Dance on Broadway

SpongeBob SquarePants and Mean Girls Tie for Most Tony Nominations

The Tony nominations prove that a yellow sponge has a place on Broadway. Photo by Joan Marcus, Courtesy Boneau/Bryan-Brown.

It's Broadway awards season (hello Tony, Chita Rivera and Drama Desk Awards!), and this year, there's a lot for fans to sing and dance about. If you're a millennial, your heart is certainly happy with this morning's Tony announcement: SpongeBob SquarePants and Mean Girls scored the most nominations for a musical at 12 each. (The two-part play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child got 10.)

Mean Girls leads the pack with 12 Tony nominations. Photo by Joan Marcus, Courtesy Boneau/Bryan-Brown.

The Band's Visit wasn't far behind with 11, and revivals fared especially well with 10 nods each for Carousel and My Fair Lady and 8 for Once On This Island, choreographed by our April cover star Camille A. Brown. (Though she didn't get a Best Choreography nod, we think Brown belongs in the category.) Unsurprisingly, Justin Peck was called out for his Carousel choreography in perhaps the danciest show of the season. This year, a play even got a Best Choreography nom, as Steven Hoggett was praised for his movement direction in the very popular Harry Potter production.

Our hats are off to Christopher Gattelli who received recognition for choreography in the absurdly fun SpongeBob and the impeccable revival of My Fair Lady. The man who can make moves for an underwater kitchen sponge and Brits in 1913 London in the same season is truly versatile.

On Friday, the Chita Rivera Awards nominations were also announced. We love the committee's annual recognition of dance on Broadway, off-Broadway and film, shining a light not only on the headliners but the all-important ensembles.

Rounding out the trifecta, the Drama Desk Awards nominations came out last Thursday. Putting all New York City productions on an even playing field, Broadway, off-Broadway and off-off-Broadway shows vie for the same awards.

Tony Awards Nominations

Ahead of the June 10 Tony Awards show on CBS, here are the musicals and stars that were tapped for a potential win in select categories. (For a full list of nominees in all categories, click here.)

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 Musical

The Band's Visit


Mean Girls

SpongeBob SquarePants: The Musical

Best Revival of a Musical

My Fair Lady

Once On This Island

Rodgers & Hammerstein's Carousel

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 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

Ariana DeBose sparkles as Disco Donna in Summer. Photo by Kevin Berne, Courtesy Boneau/Bryan-Brown.

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

Chita Rivera will receive a Special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre.

Chita Rivera Awards Nominations

Here are the 2017–18 nominees ahead of the May 20 ceremony:

Outstanding Choreography in a Broadway Show

Camille A. Brown, Once On This Island

Christopher Gattelli, SpongeBob SquarePants

Casey Nicholaw, Mean Girls Justin Peck, Carousel

Sergio Trujillo, Summer: The Donna Summer Musical

Outstanding Ensemble in a Broadway Show


Mean Girls

Once On This Island

SpongeBob SquarePants

Summer: The Donna Summer Musical

Outstanding Male Dancer in a Broadway Show

Norbert Leo Butz, My Fair Lady

Andrei Chagas, Carousel

Gavin Lee, SpongeBob SquarePants

Amar Ramasar, Carousel

Tony Yazbeck, Prince of Broadway

Outstanding Female Dancer in a Broadway Show

Yesenia Ayala, Carousel

Ariana DeBose, Summer: The Donna Summer Musical

Hailey Kilgore, Once On This Island

Katrina Lenk, The Band's Visit

Skye Mattox, Carousel

Ashley Park, Mean Girls

Brittany Pollack, Carousel

Outstanding Choreography in an Off-Broadway Show

Nejla Yatkin, The Boy Who Danced on Air

Sonya Tayeh, Hundred Days

Zach Morris & Jennine Willett, Ghost Light

Chris Bailey, Jerry Springer: The Opera

Monica Bill Barnes, One Night Only

Outstanding Female Dancer in an Off-Broadway Show

Anna Bass, One Night Only

Monica Bill Barnes, One Night Only

Elizabeth Carena, Ghost Light

Tiffany Mann, Jerry Springer: The Opera

Kenita R. Miller, Bella

Outstanding Male Dancer in an Off-Broadway Show

Colin Campbell, Disco Pigs

Robert Fairchild, Mary Shelley's Frankenstein

Troy Iwata, The Boy Who Danced on Air

Evan Ruggiero, Bastard Jones

Nikhil Saboo, The Boy Who Danced on Air

At the Movies

In the film category, theses movies with theatrical release got a nod for their choreography:

Basmati Blues (Noemie LaFrance, Rajeev, Dimple Ganguly, Vijay Ganguly and Ryan Heffington)

Finding Your Feet (Mark Jennings)

Hello Again (Todd Underwood)

Polina (Angelin Preljocaj)

The Greatest Showman (Shannon Holtzapffel, Ashley Wallen)

Three dance documentaries also received nominations: Step, Bobbi Jene (starring Bobbi Jene Smith) and Anatomy of a Male Ballet Dancer (starring Marcelo Gomes).

The Greatest Showman. Photo by Niko Tavernise, Courtesy 20th Century Fox.

Drama Desk Award Nominations

Here are the highlights dancers should know before winners are announced at a June 3 ceremony. (Get the full list here.)

Outstanding Musical

Desperate Measures, The York Theatre Company

KPOP, Ars Nova/Ma-Yi Theatre Company/Woodshed Collective

Mean Girls

Old Stock: A Refugee Love Story, 2b Theatre Company/59E59

SpongeBob SquarePants

Outstanding Revival of a Musical

Amerike—The Golden Land, National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene


My Fair Lady, Lincoln Center Theater

Once on This Island

Pacific Overtures, Classic Stage Company

Outstanding Actor in a Musical

Jelani Alladin, Frozen

Harry Hadden-Paton, My Fair Lady

Joshua Henry, Carousel

Evan Ruggiero, Bastard Jones, the cell

Ethan Slater, SpongeBob SquarePants

Outstanding Actress in a Musical

Gizel Jiménez, Miss You Like Hell, The Public Theater

LaChanze, Summer

Jessie Mueller, Carousel

Ashley Park, KPOP, Ars Nova/Ma-Yi Theater Company/Woodshed Collective

Daphne Rubin-Vega, Miss You Like Hell, The Public Theater

Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical

Damon Daunno, The Lucky Ones, Ars Nova

Alexander Gemignani, Carousel

Grey Henson, Mean Girls

Gavin Lee, SpongeBob SquarePants

Tony Yazbeck, Prince of Broadway, Manhattan Theatre Club

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 Musical

Christian Barry, Old Stock: A Refugee Love Story, 2b Theatre Company/59E59

Teddy Bergman, KPOP, Ars Nova/Ma-Yi Theater Company/Woodshed Collective

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, Abingdon Theatre Company

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