×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Tony Predictions: Who Will Win — and Who Might Upset

Broadway fortune tellers had it so easy last year: For every awards-season prediction, they could just point to “Hamilton.” In contrast, the 2017 race for the Tony Awards feels nearly impossible to call. With a handful of frontrunners but no overwhelming favorite, multiple contenders seem to have a real shot at their respective awards — which has made the campaigning, gossiping and competitive speculation intense enough to make a prognosticator’s head spin. Here, then, are our predictions for how Sunday night will play out — and for every winner, there’s a dark horse primed for an upset.

NEW MUSICAL
For the win:Dear Evan Hansen
For the upset:Come From Away
In a year full of tough calls, this is one of the toughest. “Come From Away,” the spring’s surprise challenger to season-long frontrunner “Dear Evan Hansen,” has become a sentimental favorite that’s expected to play well on the road. With no truly dominant candidate this season, voters may well spread the wealth — and one way to do that is to give the top award to “Come From Away.” But there’s reason to suspect that talk of a “Dear Evan Hansen” backlash is somewhat overstated, and the show’s awards momentum seems likely to carry it across the finish line. Whatever the outcome of the new musical race, “Dear Evan Hansen” has a lock on the awards for score (Benj Pasek and Justin Paul) and book (Steven Levenson).

NEW PLAY
For the win: “A Doll’s House, Part 2”
For the upset:Oslo
Another nailbiter. Lincoln Center Theater’s nonprofit staging of “Oslo,” a meticulously executed political drama, has the scope and historical perspective of a more traditional Tony winner, and it’s won all the awards leading up to the Tonys. “Doll’s House, Part 2,” a cheeky, brainy Ibsen follow-up with a notably downtown sensibility, would be something of a departure for voters. But the play benefited from a savvy promotional push during Broadway’s annual spring industry conference — and it’s a commercial production, which, judging by past winners, holds some sway with ballot-checkers.

REVIVAL OF A MUSICAL
For the win: “Hello, Dolly!”
For the upset: Nothing. The award goes to “Dolly!”
A megaselling success that won raves from the critics, “Hello, Dolly!” is the closest thing to a “Hamilton” that this season has.

REVIVAL OF PLAY
For the win: “Jitney”
For the upset: “The Little Foxes”
The Manhattan Theater Club’s production of “Jitney,” the August Wilson play appearing on Broadway for the first time, looks like the favorite, thanks to a strong production with a sterling ensemble cast. But don’t count out MTC’s current “Little Foxes,” which pleased a lot of Broadway theatergoers with its juicy melodrama and high-wattage, role-swapping stars, Laura Linney and Cynthia Nixon.

ACTOR IN A MUSICAL
For the win: Ben Platt (“Dear Evan Hansen”)
For the upset: Andy Karl (“Groundhog Day”)
Karl is beloved on Broadway, and he’s doing great work in “Groundhog Day.” But unless a “Dear Evan Hansen” backlash takes hold, voters will reward Platt’s volcanic, star-making performance, which has become such a signature element in the production it’s hard to imagine the show without him.

ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL
For the win: Bette Midler (“Hello, Dolly!”)
For the upset: Patti LuPone (“War Paint”)
LuPone has her supporters, and she’s a beloved Broadway talent, but her backers may be more vocal than numerous. The trophy looks like Midler’s to lose.

ACTOR IN A PLAY
For the win: Kevin Kline (“Present Laughter”)
For the upset: No one.
Kline has annoyed some voters by skipping the awards-season shmoozing and campaigning almost entirely, but his performance is the most broadly lauded of the actors in his category.

BEST ACTRESS IN A PLAY
For the win: Laurie Metcalf (“A Doll’s House, Part 2”)
For the upset: Laura Linney (“The Little Foxes”)
Metcalf is well-liked on Broadway, and she turns in a smart, urgent performance as post-door-slam Nora Helmer. Theater folks have been itching to hand her an award for years — but then, the same could be said for Linney, who, like Metcalf, has been nominated four times at the Tonys but never won.

FEATURED ACTOR/ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL
For the win: Gavin Creel (“Hello, Dolly!”)/Rachel Bay Jones (“Dear Evan Hansen”)
For the upset: Andrew Rannells (“Falsettos”)/Jenn Colella (“Come From Away”)
Even Midler’s detractors — and there are a few — loved Creel in “Dolly!,” and the appealing Jones has a killer scene toward the end of “Evan Hansen.” But Colella has been working the campaign trail, and she’s got the standout role in “Come From Away” as a pioneering pilot. Rannells, meanwhile, gets some love for his part in the revival of “Falsettos.”

FEATURED ACTOR/ACTRESS IN A PLAY
For the win: Danny DeVito (“The Price”)/Cynthia Nixon (“The Little Foxes”)
For the upset: John Douglas Thompson (“Jitney”)/Condola Rashad (“A Doll’s House, Part 2”)
DeVito charmed Broadway with his comic scene-stealing in “The Price,” and Nixon’s affecting performance as the fluttery Birdie surprised a lot of audience members who only know her as a type-A Miranda. But Rashad does standout, idiosyncratic work in “Doll’s House, Part 2,” and Thompson, a favorite in the theater community, was the anchor of the much-lauded “Jitney” cast.

DIRECTOR OF A MUSICAL
For the win: Rachel Chavkin (“Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812”)
For the upset: Michael Greif (“Dear Evan Hansen”)
“Great Comet” is most appreciated for the immersive audacity of its production — for which Tony credit will likely go to director Chavkin (as well as to set designer Mimi Lien, who seems sure to take home an award). However, Greif, who gives “Evan Hansen” his trademark aesthetic, seems to have a good shot too, because somehow the man who directed “Rent” and a slew of other influential shows has never won a Tony. It’s not clear, however, just how many voters are aware of that.

DIRECTOR OF A PLAY
For the win: Bartlett Sher, “Oslo”
For the upset: Ruben Santiago-Hudson, “Jitney”
Sher’s fleet, clarifying, near-choreographic work on “Oslo” seems likely to win over voters. The other contender seems to be Santiago-Hudson, who could triumph for the tight ensemble work he coaxed from the cast of “Jitney.”

 

More Legit

  • Bryan Cranston First Time in Variety

    Bryan Cranston on His Early Roles, Dealing With Rejection and His 'Erasable Mind'

    Following his 2014 Tony Award for best actor as President Lyndon B. Johnson in Robert Schenkkan’s play “All the Way,” Bryan Cranston is looking to add to his trophy collection this year with his performance as Howard Beale in “Network.” The deranged anchorman — who’s famously “mad as hell and not going to take this [...]

  • Ink Play West End London

    Wary Theater Rivalry Between London and New York Gives Way to a Boom in Crossovers

    Give or take a little tectonic shift, the distance between London and New York still stands at 3,465 miles. Arguably, though, the two theater capitals have never been closer. It’s not just the nine productions playing in duplicate in both locations — believed to be the most ever — with three more expected in the [...]

  • Alex Brightman Beetlejuice Broadway

    How Alex Brightman Brought a Pansexual Beetlejuice to Life on Broadway

    Alex Brightman gives the deadliest performance on Broadway — in a good way — in “Beetlejuice.” The big-budget musical adaptation of the 1988 film directed by Tim Burton has scored eight Tony nominations, including best actor. To play the frisky role, Brightman (“School of Rock”) dons Beetlejuice’s striped suit and an assortment of colorful wigs [...]

  • Santino Fontana Tootsie Broadway Illustration

    'Tootsie' Star Santino Fontana on the Challenges of His Tony-Nominated Dual Role

    Santino Fontana is doing double duty on Broadway this year. The “Tootsie” star scored his second Tony Award nomination this month for his hilarious portrayal of struggling actor Michael Dorsey and Dorothy Michaels, the female persona that Dorsey assumes to win a role in a play. The musical, based on the 1982 comedy starring Dustin [...]

  • Dear Evan Hansen

    Broadway Cast Albums Find Fresh Footing With Hip New Sounds, Viral Outreach

    Mixtapes. YouTube videos. Dedicated playlists. Ancillary products. Viral marketing. Epic chart stays. These are things you expect to hear from a record label discussing Cardi B or Beyoncé. Instead, this is the new world of a very old staple, the Broadway original cast recording. Robust stats tell the tale: Atlantic’s “Hamilton” album beat the record [...]

  • Ali Stroker Oklahoma

    Ali Stroker on 'Oklahoma!': 'This Show Doesn’t Follow the Rules and That Is So Who I Am'

    Ali Stroker is no stranger to rewriting history. With her 2015 Broadway debut in “Spring Awakening,” she became the first actor in a wheelchair to perform on the Great White Way. Three years later, she’s back onstage in Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Oklahoma!” as Ado Annie, the flirtatious local who splits her affections between a resident [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content