A Broadway-Bound ‘Sunset Boulevard’ Leads Olivier Award Nominations

A revival of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Sunset Boulevard,” starring Nicole Scherzinger as a former screen idol descending into madness, received the most nominations on Tuesday for this year’s Olivier Awards, Britain’s equivalent of the Tonys.

The show, which ran at the Savoy Theater in London and will transfer to Broadway this year, is in the running for 11 awards — two more than any other play or musical — including best musical revival, best actress in a musical for Scherzinger and best director for Jamie Lloyd.

When the production opened last fall, it impressed London’s often demanding theater critics. Matt Wolf, writing in The New York Times, said the production was, like its lead character, “a bit mad: reckless and daring, stretching its source material to the limit and beyond.”

“I can’t imagine another London show generating comparable buzz this season,” Wolf added.

Lloyd’s maverick production features hand-held cameras that are used to spotlight characters’ emotions at pivotal moments. Although critics appreciated the technique, Lloyd faces stiff competition in the best director category.

The other nominees include Sam Mendes for “The Motive and the Cue,” which debuted last spring at the National Theater. The play, by Jack Thorne, dramatizes a fraught backstage relationship between Richard Burton and John Gielgud as they rehearse a Broadway production.

Justin Martin, who directed “Stranger Things: The First Shadow,” also received an Olivier nomination.Credit…Manuel Harlan

Rupert Goold is also nominated for best director, for “Dear England,” a play about the English national soccer team that also ran at the National Theater and transferred to the West End. That show secured nine nominations.

Despite receiving mixed reviews, “Stranger Things: The First Shadow,” a theatrical prequel to the Netflix show that is running at the Phoenix Theater, secured five nominations, including best new entertainment or comedy play. Houman Barekat, reviewing the production in The New York Times, said it was “exactly what you’d expect from a show co-produced by Netflix: Cheap thrills, expensively made.”

This year’s nominations include a hint of TV glamour in many categories. Among the nominees for best actress in a play are Sarah Jessica Parker for “Plaza Suite,” which runs through April 13 at the Savoy Theater, and Sarah Snook (of “Succession”) for a one-woman “The Picture of Dorian Gray” at the Theater Royal Haymarket, through May 11.

They will compete for that title against Laura Donnelly for “The Hills of California” at the Harold Pinter Theater, Sheridan Smith for “Shirley Valentine” at the Duke of York’s Theater, and Sophie Okonedo for “Medea” at @sohoplace.

The best actor nominees include Andrew Scott for a one-man “Vanya” at the Duke of York’s Theater, and James Norton for his performance in “A Little Life” at the Harold Pinter Theater. The other nominees are Joseph Fiennes for “Dear England,” Mark Gatiss for “The Motive and the Cue,” and David Tennant for “Macbeth” at the Donmar Warehouse.

The winners of this year’s awards are scheduled to be announced April 14 in a ceremony at the Royal Albert Hall in London.

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