My 2016 Tony Award Predictions

My 2016 Tony Award Predictions

Chris Peterson

  • OnStage Editor-in-Chief
  • Twitter: @CMPeterson81

With the Tonys just days away, a lot of story lines about Broadway's biggest night are going to surface. Will Hamilton sweep the ceremony? Will Danny Burstein finally nab a Tony on his sixth try? What show will walk away with Best Revival of a Musical? 

On June 12th, we'll know all the answers to these questions and more. So here are my picks of who I think think will win and also who should win for each category. 

Best Orchestrations

  • August Eriksmoen, "Bright Star"
  • Larry Hochman, "She Loves Me"
  • Alex Lacamoire, "Hamilton"
  • Daryl Waters, "Shuffle Along"

Will Win: Alex Lacamoire, "Hamilton"

Should Win: Alex Lacamoire, "Hamilton"

With a few exceptions, the winner of this award is usually paired with the winner of Best Score and since my pick for that category will also be Hamilton, I think Lacamoire will walk home with his second Tony. 

Best Choreography

  • Andy Blankenbuehler, "Hamilton"
  • Savion Glover, "Shuffle Along"
  • Hofesh Shechter, "Fiddler on the Roof"
  • Randy Skinner, "Dames at Sea"
  • Sergio Trujillo, "On Your Feet!"

Will Win: Savion Glover, "Shuffle Along"

Should Win: Sergio Trujillo, "On Your Feet!"

This will be one of the few categories Hamilton will lose. Reason being is that this award typically goes to shows where choreography is one of the center features. You can't really say that about Hamilton. Given his stellar work, I expect Glover to win but I would really like to see Trujillo win for his energetic and creative work on On Your Feet! 

Best Direction of a Musical

  • Michael Arden, "Spring Awakening"
  • John Doyle, "The Color Purple"
  • Scott Ellis, "She Loves Me"
  • Thomas Kall, "Hamilton"
  • George C. Wolfe, "Shuffle Along"

Will Win: Thomas Kall, "Hamilton"

Should Win: Thomas Kall, "Hamilton"

No evidence to make me think Kall won't win the award. The only possible spoiler in the bunch is Arden. 

Best Direction of a Play

  • Rupert Goold, "King Charles III"
  • Jonathan Kent, "Long Day's Journey Into Night"
  • Joe Mantello, "The Humans"
  • Liesl Tommy, "Eclipsed"
  • Ivo Van Hove, "A View from the Bridge"

Will Win: Jonathan Kent, "Long Day's Journey Into Night"

Should Win: Joe Mantello, "The Humans"

I think it's a neck and neck race between Kent and Mantello. Both productions are absolutely fantastic and will likely win their respective categories. 

Best Lighting Design of a Musical

  • Howell Binkley, "Hamilton"
  • Jules Fisher and Peggy Eisenhauer, "Shuffle Along"
  • Ben Stanton, "Spring Awakening"
  • Justin Townsend, "American Psycho"

Will Win: Howell Binkley, "Hamilton"

Should Win: Justin Townsend, "American Psycho"

I think Binkley will benefit from Hamilton's dominance of the night but the award should really go to Stanton, whose work on American Psycho was one of the best aspects of the production. 

Best Lighting Design of a Play

  • Natasha Katz, "Long Day's Journey Into Night"
  • Justin Townsend, "The Humans"
  • Jan Versweyveld, "The Crucible"
  • Jan Versweyveld, "A View from the Bridge"

Will Win: Jan Versweyveld, "A View from the Bridge"

Should Win: Jan Versweyveld, "A View from the Bridge"

With not much else on stage, Versweyveld's lighting design was almost a character as well. I would be shocked if anyone else won. 

Best Costume Design of a Musical

  • Gregg Barnes, "Tuck Everlasting"
  • Jeff Mahshie, "She Loves Me"
  • Ann Roth, "Shuffle Along"
  • Paul Tazewell, "Hamilton"

Will Win: Paul Tazewell, "Hamilton"

Should Win: Paul Tazewell, "Hamilton"

No arguments to be made here. When stacked up against the competition, no doubt Tazewell should win. 

Best Costume Design of a Play

  • Jane Greenwood, "Long Day's Journey Into Night"
  • Michael Krass, "Noises Off"
  • Clint Ramos, "Eclipsed"
  • Tom Scutt, "King Charles III"

Will Win: Jane Greenwood, "Long Day's Journey Into Night"

Should Win: Jane Greenwood, "Long Day's Journey Into Night"

Given the trends I've seen for winning this category, Greenwood makes the most sense, plus the work was excellent. 

Best Scenic Design of a Musical

  • Es Devlin and Finn Ross, "American Psycho"
  • David Korins, "Hamilton"
  • Santo Loquasto, "Shuffle Along"
  • David Rockwell, "She Loves Me"

Will Win: David Korins, "Hamilton"

Should Win: David Rockwell, "She Loves Me"

Korins will win due to Hamilton's big night, but if decided purely on quality, the award must go to Rockwell. 

Best Scenic Design of a Play

  • Beowulf Boritt, "Therese Raquin"
  • Christopher Oram, "Hughie"
  • Jan Versweyveld, "A View from the Bridge"
  • David Zinn, "The Humans"

Will Win: Jan Versweyveld, "A View from the Bridge"

Should Win: Christopher Oram, "Hughie"

While Versweyveld will most likely win, the award should go to Oram whose work on Hughie was, literally, the best thing about that show. 

Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical

  • Danielle Brooks, "The Color Purple"
  • Renée Elise Goldsberry, "Hamilton"
  • Jane Krakowski, "She Loves Me"
  • Jennifer Simard, "Disaster!"
  • Adrienne Warren, "Shuffle Along"

Will Win: Renée Elise Goldsberry, "Hamilton"

Should Win: Renée Elise Goldsberry, "Hamilton"

It's been Goldsberry's to lose since the day the show opened. 

Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical

  • Daveed Diggs, "Hamilton"
  • Brandon Victor Dixon, "Shuffle Along"
  • Christopher Fitzgerald, "Waitress"
  • Jonathan Groff, "Hamilton"
  • Christopher Jackson, "Hamilton"

Will Win: Daveed Diggs, "Hamilton"

Should Win: Daveed Diggs, "Hamilton"

While I might be weary of a Fun Home-splitting the vote scenario, I think Diggs will be the winner when it's all said and done. 

Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play

  • Pascale Armand, "Eclipsed"
  • Megan Hilty, "Noises Off"
  • Jayne Houdyshell, "The Humans"
  • Andrea Martin, "Noises Off"
  • Saycon Sengbloh, "Eclipsed"

Will Win: Jayne Houdyshell, "The Humans"

Should Win: Jayne Houdyshell, "The Humans"

Sandwiched in between multiple nominated shows, I still think Houdyshell is the top choice. 

Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Play

  • Reed Birney, "The Humans"
  • Bill Camp, "The Crucible"
  • David Furr, "Noises Off"
  • Richard Goulding, "King Charles III"
  • Michael Shannon, "Long Day's Journey Into Night"

Will Win: Michael Shannon, "Long Day's Journey Into Night"

Should Win: Reed Birney, "The Humans"

Birney's tremendous performance should win him the award but I have a sneaking suspicion that the voters will favor Shannon here. 

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical

  • Laura Benanti, "She Loves Me"
  • Carmen Cusack, "Bright Star"
  • Cynthia Erivo, "The Color Purple"
  • Jessica Mueller, "Waitress"
  • Phillipa Soo, "Hamilton"

Will Win: Cynthia Erivo, "The Color Purple"

Should Win: Phillipa Soo, "Hamilton"

I do think this will be the lone acting award Hamilton loses, but it's a shame because Soo's work is incredible. Given that Erivo's performance has been said to be better than LaChanze's Tony winning run, my guess is that she'll take the award. 

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical

  • Alex Brightman, "School of Rock"
  • Danny Burstein, "Fiddler on the Roof"
  • Zachary Levi, "She Loves Me"
  • Lin-Manuel Miranda, "Hamilton"
  • Leslie Odom Jr., "Hamilton"

Will Win: Leslie Odom Jr., "Hamilton"

Should Win: Leslie Odom Jr., "Hamilton"

If it was any other year Danny Burstein....any other year...

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play

  • Jessica Lange, "Long Day's Journey Into Night"
  • Laurie Metcalfe, "Misery"
  • Lupita Nyong'o, "Eclipsed"
  • Sophie Okonedo, "The Crucible"
  • Michelle Williams, "Blackbird"

Will Win: Jessica Lange, "Long Day's Journey Into Night"

Should Win: Laurie Metcalfe, "Misery"

Metcalfe deserves every award imaginable for the job she did in Misery. However the buzz favors Lange. 

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play

  • Gabriel Byrne, "Long Day's Journey Into Night"
  • Jeff Daniels, "Blackbird"
  • Frank Langella, "The Father"
  • Tim Pigott-Smith, "King Charles III"
  • Mark Strong, "A View from the Bridge"

Will Win: Frank Langella, "The Father"

Should Win: Frank Langella, "The Father"

Best Original Score

  • Steve Martin and Edie Brickell, "Bright Star"
  • Lin-Manuel Miranda, "Hamilton"
  • Glenn Slater and Andrew Lloyd Webber, "School of Rock"
  • Sara Bareilles, "Waitress"

Will Win: Lin-Manuel Miranda, "Hamilton"

Should Win: Lin-Manuel Miranda, "Hamilton"

Best Book of a Musical

  • Steve Martin, "Bright Star"
  • Lin-Manuel Miranda, "Hamilton"
  • Julian Fellowes, "School of Rock"
  • George C. Wolfe, "Shuffle Along"

Will Win: Lin-Manuel Miranda, "Hamilton"

Should Win: Lin-Manuel Miranda, "Hamilton"

Smart money would be for Miranda to take both categories but I wouldn't be shocked if there is an upset in the book category coming from Martin. 

Best Revival of a Musical

  • "The Color Purple"
  • "Fiddler on the Roof"
  • "She Loves Me"
  • "Spring Awakening"

Will Win: "The Color Purple"

Should Win: "Spring Awakening"

Surely one of the tightest races of the evening, all deserving. My pick right now is The Color Purple but for what Michael Arden and Deaf West did with Spring Awakening, they should be awarded. 

Best Revival of a Play

  • "The Crucible"
  • "A View from the Bridge"
  • "Blackbird"
  • "Long Day's Journey Into Night"
  • "Noises Off"

Will Win: "Long Day's Journey Into Night"

Should Win: "A View from the Bridge"

I'll be the first to admit I'm not a fan of Ivo van Hove, but his version of "A View from the Bridge" was brilliant. 

Best Play

  • "Eclipsed"
  • "The Father"
  • "The Humans"
  • "King Charles III"

Will Win: "The Humans"

Should Win: "The Humans"

Given their Obie, NY Drama Critics, Outer Critics and Drama League awards, I have no doubt The Humans will add a Tony to that shelf. 

Best Musical

  • "Bright Star"
  • "Hamilton"
  • "School of Rock"
  • "Shuffle Along"
  • "Waitress"

Will Win: "Hamilton"

Should Win: "Hamilton" 

Even taking away Hamilton's gigantic buzz and press coverage, it's still the best piece of the bunch and deserves to take its place in Tony history. 

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