'Tis the Season to Be Tony: 2019 Tony Predictions

Who’s ready to pass judgment on this year’s red carpet looks? Is everybody psyched for James Cordon’s second round of Tony host escapades? (Carpool Karaoke or no Carpool Karaoke…the suspense builds!) And sing out, Louise, if you can’t wait to see sparkling production numbers from the musicals you’ve yet to see!

The game’s on, my friends, but the question remains: will it end with a sweep or a variety pack of shows taking a sliver of the 73rd Annual Tony Awards pie? June 9th is the date Radio City gets its VIP glitz on to celebrate Broadway’s 2018-2019 season. And while the season itself might be all kinds of brilliant, there’s always room for controversy, this year’s stemming mostly from the nomination committee’s choices. Here are my Tony predictions, marked in red, in key categories—for better or for worse

Best Musical

hadestown accordion broadway

Jewelle Blackman, Kay Trinidad, and Yvette Gonzalez-Nacer of Hadestown. Photo by Matthew Murphy.

Ain’t Too Proud—The Life and Times of The Temptations
The Prom

While the competition here is formidable, Hadestown is special. Then again, Tootsie buzz is pretty loud.

Best Play

Fra Fee, Tom Glynn-Carney, and Conor MacNeill. Photo by Joan Marcus.

Choir Boy
The Ferryman
Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus
What the Constitution Means to Me

I’m kind of clueless here as all are terrific. The Ferryman is the most powerful, but What the Constitution Means to Me is the most timely; Choir Boy, the most poignant; Gary, the most original; and Ink, the most savvy. But I’ll stick with Ferryman. Question: Where are To Kill a Mockingbird and American Son?

Best Revival of a Musical

oklahoma set broadway

The original set of Oklahoma! Photo by Teddy Wolff.

Kiss Me, Kate

Okay, 50-50 here, but I’m going with innovation over tradition: it’s time.

Best Revival of a Play

All My Sons
The Boys in the Band
Burn This
Torch Song
The Waverly Gallery

These range from pretty good to real good. But I think the Tony voters will side with Waverly Gallery’s deft look at the evolution of dementia.

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

tootsie ensemble

Matthew Murphy, 2019.

Brooks Ashmanskas, The Prom
Derrick Baskin, Ain’t Too Proud
Alex Brightman, Beetlejuice
Damon Daunno, Oklahoma!
Santino Fontana, Tootsie

Tour de force role; tour de force talent.

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

eva noblezada hadestown

Reeve Carney and Eva Noblezada. Photo by Matthew Murphy.

Stephanie J. Block, The Cher Show
Caitlin Kinnunen, The Prom
Beth Leavel, The Prom
Eva Noblezada, Hadestown
Kelli O’Hara, Kiss Me, Kate

My gut says this going to be a Hadestown Tony night.

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

Paddy Considine, The Ferryman
Bryan Cranston, Network
Jeff Daniels, To Kill a Mockingbird
Adam Driver, Burn This
Jeremy Pope, Choir Boy

Cranston’s character has a meltdown onstage. Question: Where is Nathan Lane?

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

hedges may waverly gallery

A strong Tony contender after more than half a century away: Elaine May in The Waverly Gallery. Photo by Brigitte Lacombe.

Annette Bening, All My Sons
Laura Donnelly, The Ferryman
Elaine May, The Waverly Gallery
Janet McTeer, Bernhardt/Hamlet
Laurie Metcalf, Hillary and Clinton
Heidi Schreck, What the Constitution Means to Me

Question: Where are Kerry Washington of American Son and Glenda Jackson as King Lear?

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

Fionnula Flanagan, The Ferryman
Celia Keenan-Bolger, To Kill a Mockingbird
Kristine Nielsen, Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus
Julie White, Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus
Ruth Wilson, King Lear

Question: How can Kristine Nielsen not be in the Lead category?

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

Andre De Shields credit Matthew Murphy

André De Shields. Photo by Matthew Murphy.

André De Shields, Hadestown
Andy Grotelueschen, Tootsie
Patrick Page, Hadestown
Jeremy Pope, Ain’t Too Proud
Ephraim Sykes, Ain’t Too Proud


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

Lilli Cooper, Tootsie
Amber Gray, Hadestown
Sarah Stiles, Tootsie
Ali Stroker, Oklahoma!
Mary Testa, Oklahoma!

Groundbreaking and show-stopping. Question: On what planet is Lilli Cooper’s role “Featured”? She so should be “Leading.”

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

Bertie Carvel, Ink
Robin De Jesús, The Boys in the Band
Gideon Glick, To Kill a Mockingbird
Brandon Uranowitz, Burn This
Benjamin Walker, All My Sons

Best Direction of a Musical

hadestown accordion ensemble

Eva Noblezada and the Broadway cast of Hadestown. Photo by Matthew Murphy.

Rachel Chavkin, Hadestown
Scott Ellis, Tootsie
Daniel Fish, Oklahoma!
Des McAnuff, Ain’t Too Proud
Casey Nicholaw, The Prom

Best Direction of a Play

to kill a mockingbird set

Photo by Julieta Cervantes.

Rupert Goold, Ink
Sam Mendes, The Ferryman
Bartlett Sher, To Kill a Mockingbird
Ivo van Hove, Network
George C. Wolfe, Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus

FYI: I’m giving a heads up to Hadestown creator Anaïs Mitchell for Best Book of a Musical and Best Original Score. For a complete list of nominees, visit The broadcast is from 8-11pm on CBS.