Friends, it’s that time of year again. Tony Sunday is just around the corner and it’s time to guess who’s going home with the gold and theatre’s highest honor. As I discussed in my last post, while the season may not look exciting on the outside, it’s of course still worth celebrating, especially when you look at each of the awards individually.
The Band’s Visit
Will win: The Band’s Visit
Upset: Mean Girls
My favorite of this batch is actually SpongeBob, but I don’t think the Tony voters will actually give it the highest honor because they’re far too snooty. The Band’s Visit, the critical and understated darling, will pick up a handful of awards, including the top spot. Mean Girls is a fine musical and a good adaptation of the beloved movie, and it’s not impossible that it’ll win, but tickets are selling fine with or without any awards.
Best Revival of a Musical
My Fair Lady
Once on this Island
Will win: My Fair Lady
Upset: Once on this Island
It’s easy. Voters don’t have to think. A lovely revival, plain and simple. Though My Fair Lady isn’t the most feminist-friendly show, it’s not as bad as Carousel. I would love to see Once on this Island take the trophy, and I can see it happening if voters want to award diversity.
Leading Actor in a Musical
Harry Hadden-Paton, My Fair Lady
Joshua Henry, Carousel
Tony Shalhoub, The Band’s Visit
Ethan Slater, SpongeBob SquarePants
Will win: Ethan Slater
Upset: Joshua Henry
Being the titular character is a heavy load to bear, but Ethan Slater as the buff-est SpongeBob imaginable is strong enough to carry the show on his shoulders. SpongeBob is the biggest surprise of the season and a large part of it is because of Slater’s Broadway debut(!). I’m certainly not counting out (Winnipeg-born!) Joshua Henry, making dual history as the first black Billy Bigelow on Broadway and also the first to earn a Tony nomination for that role.
Leading Actress in a Musical
Lauren Ambrose, My Fair Lady
Hailey Kilgore, Once on this Island
LaChanze, Summer: The Donna Summer Musical
Katrina Lenk, The Band’s Visit
Taylor Louderman, Mean Girls
Jessie Mueller, Carousel
Will win: Katrina Lenk
Upset: Lauren Ambrose
If you haven’t listened to Band’s Visit’s gorgeous cast recording, you won’t know the silky magic of Lenk’s voice, namely during “Omar Sharif.” I’m predicting this will be the Band’s only acting win, although musical newcomer Lauren Ambrose could win with the classic role of Eliza Doolittle (but will anyone ever top Julie Andrews? In anything ever?).
Featured Actor in a Musical
Norbert Leo Butz, My Fair Lady
Alexander Gemignani, Carousel
Grey Henson, Mean Girls
Gavin Lee, SpongeBob SquarePants
Ari’el Stachel, The Band’s Visit
Will win: Gavin Lee
Upset: Grey Henson
Look at that GIF. Tap. Dancing. On. Four. Legs. If that’s not Tony-worthy, nothing is Tony-worthy.
Featured Actress in a Musical
Ariana DeBose, Summer: The Donna Summer Musical
Renée Fleming, Carousel
Lindsay Mendez, Carousel
Ashley Park, Mean Girls
Diana Rigg, My Fair Lady
Will win: Lindsay Mendez
Upset: Diana Rigg
Mendez is a theatre vet and is well-respected and well-liked in the Broadway community. Carrie Pipperidge is a role worth celebrating – it gave Audra McDonald her first Tony and could see Mendez winning her first as well. Of course, Dame Diana Rigg could be riding her Olenna “Tell Cersei it was me” Tyrell train and win for her supporting role in My Fair Lady.
Who are your picks for Tony night?