There are a lot of people that are going to have a sleepless weekend. How can you relax if you’re just days away from finding out if you’re gonna get nominated for a Tony Award? These little trophies can change career trajectories, make a difference between recoupment and not, or fetch a good bundle on eBay later on in life if you’re hard up for some cash.
I’ve been to two opening nights this week, and all that anyone could talk about at the party was who will and who won’t be nominated for the big four awards (Best Musical, Best Play, Best Revival of a Play, and Best Revival of a Musical). No two people I talked to had the same predictions. The sheer volume of potential nominees this season makes this one of the toughest years to predict!
But based on all the scuttlebutt I’ve heard, and my own analysis, I came up with a set of educated guesses. Are you ready for ’em?
Here’s what I think will be nominated, in no particular order:
1. Fun Home – I haven’t even seen it yet (I’m going tonight), but the reviews and the degree of difficulty musicalizing this kind of material makes it a shoe-in for a nom. Nominators love when creative teams take bold, artistic chances, and Fun Home is that for sure.
2. Something Rotten! – It’s a musical about the birth of the musical and features a show-stoppin’ song called, “A Musical!” You can’t get more Broadway than that. Consider it nominated.
3. An American In Paris – High grosses + strong word of mouth + “American” in the title = Tony Nomination for Best Musical.
4. The Visit – Kander, Ebb, Rivera, McNally. You’d think that such legendary artists would serve up something more “standard” in form and substance at this stage in their career. But no, these bold facers helped push the envelope fifty years ago, and they continue to do it today. The nominators will deservedly thank them for their careers, and their continued devotion to our Art form (capitalization intended).
(If there’s a 5th (new rules allow for a 5th if there a 5th show gets within 3 votes of the 4th), and I don’t think there will be, look for Finding Neverland to squeeze in.)
1. Hand to God – I don’t care if you get offended by a puppet that spouts more profanity than an ESPN reporter whose car gets towed, you can’t deny that H2G is one of the freshest American plays in a long time. And the nominators will reward this new voice. Even if that new voice says #$%@ a lot.
2. The Curious Incident of the Dog in The Night-Time – In addition to being a fantastic play, it’s also a fantastic Broadway play, with a physical production that rivals some musicals! Its topical topic (children battling autism) makes it an easy choice for nominators.
3. Wolf Hall – It’s an epic, two parter, costume drama from the RSC. It just feels like a show that should be nominated, shouldn’t it?
4. The Audience – Helen Mirren’s performance helps this play secure the final spot. And yeah, I know, if you haven’t figured it out yet, three of the four of my predictions for this category are from overseas. We’ve got trouble, my friends, right here in the 13 original colonies.
(The big shocking snub here looks to be Disgraced, which won the Pulitzer, but whose abbreviated run on Broadway may have hurt its chances for a Tony.)
BEST REVIVAL OF A MUSICAL
1. On the Twentieth Century – Not a lot of the people I spoke to thought this was going to be good. Then they saw it. And they loved it. Those low expectations and a show that delivers will get another nomination for the Roundabout.
2. The King and I – Does anyone do a revival of R&H like Lincoln Center? Nope. Consider it nominated.
3. On the Town – People forget how On the Town got across the board raves. The nominators won’t. This was another show that I think a lot of people expected to be dusty, but the team blew the dust off, and found sexy underneath. Nominated!
4. Side Show – All the freak fans will get their wish, when this dark horse is announced last as the fourth nominated revival.
BEST REVIVAL OF A PLAY
1. Skylight – An agent I spoke to recently who didn’t have a single client in the show (but was stalking four people on the production) said this was the most thrilling piece of theater he had seen in a decade. Expect a nom when industry folks are that passionate.
2. You Can’t Take It With You – Yet another show that secures a nomination thanks to “I expected to be bored” syndrome. A revival works when it is still relevant today. And this one did just that.
3. The Elephant Man – What people on the outside don’t know is that Elephant Man wasn’t selling like gangbusters before it opened. Then people got a sight of the Scott Ellis production and Bradley Cooper’s performance and were super impressed, and sales skyrocketed. Nominators were equally impressed.
4. It’s Only A Play – It’s one of the longest running revivals of a play in recent Broadway history. It has extended twice, thanks to its company of big stars who love the theater. It’s about what we do, and that will ring true with the nominators.
So there you have it! My predictions for this year’s noms. So, now I’ve shown you mine. You show me yours.
Comment your predictions below!!!
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