpiece for feminism (though the writing staff does boast a five-to-one girl-to-guy ratio), but in a 2012, Anderson Cooper-kind of way, not everything has to be activism. And this may bethe most universal depiction of high school life.

“I remember when I was in high school, what mattered were the things that happened in between classes,” explains Iungerich. “We didn’t go home and talk for six hours on the phone about tests, we talked about boys and relationships, about what was fun or what was painful.”

This reality is (sorry to make this a David Brooks column) worth paying attention to. Far from Jenna & Co.’s radar is the Stanford/Rhodes/State Dept. track of the “can women have it all?” conversation. And equally far is the Oberlin/Greenpoint/Melville House world of Lena Dunham’s Girls. One episode is punctuated with Jenna writing on her blog, “Jenna is in need of being rescued. All heroes please apply”—bump that up against Hannah Horvath’s “all adventurous women do,” and make of it what you will. And the characters in Awkward don’t lack for privilege, concedes Iungerich, “but there’s no sense of entitlement. And that may come from me, being a Gen-Xer.”

Although, for all its kind characters and gently universal story arcs, Awkward boasts plenty of edge, both in terms of subject matter and language. The series begins with a bathroom fall that’s mistaken for Jenna’s suicide attempt, pocketing her in the “girl who tried to kill herself” archetype. More than anything though is the reasonably accurate depiction of just how horny kids are—they’re always schtuppin’! And the way they talk about it is even better!


“Most of the slang on the show we made up,” says Iungerich. “There’s a whole lexicon we’ve established.” Among this lexicon are several terms for sex that everyone ought to know, like giving a girl “the hymen hammer,” and “taking her temperature with his all-beef thermometer.” Oh, and then there’s doing it in the “be-hymen.” That’s for butt sex.