Five years ago, Lin Manuel-Miranda’s “Hamilton” won 11 Tony Awards, just one shy of the record held by “The Producers.” In the years since, landslide sweeps in the musical categories have become increasingly common, with Best Musical winners like “The Band’s Visit” and “Hadestown” winning more than half of their races. That should bode well for this year’s Best Musical frontrunner “Moulin Rouge! The Musical,” so how many Tony Awards will it take home on Sept. 26?
“Moulin Rouge!” has 14 nominations, trailing “Jagged Little Pill” by one, which in turn came just shy of the record 16 that “Hamilton” netted. The most Tony Awards that “Moulin” can win is 13, as it’s double nominated in Featured Actor. According to our exclusive Tony Awards predictions, we predict “Moulin” to take home 10 prizes, losing just Best Actress, Best Featured Actress, and Best Book. Our readers predict “Jagged” will walk away with two Tonys, with just one for “Tina: The Tina Turner Musical.”
If this sounds like an all-out shellacking, it wouldn’t be unprecedented. Not only did “Hamilton” take those 11 prizes in the 13 categories in which it competed, but “The Band’s Visit” took home 10 trophies (it had nominations in 11 of them, so it only lost one prize). The latter was technically eligible in one additional category because the award for Best Sound Design was reinstated two years after “Hamilton” competed.
Even though history points to “Moulin Rouge!” sweeping like these two predecessors, it might end up with a more modest haul. The year after “Hamilton” dominated, for example, “Dear Evan Hansen” only won in six of the 13 musical categories – it had nominations in nine of them – meaning it won the majority of its nominations but not the majority of the night’s musical prizes. The reigning champion “Hadestown” was nominated in 13 of the 14 musical categories – it only missed a nomination in Musical Actor – and won eight, batting a little above 50%.
What made the difference in those two years was stiffer competition. “Dear Evan Hansen” faced off against the acclaimed and ambitious “Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812,” and the crowdpleaser “Come from Away,” while “Hadestown” had the industry’s underdog favorite “The Prom” and movie adaptations of “Tootsie” and “Beetlejuice” to stave off. The coronavirus pandemic made the musical contest this year much less crowded than anticipated, but the nominations proved that “Jagged Little Pill” has a tremendous amount of support. The final tally between the two top contenders could therefore prove more of a draw.
With less than a week to go before the winners are revealed, though, our savvy readers are forecasting “Moulin Rouge!” to win Best Musical, Best Actor (Aaron Tveit), Best Featured Actor (Danny Burstein), and Best Director (Alex Timbers), as well as Orchestrations, Choreography, Scenic Design, Costume Design, Lighting Design, and Sound Design.
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