On May 1, the Broadway production of “Mean Girls,” based on the popular 2004 movie, earned a whopping 12 Tony nominations and became the most-nominated show of the year alongside musical “SpongeBob Squarepants.” In the wake of the awards being handed out on June 10, “Mean Girls” tied for another record, albeit one more dubious. By going 0-for-12 at the Tonys, “Mean Girls” ties the all-time record for most nominations without a single win.
Tina Fey, who wrote the film, adapted her work for the stage with her husband Jeff Richmond contributing an original score and Tony-winner Casey Nicholaw providing both the direction and choreography. Along with Best Musical, “Mean Girls” earned nominations for Best Actress (Taylor Louderman), Featured Actor (Grey Henson), Featured Actress (Ashley Park), Book of a Musical, Original Score, Direction, Choreography, Orchestrations, Scenic Design, Costume Design, and Sound Design,
Back in 2011, the musical “The Scottsboro Boys” first set the record for 12 Tony losses. The show, with a score by the legendary team of John Kander and Fred Ebb, earned nominations for Best Musical, Actor (Joshua Henry, nominated this year for his turn in the revival of “Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Carousel”), Featured Actor (Forrest McClendon and Colman Domingo), Book, Score, Direction, Choreography, Orchestrations, Scenic Design, Lighting Design, and Sound Design.
This year, “Mean Girls” was not the only Best Musical nominee to go home empty-handed. “Frozen,” which earned three bids for Best Musical, Best Book, and Best Score, got left out in the cold by Tony voters. “SpongeBob SquarePants” took home a trophy for Best Scenic Design (David Zinn), while “The Band’s Visit” was the biggest winner of the night with 10 Tony wins, including Best Musical. According to Gold Derby’s combined odds, “Mean Girls” was expected to take home the Best Book of a Musical prize.
In all, 14 Tony-nominated productions from the 2017-2018 Broadway season left the 72nd annual ceremony without a single victory. In addition to “Mean Girls” and “Frozen,” the following productions received no love from the Tony voters: “The Iceman Cometh,” “Farinelli and the King,” “Travesties,” “Lobby Hero,” “The Children,” “Junk,” “Summer: The Donna Summer Musical,” “Children of a Lesser God,” “Latin History for Morons” (although creator and star John Leguizamo did earn an honorary Tony), “Meteor Shower,” “1984,” and “Saint Joan.”