My 2012 Tony Nomination Predictions are . . .

When this blog goes live, 35 very smart and very fancy men and women of the theater will be holed up at the world famous Edison Cafe, deciding who and what will be nominated for a Tony Award this year.

Don’t believe me?  Take a stroll by the Cafe on Monday . . . you’ll see the windows covered up, and you’ll see bouncers at the door, only allowing those that have earned the right to be an all-powerful Tony Nominator.

It’s one of those cool theatrical traditions that make our industry interesting and fun.  We’re not an industry of conference rooms.  We’re an industry of dining rooms.

Very few people will ever know exactly what goes on behind those papered walls.  But that doesn’t stop people from trying to predict what the outcome will be.

Including me!

I post my predictions every year, but only in the big categories of Best Musical, Best Play, Best Revival of a Musical and Best Revival of a Play.

Ready to hear what I think will happen?

Best Musical

Nice Work If You Can Get It

And . . .

Boy this fourth spot is always the tricky wicket.  While Spider-Man has proven itself to be a juggernaut, crushing bad press and lawsuits in its path with its $1mm (and sometimes $2mm) grosses, I think its success will cause some Nominator backlash, and they’ll leave it off the list.  That leaves Ghost, Leap of Faith, Lysistrata Jones and Bonnie and Clyde.  A week ago I was going to say Ghost.  But, I’ve changed my movie-to-musical tune.  I think that the Nominators are going to go with the non-star driven, original American musical and give it to . . .

Lysistrata Jones

Best Play

There are 15 suckers eligible for this award this year (who said new plays are dead?), and only 4 slots (can we say, “expand the category to five, please?”).

Clybourne Park
Other Desert Cities
Peter and the Starcatcher

And another tough call for the fourth position.  Since One Man Two Guvnors is now a “new play” instead of a revival, it really mucks up the waters.  But at the end of the “play”, my money is on another home grown piece of work . . .


Best Revival of a Musical

Alright, well, this one is close to my heart, so let’s hit it:

Porgy & Bess

And . . . honestly, I wouldn’t be objective (which is such a big part of being a producer) if I didn’t admit that the fourth spot was a battle between the two Jesus musicals. 🙂  Godspell versus Jesus Christ Superstar.  Godspell has been a bit neglected by the other Awards committees, which has me a bit confused and concerned for tomorrow’s announcement.  But Superstar has been done before, and Andrew Lloyd Webber already has a show on the slate above.  And, objectively again, I believe that the Godspell creative team deserves some kudos for their incredibly inventive updating of a forty year old musical.  So, I’m going to follow the advice that Mrs. Puccio gave to me my junior year of high school when I was running for Student Council Vice President (“Don’t be stupid.  Vote for yourself!”), and I’m going to say . . .


Best Revival of a Play

This category has only one nomination lock in my book, which is also most likely the lock to win.

Death of a Salesman

So what will fill the other three slots?  Tough to call, but I’m going to go with:

The Best Man
A Streetcar Named Desire

What do you think?  Do you agree?  Disagree?  What do you think are going to be the big nominees tomorrow?  Comment below!  And tune in on Tuesday to see how both you and I scored!


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  • Jensen Clifford says:

    Best Musical: Had the exact same issue. Same top three with anything else in the fourth spot. It is a shame that they keep making the wrong movies into Musicals. I have two movies, that would make AMAZING musicals, in mind. I watch them and say “Why aren’t these on stage? Put a song here, here and here and you got a musical.”

    Best Play: Such a great year for plays! I am however surprised that you don’t have Venus in Fur or End of the Rainbow on your list. I have a feeling Tracey Bennett will take home the Tony for Best actress

    Best Musical Revival: You and I are in the same boat on that one. Though I LOVE Godspell, seen it three times already, I don’t think it will get nominated for any of the big awards. However, I would not be surprised to see nominations for Lighting, Direction, Orchestrations, Musical Direction, Props (is there and award for that?) and I personally think Uzo Aduba should be nominated for her work. She is POWERFUL on that stage and is so consistent and invested.

    Best revival of a play: I agree with you on that.

  • Kathleen Hochberg says:

    you KNOW I am in total agreement with the Godspell choice! Keeping my fingers crossed for Newsies and Porgy and Bess. I have been in the audience for Godspell too often to have seen much else…

  • cassandra vallery says:

    Agree with you! & only have to say how annoyed I am that Lysistrata Jones closed so darn quickly; what a shame.

  • Amy Leigh says:

    I think the Nominators would love to snub Spidey for the top slot but that it might get an awful lot of technical noms. Clybourne Park – a given. I, too, foresee a Jesus-off for that forth position. I’m going to throw in Danny for Director, though.

  • andrew says:

    I love that you included Lysistrata Jones & Wit! although I think Private Lives or another revival deserve a nod over Streetcar. I think they might give design nods to Spiderman and maybe even give Mr Carney a nod (for hangin’ in there 😉 instead of including Spiderman for Best Musical.

  • alex De Witt says:

    I agree with you and with Jensen ” personally think Uzo Aduba should be nominated for her work. She is POWERFUL on that stage and is so consistent and invested.”

  • Chris says:

    Everyone seems to be predicting JCS but I’m going with Godspell for that fourth slot. I’m also going with One Man Two Guvnors for Play (in place of Seminar.)

  • David Stanley says:

    The Mountaintop? I know it’s harder for plays that have closed, but it had enough starpower. Although I personally would put “One Man Two Guvnors” as the fourth for Best Play.

  • Stacey Mills -- POG says:

    What makes one show more worthy of recognition than another? What makes the work of talented street artists worth less than that iconic painting in the MET? Sometimes it’s easy to tell and sometimes it’s not. In the case of the Broadway revival of Godspell produced by Ken Davenport and The People of Godspell it has nothing to do with the show itself. The show is an exquisite interpretation of the original completely envisioned for an entirely new generation. The entertainment value is high and people who see the show love it!! The lack of a Tony nomination for Best Revival of a Musical has nothing to do with the show. In my opinion, it has to do with how it was produced!

    Ken, it is true that you sit on the outside of an old boys club. You are new money, new ideas, and new process, all of which scares the hell out of The Establishment. The People of Godspell, every bit an above the title producer of the Broadway revival of Godspell (and without them the show most likely would not have happened) is also new money, new ideas, and new process and it scares the hell out of The Establishment. How can The Establishment award 700 people an unspoken membership of acceptance into the club when those 700 people represent a complete change in business process? They can’t, and we weren’t nominated — not for what we created but for who we are and what we represent. So what?

    The Tony telecast represents a huge marketing opportunity and traditionally shows see a big bump in their ticket sales because of it. We’re going to have to find it somewhere else. No one is going to give the new kid on the block, which represents a change in process from the old guard to the new guard, anything for free. We’re going to have to work twice as hard (without spending twice the marketing), recoup twice as much, and run twice as long if we’re going to prove that we belong and change the process of how things work in their old boys club. It’s time to “go to the mattresses”. It’s time for Wallace to blow the bugle — literally. It’s time for a bottom to top review of all processes to see if we can do it better, cheaper, stronger and compete even more strongly for an audience this summer.

    The lack of a Tony nomination is nothing more than a battle cry. If you are going to change the process of how things are done in The Establishment it’s time to redouble our efforts, sell more ticket, recoup more money, run longer and prove you came to the game to stay.

    • all I can say is GRRRRRRRR! Godspell revival is the most inventive, energized, lovingly conceived production out there and what has happened here is beyond my understanding

  • Randi says:

    LOF is indeed a surprise, to say the least. Mostly the nominations are solid, but I do think Chinglish should have been recognized for something! Maybe not best play, considering how unbelievably packed that category is, but it deserved some recognition. And of course Audra really does deserve her 5th, for her splendid performance.

  • Scott says:

    I loved Godspell. I too was disappointed.

    • It’s suggested that people who have demonstrated a feeling or reaction to nicotine, significant or breastfeeding, or who have unbalanced heart situation must talk about the use of an electronic cigarette tool with a doctor earlier than using one. Therefore it is totally dependent upon the choice of people that which kind and strength they want in their personal vaporizer. Thaddeus Marney, who is a founding board member of CASAA (The Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives Association), had another concern.

  • Barry says:

    I guess you’ll be posting the closing notice for “Godspell” very soon 🙂

  • Cheryl says:

    Very surprised and disappointed that Tyne Daly didn’t get nominated for her performance in Master Class. I thought she was magnificent!

  • alice says:

    CANNOT believe Godspell was left out. This is such a sad sad day. I’m sorry Ken 🙁 This was completely unpredicatable, and obviously wrong. Your show has stayed opened, while others have been forced to close. However, listen to the public and your loyal audience. They are the ones that truly matter 🙂

  • Heather says:

    WhiLe I was not surprised over most of the shows that got nominated, I alsO felt Godspell deserved a Best Revival nomination. I was able to see the show last fall, and it was amazing. The cast was talented and did an outstanding job. Definately got cheated, as this has been one of my favorite revivals, and one I was super excited to get tickets for. I can’t stop listening to the Cast recording, and am hoping to see it again fairly soon!

  • Mainers says:

    We saw Godspell over Thanksgiving and thought it was AMAZING!! We’ve seen many, many versions of Godspell over the past 30+ years and this was BY FAR the best ever! Godspell really deserved a nomination for Best Revival. Keep your chin up and keep entertaining all those that truly love this show and wonderful music!

  • John Kunich says:

    Ken, I’ve been “grrr-ing” ever since I learned that it was passover for GODSPELL. GODSPELL overflows with originality, passion, love, and energy–qualities in short supply with most new musicals, let alone revivals of shows from 4 decades ago. But I resolved not to get too upset over the Tony Awards way back when THE PRODUCERS snagged the most hardware ever. I’m sorry, but that proved to me that merit has only the most tenuous relationship to what gets nominated, and to what wins. Long Live God(spell)!

  • Brooke says:

    I’m surprised at the fact Godspell didn’t get a nomination. I did the show in college and was blown away at the current production. It was like I was seeing it for the first time (even though I know the show forwards and backwards). It definitely deserved recognition.

  • ECP says:

    As usual, I have mixed feelings, especially about the revivals. Maybe late-season bows dim memories of some exceptional perfs and productions staged earlier (eg Jennifer Lim, Rachel Griffiths). Maybe. Thought “Godspell” would snag a technical nod or two. Sort’ve impressive to see actors such as Langella, Jones, and Lithgow still turning it on decades after I became aware of them on stage in the late 60s and early 70s, when they each were receiving Tony noms and awards. Happy that “Follies” is in contention. “Porgy and Bess” and “Wit,” not so much. Strong season for new/newish plays, and perfs. Bravo Arianda and Corden and Garfield and Shamos, “Once” and “Peter and the Starcatchers” and “One Man, Two Guvnors.” Give one to Jan Maxwell already!

  • Liz Turner says:

    Ken and the cast of godspell,
    We were so shocked and upset to hear that Godspell had not been nominated this year. When we saw Godspell, we thought it was the best show all year! You guys have worked so hard and are all so very talented at your crafts, and I am sure I can find a thousand people to back me up on this, we all know you guys deserved to have a nomination, but don’t let this bring you guys down. We all know in this business, it is full of politics, unfairness, and a lot of things that are beyond our control, and we must stay strong and true to our craft, and I agree long live Godspell! 🙂

  • Alan Kitty says:

    I always liked Simon’s critical analysis in the days before the $100 ticket made Theatre less accessible. But it seems media outlet owners show sensitivity to that evolving reality when they ask critics to become cheerleaders. Although audiences are less responsive today to traditional theatrical critics’ analyses, they are getting older, and increasingly interested in getting a cab. I think the standing ovation may be in part a preparation to exit the theater before everyone else. I know this is true in at least some markets outside of New York. But as a producer, writer and performer, I don’t care why they stand up, as long as the show has ended before they do it.

  • Joseph Walsh says:

    Explain this omission to me. Nominations for Venus in Fur include; Play, Director and Lead Actress in a two-character play but Hugh Dancy is excluded for his equally great although appropriately less showy performance. All I can hope for is that when Nina wins she gives him his proper due. This type of omission helps me keep Awards shows in perspective. Money, politics,inner circle favoritism and occasionally sheer talent wins out.

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