[WATCH] Tony Awards nominations 2016 slugfest: Will ‘Hamilton’ win a record number?

Following the announcement of the Tony Awards nominations on Tuesday, Gold Derby’s in-house Tonys trio — Executive Editor Paul Sheehan, contributor Sam Eckmann and myself — regrouped in a webcam chat (watch above) to discuss the biggest surprises and predict what is out front to win on June 12. 

While “Hamilton” made history by earning a record-breaking 16 nominations and is heavily favored to win Best Musical we all agree that it will be very hard for the show to beat the record of 12 Tonys set by “The Producers” back in 2001. There are two categories in which “Hamilton” is competing against itself. While one of the trio of “Hamilton” featured actors is likely to prevail, leads Lin-Manuel Miranda and Leslie Odom, Jr. face a strong threat from Danny Burstein for his performance in “Fiddler on the Roof.” With only three nominations for “Fiddler” in total, I point out that if Tony voters want to reward this production “in any way, shape, or form, Danny is the vote.” We all remain firmly committed in our thinking that Cynthia Erivo (“The Color Purple”) will take home the Actress trophy.

Over in the Play categories, a race is shaping up between early favorite “The Humans” and competitor “Eclipsed,” as both shows received six nominations. While we won’t rule out a win by “Eclipsed” just yet, “The Humans” still looks strong, especially if it wins in both the Featured Actor and Actress categories for performers Reed Birney and Jayne Houdyshell, respectively.

Although Paul notes that “Noises Off” exceeded expectations with three acting nominations, which could indicate that it has a strong chance in the Play Revival category, Sam and I still think the race will come down to fall entry “A View from the Bridge” and spring-opener “Long Day’s Journey Into Night.” We all agree that Mark Strong from “Bridge” and Jessica Lange from “Long Day’s Journey” lead their respective races, but Sam reminds us that with “Blackbird” in with a nomination for in the Best Play Revival category, “Michelle Williams and Jeff Daniels have a path to victory.”

After watching us slug it out be sure to jump into the fierce fight in our red-hot forums over those who made it in and (and those that were snubbed). 

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