Top 8 Tony-Nominated Shows to See Now

Tony Awards for Top Award-Nominated Shows (Photo: Tony Awards Productions)

As the weather heats up in New York City, the race is on to the Tony Awards on June 10. This is the perfect time to catch the best of Broadway – here’s our roundup of the top eight newly nominated shows to see now.

The Band’s Visit
In the words of The New York Times, “It’s time to fall in love with one of the most ravishing musicals ever.” The Band’s Visit is one of the four contenders this year for Best Musical, drawing audiences in with its timely story of an Egyptian orchestra band that finds itself lost in a remote town in Israel– faced with the realities of cultural barriers and bitter preconceptions. This one-act musical offers a depth of heart, similar to last year’s Best Musical contender, Come From Away.

For those looking to experience Disney magic onstage, make a date with Frozen on Broadway. Grabbing three Tony nominations – including Best Musical – Frozen transports audiences into the world of Anna, Elsa and Olaf with over 10 new songs and beloved favorites. (Yes, THAT favorite ballad that includes a certain ice palace and hair toss.) Pay special attention to the new songs and dialogue added to this show, as both garnered Tony nominations for Best Book of a Musical and Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) Written for the Theatre, respectively.

SpongeBob SquarePants
Who lives in a pineapple under the sea – and has 12 Tony Awards nominations? SpongeBob SquarePants! The musical, based on the television show, follows the beloved porous kitchen sponge and his friends in Bikini Bottom as they fight to save their town from an impending danger. Nominated for Best Musical, the show also boasts nods for Best Original Score, Best Book, Best Choreography, Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical for Gavin Lee (Squidward Q. Tentacles) and Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical for Ethan Slater (SpongeBob SquarePants). 

Summer: The Donna Summer Musical
The story of five-time Grammy Award winner, Donna Summer, has come to Broadway, six years after the world lost this legendary talent. The role of Ms. Summer is represented at three stages in her life and is played by three formidable Broadway talents: LaChanze (nominated for Best Leading Actress in a Musical), Ariana DeBose (nominated for Best Featured Actress in a Musical) and newcomer Storm Lever. Celebrating the days of disco and dancing, Summer: The Donna Summer Musical will leave you humming some of the late legend’s most famous hits. 

Once On This Island
With eight Tony nominations to its name, including Best Revival of a Musical, Once On This Island has proven that it captures the essence of “The Human Heart.” Featuring a captivating narrative about a young woman named Ti Moune – played by Hailey Kilgore, nominated for her brilliance in the role – Once On This Island forces audiences to look inward. The show begs each of us to question once vehemently held biases and to open up to a deeper kind of love for those around us.

Mean Girls
You can’t just ask someone why they are a Tony nominee, Karen… Mean Girls, based on the cult classic film by Tina Fey, has nabbed 12 Tony nominations this season, including one for Best Musical. It’s got show-stopping numbers, heartfelt ballads and remarkable choreography. This is one film adaptation not to be missed.

Children of a Lesser God
This intense drama explores the dynamics between a student and a teacher and those of the deaf and hearing communities. Lauren Ridloff – nominated as Best Leading Actress in a Play for this role – stars as a deaf student who is forced to live in an environment demanding her to speak, as she develops a romantic relationship with her teacher.

Angels in America
Tony Kushner’s “gay fantasia” came out in the early 1990s during the AIDS crisis in the United States, but its seminal themes remain true in 2018 America. The revival, starring newly nominated Andrew Garfield and Nathan Lane, received 11 Tony Award nominations this year, including for Best Revival of a Play.

-By Amy Sapp

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