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'Matilda' leads race for theater's Olivier Awards

LONDON — Naughty-but-nice musical "Matilda" was the front-runner for British theater's Olivier Awards on Sunday, with 10 nominations including a joint best actress nod for the four children who share the title role.

Based on Roald Dahl's tale of an extraordinary little girl from an ordinary family, "Matilda" went into the event with nominations in every possible category for Sunday's prizes, from set and lighting design to best new musical.

It picked up an early prize for Simon Baker's sound design during a gala ceremony at London's Royal Opera House.

The show, produced by the Royal Shakespeare Company, is due to open on Broadway next year.

Comedies "The Ladykillers" and "One Man, Two Guvnors" led the non-musical categories with five nominations apiece.

The prize for best actor in a play went jointly to Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller, who alternated the roles of a scientist and his monstrous creation in Danny Boyle's National Theatre production of "Frankenstein."

Miller paid tribute to his director, saying the hit show had succeeded because of "Danny's quest for honesty and truth."

Ruth Wilson was named best actress for playing a weathered woman of the world in "Anna Christie" at the Donmar Warehouse. The production of Eugene O'Neill's maritime melodrama, which co-starred Jude Law, was named best revival.

Wilson, who is currently filming action movie "The Lone Ranger" with Johnny Depp, thanked "Anna Christie" director Rob Ashford, because "you always cast a harem of gorgeous men for me to act with."

Sheridan Smith — last year's best actress in a musical for "Legally Blonde" — was named best supporting performer in a play for her non-musical role in wartime drama "Flare Path."

The Olivier awards honor achievements in London theater, musicals, dance and opera. Winners in most categories are chosen by a panel of theater professionals and members of the public.