By the time you read this, the 2018 Tony Awards will probably have taken place, and this article, therefore, may seem outdated. Well, if you find yourself reading this after June 10th, 2018, you can pull up the actual results of the evening and compare it side-by-side with this to see how I did, and if any of the upsets I’m rooting for came to be. With that, here are my thoughts in each of the 26 Tony Awards Categories:
Will win: The Band’s Visit
Should win: The Band’s Visit
This one is pretty certain by now. There was thought earlier in the season that the early favorite, The Band’s Visit, may get beat out by a bigger, more commercial piece like Mean Girls, but I think the voters are going to reward the better show here.
Will win: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
Should win: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
This one is easy. There is really no contest.
Best Revival of a Musical
Will win: My Fair Lady
Should win: Once on This Island
I actually thought My Fair Lady both would and should win this until earlier this week. While My Fair Lady is a more polished piece, One on This Island is so re-inventive that I think it may be more deserving.
Best Revival of a Play
Will win: Angels in America
Should win: Angels in America
This was a fantastic production of one of the greatest American plays.
Best Leading Actor in a Musical
Will win: Ethan Slater (SpongeBob, SpongeBob Squarepants)
Should win: Ethan Slater
This guy is the square cartoon yellow sponge 8 times a week. He deserves it for so well embodying a character that only existed in cartoons previously.
Best Leading Actress in a Musical
Will win: Katrina Lenk (Dina, The Band’s Visit)
Should win: Lauren Ambrose (Eliza Doolittle, My Fair Lady)
I hear Ambrose has had as many off-performances as she has had knockout performances, but when I saw My Fair Lady she stole the show.
Best Leading Actor in a Play
Will win: Andrew Garfield (Prior Walter, Angels in America)
Should win: Denzel Washington (Theodore Hickman, The Iceman Cometh)
Mine is an unpopular opinion, but I think Denzel absolutely rocked the stage and made a 4-hour drama go by in a flash with his intoxicating acting.
Best Leading Actress in a Play
Will win: Glenda Jackson (A, Three Tall Women)
Should win: Glenda Jackson
Jackson is sensational and this is a lock.
Best Featured Actor in a Musical
Will win: Norbert Leo Butz (Alfred P. Doolittle, My Fair Lady)
Should win: Norbert Leo Butz
Butz is always incredible and I think he’ll walk home with his third Tony Award on Sunday.
Best Featured Actress in a Musical
Will win: Lindsay Mendez (Carrie Pipperidge, Carousel)
Should win: Lindsay Mendez
Mendez is both sensational as Pipperidge in Carousel, and is due for a Tony after being an industry favorite for several years now.
Best Featured Actor in a Play
Will win: Nathan Lane (Roy Cohn, Angels in America)
Should win: Anthony Boyle (Scorpius Malfoy, Harry Potter)
Lane is outstanding, but Boyle steals the show with a sensational acting performance in a show that is not at all about the acting.
Best Featured Actress in a Play
Will win: Denise Gough (Harper Pitt, Angels in America)
Should win: Denise Gough
Gough is a British actress who made two appearances in New York shows this season and should be rewarded for her sensational performance(s).
Best Director of a Musical
Will win: Tina Landau (SpongeBob SquarePants)
Should win: David Cromer (The Band’s Visit)
I think Cromer deserves it for his extraordinary staging of The Band’s Visit, but SpongeBob has become a beloved show by many Tony Voters and this is the most obvious place to reward it since Landau has been the figurehead of the show since she first pitched the concept of the show to Nickelodeon.
Best Director of a Play
Will win: John Tiffany (Harry Potter)
Should win: John Tiffany
If you see Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, you will realize why John is the one and only deserving victor of this award.
Best Book of a Musical
Will win: Tina Fey (Mean Girls)
Should win: Tina Fey
Tina Fey is one of America’s most beloved comedians and she has done sensational work adapting her movie for the stage.
Best Score for Theater
Will win: David Yazbeck (The Band’s Visit)
Should win: David Yazbeck
The score for The Band’s Visit is so beautiful and unlike anything we’ve had on Broadway, and Yazbeck will be rewarded here for that.
Will win: Justin Peck (Carousel)
Should win: Steven Hoggett (Harry Potter)
Justin Peck has beautifully choreographed Carousel, which features many dance-heavy numbers. So, he is deserving of this award. However, what Hoggett does in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is such exceptional choreography that contributes to the storytelling of the play in a way that no straight play choreographer has done before.
Will win: Jamshied Sharifi (The Band’s Visit)
Should win: Jamshied Sharifi
The score is just so beautifully orchestrated, including an on-stage band of actors.
Best Set of a Musical
Will win: David Zinn (SpongeBob SquarePants)
Should win: Michael Yeargan (My Fair Lady)
The SpongeBob Squarepants theater design is ingenious, but the set work done on stage didn’t thrill me as much as Yeargan’s design for My Fair Lady.
Best Costumes of a Musical
Will win: Catherine Zuber (My Fair Lady)
Should win: David Zinn (SpongeBob SquarePants)
Here we have a reversal of my thoughts on set design - Zinn did such a great job bringing those cartoon characters to life in human form.
Best Lighting of a Musical
Will win: Jules Fisher & Peggy Eisenhaur (Once on This Island)
Should win: Tyler Micoleaun (The Band’s Visit)
I prefered the more subtle lighting of The Band’s Visit to the bold, colorful design of Once on This Island. I think Once on This Island will win this though because it’s the easiest category to vote for the production, and I think voters will want to be sure to reward it somewhere.
Best Sound Design of a Musical
Will win: Walter Trarbach & Mike Dobson (SpongeBob SquarePants)
Should win: Trarbach & Dobson
Dobson is in charge of making the real-life world of the palace theater sound just like the world of your Saturday Morning Cartoons - Zip, Zap, Squeak, Whack, Zoom!
Best Set, Costumes, Lighting, and Sound of a Play
Will win: Harry Potter
Should win: Harry Potter
I’m grouping all four of these awards because they all likely will and definitely should go to the fantastic design team of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.
So there you have it. Be sure to check out The OHenry Report Podcast on iTunes, GooglePlay, and BroadwayWorld.com to hear our Tony Awards Episode with conversations with some of the nominees. And, for my final predictions, check out www.ohenryproductions.com.
Oliver Roth is the founder and CEO of OHenry Productions, a theatrical production company based in New York City.