- Associated Press - Sunday, March 13, 2011

LONDON (AP) - Andrew Lloyd Webber musical “Love Never Dies” is the front-runner as British stage stars gather Sunday for the Laurence Olivier Theater Awards.

The “Phantom Of The Opera” sequel, which opened a year ago to mixed reviews, is nominated for seven awards, including best new musical. The West End production of movie-inspired Broadway show “Legally Blonde: The Musical” is up for six awards.

The National Theatre’s production of Terence Rattigan’s “After The Dance” leads the drama categories with six nominations, including best revival.

A Donmar Warehouse production of “King Lear” has five nominations, including best actor for its star, Derek Jacobi.

The Oliviers are Britain’s equivalent of the Tonys and honor achievements in London theater, musicals, dance and opera.

Lyricist and composer Stephen Sondheim is receiving a special achievement award during Sunday’s ceremony at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane.

Held for the past few years as an industry dinner, the awards are relaunching this year as a glitzy stage show, with performances by West End stars, dance troupes and Barry Manilow.




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