My Tony predictions and yours revealed.
Can you hear it?
Every year, as Tony Sunday approaches, you can hear the chatter about who’s gonna go home with a trophy get louder and louder.
So let’s add to it!
My predictions are always like the odds for the horses running in the Kentucky Derby – they change daily until the event. And this year, since we have so many neck-and-neck races, picking the winners is harder than ever.
But I’m going to give it a shot!
I’m also going to reveal what the majority of YOU think is going to win! Last night we closed our official Producer’s Perspective Tony Pool with a record number of players! We had well into the THOUSANDS of entries! Woo-woo! And one of those lucky contestants is going to win an iPad!
So here goes . . . here are my predictions for this year’s Tony Awards, and yours (along with the percentage that made up the majority so you can see how tight the race is). Remember, these are not “should win” . . . they are “will win” predictions.
1. Best Sound Design of a Musical
My Prediction: Robert Kaplowitz (Fela!)
Your Prediction: Robert Kaplowitz (Fela!) – 36.3%
The Sound Design award is one of the newest Tonys we have, so it’s even harder to predict what the voters will do. I’m with you . . . Fela’s music was so unique, so its sound had to be as well.
2. Best Sound Design of a Play
My Prediction: Acme Sound Partners (Fences)
Your Prediction: Adam Cork (Enron) – 31.1%
Sorry guys, I don’t think enough of the voters saw Enron to make it a winner. I’m going with what I call ‘Tony by Association’ and giving the award to Acme for Fences. The sound at Fences was terrific, but the votes that will put it over the top are for the show as much as they are for the sound.
3. Best Lighting Design of a Musical
My Prediction: Kevin Adams (American Idiot)
Your Prediction: Kevin Adams (American Idiot) – 57.3%
The lighting in Idiot is amazing . . . but Adams also benefits from the cool projection designs that voters probably lump into the same category (even though he didn’t do them). And that begs the questions . . . with video and projections a part of more and more shows every year . . . will we see a Projection or Video Design Tony soon?
4. Best Lighting Design of a Play
My Prediction: Neil Austin (Red)
Your Prediction: Neil Austin (Red) – 43.1%
Ironically, I think Neil is going to get this award for the brilliant lack of lighting used in an early scene of this play. For those of you who haven’t seen the show, there is a incredible display of the contrast between theatrical lighting and stark work-light early on that makes you realize just how talented all lighting designers are, and Neil will get a trophy for helping teach us that lesson.
5. Best Costume Design of a Musical
My Prediction: Matthew Wright (La Cage)
Your Prediction: Matthew Wright (La Cage) – 69.6%
Making men pretty has a high degree of difficulty and my readers and I agree, that’s worth a Tony.
6. Best Costume Design of a Play
My Prediction: Catherine Zuber (The Royal Family)
Your Prediction: Catherine Zuber (The Royal Family) – 43%
When in doubt, go with the period piece. Zuber’s work is always beautiful, and she’ll snag another Tony for her work on Family.
7. Best Scenic Design of a Musical
My Prediction: Christine Jones (American Idiot)
Your Prediction: Christine Jones (American Idiot) – 50.1%
When American Idiot was steamrolling into town, I don’t think anyone thought it would be cleaning up the design awards, but you and I agree that this’ll be the second Tony for the rock opera so far. But with the strange lack of nominations for Idiot in other categories (Orchestrations anyone? Direction?), could the design awards be the only awards that Idiot wins?
8. Best Scenic Design of a Play
My Prediction: Christoper Oram (Red)
Your Prediction: Christopher Oram (Red) – 33.2%
You all weren’t so sure about this one, with 33.2% making up the majority. I’m not sure either. Part of me wants to say Fences again, but ultimately, I think the title of the play, Red, screams design elements, which will help Chris grab an award for his cool way of putting canvases on stage.
9. Best Orchestrations
My Prediction: Daryl Waters and David Bryan (Memphis)
Your Prediction: Daryl Waters and David Bryan (Memphis) – 42.2%
No contest here. The only original score grabs the orchestration award.
10. Best Choreography
My Prediction: Twyla Tharp (Come Fly Away)
Your Prediction: Bill T. Jones (Fela!) – 44.2%
Oh, readers, we were seeing eye to eye for so long. We differ on this one. This is where I think Tony voters like to spread the love around. Come Fly Away won’t get honored in any other categories on Tony night, so Twyla will be given the category that makes the most sense for the show . . . and she deserves it. Just how in the heck does she get bodies to move like that anyway? Don’t feel bad for Bill. His love is coming.
11. Best Direction of a Musical
My Prediction: Bill T. Jones (Fela!)
Your Prediction: Terry Johnson (La Cage) – 41.9%
Terry did brilliant work in making this production of La Cage stand out not only from the recent revival, but also from all previous productions of the show. But I think the voters will want to make sure Fela! gets recognized, and this is how they’ll do it.
12. Best Direction of a Play
My Prediction: Kenny Leon (Fences)
Your Prediction: Michael Grandage (Red) – 32.8%
For a long time, I was with you all. I was giving it to Grandage as well, but I flip-flopped and am predicting Leon will have new hardware for his mantle after Sunday night, partly because of the amazing performances in Fences, and partly because of the body of his Wilson work, and the fact that he has never won before.
13. Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical
My Prediction: Katie Finneran (Promises, Promises)
Your Prediction: Katie Finneran (Promises, Promises) – 43.3%
I think we’d all love to see Angela get a 6th award, but how can we not give this one to Katie Finneran? You know how they added songs for this revival that weren’t in the original? After seeing Katie’s scene, I couldn’t help but wish they had written a new scene for her at the end of the second act!
14. Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical
My Prediction: Robin de Jesus (La Cage)
Your Prediction: Bobby Steggert (Ragtime) – 23.2%
Only 1.9% separated three of the nominees in your choices for the winner of this tight category. While a lot of folks are pulling for Bobby to pull it out, at the end of the day, I just don’t think enough voters caught his Younger Brother. So, I’m going with the scene-stealing de Jesus.
15. Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Play
My Prediction: Scarlett Johansson (A View from the Bridge)
Your Prediction: Scarlett Johansson (A View from the Bridge) – 36%
Only 36% of you think Scarlett’s going to take this one? I’m shocked, cuz this one is a lock. Give it to the girl, already.
16. Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Play
My Prediction: Stephen McKinley Henderson (Fences)
Your Prediction: Eddie Redmayne (Red) – 31.4%
Tough, tough category, but I think Fences will get a hat trick of performance awards on Sunday, with this being the first (see below for the other two).
17. Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical
My Prediction: Catherine Zeta-Jones (A Little Night Music)
Your Prediction: Catherine Zeta-Jones (A Little Night Music) – 38.3%
Zeta seems right to me, but there has been a lot of buzz about Montego lately. This could be a big upset, in the style of Idina over co-star Kristin Chenoweth in 2004. I picked Kristin then, and I’m picking Zeta now, just like you.
18. Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical
My Prediction: Douglas Hodge (La Cage)
Your Prediction: Douglas Hodge (La Cage) – 47.7%
The range of how this role is written certainly helped Hodge seal his Tony fate, but he plays every inch of that range to perfection.
19. Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Play
My Prediction: Viola Davis (Fences)
Your Prediction: Viola Davis (Fences) – 55.3%
Even more of you think Viola is going to win than Denzel! And she will.
20. Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Play
My Prediction: Denzel Washington (Fences)
Your Prediction: Denzel Washington (Fences) – 41.5%
What a freekin’ category. Walken, Washington, Law, Schreiber and Molina? Come on. It’s like actor heaven. I sort of feel these guys should be treated like the President and the Vice President and not be allowed in the same location for too long in case something happens to one or the other. Despite the competition, Denzel will take the trophy, partly for being snubbed years ago for his performance in Caesar. He has returned, and he kicked acting a$$ in the process. And the hat trick I spoke of earlier is now complete.
21. Best Original Score
My Prediction: Fences
Just kidding, just kidding. That was a joke. Sort of like the two play nominations that rounded out this category.
: David Bryan & Joe DiPietro (
Your Prediction: David Bryan & Joe DiPietro (
Memphis) – 74.7%
Rumor has it that David Bryan is missing a Bon Jovi concert to be at the awards. I think he picked the right day to play hookey, and so did you. I can’t wait to hear his acceptance speech.
22. Best Book of a Musical
My Prediction: Dick Scanlan and Sherie Rene Scott (Everyday Rapture)
Your Prediction: Joe DiPietro (Memphis) – 41.3%
You’ve got a point, readers. You’ve got a point. Memphis is a traditional book musical. DiPietro is loved by everyone in the biz. But so is Sherie, and I think since DiPietro will have some other trophies to play with after Sunday, this one will surprise everyone and go to Sherie and Dick.
23. Best Revival of a Play
My Prediction: Fences
Your Prediction: Fences – 61%
I hate to see Bridge lose, because I loved it so, but Fences was an event that demands to be rewarded.
24. Best Revival of a Musical
My Prediction: La Cage aux Folles
Your Prediction: La Cage aux Folles – 64.6%
Yet another reason why I wished I would have produced this one is that it’s gonna win the Tony.
25. Best Play
My Prediction: Red
Your Prediction: Red – 53%
Tony voters like “smart” plays, and Red qualifies. It’s so smart, it even feels British, doesn’t it? Yet it was written by a guy who grew up in Jersey. My money is on him bringing that Tony back home to Jersey Monday morning.
26. Best Musical
My Prediction: Memphis
Your Prediction: Memphis – 47.8%
You know what was interesting about your predictions? 47.8% (the majority) picked Memphis. Second place at 29.6% was NOT American Idiot. It was Fela!. Idiot came in third at 19.3%. It seems that no matter how many folks like Idiot, they also don’t think it represents the type of musical that gets awarded on Tony night . . .and I have to agree. Memphis feels like the big Broadway musical that voters like to pin their badge of approval on.
Well there it is. Another year of predictions. I promise I’ll let you know the winner of the pool and the iPad by Wednesday of next week at the latest, so stay tuned. I also promise to give you my score as well, no matter how humiliating.
For those of you who want to play in another pool, make sure you come to my Tony Party on Sunday night. We’re giving away a Nintendo Wii to whomever wins that pool! Click here to reserve before it’s sold out.
But wherever you are . . . Enjoy Tony night! And make sure you tell everyone you know to tune in. Let’s see what we can do about these ratings, shall we?
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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.