Well the Tony Awards Nominations were announced last week which set off a flurry of activity on 42nd St. Tickets are sold at a rapid pace(Fun Home) and shows prepare to close(Doctor Zhivago).
This year will feature some of the tightest races I can remember, so needless to say things are going to be exciting over the next month. Let's go through some of the major categories and discuss the surprises, snubs and of course, predict who will be taking home the coveted Tony Award.
Joshua Bergasse, On the Town
Christopher Gattelli, The King and I
Scott Graham & Steven Hoggett, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
Casey Nicholaw, Something Rotten!
Christopher Wheeldon, An American in Paris
Will Win: Christopher Wheeldon, An American in Paris
Should Win: Christopher Wheeldon, An American in Paris
A lot of writers were surprised to see Scott Graham and Steven Hoggett get a nod for their creative movement in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. I wasn't surprised at all. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time has some of the most inventive staged movement seen in recent years. I would've been shocked if it wasn't recognized. This also wasn't a terribly deep year for Choreography. There isn't much in The Last Ship, Fun Home or Side Show. Honeymoon in Vegas, It Shoulda Been You and Doctor Zhivago weren't going to get any love and Joshua Bergasse's work in Gigi was so-so and he was already recognized for On The Town. So by process of elimination, these were the ones left standing.
But that doesn't take away from the incredible work that Christopher Wheeldon has done with the Gene Kelly classic. Variety said in its review, "It’s hard to breathe during the dreamy, 14-minute ballet that brings the show to a close with the lovers locked at last in each other’s arms — not only because the love story is so romantic, but because we rarely see this kind of dancing on Broadway and it’s hard to let it go."
With that kind of praise, it's easy to see that Wheeldon deserves the trophy.
Fun Home by Jeanine Tesori and Lisa Kron
The Last Ship by Sting
Something Rotten! by Wayne Kirkpatrick and Karey Kirkpatrick
The Visit by John Kander and Fred Ebb
Will Win: Fun Home by Jeanine Tesori and Lisa Kron
Should Win: Fun Home by Jeanine Tesori and Lisa Kron
Look, this is Jeanine Tesori's year. After three previous nominations, which she rightfully lost to some of the best scores in my lifetime, she deserves the Tony for, undoubtedly, her best work. I was a little surprised by Sting's nod, but the score was probably the best thing about The Last Ship and the rest of the eligible shows in the category weren't nearly up to snuff.
Best Featured Actress in a Musical
Victoria Clark, Gigi
Judy Kuhn, Fun Home
Sydney Lucas, Fun Home
Ruthie Ann Miles, The King and I
Emily Skeggs, Fun Home
Will Win: Sydney Lucas, Fun Home
Should Win: Sydney Lucas, Fun Home
I would be shocked if Lucas doesn't tie Daisy Eagan as the youngest ever to win a Tony Award, but if they give it to Kuhn and Skeggs as a three way tie, I wouldn't have a problem with that either. One of the few snubs with this year's nominations, is in this category with It Shoulda Been You's Lisa Howard being left off the list.
Best Featured Actor in a Musical
Christian Borle, Something Rotten!
Andy Karl, On the Twentieth Century
Brad Oscar, Something Rotten!
Brandon Uranowitz, An American in Paris
Max von Essen, An American in Paris
Will Win: Christian Borle, Something Rotten!
Should Win: Brad Oscar, Something Rotten!
I do think Borle's profile will carry him to the top, but look out for Oscar who basically steals the show. I have no idea why Brandon Uranowitz is on this list.
Best Featured Actress in a Play
Annaleigh Ashford, You Can’t Take It With You
Patricia Clarkson, The Elephant Man
Lydia Leonard, Wolf Hall Parts One & Two
Sarah Stiles, Hand to God
Julie White, Airline Highway
Will Win: Lydia Leonard, Wolf Hall Parts One & Two
Should Win: Julie White, Airline Highway
Missing from this list is Caroline Neff from Airline Highway, but that's besides the point. I think this will be one of the only times you'll hear Wolf Hall Parts One & Two called to the stage.
Best Featured Actor in a Play:
Matthew Beard, Skylight
K. Todd Freeman, Airline Highway
Richard McCabe, The Audience
Alessandro Nivola, The Elephant Man
Nathaniel Parker, Wolf Hall Parts One & Two
Micah Stock, It’s Only a Play
Will Win: K. Todd Freeman, Airline Highway
Should Win: Micah Stock, It’s Only a Play
Since Airline Highway was much better received than It's Only a Play, I think Todd Freeman has the edge. But if you saw It's Only a Play, you can't deny that Stock gave one of the best performances of the year. Given that this is his debut, I doubt this will be the last time we hear of Micah Stock.
Best Leading Actress in a Musical
Kristin Chenoweth, On the Twentieth Century
Leanne Cope, An American in Paris
Beth Malone, Fun Home
Kelli O’Hara, The King and I
Chita Rivera, The Visit
Will Win: Chita Rivera, The Visit
Should Win: Kelli O’Hara, The King and I
With apologies to LaChanze and Jessie Mueller, O'Hara should have two Tonys by now. And while I certainly want O'Hara to walk across that stage to accept a well deserved award, I have a gut feeling it won't be this year. It's been said that this will be Rivera's last role on Broadway, there's no chance the American Theatre Wing is going to let her go home empty handed.
Best Leading Actor in a Musical
Michael Cerveris, Fun Home
Robert Fairchild, An American in Paris
Brian d’Arcy James, Something Rotten!
Ken Watanabe, The King and I
Tony Yazbeck, On the Town
Will Win: Michael Cerveris, Fun Home
Should Win: Michael Cerveris, Fun Home
There are justified reasons for every other person in this category not to win, except for Cerveris. One of the most underrated actors of my generation should rightfully take home the prize for arguably the best performance of his career.
Best Leading Actress in a Play
Geneva Carr, Hand to God
Helen Mirren, The Audience
Elisabeth Moss, The Heidi Chronicles
Carey Mulligan, Skylight
Ruth Wilson, Constellations
Will Win: Helen Mirren, The Audience
Should Win: Geneva Carr, Hand to God
I don't know about you, but I have a little bit of an issue with someone winning a Tony with a portrayal they've already won an Oscar for. But I would put my money on Mirren taking home the Tony, even though Carr's performance is outstanding. Another snub with this category with Glenn Close and Blythe Danner not being considered over Moss and Wilson.
Best Leading Actor in a Play
Steven Boyer, Hand to God
Bradley Cooper, The Elephant Man
Ben Miles, Wolf Hall Parts One & Two
Bill Nighy, Skylight
Alex Sharp, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
Will Win: Alex Sharp, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
Should Win: Steven Boyer, Hand to God
One of the tightest races of the year, I would give the edge to Sharp over Boyer with Cooper finishing a close third. I probably would have put John Lithgow in this category over Nighy as well.
Best Revival of a Musical
On the Town
On the Twentieth Century
The King and I
Will Win: On the Twentieth Century
Should Win: On the Twentieth Century
One of the best revivals in recent memory, hands down.
Best Revival of a Play
The Elephant Man
This Is Our Youth
You Can’t Take It With You
Will Win: The Elephant Man
Should Win: This Is Our Youth
With all four productions being filled with Hollywood stars, I do expect to see The Elephant Man to take this one home. While its certainly Tony worthy, I do feel This Is Our Youth was one of the most underrated gems of the season, so I would love to see it win here. I am also shocked to not see A Delicate Balance on here.
Disgraced by Ayad Akhtar
Hand to God by Robert Askins
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Simon Stephens
Wolf Hall Parts One & Two by Hilary Mantel and Mike Poulton
Will Win: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Simon Stephens
Should Win: Hand to God by Robert Askins
Another really tough category to call because I think it could go to either The Curious Incident.... or Hand to God.
An American in Paris
Will Win: Fun Home
Should Win: Fun Home
Deceivingly not as tight of a race as you would think, I expect Fun Home to take home the prize. Pieces like this don't come around often and it would be a shame for it not to earn the recognition it deserves. While I certainly believe that Finding Neverland's shut out has more to do with Harvey Weinstein bullying his way around Broadway than the quality of the show, I don't think it deserved to be on this list.
We'll release our picks for all the categories before the big night on June 7th!