My Predictions for the 2015-16 Tony Nominations.

As you’re reading this, the Tony Award nominators are holed up somewhere deciding theatrical history.

I know, I know, that sounds dramatic (pun intended) but it’s not.  There have only been 69 Tony Award ceremonies before this year’s.  And yeah, Audra McDonald has won almost 10% of the time.

So the nominations, which are announced in less than 24 hours, are huge.

They can change careers, and if you remember this blog about what happens when the nominations come out, they can change the business trajectory of a show.

Let’s add to that drama by making some predictions, shall we?

Here are my predictions for Tony Award nominations for 2015-16 (in the four major categories).

1.  Best Musical

Shuffle Along
American Psycho

I know the Producers of Shuffle wanted the show to be a revival, but I actually think the “new” musical designation locked a nomination for the show, whereas in the revival category it would have had to battle.

There are a few shows up for that last spot (expect Waitress to take the third), including Bright StarTuck Everlasting, On Your Feet! and School of Rock, but I expect that the nominators will give it to American Psycho, for the ambition of it all.  (And I think if Allegiance had opened in the spring, it could have given it a run for its blood money as well.)

2.  Best Play

The Humans
King Charles III
The Father

Once again, it’s the fourth slot that’s the one up for grabs in what is a very quiet category this year. There are some super plays in the bunch but none of them are doing super business.  Perhaps that’ll change come tomorrow?

3.  Best Revival of a Musical

The Color Purple
Fiddler On The Roof
Spring Awakening

What’s that?  Only three?  Did I forget something?  Oh no, see, here’s where things get interesting.  When Shuffle became a new musical, a “5 and under” rule was automatically enacted that says, and I quote directly from the Tony Award rules and regs:

Where there are five or fewer eligible shows in a Best Show category, at the Tony Nominating Meeting, the Nominating Committee will be instructed to cast one vote each for three eligible shows as nominees on his/her secret ballot.  Such ballot shall be collected and tabulated by a representative of the Accounting Firm.  The three eligible shows with the highest number of votes will automatically be designated as the nominees in such category.  A fourth nominee shall be added to the category in the event that the Accounting Firm determines that the difference in votes between the third highest-ranked show and the fourth highest-ranked show is three votes or less.

With only She Loves Me and Dames at Sea as the other potentials, this category immediately becomes a list of three instead of four.  (There is the chance for a fourth slot as specified above, but I don’t see that happening.)

It’s an interesting rule, obviously designed to make sure categories aren’t just filled out by shows that don’t deserve to be a part of theatrical history, but this year proves why this rule just may need closer examination.  Because there were some Tony-kickin’ revivals.

There’s no question that my own Spring Awakening and the other revivals that I’m predicting will get the nomination were challenged by the late to enter the race but quick to get rave reviews, She Loves Me.  But at the end of the day, I think the nominators will check the box of the three shows that presented the most unique productions of these classic shows, rather than a more traditional interpretation (which I loved).

4.  Best Revival of a Play

A View from the Bridge
The Crucible
Long Day’s Journey Into Night
Noises Off

Miller dominates this category, just as he does every time there’s a revival of one of his plays.  Yes, the productions are terrific, but it just goes to show you how brilliant the plays are themselves.  They just seem to always be good.  Always.  Noises Off will sneak in just to add some levity to it all.  How much death and despair can we have in one category?


I’m feeling pretty good about my pics this year.  What do you think?  Agree?  Disagree?

Comment below what you think the nominees will be . . . and then check in tomorrow to see how we all did.

Because history is about to be made.  Again.


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  • Iris says:

    You really think that She Loves Me, who was leading the Drama Desk Nominations of any show, will not even get nominated? That would be incredibly disappointing. In my opinion, this show has a potential of being this years King And I, which was also a classic revival of a beloved classic. Personally, I would most certainly nominate over Fiddler, which I didn’t find particularly special to be honest.

  • Frank says:

    I really hope you’re wrong… Otherwise, these noms are going to be a terrible injustice that represents more concern with “social statements” and less concern with what is a quality show.

    That said, does it even matter when Hamilton will most likely walk away with 10+ awards in their pocket?

  • Jared W says:

    I’m gonna agree with Iris that if only 3 shows are nominated, it may just be “Fiddler” that gets the boot. I agree that “She Loves Me’s” incredible showing in the other industry awards makes the prospect of it not being nominated seem small. It is also a currently running spring opener, and Ken just wrote not one but TWO blogs about how helpful that is when it comes to Tony Awards. Since I also agree that “Spring Awakening” deserves a spot here for being so unique and well-realized, and think “Color Purple” is currently the show to beat, that makes “Fiddler” the show on the shakiest ground should only 3 shows make the cut.

  • Joe says:

    “She Loves Me” will get the love. If one has to go, it is going to be “Fiddler on the Roof” which is too bad because it got such praise early in the year.

    I’m also hoping for a Tony nod for “Blackbird”. That was the most arresting play of the year.

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