The 2015 Olivier Awards, one of Britain's most prestigious stage honors, will be held this Sunday, April 12, at London's Royal Opera House. Actor Lenny Henry hosts the event, which will give honors to the season's best actors, creatives, and productions.
For American theater fans, one of the categories to watch most closely will be Mastercard Best New Musical. That four-nominee category features a full three productions that originated in the United States. Beautiful — The Carole King Musical (2014) and Memphis the Musical (2010) are both Broadway transfers — with Memphis even boasting a Tony win — while Here Lies Love originated at The Public Theater last year. The only U.K. original production in the category is Sunny Afternoon, a musical centering on the story of Ray Davies and The Kinks which is currently playing at the Harold Pinter Theatre.
With a 75% chance that an American show will take home the Best New Musical award, the odds are good that the West End, which has a long history of trading shows across the pond, will remain heavily red, white, and blue. The stat also suggests that musicals, which are considered a distinctly American art form, remain largely in our purview.
Additionally, nominees for the This Morning Audience Award, the only Olivier Award voted for by the public, includes a number of productions that first appeared on the Great White Way, including Jersey Boys and Wicked. The other two shows shortlisted for the award, Billy Elliot The Musical and Matilda The Musical, originated in London but have made a splash on the Broadway stage.
To stay abreast of the Awards as they're happening — and to see how the American musical fares against its homegrown competitors — follow the Olivier Awards on Twitter or visit their website at www.olivierawards.com.
If you happen to be following the action from London, ITV will present the very best moments from the ceremony shortly after proceedings come to a close.
For a complete list of 2015 Olivier Award nominees, visit WhatsOnStage.com here.