Classical 91.5

Tony Award Predictions

Jun 6, 2017

In 2017, the race to the Tony is much less clear-cut than last year. In 2016, it was easy to predict which show would run away with just about every statue as Hamilton received 13 nominations and took home an impressive 11 awards, including Best Musical. This year, the awards may not be as one-sided, as there are several different shows in the running for the various big categories. Here is a quick look at what I think are the most heated races and which shows just may take home the coveted statue.

The Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical category features some of the biggest names in Broadway history. Two mega-stars are up for the same show – Patti LuPone and Christine Ebersole are both in the running for their leading roles in War Paint. BUT, there is also Bette Midler and her return to the Great White Way for the revival of Hello, Dolly! .  Newcomers Denee Benton, who received her first Tony nomination for her role in Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812 and Eva Noblezada for Miss Saigon. There is no doubt in my mind that this one will go to Midler, who has received rave reviews for her take on the legendary Dolly Levi.

There are several front-runners for Best Actor in a Musical. Christian Borle is up for his fourth nomination, having received awards in the past for his performances in Peter And The Starcatcher and Something Rotten. This year, he’s up for the revival of Falsettos. This category also brings the first nomination for recording mega-star Josh Groban, whose performance in Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812 is also gaining a lot of traction, and another nomination for David Hyde Pierce for Hello , Dolly!. I think the race is heating up between Andy Karl in Groundhog Day The Musical and Ben Platt for Dear Evan Hansen.  It has been rumored since the shows premiere that Platt was a contender for the Tony.  My money is on him.

When it comes to Best Musical, there are four truly impressive shows in the race. Natasha Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812 , a brilliant new musical based on a portion of Tolstoy’s War and Peace whereas the nominated Come From Away tells the true story of the events after Sept. 11, 2001, focusing on the 38 planes that were ordered to land in the small town of Gander, Newfoundland.  Thanks to the strong music and lyrics by Tim Minchin and a book by the original screenwriter for the film, Danny Rubin, the musical adaptation Groundhog Day the Musical has been receiving impressive reviews. All that said, and if I were a betting man, I’m almost positive that Dear Evan Hansen will win in this huge category. 

Hello, Dolly! is going to win Best Revival of a Musical.  Enough said.  The other two shows in contention, Falsettos and Miss Saigon, have zero chance of winning.  

You can hear the music of Broadway with Robert Hammond on Stage Notes on WXXI Classical 91.5, Saturdays at noon.