Our 2018 Tony Predictions: Direction, Acting, Writing and Show Categories

About a month from now, Broadway will descend on Radio City Musical Hall for the 2018 Tony Awards. While this year doesn't feature the crossover hits such as Hamilton or Dear Evan Hansen, it should still be an exciting evening with many of the award categories without a clear front-runner. 

So who is going to take home a trophy? Who really deserves it? And who should have been invited to the big night and wasn't?

We covered the technical categories yesterday, so now we're moving onto the direction, writing, acting and show categories. 

Best Choreography

  • Christopher Gattelli, “My Fair Lady”
  • Christopher Gattelli, “SpongeBob SquarePants”
  • Steven Hoggett, “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child”
  • Casey Nicholaw, “Mean Girls”
  • Justin Peck, “Carousel”

Will Win: Justin Peck, “Carousel”

Should Win: Justin Peck, “Carousel”

Missing from Category: Camille A. Brown, "Once on this Island"

Agnes de Mille may have set the standard for choreography to "Carousel" but Justin Peck has created something truly gorgeous with the 2018 revival. With all due respect to Christopher Gattelli, Camille A. Brown should have taken up one of his slots, especially given that a woman hasn't won in this category since 2011.  

Best Original Score

  • “Angels in America,” Adrian Sutton
  • “The Band’s Visit,” Music and Lyrics: David Yazbek
  • “Frozen,” Music and Lyrics: Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez
  • “Mean Girls,” Music: Jeff Richmond; Lyrics: Nell Benjamin
  • “SpongeBob SquarePants,” Various contributors

Will Win: “The Band’s Visit,” Music and Lyrics: David Yazbek

Should Win: “The Band’s Visit,” Music and Lyrics: David Yazbek

Missing from Category: Imogen Heap - Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

We don't see any reason why Yazbek shouldn't finally get the recognition he deserves in this category. Although it would have been fun to see how many composers from "Spongebob" would have shown up to collect an award. Missing is Heap, whose work on "Harry Potter" was excellent. 

Best Book of a Musical

  • “The Band’s Visit,” Itamar Moses
  • “Frozen,” Jennifer Lee
  • “Mean Girls,” Tina Fey
  • “SpongeBob SquarePants,” Kyle Jarrow

Will Win: “Mean Girls,” Tina Fey

Should Win: “Mean Girls,” Tina Fey

"Mean Girls" is going to be this year's "Come From Away". Meaning that while it received a lot of nominations, it's only going to go home with one or two awards. This is going to be one of them or the only one. 

Best Direction of a Musical

  • Michael Arden, “Once on This Island”
  • David Cromer, “The Band’s Visit”
  • Tina Landau, “SpongeBob SquarePants”
  • Casey Nicholaw, “Mean Girls”
  • Bartlett Sher, “My Fair Lady”

Will Win: David Cromer, “The Band’s Visit”

Should Win: Tina Landau, “SpongeBob SquarePants”

This is going to be a close one because there are some many strengths in each production. We think Cromer edges out everyone else but Landau certainly deserves it. Then again, Tony Voters seem to love Bartlett Sher's work. So it's going to be a toss-up here. 

Best Direction of a Play

  • Marianne Elliott, “Angels in America”
  • Joe Mantello, “Three Tall Women”
  • Patrick Marber, “Travesties”
  • John Tiffany, “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child”
  • George C. Wolfe, “The Iceman Cometh”

Will Win: Marianne Elliott, “Angels in America”

Should Win: Marianne Elliott, “Angels in America”

Another tough call here. We do think Elliott is the front-runner and deserves to be it. However, we do think it's going to be "Harry Potter's" night where Tiffany could ride the wave to a win.

Best Featured Actress in a Musical

  • Ariana DeBose, “Summer: The Donna Summer Musical”
  • Renée Fleming, “Carousel”
  • Lindsay Mendez, “Carousel”
  • Ashley Park, “Mean Girls”
  • Diana Rigg, “My Fair Lady”

Will Win: Lindsay Mendez, “Carousel”

Should Win: Ashley Park, “Mean Girls”

MIssing from Category: Lea Salonga, "Once on this Island"

Mendez certainly deserves it for her portrayal of Carrie Pipperidge, the same role Audra McDonald won it for in 1994. But Park's work in "Mean Girls" is fantastic and we could easily see an upset here. We don't know why Fleming was nominated given the work of others like Salonga deserving it more. 

Best Featured Actor in a Musical

  • Norbert Leo Butz, “My Fair Lady”
  • Alexander Gemignani, “Carousel”
  • Grey Henson, “Mean Girls”
  • Gavin Lee, “SpongeBob SquarePants”
  • Ari’el Stachel, “The Band’s Visit”

Will Win: Ari’el Stachel, “The Band’s Visit”

Should Win: Ari’el Stachel, “The Band’s Visit”

Missing from Category: Alex Newell - Once on this Island

Ari’el Stachel's performance in "The Band's Visit" is one of the two best performances in the show and he puts on arguably the best male vocalist performance of the season. His burst onto the scene should conclude with a Tony win. Then again, Tony voters love them some Norbert Leo Butz. Egregiously missing from the category is Alex Newell. 

Best Featured Actress in a Play

  • Susan Brown, “Angels in America”
  • Noma Dumezweni, “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child”
  • Deborah Findlay, “The Children”
  • Denise Gough, “Angels in America”
  • Laurie Metcalf, “Three Tall Women”

Will Win: Noma Dumezweni, “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child”

Should Win: Deborah Findlay, “The Children”

Missing from Category: Allison Pill - Three Tall Women

Look for the "Harry Potter" victory party to continue here. Which is a shame because Findlay's performance was a surefire standout of the season. We don't know why only two of the three tall women were nominated but Pill certainly deserved to be in the mix rather than two nods for "Angels in America"

Best Featured Actor in a Play

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  • Anthony Boyle, “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child”
  • Michael Cera, “Lobby Hero”
  • Brian Tyree Henry, “Lobby Hero”
  • Nathan Lane, “Angels in America”
  • David Morse, “The Iceman Cometh”

Will Win: Nathan Lane, “Angels in America”

Should Win: Nathan Lane, “Angels in America”

Nathan Lane is giving a career performance in "Angels in America" and there's no way Tony voters allow this Broadway icon to go home empty-handed. 

Best Leading Actress in a Musical

  • Lauren Ambrose, “My Fair Lady”
  • Hailey Kilgore, “Once on This Island”
  • LaChanze, “Summer: The Donna Summer Musical”
  • Katrina Lenk, “The Band’s Visit”
  • Taylor Louderman, “Mean Girls”
  • Jessie Mueller, “Carousel”

Will Win: Katrina Lenk, “The Band’s Visit”

Should Win: Katrina Lenk, “The Band’s Visit”

Missing from Category: Patti Murin - Frozen

Lenk has been the front-runner for this award since opening night and nothing we've seen thus far is going to change that. However, we've been told by more than one insider that this category is ripe for an upset. If you're looking for a different pick for your Tony pools, go with Kilgore or Amrbose. Meanwhile, We love LaChanze. We worship LaChanze. But Patti Murin was royally screwed. 

Best Leading Actor in a Musical

  • Harry Hadden-Paton, “My Fair Lady”
  • Joshua Henry, “Carousel”
  • Ethan Slater, “SpongeBob SquarePants”
  • Tony Shalhoub, “The Band’s Visit”

Will Win: Ethan Slater, “SpongeBob SquarePants”

Should Win: Joshua Henry, “Carousel”

While we love the energy and fun that Slater brings in his performance, Henry's brilliance as the problematic Billy Bigelow is worthy of the win. Trivia note, Henry is the first actor to be nominated for a Tony for playing Billy Bigelow. 

Best Leading Actress in a Play

  • Glenda Jackson, “Three Tall Women”
  • Condola Rashad, “Saint Joan”
  • Lauren Ridloff, “Children of a Lesser God”
  • Amy Schumer, “Meteor Shower”

Will Win: Glenda Jackson, “Three Tall Women”

Should Win: Glenda Jackson, “Three Tall Women”

Look for Jackson to cap off her historic theatrical career with a Tony win here. It's a performance for the ages and deserving of every award she recevies. Having said that, it was a tough year for women eligible in this category, proven by Schumer's confusing nomination. Hopefully that changes next year. 

Best Leading Actor in a Play

Will Win: Denzel Washington, “The Iceman Cometh”

Should Win: Denzel Washington, “The Iceman Cometh”

This is a tough call because both Washington and Garfield are brilliant. It could go to either one. But Washington's performance is being hailed as the best to ever play the role. So we'll give him the edge in this race. 

Best Revival of a Play

  • “Angels in America”
  • “Lobby Hero”
  • “Three Tall Women”
  • “The Iceman Cometh”
  • “Travesties”

Will Win: “Angels in America”

Should Win: “Angels in America”

“Angels in America” isn't just the best revival of a play this year, it's one of the best revivals this century. Enough said. Still don't know why "Three Tall Woman" is in this category since this is its first Broadway run. 

Best Revival of a Musical

  • “Carousel”
  • “My Fair Lady”
  • “Once on This Island”

Will Win: “Carousel”

Should Win: “Once on This Island”

Tough call here. Smart money is on "Carousel" but "Once on this Island" cannot be ignored. 

Best Play

  • “The Children”
  • “Farinelli and the King”
  • “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child”
  • “Junk”
  • “Latin History for Morons”

Will Win: “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child”

Should Win: “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child”

Look for "Harry Potter" to end their evening of dominance by taking home the big prize. While "The Children" is excellent, "Harry Potter" just has too much going for it not to win. 

Best Musical

  • “The Band’s Visit”
  • “Frozen”
  • “Mean Girls”
  • “SpongeBob SquarePants: The Broadway Musical”

Will Win: "The Band's Visit"

Should Win: "The Band's Visit"

"The Band's Visit" was always the front-runner and nothing has changed that. Their likely win will hopefully quell the noise coming from theatre elitists who have been bemoaning the state of musical theatre right now. With Fun Home, Hamilton, Dear Evan Hansen and likely The Band's Visit, you have four straight years of some of the best musical theatre in the history of the awards ceremony itself.