New musical Legally Blonde leads the pack in the nominations for the 11th annual Whatsonstage.com Theatregoers’ Choice Awards, which were announced at a star-studded party this lunchtime.
The musical theatre adaptation of the Reese Witherspoon film, which opened at the Savoy theatre in January, received a total of seven nominations. Fellow musicals Sweet Charity and Love Never Dies picked up six nominations, as did the revival of Arthur Miller’s All My Sons.
The 2010 awards, which feature six nominations in each of the 26 categories, have thrown up a collection of interesting competitions. Sisters Scarlet and Summer Strallen face each other in the Best Supporting Actress in a Musical category, TV detectives Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock Holmes) and David Suchet (Poirot) compete for Best Actor in a Play, and in the Best Takeover in a Role category, Any Dream Will Do winner Lee Mead faces off against his wife Denise Van Outen, while former Wicked leading lady Kerry Ellis – who is nominated for her performance as Nancy in Oliver! – faces Rachel Tucker, Wicked’s current broomstick-wielding green witch.
There are also nominations for last week’s Evening Standard Theatre Award winners Nancy Carroll, Rory Kinnear, Howard Davies, Miriam Buether, Anya Reiss, Michael Gambon and the Royal Court’s Clybourne Park.
Among the other notable nominees are Glee star Jonathan Groff, who is nominated alongside Strictly Come Dancing stars Ali Bastian and Brian Fortuna as London Newcomer of the Year, Meera Syal, who is nominated for Best Solo Performance, and the Les Misérables 25th anniversary concert at the O2, which is in the running for Theatre Event of the Year.
A full list of nominees can be found at Whatsonstage.com, where theatregoers can now vote for their favourites. Voting closes at the end of January, before the winners are announced at a concert to be held at the Prince of Wales theatre in February. They will be the final theatre awards before the prestigious Laurence Olivier Awards are announced in a ceremony at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane on Sunday 13 March.