With this year’s official Tony nominations exactly one week out, it’s safe to say the anticipation is almost too much to handle. It’s been quite the year in show business thanks to one of the most robust seasons to date, from an epic historic rap musical and a pop songstress’s spin on a 2007 film to a Liberian Civil War dramedy, a musical about a musical, and an American classic revived...Broadway’s best will convene under one opulent roof for the most coveted award show of the industry as newcomers and revivals alike are recognized for their notable work and dedication to the arts.
While we all know that Hamilton is sure to steal the show, we thought it de rigueur to shine the spotlight on its top contenders as we await the official announcement of the nominee roster, culminating on June 12 with James Corden as host. Here are our top nominee predictions along with a bit of background for those in need of a refresher.
Again, there’s no question that this tour de force is well on its way to receiving the recognition it deserves. Lin-Manuel Miranda’s hit production has been a clear favorite since it opened in August 2015, bringing Ron Chernow’s Alexander Hamilton to the stage with a pop culture twist that has been met with awe-inspiring response, and for good reason. The story of Hamilton’s journey from scrappy young immigrant to Founding Father is told through Miranda’s original hip hop score, which one might enjoy listening to on occasion in the office (guilty as charged). While tickets may be extremely hard to come by, your Attaché’s got the hookup.
Probable Nominations: Best New Musical, Best Actress in a Leading Role, Best Actor in a Leading Role, Best Actor in a Supporting, Best Actress in a Supporting Role, Best Director, Best Choreography, Best Original Score, Best Scenic Design, Best Costume Design, Best Lighting Design
Let’s be honest -- we’ll be shocked if they don’t get nominated for almost every category.
It’s a bit unfortunate that Waitress (and every other production this season) is going up against the powerhouse Hamilton, because in any other world, Waitress would be a top contender for Best Musical. Based on the 2007 film of the same name, Waitress tells the story of Jenna, a waitress and pie maker stuck in a small town and a troubled marriage. When a new doctor (and the opportunity of lifetime) shows up, Jenna is faced with some big choices. Five-time Grammy nominee Sara Bareilles writes the music & lyrics, Tony winner Diane Paulus directs, and Tony winner Jessie Mueller stars.
Probable Nominations: Best New Musical, Best Actress in a Leading Role, Best Actor in a Leading Role, Best Actor in a Supporting Role, Best Director, Best Original Score, Best Book of a Musical, Best Scenic Design
3. SHUFFLE ALONG, OR, THE MAKING OF THE MUSICAL SENSATION OF 1921
Opening the day before the Tony eligibility cutoff, Shuffle Along certainly has an air of mystery about it. No one really knew what the show would entail, but with a cast like this, we’d be hard-pressed to deny that it caught our attention off the bat. The show stars six-time Tony winner Audra McDonald along with Tony winners Brian Stokes Mitchell and Billy Porter, plus Tony nominees Brandon Victor Dixon, Joshua Henry, and Brooks Ashmanskas. Direction is by seven-time Best Director nominee George C. Wolfe with choreography by Tony winner Savion Glover.
Probable Nominations: Best New Musical or Best Musical Revival, Best Actress in a Leading Role, Best Actor in a Leading Role, Best Actor in a Supporting Role, Best Direction, Best Orchestrations, Best Scenic Design, Best Lighting Design, Best Costume Design
This is an absolute must-see. Led by Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o, the all-female cast is superb, spinning the story of the captive wives of a rebel officer as they band together to survive during the Liberian Civil War until a new girl arrives and breaks the balance. Written by The Walking Dead’s Danai Gurira, this show is a strong contender on the play side of the spectrum.
Probable Nominations: Best New Play, Best Actress in a Leading Role, Best Actress in a Supporting Role, Best Direction, Best Lighting Design, Best Scenic Design
5. LONG DAY'S JOURNEY INTO NIGHT
A classic American play is revived at the hands of one of our favorite production companies, Roundabout Theatre Company. The classic tale of the Tyrone family sees the miserly actor father, the mother addicted to morphine, the alcoholic son, and the other son with tuberculosis finally coming to terms with their twisted love for one another. Oscar and Emmy winner Jessica Lange, Golden Globe winner Gabriel Byrne, Oscar nominee Michael Shannon, and Tony winner John Gallagher, Jr. star in this rather long (but equally captivating) production.
Probable Nominations: Best Play Revival, Best Actress in a Leading Role, Best Actor in a Leading Role, Best Actor in a Featured Role, Best Costume Design, Best Scenic Design
Be sure to check out these shows before Tony fever takes over -- contact your Attaché for the best seats in the house.