West End Hits Translate to Broadway Success at the Tony Awards
Though there are plenty of American shows to feature in the line-up of nominations for this year’s Tony Awards – Broadway’s answer to the West End’s Laurence Olivier Awards – there is also an abundance of West End hits that have made it into the list thanks to their transatlantic counterparts. So though there is a lot of talk concerning Broadway shows like “How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying” and “Catch Me If You Can”, productions like “War Horse”, “Priscilla Queen of the Desert” and “Jerusalem” have also gotten a look-in.
An abundance of shows that have previously been – or are still currently – seen in the West End have seen Broadway versions open in the last year, including the recent “War Horse”, and as a result there will be plenty of British talent hoping to land an award come the June ceremony. In addition to the already mentioned productions, previous hits in the West End like “Sister Act the Musical”, which ended its run last year, and Kneehigh Theatre’s “Brief Encounter” were also amongst the nominations.
“War Horse” opened at the Lincoln Center in April and is the US version of the play that still runs at the West End’s New London theatre (originally appearing at The National Theatre back in 2007). It tells the story of a horse called Joey in the First World War, who is shipped from his home in England to help in the war effort on the continent. But Joey’s owner, Albert, misses him dearly and sets off on a daring mission to rescue him, despite being too young to enlist and fight. It was nominated for Best Direction of a Play, Best Design, Best Lighting Design and Best Sound Design.
The play is based on Michael Morpugo’s book and has also been adapted into a movie by Steven Spielberg that will be released later in the year.
Jerusalem was one of the biggest west end shows of early last year, emerging first of all at the Royal Court Theatre in 2009 and eventually transferring to the West End’s Apollo Theatre. It received great acclaim alongside Lucy Prebble’s “Enron” though was beaten by “The Mountaintop” for the Best New Play Olivier Award at the 2010 ceremony. It is nominated in various acting categories at the Tony Awards, as well as Best Director, Best Play, Best Sound Design, Best Lighting Design and Best Scenic Design.
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