Why early close of ‘Honeymoon in Vegas’ hurts its Tony Award chances

Despite getting many positive reviews, “Honeymoon in Vegas” is an even bigger long shot for a Best Musical nomination at the Tony Awards now that producers announced plans yesterday to shutter the under-attended show after this Sunday’s performance. It’s the fourth straight flop for composer Jason Robert Brown (who nonetheless picked up a Tony last year for his score to another movie-based musical, “The Bridges of Madison County”).

In the last decade, only three new musicals that closed before nominations day have picked up nods in the top category. Two years ago, “Bring It On” and “Christmas Story” both earned recognition over less-acclaimed late-season openers like “Motown.” And in 2011, “The Scottsboro Boys,” a tragically short-lived collaboration between John Kander and Fred Ebb, made the cut in a remarkably weak field.

In a year with a small number of new musical contenders or few standouts, the Tony nominating committee often dips into the ranks of shuttered shows – if only to snub a more current but artistically inferior production. But this year’s crop of new musicals is large — 10 in all — and it’s backloaded so that seven of them have yet to premiere as we head into the final qualifying month. While there may be a clunker or two in the mix, tuners like “Fun Home,” “Finding Neverland,” “Something Rotten” and “An American in Paris” are opening after buzzy, pre-Broadway runs. Those four shows currently lead our odds for Best Musical, with the off-Broadway transfer “Fun Home” far out in front. 

All of these fresh contenders could work against “Honeymoon in Vegas” – as well as Sting’s “The Last Ship” and the Tupac tuner “Holler If Ya Hear Me,” which both called it curtains rather quickly earlier this season with even less critical support than “Honeymoon.”

Tony Awards experts: ‘Fun Home’ will win Best Musical, ‘Something Rotten’ could spoil

When it came to predicting the Tony Awards nominations last year, the Experts tied the Top 24 Users (those users with the best scores predicting the 2013 nominations) with an overall accuracy rate of 86.67%. Our Editors were at 80.42% while all Users averaged 67.92%. (Click on each group’s name to see their overall results from last year.)

Even before the nominations were announced last year, the collective opinion of both our Experts and Top 24 Users had foreseen that “Gentlemen’s Guide to Murder” would win Best Musical. Both groups nailed all of the nominees as well. 

As Gold Derby Users – just like YOU – turn out to be our smartest prognosticators, it’s vital that you give us your predictions. Your picks factor into our Users racetrack odds. These, in turn, are a key component of Gold Derby’s official (combined) odds

Make the best predictions and you could win our contest prize: $100 Amazon gift certificate and a place of honor in our famous leaderboards. But be sure to take notice of the fine points of our official contest rules HERE.  

Tony Awards experts: ‘Curious Incident’ will win Best Play, ‘Wolf Hall’ could spoil

In order to win, you must have the highest accuracy percentage – and maybe more than that. If more than one player has the best accuracy, the winner is the person with the highest accuracy plus most game points. So, remember to place your three super bets when making predictions. Each player gets one super bet of 500 points and two of 200 points with all the other categories worth 100 points. Strategy is key. Place those super bets wisely and they could crown you our winner.

That’s what happened when we tallied up prediction scores for last year’s Tony Awards nominations. Nine users were tied at the top with a jaw-dropping 95% accuracy. However, J F Petsche was our official winner because he scored 6,046 points (including 2,915 points for Play Revival where he had placed his 500 point bet). Compare that to second-place finisher Ted Stevenson  who scored 5,674 points (he put his 500 point bet on Musical Revival and earned 2,333 points there). 

Get started by making your own predictions for Best Musical using our easy drag-and-drop menu found at the bottom of this post.

You can continue to update and change your predictions until the morning of the nominations announcement on April 28. Just click “Save Predictions” when you’ve settled on your choice. And remember to place your 500 and 200-point bets wisely. 

To enter your predictions for the other genre categories, make sure you are logged into your Gold Derby account or register for a free account via Facebook, Twitter or Google.

After logging in, click on the “Predictions” button found at the top-right of every page. That will bring you to a list of every event currently being predicted at Gold Derby.

We are forecasting everything from the winners of the Academy of Country Music Awards and both Daytime and Primetime Emmys to the results on reality TV shows like “The Amazing Race” and “Survivor” to the body count on “The Walking Dead.” Click on any box to bring up that event, then scroll down to start making your predictions.

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