Our Tony nominations contest leader gives prediction tips, roots for ‘Curious Incident’

“I spent a few hours the day before the nominations were announced looking at which shows were likely to be nominated, and cross referenced the opinions of different sites that were posting predictions, and decided on which gave the most convincing reasons,” says Gold Derby’s latest contest leader Nicholas Dewsbury (screen name Wombat988). He tops our leaderboard for his standout predictions of the 2015 Tony Awards nominations.

Scroll down to see Dewsbury’s secrets on how he did so well forecasting this event and resist the urge to copy or steal these tips as your own when predicting the winners of the Tony Awards at Gold Derby. Hurry — make your predictions for the Tonys for your chance of winning our prize of a $100 Amazon gift certificate.

‘An American in Paris, ‘Fun Home,’ ‘Wolf Hall’ lead Tony Awards nominations

Dewsbury, a UK native, scored 95% accuracy and 14,386 points, beating all others except for our Tonys Expert Melissa Bernardo. (See Dewsbury’s complete winning predictions here.)

Dewsbury tells us, “Unfortunately, being a poor university students living far away from London, I rarely get an opportunity to see the shows that start in the West End before reaching Broadway. The only show I have seen that was nominated at the Tonys was ‘Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time,’ and I can tell you that I will be rooting for it until the end, as I consider it to be possibly the best play I have ever seen. If Alex Sharp is even half as good in the role as Luke Treadaway was when I saw it, I can’t possibly imagine how he will lose.”

“‘Wolf Hall‘ was an easy choice, as it had been recommended by my parents, and the many positive reviews backed that up. I also tend to find that UK imports of plays do very well when on Broadway. ‘Disgraced‘ was an easy choice as well due to the great reviews and Pulitzer Prize. I finished up the category with ‘Hand to God‘ as it seemed to be the next most popular choice among predictions I could find online.

“As for Best Musical, the choices just seemed easy. I’ve hated ‘Finding Neverland‘ since they premièred a song at the Tonys last year, and the awful reviews were just the nail in the coffin. I felt like the four musicals I predicted were no brainers.

“Musical Revival, once again, seemed like a very easy category to predict, using the Gold Derby odds alone.

“I knew that ‘The Elephant Man‘ and ‘Skylight‘ were probably the easiest to predict because of their glowing reviews and well known actors. The box office of ‘The Elephant Man’ couldn’t have hurt its chances either. I chose ‘You Can’t Take It With You‘ next as I felt that despite its lackluster box office, the reviews more than made up for it. Finally, I picked ‘This Is Our Youth‘ over ‘It’s Only a Play‘ as I felt the former had been more warmly received.

“Acting categories are always much harder to predict in my opinion. Bradley Cooper was a lock because everybody loves him at the moment and ‘The Elephant Man’ is such an emphatic role. I’ve already expressed my love for ‘Curious Incident,’ and Ben Miles was an obvious choice, if anything just for the long period of time he spends on stage. Helen Mirren made the cut as well as I just couldn’t mentally picture anybody else from the list winning.

“The other predictions were a mix of Gold Derby odds, guess work, and swapping some of the choices with lower odds with some of the ones with slightly lower odds as a gamble. Cross referencing between different sources is key. I generally find reviews mean more on Broadway than box office does (though it does help). Also, sometimes it pays off to take a gamble. If a potential with fifth place odds on Gold Derby had close enough odds to the potential in sixth place, I’d swap them, provided I hadn’t read any information from other sources that made me think otherwise. Call me a tempter of fate, but it paid off, didn’t it?”

Tony Awards slugfest: Paul Sheehan vs. forum posters Sam Eckmann & David Buchanan

Start making your Tony Awards picks now here or by clicking on what you think will win Best Play in the box to the right.

You can also scroll down to predict the Best Play winner using our easy drag-and-drop menu.

Best predictions will win $100. And the 24 Users with the best scores advance to a team to compete against our Experts and Editors next year. See contest rules.

Average Gold Derby users just like YOU often turn out to be our smartest prognosticators, so it’s important that you give us your predictions. Your picks influence our User racetrack odds, which also factor into our official racetrack odds.

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