‘Hamilton’ reaps record 12 Lucille Lortel Awards nominations

The smash hit musical “Hamilton” reaped a record 12 nominations for the Lucille Lortel Awards which salute the best of off-Broadway. This tuner by Tony champ Lin Manuel Miranda (“In the Heights”) is transferring to Broadway this summer and is sure to be a big contender at next year’s Tony Awards. Among plays, “Between Riverside and Crazy” earned a leading six bids. (See full list of nominations here.)

Winners of the 30th annual edition of these kudos will be announced on May 10 at a ceremony at the NYU Skirball Center hosted by Emmy nominees Jesse Tyler Ferguson (“Modern Family“) and Anna Chlumsky (“Veep“). This year’s event will once again benefit The Actors Fund.

The Lortels are handed out in a range of categories. Some are akin to those at the Tony Awards, which salute the best of Broadway, such as Best Play and Best Musical. However, while the Tonys dropped the catch-all award for special theatrical event, the Lortels continue to salute such efforts. 

Playwright Terrence McNally is to be feted for his lifetime achievement while writer and composer Jeanine Tesori will be inducted onto the famed Playwrights’ Sidewalk in front of the Lucille Lortel Theatre and veteran general manager Nancy Nagel Gibbs will be saluted for service to the off-Broadway community. Nominees will be honored at a reception on April 20.

The Lucille Lortel Awards — named for the renowned actress turned producer — do what the Drama Desk Awards used to — celebrate the best of off-Broadway. Of the 100 plus shows that were eligible, 39 received some recognition from these kudos. 

While the Tony Awards, which date to 1947, salute Broadway, the Drama Desk kudos were begun in 1955 to honor the rest of the New York theater world. And for the first 14 years they did just that with winners coming exclusively from the burgeoning off-Broadway scene. However, beginning with the 15th festivities in 1968, those appearing on Broadway became eligible for consideration and since then these awards have tilted towards those also competing at the Tonys, leaving the off-Broadway performers in the wings until the Lortels came along.

These kudos are presented by the Off-Broadway League, a collection of producers who stage shows in smaller venues than those on Broadway. A successful off-Broadway run can lead to a transfer to Broadway and a chance to contend at the Tony Awards. Last year’s big winner at the Lortels, “Fun Home,” is the current frontrunner for Best Musical at the Tony Awards. 

Tony Awards experts: ‘Fun Home’ will win Best Musical, ‘Something Rotten’ could spoil

When it came to predicting the Tony Awards nominations last year, the Experts tied the Top 24 Users (those users with the best scores predicting the 2013 nominations) with an overall accuracy rate of 86.67%. Our Editors were at 80.42% while all Users averaged 67.92%. (Click on each group’s name to see their overall results from last year.)

Even before the nominations were announced last year, the collective opinion of both our Experts and Top 24 Users had foreseen that “Gentlemen’s Guide to Murder” would win Best Musical. Both groups nailed all of the nominees as well. 

As Gold Derby Users – just like YOU – turn out to be our smartest prognosticators, it’s vital that you give us your predictions. Your picks factor into our Users racetrack odds. These, in turn, are a key component of Gold Derby’s official (combined) odds

Make the best predictions and you could win our contest prize: $100 Amazon gift certificate and a place of honor in our famous leaderboards. But be sure to take notice of the fine points of our official contest rules HERE.  

Tony Awards experts: ‘Curious Incident’ will win Best Play, ‘Wolf Hall’ could spoil

In order to win, you must have the highest accuracy percentage – and maybe more than that. If more than one player has the best accuracy, the winner is the person with the highest accuracy plus most game points. So, remember to place your three super bets when making predictions. Each player gets one super bet of 500 points and two of 200 points with all the other categories worth 100 points. Strategy is key. Place those super bets wisely and they could crown you our winner.

That’s what happened when we tallied up prediction scores for last year’s Tony Awards nominations. Nine users were tied at the top with a jaw-dropping 95% accuracy. However, J F Petsche was our official winner because he scored 6,046 points (including 2,915 points for Play Revival where he had placed his 500 point bet). Compare that to second-place finisher Ted Stevenson  who scored 5,674 points (he put his 500 point bet on Musical Revival and earned 2,333 points there). 

Get started by making your own predictions for Best Musical using our easy drag-and-drop menu found at the bottom of this post.

You can continue to update and change your predictions until the morning of the nominations announcement on April 28. Just click “Save Predictions” when you’ve settled on your choice. And remember to place your 500 and 200-point bets wisely. 

To enter your predictions for the other genre categories, make sure you are logged into your Gold Derby account or register for a free account via Facebook, Twitter or Google.

After logging in, click on the “Predictions” button found at the top-right of every page. That will bring you to a list of every event currently being predicted at Gold Derby.

We are forecasting everything from the winners of the Academy of Country Music Awards and both Daytime and Primetime Emmys to the results on reality TV shows like “The Amazing Race” and “Survivor” and talent contests such as “The Voice” and “American Idol.” Click on any box to bring up that event, then scroll down to start making your predictions.

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