I didn’t do any Tony Awards predictions last year because I simply felt that I wasn’t in a position to comment, having never been to New York or seen a Broadway show. Fast-forward a year, and I still feel somewhat underqualified, despite having seen Wicked on Broadway last summer! Nevertheless, I decided that this year would be the year I made predictions (and I stuck to that decision for the Olivier Awards in March!), so here we go! Just to clarify, I have seen absolutely NONE of these shows, so this is purely based on what I’ve read online and heard on cast recordings! (I’ve only included the really main awards here, because I’m on a serious time limit, but if you want to know what I think about any of the others, please do tweet me @ohmymusicals and ask!!)
I’m feeling like Eclipsed could pull this one, simply because it has more nominations than any other play in this category, apart from The Humans, which it ties with - I have, however, heard more good things about Eclipsed, so I’m guessing that! My knowledge of plays is considerably more limited than my knowledge of musicals, though, so I really am not the right person to say!
2016 is a pretty historic year in terms of the popularity of the nominees; each of these has made a lot of noise on social media (maybe less so for Bright Star and Shuffle Along, but I’m sitting here writing about them 3500 miles away, so what does that tell you?) I will be genuinely shocked if Hamilton doesn’t win this - it would seem like a bit of an anticlimax after all of the buzz since it first opened on Broadway last August (the day I left New York, actually!). I think the coverage from the general media, both in the US and the UK, has increased it's popularity hugely, (not to mention the fact that Barack Obama himself has payed a visit!). As for what I'd like to win, Waitress does seem deserving, so if it wasn't for Hamilton's obvious triumph I would predict Waitress!
Best Revival of a Play
In this category, I think either of the Arthur Miller plays could win, but that's just because they're the only ones I've heard anything about! Having looked at the Tony press release, they both have a lot of producers in common, which might explain why they're both branded as "Arthur Miller's (name of play)" so I'm guessing they're both about the same standard!
Best Revival of a Musical
Let me just put this out there - I want Fiddler on the Roof to win. I know it's been revived a trillion times, and I know that Danny Burstein could never match Topol, but I just LOVE this production! Having listened to the cast recording and seen their performance of 'To Life' at the Thanksgiving Parade, I'm convinced that it’s my favourite revival yet. Having said that, I also ADORE this production of The Colour Purple, and I think Cynthia Erivo is an absolute goddess, so if that wins I wouldn’t at all be surprised - I feel like Fiddler looks a bit boring compared to the other nominees!
Best Book of a Musical
I think this is another obvious Hamilton win, but I do have a bit of an issue with that - does Hamilton technically have a book? Isn’t it completely sung/rapped? I haven’t seen it, so I couldn’t tell you, but I’m just not sure it really counts! I do think School of Rock also stands a chance in this category, simply because it’s Lloyd Webber!
Best Original Score (music and/or lyrics) Written for the Theatre
This one is another Hamilton no-brainer: the lyrics are so complex and intricately clever that I can’t really see it NOT winning! If, by some fluke, Hamilton didn’t win, however, I would take a guess at Waitress because the lyrics are both funny and beautiful - Sara Bareilles has done an exceptional job!
Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical
As much as it feels ‘right’ for Lin-Manuel Miranda, as the creator of the show he’s nominated for, to win this, I really don’t think he will - it’s a fantastic show, no doubt about that, but I don’t think he’s particularly exceptional. I think, without a doubt, this will go to Leslie Odom Jr. for Hamilton - I just can’t see it going to anyone else!
Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical
This really is the ultimate category for leading ladies of Broadway, but I think in this instance, it’s a similar situation to this category at the Olivier Awards (Imelda Staunton was nominated so nobody else stood a chance!) with Cynthia Erivo. She is such a powerful actress and singer that not even Jessie Mueller (who I absolutely adore, by the way!) and Phillipa Soo combined could beat her!
Whether you’re watching from your sofa in the US, or waking up at 3am to stream it online in the UK, I hope everyone has a wonderful Tonys night, and that your favourite show wins!
HAPPY TONYS TO ALL, AND TO ALL A GOOD NIGHT!