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‘Carousel’ and ‘SpongeBob’ Lead the 2018 Drama Desk Nominations

Category Best in Show

|by David Sheward |

And the Drama Desk nominees are...

The hit revival of Carouseland SpongeBob Squarepants, a new musical based on the long-running Nickelodeon cartoon series, topped the nominees’ list for the 63rd annual Drama Desk Awards. Carousel, the beloved 1945 Rodgers and Hammerstein classic, rode in with 12 nominations, and SpongeBob soaked up 11. Also making a strong showing were Mean Girls, the musical version of Tina Fey’s film comedy, with 10, and Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, the two-part continuation of J.K. Rowling’s popular series about a wizards’ school, with 8.

The cast of 'SpongeBob SquarePants' (Photo: Joan Marcus)

The cast of 'SpongeBob SquarePants' (Photo: Joan Marcus)

The nominations were announced by Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and Broadway stars Jane Krakowski and Tituss Burgess at 54 Below on April 26. Unlike the Broadway-only Tony Awards, the Drama Desks consider Broadway, Off-Broadway and Off-Off-Broadway productions eligible in all of its multiple categories. The nominations were arrived at by an eight-member committee and the awards will be voted on by Drama Desk members, over 100 critics, reporters, and editors who cover New York Theater. The awards will be presented on June 3 at Town Hall in a ceremony hosted by Drama Desk winner Michael Urie (Buyer and Cellar).

With the inclusion of Off-Broadway, the DD nominations are not always a reliable predictor for the Tony nominations coming on May 1. There were no Broadway shows in the DD list for Outstanding Play and only two for Outstanding Musical. The DD nominations differed slightly from the Outer Critics nominations, announced April 24. This group also honored SpongeBob with 11 nods, but gave Harry Potter 10 and My Fair Lady 9.

In keeping with the Drama Desk's mission, nominators considered shows that opened on Broadway, Off-Broadway and Off-Off-Broadway during the 2017-2018 New York theater season. Eligibility and award category designations for the productions under consideration this season were determined by the Drama Desk Board of Directors with recommendations from the Nominating Committee.

In determining eligibility of The Band's Visit, which ran Off Broadway last season and received Drama Desk Awards for Outstanding Music, Lyrics and Director of a Musical, the nominating committee considered only those elements that constituted new work. For all other eligible productions, nominations are consistent with opening night credits.

Below is a list of the nominees in major categories:

Outstanding Play
Mary Jane
Miles for Mary
People, Places and Things
School Girls, or, The African Mean Girls Play

Outstanding Musical
Desperate Measures
Mean Girls
Old Stock: A Refugee Love Story
SpongeBob SquarePants

Outstanding Revival of a Play
Angels in America
Hindle Wakes
In the Blood
Three Tall Women

Outstanding Revival of a Musical
Amerike – The Golden Land
My Fair Lady
Once On This Island
Pacific Overtures

Outstanding Actor in a Play
Johnny Flynn, Hangmen
Andrew Garfield, Angels in America
Tom Hollander, Travesties
James McArdle, Angels in America
Paul Sparks, At Home at the Zoo

Outstanding Actress in a Play
Carrie Coon, Mary Jane
Denise Gough, People, Places & Things
Glenda Jackson, Three Tall Women
Laurie Metcalf, Three Tall Women
Billie Piper, Yerma

Outstanding Actor in a Musical
Jelani Alladin, Frozen
Harry Hadden-Paton, My Fair Lady
Joshua Henry, Carousel
Evan Ruggiero, Bastard Jones
Ethan Slater, SpongeBob SquarePants

Outstanding Actress in a Musical
Gizel Jiménez, Miss You Like Hell
LaChanze, Summer: The Donna Summer Musical
Jessie Mueller, Carousel
Ashley Park, KPOP
Daphne Rubin-Vega, Miss You Like Hell

Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play
Anthony Boyle, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
Ben Edelman, Admissions
Brian Tyree Henry, Lobby Hero
Nathan Lane, Angels in America
David Morse, The Iceman Cometh
Gregg Mozgala, Cost of Living

Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play
Jocelyn Bioh, In the Blood
Jamie Brewer, Amy and the Orphans
Barbara Marten, People, Places & Things
Deirdre O'Connell, Fulfillment Center
Constance Shulman, Bobbie Clearly

Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical
Damon Daunno, The Lucky Ones
Alexander Gemignani, Carousel
Grey Henson, Mean Girls
Gavin Lee, SpongeBob SquarePants
Tony Yazbeck, Prince of Broadway

Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical
Lindsay Mendez, Carousel
Kenita R. Miller, Once on This Island
Ashley Park, Mean Girls
Diana Rigg, My Fair Lady
Kate Rockwell, Mean Girls

Outstanding Director of a Play
Marianne Elliott, Angels in America
Jeremy Herrin, People, Places & Things
Joe Mantello, Three Tall Women
Lila Neugebauer, Miles for Mary
Simon Stone, Yerma
John Tiffany, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Outstanding Director of a Musical
Christian Barry, Old Stock: A Refugee Love Story
Teddy Bergman, KPOP
Jack O'Brien, Carousel
Tina Landau, SpongeBob SquarePants
Bartlett Sher, My Fair Lady

The LaDuca Award for Outstanding Choreography
Camille A. Brown, Once on This Island
Christopher Gattelli, SpongeBob SquarePants
Casey Nicholaw, Mean Girls
Justin Peck, Carousel
Nejla Yatkin, The Boy Who Danced on Air

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