My Predictions for the 2012-13 Tony Nominations

Last week, The Outer Critics and the Drama League trumpeted the beginning of Award season with their set of nominees . . . and today, we hit Award Season-stride with the announcement of the Drama Desk nominations.

But let’s face it.  While we all love us some Outer Critics and Drama Desks, it’s those Tony nominations tomorrow that have all of us on the edge of our uncomfortable theater seats.

As you read, the Nominating Committee is holed up at the famed Edison Cafe (aka “Polish Tea Room”) with paper covering the windows and security guards at the front door . . . as they decide just who will be nominated for theater’s big-wig prize.

Who will they choose?

Good question.

I’m going to make some predictions in the the biggest categories of the Tony Race:  Best Musical, Best Play, Best Revival of a Musical and Best Revival of a Play.  And then tomorrow we’ll see how I do.

Ready?  I’m putting on my sooth-saying hat, and here goes . . .


1.  Matilda – It was a lock for a nom before it was even announced for Broadway.

2.  Kinky Boots – The home grown Kinky is Matilda’s biggest competition and is also a lock for the 2nd slot.

3.  Hands on a Hardbody – While its run was almost as short as the actual “Hands On” competition, Hardbody will get a nom as recognition for its courageous spirit and its unique form.  Matilda was easy to musicalize.  Hardbody, not so much.  And the team took the challenge head on, and got a set of great notices in the process.  And they’ll be invited to the Tony dance as a result of their efforts.

4.  Chaplin – The fourth slot is always the wildcard, and this year is no different.  We’ve got Bring it On (which snagged a thumbs up from the Times last summer), Motown (big bucks, Berry Gordy), and A Christmas Story all in the mix.  But, I’d expect Bring it On to be forgotten, Motown to get snubbed for being a jukebox tuner, and A Christmas Story thought of as just holiday fare.  And that’s why I’m predicting it’ll be Chaplin for the final nominee for Best Musical.


1.  Pippin – Director Diane Paulus does it again.  She takes a popular American musical (Hair, Porgy) and adds a new twist (in this case a bunch of twisting acrobats), and gets her show nominated for Best Revival in the process.

2.  The Mystery of Edwin Drood – The last 20 minutes of Drood were some of the most fun I had on Broadway this year.  And Nominators will think  so too.

3.  Cinderella – Was it new?  Or was it a revival?  A revival it is, and because of that classification (smarty pants Producers lobbied for this category), it’ll get a nod.

4.  Annie – This fourth slot is easier to pick, because the only other entry in the category is Jekyll & Hyde.  And, well, the Wildhorn curse continues.


1.  The Assembled Parties – Terrific notices and terrific word of mouth make this one an easy choice for the first nomination slot (and the front runner for the actual award).

2.  Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike – This Durang play was a surprising last minute transfer . . . but it’s not a surprising nominee.

3.  Lucky Guy – A good play with a big star by a beloved Author who is no longer with us.  All that spells Tony nom to me.

4.  The Nance – The solo plays (Testament of Mary and I’ll Eat You Last) will cancel each other out.  And Douglas Carter Beane’s work, powered by Nathan Lane, will snag the final spot.


1.  Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf – The Steppenwolf production was one of the first revivals of the year, and it earns the first nomination.

2.  Golden Boy – Bart Sher and Clifford Odets continue their successful pairing and produce another Tony nominated revival.

3.  The Heiress – Remember The Heiress?  The Tony nominators will.

4.  Macbeth – Ok, ok so I produced it.  But IMHO, Macbeth is what a revival is all about – a bold and unique take on classic material that can’t be seen anywhere else but on Broadway.

So there she blows!  My best-guesses for the Nominees for this year’s big prizes; the ones that have the most impact on a bottom line.  And in less than 24 hours, we’ll know how I did (I’ll be in mid-air when they are announced – so thank the Tony Gods for in flight wifi).  And as soon as they are out in the world I’ll give myself a grade, and blog that grade here.

In the meantime, give me your predictions in the comments below.  Let’s see how we all stack up.

Don’t you love this time of year?


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  • Michael Traupman says:

    I think your predictions look pretty good. I don’t think CHAPLIN will win over the committee. I’m putting my money on A CHRISTMAS STORY, but I do think Rob McClure snags a nomination for the title role in the show. I have a good feeling about Macbeth as well. 😉

  • David Merrick Jr says:

    There is NO WAY WHATSOEVER that CHAPLIN gets a Best Musical nod.

    Crix and Audiences liked A CHRISTMAS STORY, which I believe is coming back again this year.

    So it’s between that and MOTOWN, which is the biggest BO juggernaut of the year and the voters may just reward that.

    • Jeff Solis says:

      “Motown” possible – but from what I heard and know abt they Tony nominating folk – it isn’t likely.

  • Daniel Schwait says:

    After listening to the BBC2 radio broadcast of the Olivier Awards last night, I think it’s time the Tonys took a long look at how they do things!

    First of all the audience choice award is a great thing. If you slip a little ballot into all the Playbills asking people to vote for their favorite long running show, or favorite replacement or something like that, they might be more inclined to tune in to see if their choice won!

    The second thing was having the plaza area in front of the Royal Opera House designated as a sort of “fan zone” if the Tonys were held somewhere like Lincoln Center, you could make the plaza into a great place to enjoy the ceremony and really channel your inner theater nerd! It works brilliantly when the Met does it for their opening night with the red carpet, the audience seating and the simulcast of the performance. Even in torrential downpours, those seats are full.

    Just my two cents.

    • Randi says:

      Hey but at least the Tonys get the awards right usually, honoring deserving people/shows! (Can you tell I think the Oliviers got things ridiculously wrong this year?)

  • Margie says:

    GREAT photo. Who is it? Is it from a play?

  • Craig says:

    Didn’t the Nominating Committee rule HANDS ON A HARDBODY ineligible for nominations because it didn’t run long enough? So what takes that slot instead, Ken – I think BRING IT ON has the best shot to fill out the nominations. It was only supposed to be a short summer fill-in stop on a longer tour, yet it got extended and did well enough to run until Christmas. That says something the nominators can’t deny. And the choreography was AMAZING!

  • Jeff Solis says:

    Well Musical Revial checks out but:

    “The Nance” will not get up for Best Play. “The Other Place” will.

    “Hands” is not in the race. They never invited voters it seems. Soooo “Christmas Story” and “Chaplin” will get up with “Bring it On” a def possibilty. “Matilda” is winning by landslide so it really doesn’t matter what gets up.

    Musical Revival – correct

    Play Revival
    It will be “Woolf” “Golden Boy” “Trip to Bountiful” defs with “Heiress” or “Macbeth” in 4th spot (so light a candle tonight Ken to Ethel Barrymore that they forget “The Heiress” -I’m lighting one to ole Henry Miller for “Trip”).

  • Gaspar Marino says:

    I hope that Rob McClure and Carolee Carmello are not forgotten tomorrow when the Tony nominations are announced

  • Tina says:

    Just clarifying a fact: Nominations haven’t been held at the Edison in years.

    Good luck to all the nominees!!!

  • Eb says:

    Google peeps…hands is eligible.

    The choreography of Pippin, which is credited to Chet Walker (in the style of Bob Fosse), is eligible for nomination, and the short-lived new musical Hands on a Hardbody did run long enough for eligibility for Tony nominations.

  • Picky point. Re: “Hands on a Hardbody – While it’s run was almost as short …” The possessive of “it” is “its” not “it’s.” “It’s” is the contraction for “it is.” (Drives me crazy. I once saw this wrong in neon. Grrr.) Otherwise interesting article.

  • christine kromer says:

    I have to go with Kinky Boots and the Nance and hard choice between The Heiress and Macbeth (I do love you Ken and adore Alan)

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