Our "Way Too Early" Tony Scorecard - Musicals

Chris Peterson

OnStage Editor-in-Chief

The Tony Awards are four months away but with it being days after an interesting Oscar ceremony, awards seem to be fresh on everyone's minds. 

Even though there are a plethora of shows yet to open, we've already seen work and material that will surely have nominations this coming June. So pending on what the Tony Awards Administration Committee decides, here is who we think can expect a nod so far. 

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

Shoo ins: 

  • Ben Platt - Dear Evan Hansen 
  • Christian Borle - Falsettos

On the Bubble: 

  • Josh Groban - Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812

At this point, it's Ben Platt's award to lose. His performance is so good, I would put it up against any Tony winning performance of the past seven years(maybe with the exception of Michael Cerveris in "Fun Home). But the category will be interested to see who else will get a nomination. I do think Borle's work in Falsettos was the best of his career and should be included. I think a double nomination for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory would be a bit of a stretch and between the two, I'd like his work in Falsettos to get recognized. 

I do expect Groban to be nominated for his work. However with a slew of possible nominees with shows opening this spring, I wouldn't be shocked if he's left out. 

Names to Watch

Corey Cott(Bandstand), David Hyde Pierce(Hello Dolly!), Bobby Conte Thornton( A Bronx Tale), Andy Karl(Groundhog Day) and Jon Jon Briones(Miss Saigon). I would have included Jake Gyllenhaal but producers have decided not to make the production eligible for the Tonys. 

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

Shoo Ins:

  • Denée Benton - Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812
  • Bette Midler - Hello Dolly!
  • Patti LuPone and Christine Ebersole - War Paint

On the Bubble

  • Stephanie J. Block - Falsettos

Yes, Hello Dolly! hasn't even opened yet and I can guarantee that we will be seeing Ms. Midler on Tony night. I am also certain that Benton will also be on the list. I would be shocked if neither LuPone or Ebersole is nominated for their work in War Paint. Block is a bit of a wild card considering what else is coming, but certainly deserving given her powerful performance as Trina in Falsettos. I do believe that this will be one of the tightest races of this year's ceremony with no real front runner. Since Glenn Close won the Tony for Sunset Boulevard, she will not be eligible for the revival production. 

Names to watch

Eva Noblezada(Miss Saigon), Phillipa Soo(Amélie), Christy Altomare(Anastasia) and Laura Osnes(Bandstand).

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

Shoo ins: 

  • Lucas Steele - Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812
  • Michael Park - Dear Evan Hansen
  • Andrew Rannells - Falsettos

On the Bubble

  • Will Roland - Dear Evan Hansen
  • Nick Cordero - A Bronx Tale

Unlike last year, this is going to be a tough race to call with no real front runner as of yet. If I had to pick a favorite right now, Rannells would be it. I do expect to see Steele's name included on Tony night and feel strongly that Park's work is deserving of a nod. Personally, I would love to see Roland nominated as well but it's 50/50 on whether of not his performance can stand out considering what's yet to open. I have also heard nothing but raves when it comes to Cordero's performance in A Bronx Tale, I wouldn't be surprised if he's the only acting nomination for this show. 

Names of Watch

John Bolton(Anastasia), Ramin Karimloo(Anastasia), Gavin Creel(Hello Dolly!) John Rubinstein(Charlie & the Chocolate Factory), Alistair Brammer(pending eligibility - Miss Saigon)

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

Soo ins:

  • Rachel Bay Jones - Dear Evan Hansen
  • Laura Dreyfuss or Jennifer Laura Thompson - Dear Evan Hansen

On the Bubble: 

  • Ariana DuBose - A Bronx Tale
  • Amber Gray - Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812

Just as with Ben Platt, I think right now Jones is the front runner. I also think Dear Evan Hansen will get multiple nominations in this category, I just don't know if it will be Dreyfuss or Thompson. DuBose is so good in A Bronx Tale, I will be angered if she's not included, yet not shocked. The same could be said for Gray in Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812.

Names to Watch: 

Basically the entire cast of Come From Away, Katie Rose Clarke(Miss Saigon), Rebecca Faulkenberry(Groundhog Day), Kate Baldwin(Hello Dolly!) and Mary Beth Peil(Anastasia)

Best Revival of a Musical

Shoo ins:

  • Falsettos
  • Hello Dolly!

On the bubble:

  • Miss Saigon
  • Cats
  • Sunset Boulevard

Since there are only five revivals opening this year, I believe that means only three will be nominated. So if that's the case, I expect to see both Falsettos and Hello Dolly! in the mix. If I was a betting man, I would put Sunset Boulevard in. Side note, it's crazy that two of the five revivals this year are Andrew Lloyd Webber's. 

Best Musical

Shoo ins:

  • Dear Evan Hansen
  • Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812
  • Come From Away

On the Bubble:

  • A Bronx Tale

Right now, I think Dear Evan Hansen is the front runner with Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812 coming in a very close second. I also see Come From Away getting the Bright Star treatment this year, meaning a slew of nominations for a charming show with little chance to win any of them. With shows like Anastasia, Amélie, War Paint and Charlie & the Chocolate Factory, I don't know if A Bronx Tale has the legs to make it into this category but it deserves to. 

Needless to say it's going to be an interesting Tony Awards this year, let's just hope the right cards are read to announce the winners.