Grammy predictions: Can Tony champ ‘A Strange Loop’ hold off Michael Jackson in Musical Theater Album race?

At the last Grammys, the presumed front-runner for Best Musical Theater Album didn’t end up winning. “Les Misérables: The Staged Concert” was out front to win according to Gold Derby’s racetrack odds, but lost in a big upset to “The Unofficial Bridgerton Musical.” So what could that mean for this year’s race?

According to our current combined predictions, the reigning Tony winner for Best Musical, “A Strange Loop,” is expected to win with 11/2 odds. Thirteen of the American Theatre Wing’s previous champions in that category throughout the 21st century also won here. Among them are “The Producers,” “Hairspray,” “Monty Python’s Spamalot,” “Jersey Boys,” “Spring Awakening,” “In the Heights,” “The Book of Mormon,” “Once,” “Kinky Boots,” “Hamilton,” “Dear Evan Hansen,” “The Band’s Visit,” and “Hadestown.”

On paper, that should bode well for “A Strange Loop.” Although one important category it didn’t win on Tony night was Best Original Score. The last time a loser in that category prevailed at the Grammys was “Wicked” back in 2005. It lost the Tony for Best Score (and Best Musical) to “Avenue Q.” Yet when the two of them re-matched here, the former pulled off some sweet revenge.

In second place with 7/1 odds is “MJ.” That show overcame mixed critical reviews and some controversy surrounding its main subject, Michael Jackson, to become a big commercial hit and overperform in Tony nominations and wins. Throughout Jackson’s long career, he managed to win 13 competitive Grammys in addition to the Legend Award in 1993 and the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2010, in addition to being a two-time Hall of Fame inductee. Of course, there is the question of whether or not Grammy voters are willing to look past Jackson’s posthumous child sexual abuse allegations the way Tony voters did this past year.

Then again, the fact that the original cast recording of “MJ” is filled with songs voters have been familiar with for decades could still help. After all, most of our users were predicting “Hedwig and the Angry Inch” to prevail back in 2015, yet “Beautiful” managed to pull off an upset. The latter musical was centered on the early career of legendary singer/songwriter Carole King, who earned nine competitive Grammy nominations and four wins in her career. So in hindsight, it shouldn’t have been surprising that “Beautiful” won.

In third place with 8/1 odds is the 2022 revival cast album of “Into the Woods.” It is the fourth recording of Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine‘s beloved musical recognized in this category. The original production’s cast album won back in 1989. Then the original West End cast album was nominated in 1992, but lost to “The Will Rogers Follies.” The first Broadway revival’s cast recording was recognized in 2003, but lost to “Hairspray.”

Two of the principal soloists on this particular recording of “Into the Woods” happen to be previous Grammy winners. Sara Bareilles won Best American Roots Performance in 2020 for “Saint Honesty,” while Phillipa Soo prevailed in this category back in 2016 as a principal soloist on the original cast recording of “Hamilton.” Not to mention that this is also the very first cast album of a Stephen Sondheim musical to be produced since his death back in November of 2021. Sondheim himself was a seven-time Grammy winner in addition to a Trustee Award recipient in 2008.

As for the show that managed to beat “A Strange Loop” for Best Score at the Tonys, “Six” is currently in fourth place with 9/1 odds. That show would follow 11 other winners of Best Score this century to also come out on top at the Grammys. In addition to the aforementioned “The Producers,” “Hairspray,” “Spring Awakening,” “In the Heights,” “The Book of Mormon,” “Kinky Boots,” “Hamilton,” “Dear Evan Hansen,” “The Band’s Visit,” and “Hadestown,” “Aida” also won Best Musical Theater Album and the Tony for Best Score. Plus, “Six” arguably has a showier score than “A Strange Loop” given that “Six” is presented as a concert where the music is even more front and center.

In fifth place with 10/1 odds is the Broadway revival cast album of “Caroline, or Change” starring Sharon D. Clarke. This is the very first recording of Jeanine Tesori and Tony Kushner‘s musical to be nominated in this category. The original with Tonya Pinkins was overlooked for a bid back in 2005. In sixth place with 11/1 odds is “Mr. Saturday Night” starring Billy Crystal, who has been Grammy-nominated twice before. So perhaps that should be ranked a little higher. What do you think?

Make your predictions at Gold Derby now. Download our free and easy app for Apple/iPhone devices or Android (Google Play) to compete against legions of other fans plus our experts and editors for best prediction accuracy scores. See our latest prediction champs. Can you top our esteemed leaderboards next? Always remember to keep your predictions updated because they impact our latest racetrack odds, which terrify record executives and music stars. Don’t miss the fun. Speak up and share your huffy opinions in our famous forums where thousands of showbiz leaders lurk every day to track latest awards buzz. Everybody wants to know: What do you think? Who do you predict and why?

Grammy odds for Album of the Year
Who will win?

More News from GoldDerby