The Tony Awards
June 7, 2019
What’s coming up this Sunday? The 73rd annual Tony Awards, that’s what! It’s the best time of the year for all play and musical lovers. Being passionate about my love for all things Broadway I decided that I would write my predictions on what musicals would win based on what I saw and what I’ve read, and what I’ve heard from my fellow musical theatre nerds.
First, I am going to start with the Best Music/ and or Lyrics. Now there were some great contenders in this category. The nominees are Tootsie, Be More Chill, The Prom, Hadestown, To Kill a Mockingbird, and Beetlejuice. I have heard so much positivity surrounding these musicals. Sadly the only one I was able to experience was Be More Chill, which was composed by Joe Iconis. To be honest, this was not my favorite musical based on a variety of things. It started in New Jersey then got transferred to Off-Broadway. It went through drastic changes and rewrites before it reached the Broadway stage. I believe that this show should be stripped back a few layers to find what really works and how to make the plot better and less tacky.
I personally believe that Hadestown will be given best music and lyrics. Hadestown was written by Anais Mitchell, a rising composer in the Broadway industry who used to be known for her hymns. She wrote her first song when she was seventeen years of age, then she moved on to start writing Hadestown in 2006 and decided this was something she wanted to make a reality. I’ve heard a lot of great things coming out about Hadestown and how it’s making more people interested in Musical Theatre… It’s not something only people in the theatre community want to see, it’s something everyone wants to see, which is great for a new musical.
The next category I would like to draw your attention to is Best Revival of a Musical. There are only two shows up for this category, and that is Kiss Me Kate, directed by the incomparable Scott Ellis, and Oklahoma! Directed by Daniel Fish. Personally, I very much enjoyed Kiss Me Kate the Musical. The opening of act two, “Too Darn Hot,” blew my mind, The choreography by Warren Carlyle is a nice twist on traditional broadway choreography that I very much appreciate. Also, I liked that Warren Carlyle really focuses on featuring the ensemble which I think is very important… So Important that I think there should be a Best Ensemble category… But anyway on to The Oklahoma revival. This production has taken Broadway by storm and has enticed audiences with its new minimalist set and costumes, and also its dark plot twist. I believe this is going to win Best Revival because it’s really pulling out the dark things in the show like abuse, and suicide, and trying to prevent it and shine a light on it, which I appreciate. But I Do hope that Kiss Me Kate gets a choreographer award because I think it is well deserved.
Another category I will be talking about is Best Actor in a musical. There are five men nominated in this category; Damon Daunno for Oklahoma!, Alex Brightman for Beetlejuice, Derrick Baskin for Ain’t too Proud, Brooks Ashmanskas for the Prom, and Santino Fontana for his role in Tootsie. There are some very talented men in this category. I think the judges this year are going to have a hard time. Personally, I think either Santino Fontana or Derrick Baskin will win because they have been very successful in the roles they have been playing. Santino Fontana is playing the role of Michael Dorsey and Dorothy Michaels. Its starts with Michael Dorsey, a man who is a respected actor but is having a hard time getting jobs in the industry. He hears about a part meant for a female, so he decides to disguise himself as a girl and book the role on a soap opera.
Derrick Baskin is playing Otis Williams, the main member of the Group the Temptations. He is getting a lot of attention because he is playing one of the only living members that is still in the Temptations, and apparently he is doing a good job doing it. He sounds just like Otis and is doing a great job playing the part of a leading man, which I think is very Important. These two people I think will personally win, but that does not mean I don’t think someone else in this category will. They are all very talented and are all doing a great job portraying their characters.
The last category I will be giving you my opinion on is Best Actress in a Musical. The nominees for this category are Stephanie J.Block for the Cher Show, Caitlin Kinnunen for The Prom, Beth Leavel, also for The Prom, Eva Noblezada for Hadestown, and Kelli O’Hara for Kiss Me Kate. Out of all these actresses, I was able to see two of them in their shows. I saw Stephanie J. Block as Older Cher in The Cher show, and I saw Kelli O’Hara as Kate/ Lilli Vanessi. Personally, I think Stephanie J. Block should get this Tony Award because I think it’s about time she got a Tony Award. This is her third nomination and with her talent, I think she deserves it for this role. She sounds just like Cher and really embodies the role of Cher and really picked up on her movements and her personality. But if I’m honest, I believe Kelli O’Hara has a high chance of winning because she is a seven-time Tony-nominated actress and had received a tony for her role as Anna in The King and I. I was fortunate to be able to see her in that role, which I believe she did great in. I think these two actresses might get the Tony award. Again there is a ton of talent in this category that I think it will be hard for the judges to pick just one with all of the talent that is in this one category.
If you want to know if my predictions are right you should tune into channel two this Sunday, June 9th on CBS at 8 o’clock to see some talented performances and maybe get more information that you might want to take in when you try to figure out the next Broadway show you would want to see.