This Sunday’s Lucille Lortel Awards, which salute the best of off-Broadway, could well offer some of the leading Tony contenders a chance to practice their acceptance speeches. The original Second Stage production of the tuner “Dear Evan Hansen” is up for four awards here; it currently leads our odds to win Best Musical at the Tony Awards. Among plays, both Paula Vogel’s “Indecent” and J.T. Rogers’ “Oslo” — which also both moved to the rialto this season from the Vineyard and Lincoln Center respectively — earned four bids each. They vie for Best Play at the Tonys against “A Doll’s House, Part 2” and “Sweat.”
Leading the way at the Lucille Lortel Awards with seven nominations apiece are new folk opera “Hadestown,” which premiered at the New York Theatre Workshop, and the Barrow Street Theater revival of the Tony-winning “Sweeney Todd.” Sunday’s ceremony at the NYU Skirball Center will be hosted by one-time “SNL” star Taran Killam and will once again benefit The Actors Fund.
The Playwrights Horizon staging of the play “A Life” has four nominations with leading man David Hyde Pierce contending for these kudos for the first time while director Anne Kauffman picked up her fourth career bid. Likewise for the play “Yen,” which was staged by MCC and starred recent Best Supporting Actor Oscar nominee Lucas Hedges (“Manchester by the Sea”) who contends here for his leading role. Behind the scenes, “Yen” lighting designer Ben Stanton earned his fifth nomination in a row (and seventh overall).
Costume designer William Ivey Long is to be feted for his lifetime achievement while Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Lynn Nottage will be inducted onto the famed Playwrights’ Sidewalk in front of the Lucille Lortel Theatre and veteran general manager Harold Wolpert will be saluted for service to the off-Broadway community.
Be sure to make your Tony Awards predictions. Weigh in now with your picks so that Broadway insiders can see how their shows and performers are faring in our Tony odds. You can keep changing your predictions until just before winners are announced on June 11. And join in the fierce debate over the 2017 Tony Awards taking place right now in our theater forums.