In the 2017–2018 season, 33 productions opened on Broadway, including two two-parters and three special concert engagements. Of the 20 eligible plays and ten eligible musicals, seven productions were shut out of the nominations.
Both Mean Girls and SpongeBob SquarePants led the pack with 12 nominations each and Angels in America made Tony history as the most Tony-nominated play ever with 11 nods. Sadly, seven productions were left out entirely—although this is fewer than last year, when 11 productions were shut out.
This year, plays John Lithgow: Stories By Heart, M. Butterfly, Marvin’s Room, The Parisian Woman, Time and the Conways, as well as the musical revue Prince of Broadway and original Jimmy Buffett musical Escape to Margaritaville were left out of the nominations entirely. Margaritaville is the only production currently running. Notably, Margaritaville lead actor Paul Alexander Nolan did not receive a nomination; he was the fifth actor eligible in the category, which could only accommodate four nominees. (Nominators only determine five nominees for the performance categories if there are at least seven eligible candidates. As there were only five eligible nominees, four were chosen. In some cases, an extra nominee is added if there is a tie for the last slow of nominations—as was the case this year for Lead Actress in a Musical, which features six contenders.)
While Angels in America earned that record-breaking 11 nominations, actor James McArdle was surprisingly left out. McArdle earned an Olivier nomination for the pre-Broadway London production in the category of Best Actor in a Supporting Role. He also received a 2018 Drama Desk nomination for his performance, although the Drama Desks deemed him eligible in the leading actor category, where he competes against his co-star Andrew Garfield. Had he been nominated for a Tony, he would have, instead, been in the race for featured actor with co-star Nathan Lane.
First-time Broadway choreographer Camille A. Brown was left off the Best Choreography category for her work in Once on This Island. She did receive a 2018 Drama Desk nomination for Outstanding Choreography and a 2018 Chita Rivera nomination for Outstanding Choreographer for her work on the show.
Disney’s Frozen was nominated for Best Musical, Best Score, and Best Book, but was left out of performance and design categories. Actor Jelani Alladin received a 2018 Drama Desk nomination for lead actor and Michael Curry earned a nomination for his puppetry—though the latter is not a Tony category.
Additionally, the Drama Desks recognized Mean Girls’ Kate Rockwell, Prince of Broadway’s Tony Yazbeck, and Once on This Island’s Kenita R. Miller, all of whom were left off of the Tony list. Likewise, director Jack O’Brien earned a Drama Desk nomination for his work on Carousel, but Best Direction of a Musical was not one of the production’s 11 nominations.
To see how it all shakes out, tune in to the Tony Awards June 10 on CBS.
Ruthie Fierberg is the Senior Features Editor of Playbill covering all things theatre and co-hosting the Opening Night Red Carpet livestreams on Playbill's Facebook. Follow her on Twitter @RuthiesATrain, on Instagram @ruthiefierceberg, or via her website.