The last semester of college has been slowly killing me as far as having energy for outside blogging, but with things quickly winding down, I’m hoping to get back into it! I have some other posts coming up, like a general catch-up and my reaction to seeing Bandstand on Broadway, but given this crazily competitive theater season and the upcoming announcement of Tony nominations on May 2, I wanted to share my predictions for the musical categories. So many shows are officially opening in the next week or so, and Tony season is also a make-or-break time for new shows to gain some traction or quietly close a month after opening (remember Tuck Everlasting last year?)
The following predictions are made based on what I’ve read and know about eligible productions and the actors in them! I didn’t bother with the musical revivals, because those are such a grab bag, and some acting categories are far from complete because I’m not totally sure what roles are considered featured as opposed to lead ones.
Come From Away
Dear Evan Hansen
Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812
The Hamilton-esque love seems to be circling around Dear Evan Hansen as this year’s favorite, but based on what I’ve read, Come From Away is gaining some momentum. If I had to pick a show from my wildcard category to be nominated, I’d lean towards Groundhog Day simply because of its success in London. It’ll be interesting to see how the show fares since Andy Karl is in recovery mode and his understudy is taking on performances very soon after opening.
Best Lead Actor in a Musical
Christian Borle, Falsettos and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Josh Groban, Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812
Andy Karl, Groundhog Day
Ben Platt, Dear Evan Hansen
Would Christian Borle take up two spots if he’s nominated for Falsettos and Charlie? I think that since he’s pretty much reached “current legend” status in the theater community, people have been hyping the possibility of a double nomination for awhile, but I wonder if those predictions will come true. If anything, it seems that a nomination for Falsettos is more likely and almost guaranteed. Guarantees for Groban and Platt are also pretty solidified, and I think Andy Karl’s dedication to his show even after his injury and the fact that he won an Olivier for this role could help him snatch a Tony nomination too.
Best Lead Actress in a Musical
Patti LuPone, War Paint
Bette Midler, Hello Dolly!
Eva Noblezada, Miss Saigon
Laura Osnes, Bandstand
I feel like Lead Actor is the only one of the acting categories that can currently be pieced together correctly, give or take a name or two. Lead Actress seems like it’ll be far more unpredictable without a clear frontrunner. Whenever somebody with the history and status of Patti LuPone and Bette Midler is in a show, they appear to be shoo-ins. I’ve read mixed things about the Miss Saigon revival, but Eva Noblezada has had a lot of award potential linked to her name. When watching Bandstand, I also wasn’t convinced about the possibility of Laura Osnes’ name appearing in award season until her performance in the number “Welcome Home.” It’s an extremely powerful moment (more to come about the show when I publish my reaction post!), and that alone could help her name appear here.
Best Featured Actor in a Musical
Andrew Rannells, Falsettos
Guys, who else is even in featured roles this year? I suppose some secondary Dear Evan Hansen actors and men from Come From Away (since all of that show’s actors play multiple parts) could be included. I’m not even sure if Rannells’ Falsettos role is considered featured, but unless there are a lot more noteworthy featured actors in the newer shows that I’m missing, he could still be recognized, even though his show closed in January. Another name that pops up for me is Jon Jon Briones as the Engineer in Miss Saigon, but I think that’s considered a leading role. Basically, this category will probably be a surprising group.
Best Featured Actress in a Musical
Rachel Bay Jones, Dear Evan Hansen
Stephanie J. Block, Falsettos
Jenn Colella, Come From Away
Out of all of the Come From Away cast, Jenn Colella’s name feels like it’s been praised the most in press talk. Same goes when it comes to the non-Ben Platt cast in Dear Evan Hansen – although the potential is there for other cast members, Rachel Bay Jones seems to be the definite that’s thrown into award season. I’ve watched a few videos of Stephanie J. Block performing “I’m Breaking Down,” and I’ve been a fan of hers for awhile, so I really hope her name isn’t lost in the shuffle simply because Falsettos closed so long ago (I’m also not sure if her role is considered lead or featured).
What about you? Who am I missing that you think is a shoo-in? Do you know who’s in the running for a featured role nomination? Help a girl out!