[WATCH] Tony Awards 2016 predictions preview: Will ‘Hamilton’ set new record?

With only a few days until this year’s Tony Awards ceremony, Gold Derby’s in-house Tony trio — Executive Editor Paul Sheehan, contributor Sam Eckmann and myself — convened via webcam to dish our predictions for the top seven Musical categories. After watching our slugfest (above) in which we give a complete rundown of these races be sure to make your Tony Awards predictions. You have until 7 p.m ET/4 p.m. PT on Sunday June 12. Get started HERE.

There’s no debate among the three of us that “Hamilton” will win the Best Musical trophy, so we quickly move onto the less certain Best Revival category. While Paul currently predicts “She Loves Me” to win, Sam and I give the edge to “The Color Purple,” considering that this production is an entire reinvention of the original production. Although John Doyle, the visionary helmer of “The Color Purple,” is nominated for Best Director, we all agree that Thomas Kail will easily win for “Hamilton.”

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In the top acting categories, we feel strongly that Cynthia Erivo will win for her Broadway debut in “The Color Purple.” As Sam articulates, “Erivo got this Tony from the first moment she stepped out at the first preview.” We are less certain about Best Actor with Sam predicting Leslie Odom for his performance as Aaron Burr in “Hamilton,” while I make a case for Danny Burstein as Tevye in the revival of “Fiddler on the Roof.”

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I argue that Burstein, in addition to being long overdue for a Tony after five losses, has built momentum by winning the Outer Critics Circle Award and the Drama Desk Award, “albeit he was not competing against the ‘Hamilton’ men at either of those two awards.” Sam retorts, however, that Odom has Best Actor in the bag because “he has the most incredible song in ‘Hamilton,’” referring to his showstopper “The Room Where it Happens.”

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As for the Featured categories, we think “Hamilton” will win both for Featured Actor (Daveed Diggs) and Featured Actress (Renee Elise Goldsberry). While Diggs has to contend against two of his “Hamilton” costars — Jonathan Groff and Christopher Jackson — Sam doesn’t think the common fear of vote-splitting will be a factor because Diggs is so far out in front.

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