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Predictions for the 2018 Tony Awards

June 7, 2018 - by Griffin Miller, Theatre Editor
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With the 72nd Annual Tony Awards only days away, I am once more honored to regale readers with predictions. Of winners. In key categories. Chosen by me. A masochistic venture at best because, should you be at all familiar with my success ratio over the years, I am embarrassingly iffy at thisa fact that will become wretchedly obvious this coming Sunday night as one after another celebrity tears into an envelope and announces: “And the Tony goes to….” [insert name I did not choose].

This is not to say I don’t get a few right. Last year I think I averaged about 25% and in the Year of Hamilton, I was almost not bad. Still, on average, my overall record tanks just short of dismal.

For now, though, I’m positive… fairly certain… hopeful… that 2017-2018 will be my lucky season. (Should I make it past the 50% mark, I plan on buying myself a celebratory trophy or plaque. Or maybe just a sliceI don’t want to seem too smug with the 73rd Annual Tony Awards only a year away.

At any rate, until Sunday night, the jury is still out.

Griffin's Predictions

Best Play Nominees

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child: Charlie Gray

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts One and Two: Photo: Charlie Gray.

The Children- Author: Lucy Kirkwood

Farinelli and The King- Author: Claire van Kampen

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts One and Two- Author: Jack Thorne

Junk- Author: Ayad Akhtar

Latin History for Morons- Author: John Leguizamo

My Pick (And I really think I’ve got this one): Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Best Musical

Mean Girls Broadway

Erika Henningsen, Ashley Park, Taylor Louderman, Kate Rockwell, Barrett Wilbert Weed, and the company of Mean Girls. Credit: © 2018, Joan Marcus.

The Band's Visit

Frozen

Mean Girls

SpongeBob SquarePants: The Musical

My Pick (Because it is, hands down, the happiest play on Broadway): SpongeBob SquarePants: The Musical. (The Band's Visit could be a sleeper here, and it’s so lovely I wouldn’t have a problem with it taking the prize.)

Best Revival of a Play

Angels in America

Angels in America

Edward Albee's Three Tall Women

Eugene O'Neill's The Iceman Cometh

Lobby Hero

My Pick: Angels in America (Because I want to be right and because it’s breathtaking, but to be honest I was equally smitten by Edward Albee's Three Tall Women. A tie would be nice, but I’m not holding my breath.)

Best Revival of a Musical

once on this island cast

Be transported by Alex Newell, Hailey Kilgore, and the cast of Once on This Island. Photo by Joan Marcus.

My Fair Lady

Once On This Island

Rodgers & Hammerstein's Carousel

My Pick: My Fair Lady (With a little bit of luck? Not even.)

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

Andrew Garfield, Angels in America

Tom Hollander, Travesties

Jamie Parker, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts One and Two

Mark Rylance, Farinelli and The King

Denzel Washington, Eugene O'Neill's The Iceman Cometh

My Pick: Andrew Garfield (Tough category… I mean, Mark Rylance? Tom Hollander? Denzel? But Garfield’s luminous performance is, to me, unbeatable.)

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

Glenda Jackson, Edward Albee's Three Tall Women

Condola Rashad, Saint Joan

Lauren Ridloff, Children of a Lesser God

Amy Schumer, Meteor Shower

My Pick: Glenda Jackson (Like Garfield, all kinds of awesome and a shoe-in.)

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

Harry Hadden-Paton, My Fair Lady

Joshua Henry, Rodgers & Hammerstein's Carousel

Tony Shalhoub, The Band's Visit

Ethan Slater, SpongeBob SquarePants: The Musical

My Pick: I don’t know and I’m pretty sure the Tony voters were split on this one, too. Ok, I’m going with Joshua Henry on the basis of showstopper charisma.

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

My Fair Lady

Harry Hadden-Paton and Lauren Ambrose Photo: Joan Marcus.

 

Lauren Ambrose, My Fair Lady

Hailey Kilgore, Once On This Island

LaChanze, Summer: The Donna Summer Musical

Katrina Lenk, The Band's Visit

Taylor Louderman, Mean Girls

Jessie Mueller, Rodgers & Hammerstein's Carousel

My Pick: Lauren Ambrose – a breakthrough performance in her first Broadway musical. Who knew?

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

Anthony Boyle, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts One and Two

Michael Cera, Lobby Hero

Brian Tyree Henry, Lobby Hero

Nathan Lane, Angels in America

David Morse, Eugene O'Neill's The Iceman Cometh

My Pick: Anthony Boyle (Even though my gut tells me the most excellent Brian Tyree Henry has the edge. But I’m a Potter fan and Mr. Boyle rocked his wonderfully quirky character.)

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

Three Tall Women

Susan Brown, Angels in America

Noma Dumezweni, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts One and Two

Deborah Findlay, The Children

Denise Gough, Angels in America

Laurie Metcalf, Edward Albee's Three Tall Women

My Pick: Laurie Metcalf (I know, I know, she just won last year but clearly she’s loved by the voters, deserving and kind of on a roll.)

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

Norbert Leo Butz, My Fair Lady

Alexander Gemignani, Rodgers & Hammerstein's Carousel

Grey Henson,  Mean Girls

Gavin Lee, SpongeBob SquarePants: The Musical

Ari'el Stachel, The Band's Visit

My Pick: Another puzzler… these guys were all killer. That said, even though Norbert and Gavin had production numbers from musical heaven, I have quietly impressive memories of Ari'el Stachel’s performance, so he gets my vote.

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

Ariana DeBose The Donna Summer Musical

Ariana DeBose is some hot stuff as “Disco Donna” in Summer: The Donna Summer Musical. © Kevin Berne.

Ariana DeBose, Summer: The Donna Summer Musical

Renée Fleming, Rodgers & Hammerstein's Carousel

Lindsay Mendez, Rodgers & Hammerstein's Carousel

Ashley Park, Mean Girls

Diana Rigg, My Fair Lady

My Pick: Ashley Park – I loved everything about her performance.

Best Direction of a Play

Marianne Elliott, Angels in America

Joe Mantello, Edward Albee's Three Tall Women

Patrick Marber, Travesties

John Tiffany, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts One and Two

George C. Wolfe, Eugene O'Neill's The Iceman Cometh

My Pick: Marianne Elliott (with John Tiffany nipping at her heels.)

Best Direction of a Musical

Michael Arden, Once On This Island

David Cromer, The Band's Visit

Tina Landau, SpongeBob SquarePants: The Musical

Casey Nicholaw, Mean Girls

Bartlett Sher, My Fair Lady

My Pick: Tricky, as each one of these offers giant-sized directorial challenges that were met. Seeing as My Fair Lady was near perfection, Bartlett Sher gets my vote.

Best Choreography

Christopher Gattelli, My Fair Lady

Christopher Gattelli, SpongeBob SquarePants: The Musical

Steven Hoggett, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts One and Two

Casey Nicholaw, Mean Girls

Justin Peck, Rodgers & Hammerstein's Carousel

My Pick: Justin Peck (he’s got the ballet cred and Carousel is as much about dance as it is singing – and the audience couldn’t get enough.

Best Book of a Musical

Itamar Moses The Band's Visit

Jennifer Lee, Frozen

Tina Fey, Mean Girls

Kyle Jarrow, SpongeBob SquarePants: The Musical

My Pick: Tina Fey (Even though I wished there were a more book – like you can have too much Tina!)

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

Spongebob SquarePants

Gavin Lee as Squidward Q. Tentacles. Photo by Joan Marcus.

Angels in America Music: Adrian Sutton

The Band's Visit Music & Lyrics: David Yazbek

Frozen Music & Lyrics: Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez

Mean Girls Music: Jeff Richmond Lyrics: Nell Benjamin

SpongeBob SquarePants: The Musical Music & Lyrics: Yolanda Adams, Steven Tyler & Joe Perry of Aerosmith, Sara Bareilles, Jonathan Coulton, Alex Ebert of Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, The Flaming Lips, Lady Antebellum, Cyndi Lauper & Rob Hyman, John Legend, Panic! at the Disco, Plain White T's, They Might Be Giants, T.I., Domani & Lil'C

My Pick: The SpongeBob SquarePants composers: Just look at the pedigrees and listen to the album.

Best Scenic Design of a Play

Miriam Buether, Edward Albee's Three Tall Women

Jonathan Fensom, Farinelli and The King

Christine Jones, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts One and Two

Santo Loquasto, Eugene O'Neill's The Iceman Cometh

Ian MacNeil and Edward Pierce, Angels in America

My Pick: Christine Jones (A visual masterpiece.)

Best Scenic Design of a Musical

Dane Laffrey, Once On This Island

Scott Pask, The Band's Visit

Scott Pask, Finn Ross & Adam Young, Mean Girls

Michael Yeargan, My Fair Lady

David Zinn, SpongeBob SquarePants: The Musical

My Pick: I want to say Dane Laffrey because Once On This Island had the most obstacles to overcome – in the round. And there was water on the set which is a personal selling point for me. So yes, Dane Laffrey it is.

Best Costume Design of a Play

Jonathan Fensom, Farinelli and The King

Nicky Gillibrand, Angels in America

Katrina Lindsay, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts One and Two

Ann Roth, Edward Albee's Three Tall Women

Ann Roth, Eugene O'Neill's The Iceman Cometh

My Pick: Nicky Gillibrand – the Angel, the Angel, the Angel.

Best Costume Design of a Musical

Gregg Barnes, Mean Girls

Clint Ramos, Once On This Island

Ann Roth, Rodgers & Hammerstein's Carousel

David Zinn, SpongeBob SquarePants: The Musical

Catherine Zuber, My Fair Lady

My Pick: David Zinn – who took cartoon creatures and turned them into people who were still recognizable as cartoon characters. Brilliant. However, traditionalist voters may well give the edge to Catherine Zuber’s lovely gowns and dashing suits.

I’ll leave the more technical picks to other critics as I await the verdicts – and prepare for my marathon coverage of Tony night, from the red carpet to 15 minutes over running time.

                                                ******************

THE 72nd ANNUAL TONY AWARDS will take place at Radio City Music Hall. The three-hour ceremony will be broadcast live (ET/PT time delay) on the CBS Television Network from 8–11pm and will be available to stream live and on-demand across platforms with the CBS All Access subscription service. For more information on the Tony Awards, visit TonyAwards.com and Facebook.com/TheTonyAwards and follow @TheTonyAwards on Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat.

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