My Predictions for the 2012-13 Tony Nominations

Last week, The Outer Critics and the Drama League trumpeted the beginning of Award season with their set of nominees . . . and today, we hit Award Season-stride with the announcement of the Drama Desk nominations.

But let’s face it.  While we all love us some Outer Critics and Drama Desks, it’s those Tony nominations tomorrow that have all of us on the edge of our uncomfortable theater seats.

As you read, the Nominating Committee is holed up at the famed Edison Cafe (aka “Polish Tea Room”) with paper covering the windows and security guards at the front door . . . as they decide just who will be nominated for theater’s big-wig prize.

Who will they choose?

Good question.

I’m going to make some predictions in the the biggest categories of the Tony Race:  Best Musical, Best Play, Best Revival of a Musical and Best Revival of a Play.  And then tomorrow we’ll see how I do.

Ready?  I’m putting on my sooth-saying hat, and here goes . . .


1.  Matilda – It was a lock for a nom before it was even announced for Broadway.

2.  Kinky Boots – The home grown Kinky is Matilda’s biggest competition and is also a lock for the 2nd slot.

3.  Hands on a Hardbody – While its run was almost as short as the actual “Hands On” competition, Hardbody will get a nom as recognition for its courageous spirit and its unique form.  Matilda was easy to musicalize.  Hardbody, not so much.  And the team took the challenge head on, and got a set of great notices in the process.  And they’ll be invited to the Tony dance as a result of their efforts.

4.  Chaplin – The fourth slot is always the wildcard, and this year is no different.  We’ve got Bring it On (which snagged a thumbs up from the Times last summer), Motown (big bucks, Berry Gordy), and A Christmas Story all in the mix.  But, I’d expect Bring it On to be forgotten, Motown to get snubbed for being a jukebox tuner, and A Christmas Story thought of as just holiday fare.  And that’s why I’m predicting it’ll be Chaplin for the final nominee for Best Musical.


1.  Pippin – Director Diane Paulus does it again.  She takes a popular American musical (Hair, Porgy) and adds a new twist (in this case a bunch of twisting acrobats), and gets her show nominated for Best Revival in the process.

2.  The Mystery of Edwin Drood – The last 20 minutes of Drood were some of the most fun I had on Broadway this year.  And Nominators will think  so too.

3.  Cinderella – Was it new?  Or was it a revival?  A revival it is, and because of that classification (smarty pants Producers lobbied for this category), it’ll get a nod.

4.  Annie – This fourth slot is easier to pick, because the only other entry in the category is Jekyll & Hyde.  And, well, the Wildhorn curse continues.


1.  The Assembled Parties – Terrific notices and terrific word of mouth make this one an easy choice for the first nomination slot (and the front runner for the actual award).

2.  Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike – This Durang play was a surprising last minute transfer . . . but it’s not a surprising nominee.

3.  Lucky Guy – A good play with a big star by a beloved Author who is no longer with us.  All that spells Tony nom to me.

4.  The Nance – The solo plays (Testament of Mary and I’ll Eat You Last) will cancel each other out.  And Douglas Carter Beane’s work, powered by Nathan Lane, will snag the final spot.


1.  Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf – The Steppenwolf production was one of the first revivals of the year, and it earns the first nomination.

2.  Golden Boy – Bart Sher and Clifford Odets continue their successful pairing and produce another Tony nominated revival.

3.  The Heiress – Remember The Heiress?  The Tony nominators will.

4.  Macbeth – Ok, ok so I produced it.  But IMHO, Macbeth is what a revival is all about – a bold and unique take on classic material that can’t be seen anywhere else but on Broadway.

So there she blows!  My best-guesses for the Nominees for this year’s big prizes; the ones that have the most impact on a bottom line.  And in less than 24 hours, we’ll know how I did (I’ll be in mid-air when they are announced – so thank the Tony Gods for in flight wifi).  And as soon as they are out in the world I’ll give myself a grade, and blog that grade here.

In the meantime, give me your predictions in the comments below.  Let’s see how we all stack up.

Don’t you love this time of year?


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Ken created one of the first Broadway podcasts, recording over 250 episodes over 7 years. It features interviews with A-listers in the theater about how they “made it”, including 2 Pulitzer Prize Winners, 7 Academy Award Winners and 76 Tony Award winners. Notable guests include Pasek & Paul, Kenny Leon, Lynn Ahrens and more.