January 23, 2015 at 1:50 am #434525
We’re very excited that David Sheward has joined our team of writers covering the Tony Award races. As most of you probably know, David was the longtime Executive Editor of Back Stage and he’s been predicting Tonys at GD for many years so we consider him a member of the family.
We just published his first article — a preview of the race for Best Musical — whatcha thank?
He’ll soon follow this up with his preview of the race for Best Play. Stay tuned.January 23, 2015 at 5:10 am #434527
I’ve heard the two “big” songs from Doctor Zhivago and they sound like the worst cut songs from some Frank Wildhorn show that never made it out of regional production in Houston. So bland they make Phil Collins seem like George Gershwin.
The Visit is probably too bleak and has sharply divided audiences in regional productions. The sentiment there will go to Chita and not the show.
Something Rotten! has some ecstatic word-of-mouth from an industry reading last fall.January 23, 2015 at 10:58 am #434528
Too early for me to make many predictions about musicals, as only 3 originals and 2 revivals have opened thus far. Though I must say I just saw honeymoon in Vegas and it surprised the hell out of me. Its an incredibly fun show. I hope sales pick up for it, more people need to see it.
But in terms of plays, I think it will be a showdown between Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time and Wolf Hall. Curious Incident is definitely the best of season so far, at least for my tastes.January 23, 2015 at 2:01 pm #434529
David does a great job previewing the overall slate of contenders, and I agree with most of his points: Fun Home and Finding Neverland look like strong contenders, sight unseen.
I think he’s overestimating Honeymoon in Vegas, though. Although it got a rave review from the New York Times, critical reception has been mostly mixed. Sales have increased post-opening, but it’s still not doing gangbusters at the box office, and if it isn’t attracting tourists in Manhattan, I doubt producers and voters will see touring potential (a big factor in what show wins the Tony, unfortunately). And, frankly, it isn’t any more substantial than most movie-to-stage adaptations — it feels quite a lot like The Wedding Singer, but with a less popular source material. Jason Robert Brown’s score is the only real “snob” factor.
Speaking of snob appeal, I think David underestimates The Visit. Theater afficionados will be sailvating at the chance to nominate a Kander & Ebb musical, especially considering it is their final collaboration. Although the material is dark, don’t forget how voters embraced the Kander & Ebb musical The Scottsboro Boys with nominations just a few years ago. They didn’t win any awards at the ceremony (they were entirely overshadowed by The Book of Mormon), but I believe they had just as many nominations at BoM did!
I could easily see the line-up being Fun Home, Finding Neverland, The Visit, and Something Rotten!. I don’t know anything about Rotten first-hand, but I have heard incredible word of mouth. I’ll also be attending the first preview performance on March 23, so I’ll be sure to drop in and let everyone know what it’s like!
Formerly known in the forums as PianoMann.