I’ve made Tony Award predictions for years now, always trying to give my best shot at figuring out what the voters will go for in a given year. Some years I do great and some not so great, but I always come back for another round. It’s part of the geeky time of year that is Tony season.
So here are my 2009 Tony Predictions. You can come back on Monday morning to see how I did with these picks. (Update: Winners are in bold green)
Dividing the Estate by Horton Foote
God of Carnage by Yasmina Reza
Reasons to Be Pretty by Neil LaBute
33 Variations by Moisés Kaufman
Pick: Dividing the Estate: Horton Foote passed away in March of this year just as this 1989 play made it to Broadway. He’s never won a Tony, even when the Pulitzer winning The Young Man From Atlanta was nominated. This is his year.
Best Revival of a Play
Joe Turner’s Come and Gone
The Norman Conquests
Waiting for Godot
Pick: Waiting for Godot: This new production has been heralded as a masterful interpretation.
Best Direction of a Play
Phyllida Lloyd, Mary Stuart
Bartlett Sher, Joe Turner’s Come and Gone
Matthew Warchus, God of Carnage
Matthew Warchus, The Norman Conquests
Pick: Matthew Warchus for God of Carnage. This will be Carnage’s consolation prize for missing out on Best Play.
Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Play
Jeff Daniels, God of Carnage
Raúl Esparza, Speed-the-Plow
James Gandolfini, God of Carnage
Geoffrey Rush, Exit the King
Thomas Sadoski, Reasons to Be Pretty
Pick: Geoffrey Rush, Exit the King: Rush chews up scenery as this king who is about to die. It’s a powerhouse performance that will be rewarded.
Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Play
Hope Davis, God of Carnage
Jane Fonda, 33 Variations
Marcia Gay Harden, God of Carnage
Janet McTeer, Mary Stuart
Harriet Walter, Mary Stuart
Pick: Jane Fonda, 33 Variations: Jane Fonda’s on Broadway for the first time in decades. She’s taking home a Tony.
Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Play
John Glover, Waiting for Godot
Zach Grenier, 33 Variations
Stephen Mangan, The Norman Conquests
Paul Ritter, The Norman Conquests
Roger Robinson, Joe Turner’s Come and Gone
Pick: John Glover, Waiting for Godot. Glover has a solid performance in this outstanding revival.
Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Play
Hallie Foote, Dividing the Estate
Jessica Hynes, The Norman Conquests
Marin Ireland, Reasons to Be Pretty
Angela Lansbury, Blithe Spirit
Amanda Root, The Norman Conquests
Pick: Angela Lansbury, Blithe Spirit. She was nominated and didn’t win two years ago in Deuce. This time she’s already picked up a couple of pre-Tony awards so she’ll be getting the Tony this time (it’ll be her fifth).
Billy Elliot, The Musical
Next to Normal
Rock of Ages
Shrek The Musical
Pick: Next to Normal. This is a tough call between Billy Elliot and Next to Normal. I think the originality and thought provoking force that is N2N will rule the night.
Best Book of a Musical
Billy Elliot, The Musical Lee Hall
Next to Normal Brian Yorkey
Shrek The Musical David Lindsay-Abaire
[title of show] Hunter Bell
Pick: It pains me so much to vote against [title of show], but I think Next to Normal’s extraordinary story will win out.
Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) Written for the Theatre
Billy Elliot, The Musical Music: Elton John Lyrics: Lee Hall
Next to Normal Music: Tom Kitt Lyrics: Brian Yorkey
9 to 5: The Musical Music & Lyrics: Dolly Parton
Shrek The Musical Music: Jeanine Tesori Lyrics: David Lindsay-Abaire
Pick: Voters will likely feel the need to award Dolly Parton a trophy for 9 to 5, which I think will be it’s sole award of the evening. That said, this should be Kitt & Yorkey’s prize for Next to Normal.
Best Revival of a Musical
Guys and Dolls
West Side Story
Pick: It’s all about Hair. Yes, West Side Story is a contender but Hair will rule. It’s done a great job at keeping itself in the press and it’s going to ride the good will from last summer’s Central Park staging right into the winner’s circle.
Best Direction of a Musical
Stephen Daldry, Billy Elliot, The Musical
Michael Greif, Next to Normal
Kristin Hanggi, Rock of Ages
Diane Paulus, Hair
Pick: Michael Greif, Next to Normal. Grief’s worked hard over the past year to make Next to Normal what it is today and that’s not going to go unnoticed. I think his stiffest competition here is Diane Paulus for her stunning work at making Hair relevant to today’s audiences.
Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical
David Alvarez, Trent Kowalik, and Kiril Kulish – Billy Elliot, The Musical
Gavin Creel, Hair
Brian d’Arcy James, Shrek The Musical
Constantine Maroulis, Rock of Ages
J. Robert Spencer, Next to Normal
Pick: David Alvarez, Trent Kowalik, and Kiril Kulish – Billy Elliot, The Musical. The trio who bring Billy to life deserve this award. It’s a stunning performance, all the more so becuase it’s a child who delivers it to stunning perfection each night.
Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical
Stockard Channing, Pal Joey
Sutton Foster, Shrek The Musical
Allison Janney, 9 to 5: The Musical
Alice Ripley, Next to Normal
Josefina Scaglione, West Side Story
Pick: Alice Ripley, Next to Normal. Ripley’s amazing as a mom who deals with bipolar delusions. It’s a heartbreaking performance that she nails.
Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical
David Bologna, Billy Elliot, The Musical
Gregory Jbara, Billy Elliot, The Musical
Marc Kudisch, 9 to 5: The Musical
Christopher Sieber, Shrek The Musical
Will Swenson, Hair
Pick: Gregory Jbara, Billy Elliot, The Musical. As the conflicted dad, Jbara is outstanding as he works to understand Billy’s obsession with dance while trying to figure out how to send him to school in the midst of the miner’s strike.
Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical
Jennifer Damiano, Next to Normal
Haydn Gwynne, Billy Elliot, The Musical
Karen Olivo, West Side Story
Martha Plimpton, Pal Joey
Carole Shelley, Billy Elliot, The Musical
Pick: Karen Olivo, West Side Story. Olivo plays Anita and she’s been praised a lot for her performance. I think she’ll be West Side’s only win tonight.
Best Special Theatrical Event
Liza’s at The Palace
Soul of Shaolin
You’re Welcome America. A Final Night with George W. Bush
Pick: You’re Welcome America. A Final Night with George W. Bush. Everyone loves Liza, but Will Ferrell had Broadway in stitches with the limited run of this show that turned into a hit live special for HBO.
After the jump you can read my picks for the technical awards.
Best Scenic Design of a Play
Dale Ferguson, Exit the King
Rob Howell, The Norman Conquests
Derek McLane, 33 Variations
Michael Yeargan, Joe Turner’s Come and Gone
Pick: Dale Ferguson, Exit the King
Best Scenic Design of a Musical
Robert Brill, Guys and Dolls
Ian MacNeil, Billy Elliot, The Musical
Scott Pask, Pal Joey
Mark Wendland, Next to Normal
Pick: Ian MacNeil, Billy Elliot, The Musical
Best Costume Design of a Play
Dale Ferguson, Exit the King
Jane Greenwood, Waiting for Godot
Martin Pakledinaz, Blithe Spirit
Anthony Ward, Mary Stuart
Pick: Dale Ferguson, Exit the King
Best Costume Design of a Musical
Gregory Gale, Rock of Ages
Nicky Gillibrand, Billy Elliot, The Musical
Tim Hatley, Shrek The Musical
Michael McDonald, Hair
Pick: Tim Hatley, Shrek The Musical
Best Lighting Design of a Play
David Hersey, Equus
David Lander, 33 Variations
Brian MacDevitt, Joe Turner’s Come and Gone
Hugh Vanstone, Mary Stuart
Pick: David Hersey, Equus
Best Lighting Design of a Musical
Kevin Adams, Hair
Kevin Adams, Next to Normal
Howell Binkley, West Side Story
Rick Fisher, Billy Elliot, The Musical
Pick: Kevin Adams, Next to Normal
Best Sound Design of a Play
Paul Arditti, Mary Stuart
Gregory Clarke, Equus
Russell Goldsmith, Exit the King
Scott Lehrer and Leon Rothenberg, Joe Turner’s Come and Gone
Pick: Gregory Clarke, Equus
Best Sound Design of a Musical
Acme Sound Partners, Hair
Paul Arditti, Billy Elliot, The Musical
Peter Hylenski, Rock of Ages
Brian Ronan, Next to Normal
Pick: Acme Sound Partners, Hair
Karole Armitage, Hair
Andy Blankenbuehler, 9 to 5: The Musical
Peter Darling, Billy Elliot, The Musical
Randy Skinner, Irving Berlin’s White Christmas
Pick: Peter Darling, Billy Elliot, The Musical
Larry Blank, Irving Berlin’s White Christmas
Martin Koch, Billy Elliot, The Musical
Michael Starobin and Tom Kitt, Next to Normal
Danny Troob and John Clancy, Shrek The Musical
Pick: Michael Starobin and Tom Kitt, Next to Normal
Sounds like some great picks…you know your Broadway, that’s for sure! :-)
Which of the show this year did you get to see?
You cannot be gay! God of Carnage will take Play and lead actress, Noman Conquest will take revival, and Billy for Musical, Director and Book.
Take your gaydar to the shop, something’s jammed up in there.
I didn’t see that you had mislead Cheryl…
Even though it will win, I couldn’t bring myself to vote for the god-awful “God of Carnage”. But I am hoping that Angela, Jane and Alice all win!