Tony Awards predictions slugfest: 3 Experts track hottest races [Video & Audio Podcast]

Tony Awards predictions experts Michael Musto (NewNowNext), Brian Lipton (Cititour) and I agree that “Hadestown” will win Best Musical, but we disagree on what rival is its biggest threat. “Tootsie”? “The Prom”? “Ain’t Too Proud”? Watch us track the top races in our video slugfest above – or listen to the audio podcast version below.

“‘Tootsie’ would be the strongest competitor,” Michael insists. “I loved ‘Tootsie.’ It’s hilarious. It’s very well adapted from the movie. However, if you’ve noticed, voters haven’t gone with a feel-good show in the past few years. The last four or five winners were things that started off Broadway or somewhere else and evolved into a Broadway production. Things with a lot of pedigree and pretension — from ‘Hamilton’ to ‘Fun Home,’ ‘Dear Evan Hanson’ and ‘The Band’s Visit.'” Read Michael’s sassy, in-depth analysis of the Tony nominations that he wrote for Gold Derby.

Brian disagrees, citing the widespread belief that the winner tends to be a musical that has great potential to make money while touring beyond Broadway in the future. He picks “Ain’t Too Proud” as the strongest runner-up “because to me that’s the ultimate road producers’ show. It’ll play real well in a big arena. The Temptations are well known to older audiences who make up a lot of the road. ‘The Prom’ might be a little too edgy.”

Pay special attention to Brian’s picks. He not only just tied Gordon Cox (Variety) and Jan Simpson (Broadway & Me) for reaping the best accuracy score when predicting this year’s Tonys nominations, he’s won more Expert battles at Gold Derby than anyone else. What’s his secret?

“I’m an actual Tony voter,” he says. “I tend to just vote my ballot. I try not to predict anyone else’s.”

Michael adds: “I go with what I think they’re going to remember” when it comes to deciding whether to predict current productions over closed ones. “But it’s really impossible to predict. Are they going to remember ‘Choir Boy’? Or ‘American Son’?” Both are closed shows. “Choir Boy” managed to snag four nominations, including Best Play, but “American Son” got totally skunked.

See Michael’s latest predictions here. Mine here. Brian’s here. See how our picks compare to rankings by our other Experts. See our latest Tonys racetrack odds.

BELOW: Audio podcast version of our chat. Or listen at iTunes, Spotify, Libsyn, Google Play or Stitcher where you can subscribe to our channel.

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