Photo Source: Manuel Harlan

The Olivier Awards introduced some magic into the spring theater season with the March 6 announcement of their nominations recognizing the best of the London stage. “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child,” the West End-dominating hit from J. K. Rowling, Jack Thorne, and John Tiffany, received a record-breaking 11 nods, a new record for a play.

“In a year of global change, the nominees for this year’s awards demonstrate London theatre’s ability to challenge our perceptions, stir our emotions, and entertain us,” said Julian Bird, chief executive of the Society of London Theatre, the producing body behind the awards.

Nominated in the new play category alongside the Potter stage sequel are Nick Payne’s “Elegy,” Annie Baker’s “The Flick,” and “One Night In Miami…” by Kemp Powers. Competing for the prize for best new musical will be “Dreamgirls,” “School of Rock the Musical,” “The Girls,” and the Broadway-bound “Groundhog Day.” The latter musical from Tim Minchin and Danny Rubin earned eight Olivier nominations total, including one for leading actor Andy Karl.

“Dreamgirls” star Amber Riley is nominated for leading actress in a musical, as well as the cast of “The Girls,” Sheridan Smith for “Funny Girl,” and Glenn Close for reprising her turn in “Sunset Boulevard” (now playing on Broadway). In addition to Karl, David Fynn for “School Of Rock,” Tyrone Huntley for “Jesus Christ Superstar,” and Charlie Stemp for “Half A Sixpence” received leading musical actor nods.

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In the non-musical acting categories, stage stars Cherry Jones, Ruth Wilson, Ed Harris, and Ian McKellen are among the nominees. The best director award looks particularly auspicious for Tiffany, who is nominated for both “Cursed Child” and the revival of “The Glass Menagerie” starring Jones, a production that nabbed seven nods total.

The 2017 Laurence Olivier Awards will be given out April 9 at the Royal Albert Hall in London. For a full list of this year’s nominees, visit their official website.

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