With mere days to go before the 2019 Tony Awards on Sunday June 9th, David Buchanan and I are locking in our final predictions for the play categories. Though using that word “final” is giving us panic attacks for some of these tight races. Watch the full video above.
We begin confidently enough, backing Jez Butterworth’s “The Ferryman” for Best Play. “I don’t want to discount the other plays in the category,” explains David, but the epic Irish drama has dominated conversation all season long. I do offer the possibility of a massive upset in the form of “What the Constitution Means to Me.” Heidi Schreck’s word-of-mouth hit crested with buzz at just the right moment. I mention that the show is “so powerful and relevant” in today’s political climate that it has a chance to overtake “The Ferryman.”
The race for Best Revival of a Play is really wide open. David is backing Kenneth Lonergan’s “The Waverly Gallery,” while I’m opting for Roundabout’s mounting of “All My Sons.” “I think there has been a lot of campaigning for ‘Waverly’ that’s been really smart,” says David. I see his argument but note that an even stronger campaign is coming from “The Boys in the Band” team. “Here we are in Pride month and Mart Crowley is finally on Broadway with this classic queer play,” I note. Celebrated playwright Crowley has certainly been charming voters during awards season and producer Ryan Murphy’s announcement of a film adaptation has kept the production in the news. I shy away from actually predicting the gay classic however, choosing to cast my ballot for “All My Sons.” It’s “an American classic” and “emotionally rich.” It stars beloved actors Annette Bening and Tracy Letts. Most importantly: it’s still running.
Our predictions for the acting races range from firm locks to flat out uncertainty. Expect the legendary Elaine May to claim Actress in a Play for “The Waverly Gallery.” The reclusive actress is even rumored to make a rare awards show appearance to collect her trophy. David and I both pick Bryan Cranston to win Actor in a Play for “Network,” but are wary of backlash from the Best Play snub of “To Kill a Mockingbird.” Voters who love that show could come to the rescue of Jeff Daniels and give the veteran actor his first Tony win for his nuanced take on Atticus Finch.
David and I are in agreement that Celia Keenan-Bolger will finally win a Tony for her performance as Scout in “To Kill a Mockingbird.” With the two “Gary” actresses (Kristine Nielsen and Julie White) splitting support the only logical second choice would be Fionnula Flanagan. I admit that “Fionnula Flanagan has a part that would traditionally win, but I just feel like the community has rallied around Celia this year.”
Featured Actor in a Play is an altogether different and confounding story. David throws his support behind Olivier winner Bertie Carvel, who gives a devilish take on Rupert Murdoch in “Ink.” He dives into the structure of the role, noting “it’s a very prominent performance” that opens and closes the play. I have trepidation making the same prediction since I find it easier to empathize and connect emotionally with performances from Brandon Uranowitz (“Burn This”) and Benjamin Walker (“All My Sons”). Ultimately I choose Walker, since that character has “so many moments to explode.” This race will be one of the biggest nail-biters of the night.
Make sure to watch our full video discussion above to hear our full predictions in every Play category before logging your final predictions.
Be sure to make your Tony predictions today so that Broadway insiders can see how their shows and performers are faring in our odds. You can keep changing your predictions as often as you like until just before winners are announced on June 9. And join in the fun debate over the 2019 Tonys taking place right now in our theater forums. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.