Helen Mirren

Helen Mirren, James McAvoy, Imelda Staunton Score Olivier Awards Nominations

Helen Mirren
Dame Helen Mirren

Helen Mirren, Rupert Everett, James McAvoy, Kristin Scott Thomas and Imelda Staunton are some of the big names announced today as nominees for the Olivier Awards, the British theater world’s highest honors.

Why it matters to us is because some of the nominated plays and stars will make it to this side of the pond and score big on Broadway. They will also have a good shot at picking up Tonys, our equivalent of the Olivier Awards.

Mirren is up for a prize for the role that brought her an Oscar in “The Queen” in 2006. She plays Queen Elizabeth II in a new play by Peter Morgan, who also wrote “The Queen.”

Unlike the movie, which centered on the Queen’s response to Princess Diana’s death, this is about the queen’s weekly meetings, which are supposed to be top secret, with prime ministers over the six decades of her monarchy.

The play also scored nominations for Richard MaCabe, who plays Harold Wilson and director Stephen Daldry, who directed both the theater and movie version of “Billy Elliot” and is in talks according to IMDb, to direct the movie version of “Wicked.”

You can be sure producers are already scrambling to get “The Audience” transferred to the Great White Way, but it would only work with Helen Mirren in the lead. With her busy movie schedule, that will be a huge feat but also highly lucrative. Big stars translate to big box office on Broadway.

“The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time” – don’t you love the title? – led with eight nominations. It is based on a 2003 mystery novel by British writer Mark Haddon about a 15-year-old mathematician (Luke Treadaway) with Asperger’s Syndrome, who investigates the murder of his neighbor’s big black poodle.

Nominations include best award for Treadaway and Marianne Elliott for best director. This is sure to come over to this side of the pond, possibly as soon as next year.

Two musicals followed, with “Top Hat,” which received seven nominations, including for the leads Tom Chambers and Summer Strallen.

“Sweeney Todd” was next with six nominations, giving honors to lead Michael Ball and Oscar nominee Imelda Staunton, who has been getting raves for her first musical in years.

Also, a musical I’m looking forward to seeing, “The Bodyguard,” received a nomination for best musical. It is based on the 1992 movie version starring Whitney Houston and Kevin Costner. Heather Headley, who won a Tony for Disney’s “Aida,” plays the Whitney Houston part.

Headley “gives great diva” according to New York Times theater critic Ben Brantley, who added, that the actress “scores another personal triumph and once again transcends her material as the celebrity in jeopardy in Alexander Dinelaris’s lumpy adaptation of Lawrence Kasdan’s original screenplay.”

The Oliver winners will be announced on April 28, 2013.

Below are some of the nominees. For a complete list and more details, visit the Oliver Awards website.

Best New Play

  • Constellations
  • The Audience
  • The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
  • This House

Best Actor

  • Rupert Everett – The Judas Kiss
  • James McAvoy – Macbeth
  • Mark Rylance – Twelfth Night
  • Rafe Spall – Constellations
  • Luke Treadaway – The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

Best Actress

  • Helen Mirren – The Audience
  • Hattie Morahan – A Doll’s House
  • Billie Piper – The Effect
  • Kristin Scott Thomas – Old Times

Best Actor in a Supporting Role

  • Paul Chahidi – Twelfth Night
  • Richard McCabe – The Audience
  • Adrian Scarborough – Hedda Gabler
  • Kyle Soller – Long Day’s Journey Into Night

Best Actress in a Supporting Role

  • Janie Dee – NSFW
  • Anastasia Hille – The Effect
  • Cush Jumbo – Julius Caesar (Donmar Warehouse)
  • Helen McCrory – The Last of the Haussmans
  • Nicola Walker – The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

Best Director

  • Stephen Daldry – The Audience
  • Marianne Elliott – The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
  • Jeremy Herrin – This House
  • Simon McBurney – The Master and Margarita

Best New Musical

  • Loserville
  • Soul Sister
  • The Bodyguard
  • Top Hat

Best Actor in a Musical

  • Michael Ball – Sweeney Todd
  • Alex Bourne – Kiss Me, Kate
  • Tom Chambers – Top Hat
  • Will Young – Cabaret

Best Actress in a Musical

  • Heather Headley – The Bodyguard
  • Imelda Staunton – Sweeney Todd
  • Summer Strallen – Top Hat
  • Hannah Waddingham – Kiss Me, Kate

Best Performance in a Supporting Role in a Musical

  • Adam Garcia – Kiss Me, Kate
  • Debbie Kurup – The Bodyguard
  • Siân Phillips – Cabaret
  • Leigh Zimmerman – A Chorus Line

Best Revival

  • Long Day’s Journey Into Night
  • Macbeth
  • Old Times
  • Twelfth Night (Apollo theatre)

Best Musical Revival

  • A Chorus Line
  • Cabaret
  • Kiss Me, Kate
  • Sweeney Todd

Best Entertainment and Family

  • Cinderella (St James Theatre)
  • Goodnight Mister
  • Tom
Hansel and Gretel
  • Room on the Broom

Best Lighting Design

  • Paul Anderson – The Master and Margarita
  • Paule Constable – The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
  • Lee Curran – Constellations
  • Mark Henderson – Sweeney Todd

Best Sound Design

  • Ian Dickinson – The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
  • Paul Groothuis – Sweeney Todd
  • David McSeveney – Constellations
  • Gareth Owen – Top Hat

Best Costume Design

  • Bob Crowley – The Audience
  • Jon Morrell – Top Hat
  • Jenny Tiramani – Twelfth Night
  • Anthony Ward – Sweeney Todd

Best Set Design

  • Hildegard Bechtler – Top Hat
  • Miriam Buether and Wang Gongxin – Wild Swans
  • Bunny Christie and Finn Ross – The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
  • Tim Hatley – The Bodyguard

Best New Dance Production

  • Aeternum by the Royal Ballet at the Royal Opera House, choreographed by Christopher Wheeldon
  • Cacti by Nederlands Dans Theater 2 at Sadler’s Wells, choreographed by Alexander Ekman
  • A Streetcar Named Desire by Scottish Ballet at Sadler’s Wells


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