The nominations have been out for a while now, and with the Tony Awards broadcasting in just a few short weeks, everyone has an opinion on who will (or should) win. So what do the experts think?
We collected thoughts from six Broadway connaisseurs: Charles Isherwood of the New York Times, Harry Haun from Playbill, Melissa Bernardo and Jason Clark from Entertainment Weekly, Wayman Wong of Talkin Broadway and Matt Windman from amNY. And while they are all in consensus on a few items, there’s plenty more that’s still in debate.
All six experts agree on three key awards: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time will win Best Play (though Isherwood believes Disgraced should), An American in Paris is a shoo-in for Best Musical and no one should even try to compete with the legendary Helen Mirren for Best Actress in a Play for her role in The Audience.
Everyone but Wong from Talkin Broadway is predicting for Skylight to win Best Revival of a Play, while Wong is still holding out for The Elephant Man. Best Revival of a Musical is more contentious; the New York Times, Talkin Broadway and amNY all vote for The King and I, while both writers from Entertainment Weekly predict On the Twentieth Century will win and Windman of amNY casts a vote for On the Town.
Perhaps the most exciting debate, however, is for Best Actor in a Play, where two very strong contenders are in play: Steven Boyer, the puppet master of Hand to God, and Alex Sharp, who puts on a nuanced performance of autism in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. Charles Isherwood and Melissa Bernardo of EW support Boyer, while EW’s Jason Clark as well as the experts from Playbill, Talkin Broadway and amNY all believe that Sharp will win.
Like in the Play counterpart, Best Actress in a Musical is graced by theater royalty. Charles Isherwood is the lone holdout for Kelli O’Hara in The King and I, while the rest all cast their votes for Kristin Chenoweth of On the Twentieth Century.
And the results are all over the map for Best Actor in a Musical. Wayman Wong of Talkin Broadway believes Brian D’Arcy James will win for his performance in Something Rotten!, as does Isherwood, but he thinks that the winner should really be Robert Fairchild from An American in Paris. Both experts from EW support Fairchild, as does Windman from amNY, while Playbill’s Harry Haun casts a lone vote for Michael Cerveris in Fun Home.
What are the takeaways from such a survey? Don’t try to compete with acting royalty, at least as far as the leading ladies are concerned. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, An American in Paris and Skylight have awed audiences, while The King and I, despite previous concerns of it being an unnecessary revival, is doing surprisingly well in the polls.
There is an extraordinary degree of talent in the actor categories, making the results far from certain. And despite a strong showing in the nominations, innovative new shows Fun Home (12 nominations) and Wolf Hall Parts 1 and 2 (8) are not expected to do well in the major awards.
Do you agree with our experts’ opinions, or do you have another winner in mind? We’ll find out soon enough when the 69th Annual Tony Awards plays on Sunday, June 7, 2015.