Stories

The big picture: Broadway leaned hard into Hollywood this year

Actors for the Broadway productions of Harry Potter, Mean Girls, Frozen and SpongeBob
Jamie Parker as Harry Potter, Erika Kenningsen as Cady Heron, Caissie Levy as Elsa, Ethan Slater as SpongeBob

At Sunday's Tony Awards, three of the four nominees for Best Musical are "Mean Girls," "Frozen," and "SpongeBob SquarePants: The Broadway Musical" — and "Harry Potter and the Cursed Child" is the frontrunner for Best Play.

The big picture: A show with an original concept, original music and staying power is a rare breed on Broadway. We've seen "Hamilton" and "Dear Evan Hansen" in the last two years, but otherwise, the landscape is thin. Broadway is largely dominated by mass culture crowd pleasers, old-reliable revivals, jukebox musicals and takeoffs on movies.