Tony Awards: David Sheward previews battles brewing for Best Musical and Best Play

David Sheward, one of the leading Tony Awards experts, has joined Gold Derby to write about these top theater kudos.This one-time executive editor of Backstage has been contributing his predictions to Gold Derby since we launched and often scores the best among our pundits. 

In the video below, he takes Tom O’Neil and me through the season so far, offering his take on the already-opened musicals and plays that could contend when Tony nominations are announced on April 28. And he delivers fascinating insights into the slew of shows still to debut before the April 23 deadline. 

David Sheward’s Tony Awards preview: What is ahead for Best Play?

For David, the strongest tuner to date is “Honeymoon in Vegas,” an adaptation of the 1992 comedy flick. Tony Danza takes on the James Caan role of a veteran gambler who takes a shine to a young bride-to-be. However, as he notes, despite solid reviews including a rave from the New York Times, ticket sales have been slow. “It is a combination of not being a huge title that everybody loves and not having a huge enormous star in it.”

Among those musicals waiting in the wings, he admits, “the show I am really excited about that was a big hit off-Broadway last season is ‘Fun Home,’ which is based on Alison Bechdel‘s graphic novel about a young lesbian coming out.” 

Turning to plays, David foresees that all four nominees for Best Play could be British. As he explains, “when a show is a hit in London, it comes in automatically and there is a certain segment of the Broadway audience that will pay money to see it even though there are no stars in it.”

Leading the charge is “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time,” Simon Stephens’s adaptation of the best-selling novel by Mark Haddon. “It is directed by Marianne Elliot who did ‘War Horse’ and is just a brilliant production.” 

David Shewards’ Tony Awards preview: What is ahead for Best Musical?

To find out what the other contenders in both categories could be, watch the video below. 

And be sure to make your prediction as to what will win Best Musical Theater Album at the upcoming Grammys on Feb. 8 by using our easy drag-and-drop menu. Best overall Grammy predictions will win a $100 prize. Register/log in to your account so you can also compete to predict the BAFTAs, Oscars, “The Walking Dead,” “Celebrity Apprentice” and more.

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