Tom O'Neil's Inside Track

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.”