My Predictions for the 2015-16 Tony Nominations.

As you’re reading this, the Tony Award nominators are holed up somewhere deciding theatrical history.

I know, I know, that sounds dramatic (pun intended) but it’s not.  There have only been 69 Tony Award ceremonies before this year’s.  And yeah, Audra McDonald has won almost 10% of the time.

So the nominations, which are announced in less than 24 hours, are huge.

They can change careers, and if you remember this blog about what happens when the nominations come out, they can change the business trajectory of a show.

Let’s add to that drama by making some predictions, shall we?

Here are my predictions for Tony Award nominations for 2015-16 (in the four major categories).

1.  Best Musical

Shuffle Along
American Psycho

I know the Producers of Shuffle wanted the show to be a revival, but I actually think the “new” musical designation locked a nomination for the show, whereas in the revival category it would have had to battle.

There are a few shows up for that last spot (expect Waitress to take the third), including Bright StarTuck Everlasting, On Your Feet! and School of Rock, but I expect that the nominators will give it to American Psycho, for the ambition of it all.  (And I think if Allegiance had opened in the spring, it could have given it a run for its blood money as well.)

2.  Best Play

The Humans
King Charles III
The Father

Once again, it’s the fourth slot that’s the one up for grabs in what is a very quiet category this year. There are some super plays in the bunch but none of them are doing super business.  Perhaps that’ll change come tomorrow?

3.  Best Revival of a Musical

The Color Purple
Fiddler On The Roof
Spring Awakening

What’s that?  Only three?  Did I forget something?  Oh no, see, here’s where things get interesting.  When Shuffle became a new musical, a “5 and under” rule was automatically enacted that says, and I quote directly from the Tony Award rules and regs:

Where there are five or fewer eligible shows in a Best Show category, at the Tony Nominating Meeting, the Nominating Committee will be instructed to cast one vote each for three eligible shows as nominees on his/her secret ballot.  Such ballot shall be collected and tabulated by a representative of the Accounting Firm.  The three eligible shows with the highest number of votes will automatically be designated as the nominees in such category.  A fourth nominee shall be added to the category in the event that the Accounting Firm determines that the difference in votes between the third highest-ranked show and the fourth highest-ranked show is three votes or less.

With only She Loves Me and Dames at Sea as the other potentials, this category immediately becomes a list of three instead of four.  (There is the chance for a fourth slot as specified above, but I don’t see that happening.)

It’s an interesting rule, obviously designed to make sure categories aren’t just filled out by shows that don’t deserve to be a part of theatrical history, but this year proves why this rule just may need closer examination.  Because there were some Tony-kickin’ revivals.

There’s no question that my own Spring Awakening and the other revivals that I’m predicting will get the nomination were challenged by the late to enter the race but quick to get rave reviews, She Loves Me.  But at the end of the day, I think the nominators will check the box of the three shows that presented the most unique productions of these classic shows, rather than a more traditional interpretation (which I loved).

4.  Best Revival of a Play

A View from the Bridge
The Crucible
Long Day’s Journey Into Night
Noises Off

Miller dominates this category, just as he does every time there’s a revival of one of his plays.  Yes, the productions are terrific, but it just goes to show you how brilliant the plays are themselves.  They just seem to always be good.  Always.  Noises Off will sneak in just to add some levity to it all.  How much death and despair can we have in one category?


I’m feeling pretty good about my pics this year.  What do you think?  Agree?  Disagree?

Comment below what you think the nominees will be . . . and then check in tomorrow to see how we all did.

Because history is about to be made.  Again.


(Got a comment? I love ‘em, so comment below! Email Subscribers, click here then scroll down to say what’s on your mind!)

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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.