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Hollywood brands like 'Mean Girls' and 'Spongebob' dominate Tony nominations

Another massive entertainment property, a play based on the wizard Harry Potter, also cast a spell.

by Associated Press /
Image: Mean Girls musical
Left to right, Kyle Selig, Kate Rockwell, Grey Henson, Taylor Louderman, Erika Henningsen, Barrett Wilbert Weed and Ashley Park at the opening night curtain call for the new musical based on the cult film "Mean Girls" on Broadway at The August Wilson Theatre on April 8, 2018 in New York City.Bruce Glikas / FilmMagic

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Two popular entertainment brands — Tina Fey's high school morality tale "Mean Girls" and the goofy undersea cartoon "SpongeBob SquarePants" — lead the Tony Award nominations with 12 apiece.

Another massive property, a play based on the wizard Harry Potter, also cast a spell, earning 10 nods.

Fey, who adapted the story of her oft-quoted 2004 movie with her composer husband, Jeff Richmond, admitted they awaited Tuesday's announcement with bated breath.

"We're new to this whole Broadway thing and this whole musical thing so it was hard to tell which way everything could swing," Richmond said. "We're delighted."

A British revival of "Angels in America," Tony Kushner's monumental, two-part drama about AIDS, life and love during the 1980s, grabbed 11 nominations — the most for any play this season — 25 years after it first appeared on Broadway. The shimmering, grown-up musical "The Band's Visit" also earned 11 nods.

Katrina Lenk earned her first Tony nomination for "The Band's Visit," based on a 2007 Israeli film about an accidental clash of cultures when an Egyptian orchestra gets lost and ends up in the wrong Israeli town.

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"I suppose it sounds cheesy if you say it, but it's really an honor. It's kind of hard to put into words. It's a deep joy." Next up for the actress: a nap. "Then I get to do the show again. I love doing it. I love this cast. I love being here. So the best way to celebrate is just to come back and do it."

J.K. Rowling's "Harry Potter" franchise extended its magical touch to Broadway, with the two-part stage play "Harry Potter and the Cursed Child" featuring the bespectacled wizard earning 10 nominations, as did a revival of "My Fair Lady."

The best new musical category is filled by "The Band's Visit," ''Frozen," ''Mean Girls" and "SpongeBob SquarePants." Those musicals that failed to make the cut were the Hal Prince revue "Prince of Broadway," the Jimmy Buffet musical "Escape to Margaritaville" and "Summer," about disco diva Donna Summer.

Image SpongeBob SquarePants musical
A performance of "SpongeBob SquarePants."Joan Marcus / Bryan-Brown via AP

The two-part "Harry Potter and the Cursed Child," which picks up 19 years from where Rowling's last novel left off and portrays Potter and his friends as grown-ups, won nine Olivier Awards in London before coming to the U.S. and bewitching critics and audiences alike.

That production now will face "The Children," ''Farinelli and The King," ''Junk" and "Latin History for Morons" for best new play.

Best male acting nominations for a play include Denzel Washington, starring in a revival of Eugene O'Neill's epic "The Iceman Cometh." The 2010 Tony winner for "Fences" faces off against Andrew Garfield in "Angels in America," Tom Hollander of "Travesties," Jamie Parker of "Harry Potter and the Cursed Child" and Mark Rylance in "Farinelli and The King."

Amy Schumer, who made her Broadway debut in Steve Martin's comedy "Meteor Shower," won a nomination for best actress in a play. Others in the category include Glenda Jackson from "Three Tall Women," Condola Rashad in "Saint Joan" and Lauren Ridloff in "Children of a Lesser God."

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