When the Tony nominations were announced, I had originally commented how even though Come From Away had received seven nominations (including Best Musical) that it would likely be shut out. I compared it to last year's Bright Star, a wonderfully uplifting charming piece with no chance of taking home an award in a crowded field.
However, thanks to a wave of positive word of mouth and other award wins, my tune is changing a bit. I still don't see them as the favorite in any of the categories they're nominated in, but the show that was perceived to be quite the underdog could upset in a few categories.
Let's take a look at where it could happen.
I don't think it's going to happen here. While Kelly Devine does some fantastic work, this award usually goes to dance heavy shows. Which is why this award has Andy Blankenbuehler's name all over it for a back-to-back win.
While much has been written over the questionable authenticity of Blankenbuehler's choreography for Bandstand, I don't see that as an obstacle for taking home the award.
Best Lighting Design in a Musical
I do believe that Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812 will dominate most of the technical awards of the evening so I don't see a win here for Howell Binkley's work. To be honest, I thought Anastasia deserved a nod instead of Come From Away here.
Best Book of a Musical
This is the first category where I think we could see an upset win for Irene Sankoff and David Hein. Much like the Thoroughly Modern Millie vs. Urinetown race of 2002, I think we're going to see a split between shows with this and Best Score. So I would look to this category for a possible win.
Best Original Score
As much as I love the score, this is Benj Pasek and Justin Paul's year. If they don't win, I see Dave Malloy with Sankoff and Hein coming in third.
Best Direction of a Musical
Despite Christopher Ashley's tremendous job, my guess is that this will be the year that Michael Greif FINALLY wins a Tony. He was criminally overlooked for both RENT and Next to Normal, so I don't see him going 0-4 (also nominated for Grey Gardens).
Best Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical
Here is the other category where I think we could see a win for Come From Away. While I have thought for most of the year that this was Stephanie J. Block's award to lose, Jenn Colella has turned in an incredible performance worthy of the award as well. Colella's win over Block at the Drama Desk's could be a huge prognosticator.
With Dear Evan Hansen and Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812, seeing Come From Away win this award would be the upset of upsets. I just don't see it happening. Come From Away beat every odd making it to New York and a nomination here is something everyone involved should be immensely proud of.