Saturday, June 11, 2016

2016 Tony Predictions

Is anyone else really excited for this Sunday's Tony Awards?  I genuinely am-this is the first time in a few seasons I've actually seen some of the nominees (no, not that nominee-I don't have a kidney that needs selling), the ratings should be good due to that nominee, though, and if James Corden's brilliant and wonderful Broadway Carpool Karaoke is any indication he'll have a kind and warm nature as the host that will be refreshing after a certain snarky host has worn out his bit a little in recent years (not naming names, but we both know who I'm talking about).  With the Tony Awards on Sunday, though, it's time for me to dive into my predictions on who will win, and we'll do just that.

Best Musical

Bright Star
School of Rock
Shuffle Along

The Lowdown: It'll be Hamilton, come on guys.  We don't even need to discuss.

Best Play

The Father
The Humans
King Charles III

The Lowdown: This one, though certainly not as splashy and pop culture-y, also seems largely wrapped up.  King Charles III or Eclipsed might score in an acting category, but it seems likely that the critically-acclaimed The Humans is the show to beat.

Best Revival of a Musical

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

The Lowdown: With Shuffle Along competing in the best original musical category, that leaves room for Oprah Winfrey to get the third leg of her EGOT (anyone else surprised she's never won a Spoken Word Grammy-she should get that memoir out and land this plane) as The Color Purple is surely going to trump She Loves Me.

Best Revival of a Play

The Crucible
Long Day's Journey into Night
Noises Off
A View from the Bridge

The Lowdown: Our first genuinely competitive race of the bunch.  If it were still on Broadway, I think it would go without saying that A View from the Bridge would be taking this one, considering its overwhelming support from critics earlier in the season, but it's difficult for a show that has shuttered to take this trophy, which is why I'm going with an upset of sorts and picking Long Day's Journey Into Night.

Best Actor in a Musical

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

The Lowdown: One of the few categories that Hamilton isn't guaranteed a victory is oddly the one with the man himself.  If it were just Odom or Miranda, this would be an easy victory, but with both of them in the contest, this could be ripe for an upset with Danny Burstein, a 5-time Tony Award bride hoping to pull a Kelli O'Hara this year, poised for an upset.  Because I can't quite get there, I'm going with Odom (since Miranda will be taking the Best Musical prize and has kind of been hinting that people should vote for Odom), but don't be surprised to see Broadway stalwart Burstein as a shock victor.

Best Actress in a Musical

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

The Lowdown: With perennial Tony winner Audra McDonald out of the running this year for only the second time ever in her Broadway career, this seems to be the category where Hamilton will have the most trouble in breaking rather than just tying The Producers record, as Cynthia Erivo has to be considered the heavy favorite over Phillipa Soo.  Erivo's earned raves for The Color Purple, and this role a decade ago was the ticket for LaChanze.

Best Featured Actor in a Musical

Daveed Diggs, Hamilton
Brandon Victor Dixon, Shuffle Along
Christopher Fitzgerald, Waitress
Jonathan Groff, Hamilton
Christopher Jackson, Hamilton

The Lowdown: Splitting the vote only works as a theory at an awards show when there is no consensus over who is the standout amongst a cast of nominated actors.  With all due respect to Jackson and Groff, that's not the case, and Diggs' Lafayette is most definitely going to be taking this trophy in a walk.

Best Featured Actress in a Musical

Danielle Brooks, The Color Purple
Renee Elise Goldsberry, Hamilton
Jane Krakowski, She Loves Me
Jennifer Simard, Disaster!
Adrienne Warren, Shuffle Along

The Lowdown: Proving that there is still room for a soap opera to launch a star into the stratosphere, Renee Elise Goldsberry will surely help Hamilton's awards count as Angela, picking up at least one of the female acting trophies over Danielle Brooks and Jane Krakowski, the likely second places.

Best Actor 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, A View from the Bridge

The Lowdown: Much like the Best Actor in a Musical category, this is a genuine horse-race between three men: Jeff Daniels, Frank Langella, and Tim Pigott-Smith.  Pigott-Smith had arguably the most original creation but I can never tell if Broadway looks a bit down on actors who start their run across the pond, and Daniels has had a relatively robust career on the stage but has never won a Tony.  However, depite having three already, my gut is telling me that this is one of those swan song seasons for Frank Langella, who will probably pick up a fourth statue for his lauded work in The Father.

Best Actress in a Play

Jessica Lange, Long Day's Journey into Night
Laurie Metcalf, Misery
Lupita Nyong'o, Eclipsed
Sophie Okonedo, The Crucible
Michelle Williams, Blackbird

The Lowdown: Wow, what a lineup!  Four Oscar nominees and one of television's finest (seriously-when is someone going to give Laurie Metcalf her Frozen River?).  I know at the beginning of the season it felt like Nyong'o was the one to beat, but her precursor support has been a little dicey and part of me thinks the play may be too serious to win this trophy.  As a result, I'm going to pronounce that Jessica Lange, fresh off of her Drama Desk victory, finds a Tony Award to go with her two Oscars and three Emmys (time to start reading Shakespeare on Tape to grab that Grammy, Jes).

Best Featured Actor in a Play

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

The Lowdown: A two-horse race between Shannon, the Oscar-nominated film star, and Birney, an actor so character he doesn't even have a Wikipedia page.  Occasionally the Tony Awards play the part of the HFPA (remember the year that Catherine Zeta-Jones and Scarlett Johansson both won?), but as a rule they tend to stick to the boards so my gut says that Birney is the favorite here.

Best Featured Actress in a Play

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

The Lowdown: While it's never wise to count out Two-Time Tony Winner Andrea Martin, and Gay Twitter would have a conniption if Megan Hilty echoed the moment her Smash counterpart had a few years ago and pulled off the victory, this seems to be the time for longtime stage vet Jayne Houdyshell to transform from Tony bridesmaid to Tony champion.

There are my predictions-how about yours?  Are you excited for this Sunday's show?  Who are you rooting for?  Share your thoughts in the comments!

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