75th Tony Award Predictions

After the last few years of…confusing Tony rules, Broadway is officially back, just in time for the 75th Tony Awards! That’s right, the biggest award in the art of theater is back – and just in time, too. This has been a jam-packed season full of beloved classics and new and exciting projects meant to challenge and entertain. And while our frontrunners are pretty much locked into place, there’s still room for a few surprises along the way. So let’s hop right into predicting those, shall we?

Since it’s clear the only reason people talk about the Tonys are the musical nominees (sorry, dramaturgs), why don’t we start on the musical side? After all, it’s pretty clear what the frontrunners are: Six and A Strange Loop. Six has been a dominant force since its London premiere – a Hamilton-esque retelling of the Henry VIII story through the lens of a Six Wives Girl Band. The soundtrack predates the pandemic, so it’s already filled that Hamilton/Dear Evan Hansen slot amongst theater kids nationwide, and while its six actresses may all miss a nomination due to their joint Best Actress contention, it should dominate in most every other category. As for Loop, it would clearly be the smarter choice: a meta-commentary on being a black gay man in the very niche Broadway theater space. Its script is funny, its music complex, and its themes challenging, expect A Strange Loop to compete in some key categories, like Original Score, Book, a few tech nods, and frontrunner lead Jaquel Spivey.

Looking over at the revivals, things also seem pretty much set. There’s a classical rendition of The Music Man, which stars an ensemble of Broadway vets and leads Hugh Jackman and Sutton Foster, as well as a gender-swapped retelling of the late Sondheim’s masterpiece Company. While neither show is eligible in the Book and Music categories, expect these two to run the table elsewhere: Jackman, Foster, Jefferson Mays, and Jayne Houdyshell should get in for the former, while Katrina Lenk’s take on Bobbi should be the frontrunner in Lead Actress. Oh, and speaking of actress, you know what could be funny? After all that hype and nepotism and energy put into the Funny Girl campaign, reviews and ticket sales have rendered this thing DOA. I smell a shutout, depending on if Jane Lynch can earn a nod in Featured Actress.

Instead of Funny Girl, expect Caroline, or Change to make a splash – above the line, at least – with nods for Sharon D. Clarke and potentially Samantha Williams. Meanwhile, Best Musical will be rounded out by the avant-garde – yet highly traditional – Flying Over Sunset (expect a Tony Yazbeck nod for playing a stoned Cary Grant), Billy Crystal’s slightly-musical adaptation of his 1992 film Mr. Saturday Night (costarring his original Oscar-nominated costar David Paymer), and a recent British hit called Girl From The North Country, a Depression-era weepy featuring songs from up-and-coming artist (*checks notes) Bob Dylan. Oh, and speaking of jukebox musicals, while it likely won’t earn any big nominations, expect the controversial MJ The Musical to earn a few nods here and there – obvious things like Choreography, Orchestrations, Lighting, and the performances of Quentin Earl Darrington (Joe) and Myles Frost (Michael).

Moving over to Best Play, things are pretty much wrapped up. There’s a massive juggernaut and at least two beloved writers in contention. Starting with the juggernaut, we have The Lehman Trilogy, a sweeping epic starring three beloved character actors and directed by Oscar-winner Sam Mendes. The show follows the rise of three immigrant brothers who found an investment firm all the way through their 2008 financial collapse. Expect several nominations, including Simon Russell Beale (your frontrunner) and Adam Godley in Best Actor. Meanwhile, new works by Pulitzer-winner Tracy Letts (The Minutes) and Oscar-nominee Matthew McDonagh (Hangmen) should also hang in contention, mainly in the Featured Actor categories. After that, things get sketchy, although I’m willing to bet on the Uzo Aduba-led Clyde’s and the Detroit auto industry-set Skeleton Crew.

I always do terribly at the Revival of a Play category, especially if there isn’t a dominating force, like Tennessee Williams or August Wilson or Ibsen. I suppose there’s David Mamet’s American Buffalo, which could see nods for Sam Rockwell and Darren Criss, but even that feels more like an “I guess” box tick. The clear frontrunner here is the recent production of for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf, which should do nicely in the Lead and Featured Actress categories, thanks to performances like Kenita R. Miller as the Lady In Red. Oh, and while the general rule of thumb is “don’t predict Shakespeare at the Tonys,” the weak field should let Macbeth sneak in, particularly the likes of Ruth Negga and Amber Gray.

And that about sums up where we’re at with the 75th Tony Awards! We’ll find out soon enough who the nominees are, as Adrienne Warren and Joshua Henry will announce the list live on Monday. The actual Tony Award ceremony will be held on June 12th, hosted by Tony nominee and recent Academy Award winner Ariana DeBose. You can see my full predictions below.

Best Play

  • Clyde’s
  • Hangmen
  • The Lehman Trilogy
  • The Minutes
  • Skeleton Crew

Best Musical

  • Flying Over Sunset
  • Girl From The North Country
  • Mr. Saturday Night
  • Six
  • A Strange Loop

Best Revival of a Play

  • American Buffalo
  • for colored girls
  • Lackawanna Blues
  • Macbeth
  • Take Me Out

Best Revival of a Musical

  • Caroline, Or Change
  • Company
  • The Music Man

Best Actor In A Play

  • Simon Russell Beale – The Lehman Trilogy
  • Adam Godley – The Lehman Trilogy
  • David Morse – How I Learned To Drive
  • Sam Rockwell – American Buffalo
  • David Threlfall – Hangman

Best Actor In A Musical

  • Billy Crystal – Mr.  Saturday Night
  • Hugh Jackman – The Music Man
  • Myles Frost – MJ The Musical
  • Jaquel Spivey – A Strange Loop
  • Tony Yazbeck – Flying Over Sunset

Best Actress in a Play

  • LaChanze – Trouble In Mind
  • Ebony Marshall-Oliver – Chicken and Biscuits
  • Ruth Negga – Macbeth
  • Deidre O’Connell – Dana H.
  • Mary-Louise Parker – How I Learned To Drive

Best Actress In A Musical

  • Carmen Cusack – Flying Over Sunset
  • Sharon D. Clarke – Caroline, Or Change
  • Sutton Foster – The Music Man
  • Katrina Lenk – Company
  • Mare Winningham – Girl From The North Country

Best Featured Actor In A Play

  • Alfie Allen – Hangmen
  • Chuck Cooper – Trouble In Mind
  • Darren Criss – American Buffalo
  • Jesse Tyler Ferguson – Take Me Out
  • Noah Reid – The Minutes

Best Featured Actor In A Musical

  • Quentin Earl Darrington – MJ The Musical
  • Matt Doyle – Company
  • Jefferson Mays – The Music Man
  • John-Andrew Morrison – A Strange Loop
  • David Paymer – Mr. Saturday Night

Best Featured Actress In A Play

  • Uzo Aduba – Clyde’s
  • Amber Gray – Macbeth
  • Kenita R. Miller – for colored girls
  • Jessie Mueller – The Minutes
  • Phylicia Rashad – Skeleton Crew

Best Featured Actress In A Musical

  • Jeannete Bayardelle – Girl From The North Country
  • Jayne Houdyshell – The Music Man
  • Patti Lupone – Company
  • Jane Lynch – Funny Girl
  • Samantha Williams – Caroline, Or Change

Best Director Of A Play

  • Camille A. Brown – for colored girls
  • Matthew Dunster – Hangmen
  • Scott Ellis – Take Me Out
  • Sam Mendes – The Lehman Trilogy
  • Anna D. Shapiro – The Minutes

Best Director Of A Musical

  • Stephen Brackett – A Strange Loop
  • Marianne Elliott – Company
  • Conor McPherson – Girl From The North Country
  • Lucy Moss – Six
  • Jerry Zaks – The Music Man

Best Original Score

  • Flying Over Sunset
  • The Lehman Trilogy
  • Mr. Saturday Night
  • Six
  • A Strange Loop

Best Book Of A Musical

  • Flying Over Sunset
  • Girl From The North Country
  • Mr. Saturday Night
  • Six
  • A Strange Loop

Best Scenic Design in a Play

  • Clyde’s
  • The Lehman Trilogy
  • Macbeth
  • Potus: Or, Behind Every Great Dumbass Are Seven Women Trying To Keep Him Alive
  • Take Me Out

Best Scenic Design in a Musical

  • Flying Over Sunset
  • Funny Girl
  • Girl From the North Country
  • The Music Man
  • Six

Best Costume Design in a Play

  • Clyde’s
  • Lackawanna Blues
  • The Lehman Trilogy
  • Macbeth
  • Take Me Out

Best Costume Design in a Musical

  • Funny Girl
  • Girl From The North Country
  • Doubtfire
  • The Music Man
  • Six

Best Lighting Design in a Play

  • American Buffalo
  • for colored girls
  • Hangmen
  • The Lehman Trilogy
  • The Minutes

Best Lighting Design in a Musical

  • Company
  • MJ The Musical
  • The Music Man
  • Six
  • A Strange Loop

Best Sound Design of a Play

  • for colored girls
  • Hangmen
  • The Lehman Trilogy
  • Skeleton Crew
  • Take Me Out

Best Sound Design of a Musical

  • Company
  • Girl From The North Country
  • MJ The Musical
  • Six
  • A Strange Loop

Best Choreography

  • for colored girls
  • MJ The Musical
  • The Music Man
  • Paradise Square
  • Six

Best Orchestrations

  • Company
  • Girl From The North Country
  • MJ The Musical
  • The Music Man
  • A Strange Loop

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