2016 Tony Award Predictions! Mine, yours, and My Dog’s.

Today is the day when the ballots from the 850-or-so Tony Voters are due.  A few late voters are probably still scurrying their ballots over to the accounting office of Countem-Countem-and-Countem, but I’d bet at this point, they’d make no difference.

As I type, the winners are in the books.  Now the question is, who will those winners be?

Every year, I make my predictions . . . and I also look at YOUR predictions.  How do I know?  Have I channeled my “third eye?”

Nope, sillies, I just look at all the entries in my Tony Pool and see what the majority thinks.

And, to make both me and you look good, I also asked my Dog what she thinks will win.  Now, Koda didn’t do so well last year (she chose Wolf Hall over The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime for Best Play – I’m thinking she’s part wolf), so I was going to consult a quick computer app that spits out random answers this year . . . but she begged more than she does for a treat for another “shot.”  So, I’m gonna give it to her.  Let’s hope she doesn’t waste it.

How do we get her choices?  My wife and I sit with her . . . and put the pictures/names/etc. of the nominees in front of her.  Which ever one she sniffs, chews or pees on (one time – I will never say who that was) gets her paws-up.

And so, after lots of stewing on my part, lots of talking to industry insiders and plain up asking who they voted for, and some sheer guess work, here are my predictions . . . along with yours and my pup’s.

 

Best Play

Eclipsed, Danai Gurira
The Father, Florian Zeller
The Humans, Stephen Karam
King Charles III, Mike Bartlett

MY PREDICTION:   The Humans, Stephen Karam
YOUR PREDICTION:  The Humans, Stephen Karam
KODA’S PREDICTION:   King Charles III, Mike Bartlett

This is a tighter race than some may think, between The Humans and Eclipsed (sorry, Koda, you’re off to a bad start).  But The Humans will continue its sweep this season (it won the Outer Critics and the Drama Desk) and take home the Tony.

 

Best Musical

Bright Star
Hamilton
School of Rock – The Musical
Shuffle Along, Or the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed
Waitress

MY PREDICTION:   Hamilton
YOUR PREDICTION: Hamilton
KODA’S PREDICTION:   Shuffle Along, Or the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed

Only three people in my entire Tony Pool voted for something other than Hamilton.  And even those three were split!

Well, three people and my stupid dog.

They should announce this winner first on the telecast instead of last since it’s so anti-climatic.  Hamilton takes it.

 

Best Revival of a Play

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

MY PREDICTION:   Arthur Miller’s A View from the Bridge
YOUR PREDICTION: Long Day’s Journey Into Night
KODA’S PREDICTION:   Arthur Miller’s The Crucible

I was a bit surprised that you all picked Long Day’s Journey.  You guys are some smart folks.

And while I do think there is some “spring momentum” for that epic show, I think people will reward the radical rethinking of Bridge.  While it suffers from being in the fall, that bloody rain shower is hard to forget.

Koda does have a shot here, BTW.  Don’t rule the bitch out.

 

Best Revival of a Musical

The Color Purple
Fiddler on the Roof
She Loves Me
Spring Awakening

MY PREDICTION:   Spring Awakening
YOUR PREDICTION: The Color Purple
KODA’S PREDICTION:   Fiddler on the Roof

Did you expect me to vote for anything but Spring?

There’s no question we’re an underdog, so yeah, I’ll admit, maybe this prediction is also a bit of “Secret-ing” (expect more in a couple categories) . . . but She Loves Me winning the Drama Desk actually made me more bullish about our chances.

See, I think that Fiddler and She Loves Me, the older and more traditional shows, may split the older and traditional vote.  So that leaves Color and Spring.  For me, well, I loved The Color Purple.  But, you see, when I was in Little League I was voted Most Improved Player, not the Most Valuable.  And I think that is what The Color Purple is.  And I’m hoping the voters think the same.

I think Koda thought that the “Roof” in the title of Fiddler sounded like “Ruff!”

 

Best Book of a Musical

Bright Star, Steve Martin
Hamilton, Lin-Manuel Miranda
School of Rock – The Musical, Julian Fellowes
Shuffle Along, Or the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed, George C. Wolfe

MY PREDICTION:  Hamilton, Lin-Manuel Miranda
YOUR PREDICTION:  Hamilton, Lin-Manuel Miranda
KODA’S PREDICTION:   Bright Star, Steve Martin

#2 for Hamilton.

 

Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) Written for the Theatre

Bright Star, Music: Steve Martin and Edie Brickell, Lyrics: Edie Brickell
Hamilton, Music & Lyrics: Lin-Manuel Miranda
School of Rock – The Musical, Music: Andrew Lloyd Webber, Lyrics: Glenn Slater
Waitress, Music & Lyrics: Sara Bareilles

MY PREDICTION: Hamilton, Music & Lyrics: Lin-Manuel Miranda
YOUR PREDICTION:  Hamilton, Music & Lyrics: Lin-Manuel Miranda
KODA’S PREDICTION:   Waitress, Music & Lyrics: Sara Bareilles

Make that 3 for The Big H.  And moving on . . .

 

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play

Gabriel Byrne, Long Day’s Journey Into Night
Jeff Daniels, Blackbird
Frank Langella, The Father
Tim Pigott-Smith, King Charles III
Mark Strong, Arthur Miller’s A View from the Bridge

MY PREDICTION: Frank Langella, The Father
YOUR PREDICTION:  Frank Langella, The Father
KODA’S PREDICTION:   Jeff Daniels, Blackbird

I don’t know what it is, but everyone loves them some Langella. And playing a character facing dementia or a similar challenge doesn’t hurt come award time (last year’s Alex Sharp anyone?).  Frank takes it.

 

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play

Jessica Lange, Long Day’s Journey Into Night
Laurie Metcalf, Misery
Lupita Nyong’o, Eclipsed
Sophie Okonedo, Arthur Miller’s The Crucible
Michelle Williams, Blackbird

MY PREDICTION: Lupita Nyong’o, Eclipsed
YOUR PREDICTION: Jessica Lange, Long Day’s Journey Into Night
KODA’S PREDICTION:   Lupita Nyong’o, Eclipsed

I think Koda is going to get one right . . . finally!  While there is definite love for Lange, here’s where things get complicated.  I’m afraid that not enough people saw Long Day’s because it was so . . . ahem . . . long.  So there might be abstentions (or dare I say – false voting).  Also, if the voters don’t reward Eclipsed for Best Play, they’ll want to recognize it somehow.  And this is one way.  Also, Lupita is amazing.  Score one for her.

 

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical

Alex Brightman, School of Rock – The Musical
Danny Burstein, Fiddler on the Roof
Zachary Levi, She Loves Me
Lin-Manuel Miranda, Hamilton
Leslie Odom, Jr., Hamilton

MY PREDICTION: Danny Burstein, Fiddler on the Roof
YOUR PREDICTION: Leslie Odom, Jr., Hamilton
KODA’S PREDICTION:   Alex Brightman, School of Rock – The Musical

There’s always one upset a night, and I’m predicting this one will be it!  Here’s why:

First, Leslie kicks ass. I saw Hamilton again last week (the Producers were so smart to give up $ to get Tony Voters back in for free to try and get a few more votes for their performers), and he was even better than the first time I saw him.  And he was damn good then.

But Danny has been nominated five times BEFORE this. And since I’m not predicting Fiddler will take the prize, this is a way for voters to show some love for one of their favorite shows.

So I’m out on a limb here!  But I’m sticking to it!

Koda is on a limb too, but she’s also in an entirely different forest.

 

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical

Laura Benanti, She Loves Me
Carmen Cusack, Bright Star
Cynthia Erivo, The Color Purple
Jessie Mueller, Waitress
Phillipa Soo, Hamilton

MY PREDICTION: Cynthia Erivo, The Color Purple
YOUR PREDICTION: Cynthia Erivo, The Color Purple
KODA’S PREDICTION:  Jessie Mueller, Waitress

No contest here.  Cynthia had this trophy in the bag before the curtain came down on opening night of Purple.  I wish there were runner ups, because while everyone in this category was awesome, Laura Benanti breathed such a new life and humor into her role in She Loves Me. She had me laughing out loud at jokes I’ve heard literally 87 times.

 

Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Play

Reed Birney, The Humans
Bill Camp, Arthur Miller’s The Crucible
David Furr, Noises Off
Richard Goulding, King Charles III
Michael Shannon, Long Day’s Journey Into Night

MY PREDICTION: Michael Shannon, Long Day’s Journey Into Night
YOUR PREDICTION: Reed Birney, The Humans
KODA’S PREDICTION: Reed Birney, The Humans

I’m the odd species out in this category.  But I think the guy who tackled the classic O’Neill will take this one.  Especially since he has already grabbed the Drama Desk.  But oooh, man, ask me in five minutes and I may change my mind.

Oh, and I’m surprised Koda picked a show called The Humans.  Weird dog.  They’re not going to feed you there, idiot.

 

Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play

Pascale Armand, Eclipsed
Megan Hilty, Noises Off
Jayne Houdyshell, The Humans
Andrea Martin, Noises Off
Saycon Sengbloh, Eclipsed

MY PREDICTION: Jayne Houdyshell, The Humans
YOUR PREDICTION: Jayne Houdyshell, The Humans
KODA’S PREDICTION: Jayne Houdyshell, The Humans

And this is the other reason Reed may not take his category, because Jayne is the major favorite here.  And I do believe voters like to spread it around.  Speak of, it has been awhile since we gave an award to Hamilton, hasn’t it?

 

Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical

Daveed Diggs, Hamilton
Brandon Victor Dixon, Shuffle Along, Or the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed
Christopher Fitzgerald, Waitress
Jonathan Groff, Hamilton
Christopher Jackson, Hamilton

MY PREDICTION: Daveed Diggs, Hamilton
YOUR PREDICTION: Daveed Diggs, Hamilton
KODA’S PREDICTION: Christopher Jackson, Hamilton

Hamilton has 60% of the nominees in this category, and it won’t disappoint.  While all the guys are great . . . Daveed wins for being the fastest rapper in the West.  And the hair doesn’t hurt.

4, if you’re counting.

 

Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical

Danielle Brooks, The Color Purple
Renée Elise Goldsberry, Hamilton
Jane Krakowski, She Loves Me
Jennifer Simard, Disaster!
Adrienne Warren, Shuffle Along, Or the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed

MY PREDICTION: Danielle Brooks, The Color Purple
YOUR PREDICTION: Renée Elise Goldsberry, Hamilton
KODA’S PREDICTION: Danielle Brooks, The Color Purple

Ooooh, I think you guys made a boo-boo here.  You’re on the Hamilton train, but I think this is going to be one of those categories that prevents Hamil-tony from breaking the record of the most Tonys won by one show.

Koda and I got this one right.  Give it to Brooks!  (And her being on a TV show right now doesn’t hurt.)

 

Best Scenic Design of a Play

Beowulf Boritt, Thérèse Raquin
Christopher Oram, Hughie
Jan Versweyveld, Arthur Miller’s A View from the Bridge
David Zinn, The Humans

MY PREDICTION: David Zinn, The Humans
YOUR PREDICTION: Jan Versweyveld, Arthur Miller’s A View from the Bridge
KODA’S PREDICTION: Jan Versweyveld, Arthur Miller’s A View from the Bridge

I’m going with the spooky duplex here.  Bridge is amazing for its minimalism, but I don’t think minimalism is what wins Tonys.

 

Best Scenic Design of a Musical

Es Devlin & Finn Ross, American Psycho
David Korins, Hamilton
Santo Loquasto, Shuffle Along, Or the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed
David Rockwell, She Loves Me

MY PREDICTION: David Rockwell, She Loves Me
YOUR PREDICTION: David Korins, Hamilton
KODA’S PREDICTION: David Rockwell, She Loves Me

The set for Hamilton is actually more intricate than it first appears (as I noticed on my second viewing), but I was looking at it more closely for this category specifically, and I’m not sure all the voters will do the same (they don’t have a blog like this to write).  She Loves Me is much more of an obvious, intricate and super cool set (done on a Roundabout budget – which is very impressive, by the by).

I can see why you all chose Hamilton and you might be right . . . but I’m going with Mr. Rockwell, and Koda is too.  So bark that!

 

Best Costume Design of a Play

Jane Greenwood, Long Day’s Journey Into Night
Michael Krass, Noises Off
Clint Ramos, Eclipsed
Tom Scutt, King Charles III

MY PREDICTION:Tom Scutt, King Charles III
YOUR PREDICTION: Tom Scutt, King Charles III
KODA’S PREDICTION: Michael Krass, Noises Off

Tony pickin’ tip:  when the costume design category is a toss, you always go with royalty . . . even if it’s modern day royalty.  King Charles III take the cape.

 

Best Costume Design of a Musical

Gregg Barnes, Tuck Everlasting
Jeff Mahshie, She Loves Me
Ann Roth, Shuffle Along, Or the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed
Paul Tazewell, Hamilton

MY PREDICTION:  Ann Roth, Shuffle Along, Or the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed
YOUR PREDICTION:  Paul Tazewell, Hamilton
KODA’S PREDICTION:  Jeff Mahshie, She Loves Me

I’m just not buying Hamilton stock in this category.  I think the historical razzle dazzle costumes (not to mention the amazing work Ms. Roth has done hiding Audra McDonald’s pregnancy) will win out.

 

Best Lighting Design of a Play

Natasha Katz, Long Day’s Journey Into Night
Justin Townsend, The Humans
Jan Versweyveld, Arthur Miller’s The Crucible
Jan Versweyveld, Arthur Miller’s A View from the Bridge

MY PREDICTION:  Jan Versweyveld, Arthur Miller’s The Crucible
YOUR PREDICTION:  Jan Versweyveld, Arthur Miller’s A View from the Bridge
KODA’S PREDICTION:  Jan Versweyveld, Arthur Miller’s A View from the Bridge

If you’re lucky enough to get two nominations in the same category (and designers are probably the only folks who could), you better win one.

But which one?

I do think the voters will give it to Jan, but will end up checking the box of the show they saw most recently . . . especially since it had some cool special effects.

 

Best Lighting Design of a Musical

Howell Binkley, Hamilton
Jules Fisher & Peggy Eisenhauer, Shuffle Along, Or the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed
Ben Stanton, Spring Awakening
Justin Townsend, American Psycho

MY PREDICTION:  Ben Stanton, Spring Awakening
YOUR PREDICTION:  Howell Binkley, Hamilton
KODA’S PREDICTION:  Justin Townsend, American Psycho

Ben’s my guy and I’m going with him.  Although I think Koda may be on to something.

 

Best Direction of a Play

Rupert Goold, King Charles III
Jonathan Kent, Long Day’s Journey Into Night
Joe Mantello, The Humans
Liesl Tommy, Eclipsed
Ivo Van Hove, Arthur Miller’s A View from the Bridge

MY PREDICTION:  Ivo Van Hove, Arthur Miller’s A View from the Bridge
YOUR PREDICTION:  Joe Mantello, The Humans
KODA’S PREDICTION:  Jonathan Kent, Long Day’s Journey Into Night

This is a tough, tough category.  But I’m giving the edge to Ivo because of the two Miller shows he did combined.  While not really fair for folks like Joe Mantello (who I think comes in second), the voters will combo Bridge and Crucible and want to give Ivo a trophy for his contributions to the season.

 

Best Direction of a Musical

Michael Arden, Spring Awakening
John Doyle, The Color Purple
Scott Ellis, She Loves Me
Thomas Kail, Hamilton
George C. Wolfe, Shuffle Along, Or the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed

MY PREDICTION:  Michael Arden, Spring Awakening
YOUR PREDICTION:  Thomas Kail, Hamilton
KODA’S PREDICTION:  George C. Wolfe, Shuffle Along, Or the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed

This is another super stressful category for us Tony pickers (never mind the nominees).  This category has already produced a tie at the Drama Desks.  Could we see another one?  While I get why it makes sense for Kail to take home the gold, and it would be well deserved, we’ve also got Doyle, who made The Color Purple into a show people actually liked loved.

But I’m going with Michael (whose odds improve even more if the show doesn’t win).

 

Best Choreography

Andy Blankenbuehler, Hamilton
Savion Glover, Shuffle Along, Or the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed
Hofesh Shechter, Fiddler on the Roof
Randy Skinner, Dames at Sea
Sergio Trujillo, On Your Feet! The Story of Emilio and Gloria Estefan

MY PREDICTION:  Andy Blankenbuehler, Hamilton
YOUR PREDICTION:  Andy Blankenbuehler, Hamilton
KODA’S PREDICTION:  Hofesh Shechter, Fiddler on the Roof

And the Hamilton train is back on track, grabbing its 5th Tony with Best Choreography for Andy Blanken-tony.

 

Best Orchestrations

August Eriksmoen, Bright Star
Larry Hochman, She Loves Me
Alex Lacamoire, Hamilton
Daryl Waters, Shuffle Along, Or the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed

MY PREDICTION:  Alex Lacamoire, Hamilton
YOUR PREDICTION:  Alex Lacamoire, Hamilton
KODA’S PREDICTION:Daryl Waters, Shuffle Along, Or the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed

We’ve never heard anything like Hamilton on Broadway before.  Which is why Alex Lacamoire will take home to the Tony for his rap-tastic orchestrations.

 

And that’s what I got!  So I’m not predicting a Hamilton runaway.  There are just too many super competitive categories for a Producers-like sweep.  And that’s a wonderful reminder of how rich and diverse the work was on Broadway this season.

What do you think of my picks?  Of Koda’s?  Were we on crack?  Tell me in the comments below.

 

(Got a comment? I love ‘em, so comment below! Email Subscribers, click here then scroll down to say what’s on your mind!)

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Comments
  • Patti Shenofsky says:

    First, I love your dog’s name! What a year it has been on Broadway. I really try to research as much as I can and usually, once I make my picks, I don’t look at my them again till Tony night.I’m going to stick with my original picks but I’m not as sure as I was! We’ll see! 🙂

  • How about your predictions for sound design? Oh wait…

    #TonyCanYouHearMe

  • Suegoco says:

    Let’s just call it HAMILTONY and be done with it.

  • RICK says:

    I love this……”So I’m not predicting a Hamilton runaway. There are just too many super competitive categories for a Producers-like sweep. And that’s a wonderful reminder of how rich and diverse the work was on Broadway this season.”
    ….Ken, I have been away from this arena for about 20 years… after being away so long…(wait for it)….{“I’VE COME HOME AT LAST!!!….”}
    ….I just printed 11 pages of your predictions… time to do some home work…RICK! …and…I believe,… to be on the safe side,…I will go with your predictions Ken,…with a side car of KODA’S PREDICTIONS….Thanks Ken!…

  • Delaney says:

    Hi! I LOVE getting your emails! How can I enter my guesses into your Tony pool? I can’t find it anywhere!

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