Gold Derby’s 2019 Tony Awards prediction center is now open! Broadway productions must open by an April 25th cutoff date in order to be eligible for Tony consideration. So it’s time to make your early predictions in the race for Broadway’s highest honors.
Last year, “The Band’s Visit” stormed the ceremony with a whopping 10 wins, including Best Musical. David Yazbek finally became a Tony winner for his intimate Middle Eastern inspired score, and he will be back in contention this year for “Tootsie.” The musical adaptation of the classic film stars previous Tony nominee Santino Fontana (“Cinderella”) in the role Dustin Hoffman made famous. The show will face serious competition from “Hadestown,” a riff on the Orpheus and Eurydice myth with a folk opera score from Anais Mitchell. Director Rachel Chavkin (“The Great Comet”) has guided the show through successful runs Off-Broadway and in London, and is ready to take Broadway by storm.
There is no shortage of contenders for the coveted Best Musical trophy this year. Composer Eddie Perfect has two musicals in contention: “King Kong,” complete with massive ape puppet, and “Beetlejuice,” with Tony nominee Alex Brightman inheriting the title role from Michael Keaton. “Pretty Woman,” another film-to-stage adaptation, provides a great showcase for stars Samantha Barks and Andy Karl. And of course, there are jukebox musicals for a variety of tastes: “Head Over Heels” (with music from The Go-Go’s), “Ain’t Too Proud” (telling the story of The Temptations), and “The Cher Show” (featuring Stephanie J. Block as the pop icon). If Tony voters prefer original stories, they could reward “The Prom,” a hysterical Broadway spoof with loads of heart, or “Be More Chill,” which amassed a cult teenage following during its Off-Broadway run.
Alas, the Musical Revival category is not so robust, as only two revivals debuted this season. Roundabout will compete with a production of the classic comedy “Kiss Me, Kate” starring Kelli O’Hara and Will Chase. Then there’s a transfer of Joe Fish’s dark, bare-bones staging of “Oklahoma!,” which won raves at St. Ann’s Warehouse.
There are 14 new plays hoping for a Best Play nomination. It’s an embarrassment of riches of today’s best playwrights, both established an new. Brits will try to crash the party thanks to Jez Butterworth’s 3 hour Irish epic “The Ferryman” and James Graham’s Rupert Murdoch drama “Ink.” But American scribes (and American topics) dominate the arena. Lucas Hnath (“A Doll’s House Part 2”) re-teams with Laurie Metcalf for “Hillary and Clinton.” Aaron Sorkin debuts a timely adaptation of “To Kill a Mockingbird.” Oscar winner Tarrell Alvin McCraney (“Moonlight”) had the powerful “Choir Boy.” Heidi Schreck is both writer and star of “What the Constitution Means to Me.” And performance artist Taylor Mac’s words will grace Broadway for the first time ever with “Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus,” starring Nathan Lane.
Lane is just one of many in a gargantuan list of contenders for Lead Actor in a Play. There’s also Bryan Cranston’s celebrated turn as Howard Beale in “Network,” Michael Urie breathing new life into Harvey Fierstein’s “Torch Song,” Tracy Letts in Arthur Miller’s classic “All My Sons,” Jim Parsons from the iconic queer drama “The Boys in the Band,” and Jeff Daniels as Atticus Finch in the aforementioned “Mockingbird.” And I haven’t even mentioned John Lithgow (“Hillary and Clinton”), Adam Driver (“Burn This”), Bertie Carvel (“Ink”), Daniel Radcliffe (“The Lifespan of a Fact”), Ethan Hawke (“True West”), or a litany of others. Needless to say there will be a vast club of “losers” come nomination morning.
Over in Lead Actress in a Play, the legendary Elaine May cemented herself as an early frontrunner with her towering performance in “The Waverly Gallery.” Can she win even though that revival has ended its run? Annette Bening will certainly provide competition for a different revival. “All My Sons” marks Bening’s first time on Broadway since her 1987 Tony nominated debut in “Coastal Disturbances.” Kristine Nielsen could also steal votes for heroically stepping up to replace an injured Andrea Martin at the last minute in “Gary.” Of course, they will all have to overcome the reigning category queen, Glenda Jackson. After handily winning last year for “Three Tall Women,” she’s back on the boards again with “King Lear.”
Tony nominations will be announced on Tuesday April 30th, ahead of the June 9th ceremony. Be sure to make your predictions today and follow Gold Derby for coverage of all the top races.
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 nominations are announced on April 30. And join in the fun debate over the 2019 Tonys taking place right now in our theater forum. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.