The Olivier Awards are the culmination of the theatre awards season, following the Evening Standard, Critics' Circle and the Whatsonstage.com Awards (in which a record-breaking 70,000 people voted).
A multi-award winning lyricist, Rice is currently represented in the West End by The Lion King and also collaborated with Andrew Lloyd Webber on new songs for his West End staging of The Wizard of Oz.
Rice's long-standing partnership with Lloyd Webber led to the creation of shows including Evita (which will is currently being revived on Broadway starring Ricky Martin and Elena Roger) and Jesus Christ Superstar which is also shortly opening on Broadway and in a separate production will be remounted as an arena tour, cast by Lloyd Webber on ITV.
Rice's other credits include Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Chess, Beauty and the Beast, Heathcliff and Aida. His best-known songs includes "Close Every Door", "Circle Of Life", "Don’t Cry For Me Argentina" and "I Know Him So Well".
Nominations for the 2012 Olivier Awards are lead by Matilda the Musical receiving nods in all its eligible categories. Comedies One Man, Two Guvnors and The Ladykillers both received five nominations each.
Amongst other nominated musical theatre productions Ghost The Musical at the Piccadilly and the National Theatre’s London Road, both winners at the Whatsonstage.com Awards, have five and four nominations respectively.
Winners will be announced at the Olivier Awards Ceremony held at the Royal Opera House on Sunday 15 April 2012 hosted by West End stars Michael Ball and Imelda Staunton. The BBC will be giving the awards extensive live coverage on television (via the Red Button), on Radio 2 and online, with red carpet coverage from 5.30pm and the Ceremony starting at 6pm.