76th Tony Award Final Predictions

Later tonight, the 76th Tony Awards will be held, in arguably the messiest way possible in their entire run. Held in two parts on Pluto TV and CBS/Paramount+, host Ariana DeBose will have to keep hopes high for a disappointing Broadway season where the only moneymakers were the surprisingly strong revivals, all while improvising her way through the night due to the Writers’ Strike. But regardless of the quality of the show itself, it’s still fun to watch artists hand out awards to each other – not to mention the joy of watching live performances. So before the show takes its bow, let’s take a quick look at who’s nominated, and who the big winners are likely to be.

When it comes to the plays, things are usually easy to predict. The Pulitzer winners rarely ever win both awards (sorry to Fat Ham), and the rest of the rewards are usually split between one dazzling piece of setwork and one massively-scoped story. In this case, look for acclaimed playwright Tom Stoppard’s Leopoldstadt to be the big winner, especially with its epic story about a Jewish family spanning a half-century, culminating in the aftermath of the Holocaust. Expect it to take Costume Design, Direction, and Best Play, while the adaptation of Life of Pi should unsurprisingly take home the technical awards – like Best Scenic and Sound Design.

The acting awards are a bit more straightforward – with one glaring exception. Beloved character actor Stephen McKinley Henderson – who’s experienced a renaissance of roles in beloved movies in recent years – should take home his first Tony for his moving work in Between Riverside and Crazy. Crystal Lucas-Perry should edge out Fat Ham star Nikki Crawford for her work in the powerful Ain’t No Mo’. In one of the night’s tougher races, expect Samuel L. Jackson’s acclaimed turn in The Piano Lesson to earn him his first Tony Award, edging out Leopoldstadt’s Brandon Uranowitz (of course, if Leopoldstadt sweeps, the momentum here could swiftly change.

And then there’s the fascinating bloodbath shaping up in Best Actress. While only four actresses qualified for this field, two of the most heralded performances of the last decade are shaping up for a battle with wider ramifications in the industry. I’m talking, of course, about Jessica Chastain’s performance in the legendary A Doll’s House (the frontrunner for Best Revival of a Play) and Jodie Comer in the one-woman show (and mega-hit) Prima Facie.

Both actresses give commanding performances, and both have been big moneymakers and critical hits. But above all, the actress who wins it will be well on their way to a Triple Crown – and could achieve it before the year is out. Chastain has an Oscar and is poised to win an Emmy this fall, while Comer has an Emmy and has two Oscar contenders waiting in the wings. It’s one of the most exciting races I’ve ever witnessed, and while I’m giving the edge to Chastain, I cannot overstate that this will be the highlight of the night. Facie, meanwhile, should take Lighting Design.

Moving on to the musical categories (come on, this is the real reason you’re here), things are a bit more…stale. Hell, three of the revival nominees are more exciting (critically and commercially) than any of the Best Musical contenders. But I digress. This feels like a year akin to the mid 90s, or the run we had in the early aughts, where a big showy musical (Some Like It Hot) sweeps the technical categories (it’s hard not to imagine it winning Choreography, Costumes, and Scenic Design), while the off-Broadway hit Kimberly Akimbo wins the bigger awards. Beyond Best Musical, Orchestrations, Book, and Direction, expect Akimbo to win two of the four acting categories, thanks to Victoria Clark’s commanding lead performance and the underground legend Bonnie Milligan in Featured Actress.

Some Like It Hot should also find support in the Leading Actor category, not only thanks to J. Harrison Ghee’s commanding performance, but because of the possibility to make history by naming the first nonbinary performer at a major awards show (Ghee’s work has been wildly heralded, and they have the added bonus of duplicating Jack Lemmon’s legendary turn from the film of the same name).

Speaking of gender nonconforming roles, genderqueer performer Alex Newell (a standout on Glee a full decade ago) should also win Featured Actor, for their drag turn as Lulu in Shucked. Oh, and take note – with Shucked featuring the arguably only memorable song in any of the Best Musical nominees, expect it to also take Original Score in a surprise twist. As for Lighting and Sound Design, Sweeney Todd should take it handily. As for Best Revival, expect Parade to edge out Todd and Into the Woods in a very close matchup.

So these are my predictions for tonight’s Tony Awards. We’ll find out soon enough who will win the big awards. Feel free to share your comments below, and best of luck to anyone preparing for tonight’s potential trainwreck. The 76th Tony Awards will begin showing at 6:30 pm on Pluto TV, hosted by Julianne Hough and Skyler Astin. The technical awards will be presented here, before Ariana DeBose takes over at 8:00 pm on CBS and Paramount Plus for the actual show. You can see my full predictions listed below, with predictions marked with a *.

Best Play

  • Ain’t No Mo’
  • Between Riverside and Crazy
  • Cost of Living
  • Fat Ham
  • Leopoldstadt *

Best Musical

  • & Juliet
  • Kimberly Akimbo *
  • New York, New York
  • Shucked
  • Some Like It Hot

Best Revival of a Play

  • A Doll’s House *
  • The Piano Lesson
  • The Sign in Sidney Brustein’s Window
  • Topdog/Underdog

Best Revival of a Musical

  • Camelot
  • Into the Woods
  • Parade *
  • Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

Best Actor In A Play

  • Yahya Abdul-Mateen II – Topdog/Underdog
  • Corey Hawkins – Topdog/Underdog
  • Sean Hayes – Good Night, Oscar
  • Stephen McKinley Henderson – Between Riverside and Crazy *
  • Wendell Pierce – Death of a Salesman

Best Actor In A Musical

  • Christian Borle – Some Like It Hot
  • J. Harrison Ghee – Some Like It Hot *
  • Josh Groban – Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
  • Brian d’Arcy James – Into the Woods
  • Ben Platt – Parade
  • Colton Ryan – New Yor, New York

Best Actress in a Play

  • Jessica Chastain – A Doll’s House *
  • Jodie Comer – Prima Facie
  • Jessica Hecht – Summer, 1976
  • Audra McDonald – Ohio State Murders

Best Actress In A Musical

  • Annaleigh Ashford – Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
  • Sara Bareilles – Into the Woods
  • Victoria Clark – Kimberly Akimbo *
  • Micaela Diamond – Parade
  • Lorna Courtney – & Juliet

Best Featured Actor In A Play

  • Jordan E. Cooper – Ain’t No Mo’
  • Samuel L. Jackson – The Piano Lesson *
  • Arian Moayed – A Doll’s House
  • Brandon Uranowitz – Leopoldstadt
  • David Zayas – Cost of Living

Best Featured Actor In A Musical

  • Kevin Cahoon – Shucked
  • Justin Cooley – Kimberly Akimbo
  • Kevin Del Aguila – Some Like It Hot
  • Jordan Donica – Camelot
  • Alex Newell – Shucked *

Best Featured Actress In A Play

  • Nikki Crawford – Fat Ham
  • Crystal Lucas-Perry – Ain’t No Mo’ *
  • Miriam Silverman – The Sign in Sidney Brustein’s Window
  • Katy Sullivan – Cost of Living
  • Kara Young – Cost of Living

Best Featured Actress In A Musical

  • Julia Lester – Into th eWoods
  • Ruthie Ann Miles – Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
  • Bonnie Milligan – Kimberly Akimbo *
  • NaTasha Yvette Williams – Some Like It Hot
  • Betsy Wolfe – & Juliet

Best Director Of A Play

  • Saheem Ali – Fat Ham
  • Jo Bonney – Cost of Living
  • Jamie Lloyd – A Doll’s House
  • Patrick Marber – Leopoldstadt *
  • Stevie Walker-Webb – Ain’t No Mo’
  • Max Webster – Life Of Pi

Best Director Of A Musical

  • Michael Arden – Parade
  • Lear DeBessonet – Into the Woods
  • Casey Nicholaw – Some Like It Hot
  • Jack O’Brien – Shucked
  • Jessica Stone – Kimberly Akimbo *

Best Original Score

  • Almost Famous
  • Kimberly Akimbo
  • KPOP
  • Shucked *
  • Some Like It Hot

Best Book Of A Musical

  • & Juliet
  • Kimerbly Akimbo *
  • New York, New York
  • Shucked
  • Some Like It Hot

Best Scenic Design in a Play

  • A Christmas Carol
  • Good Night, Oscar
  • Leopoldstadt
  • Life of Pi *
  • Prima Facie

Best Scenic Design in a Musical

  • Camelot
  • New York, New York
  • Shucked
  • Some Like It Hot *
  • Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

Best Costume Design in a Play

  • Ain’t No Mo’
  • Fat Ham
  • Good Night, Oscar
  • Leopoldstadt *
  • Life of Pi

Best Costume Design in a Musical

  • & Juliet
  • Camelot
  • KPOP
  • New York, New York
  • Parade
  • Some Like It Hot *

Best Lighting Design in a Play

  • A Christmas Carol
  • Death of a Salesman
  • A Doll’s House
  • Fat Ham
  • Leopoldstadt
  • Life of Pi
  • Prima Facie *

Best Lighting Design in a Musical

  • & Juliet
  • Camelot
  • New York, New York
  • Parade
  • Some Like It Hot
  • Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street *

Best Sound Design of a Play

  • Ain’t No Mo’
  • A Christmas Carol
  • A Doll’s House
  • Life of Pi *
  • Prima Facie

Best Sound Design of a Musical

  • & Juliet
  • Into the Woods
  • New York, New York
  • Shucked
  • Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street *

Best Choreography

  • & Juliet
  • KPOP
  • New York, New York
  • Some Like It Hot *
  • Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

Best Orchestrations

  • & Juliet
  • Kimberly Akimbo *
  • Shucked
  • Some Like It Hot
  • Sweeney Todd

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