2017 Tony Awards Predictions

Arts  /  by Deven Kinney '20 and Cate Levy '20  /  May 20, 2017

Courtesy of Playbill

On Sunday, June 11 the 71st Annual Tony Awards will take place at the Radio City Music Hall in New York City, hosted by Kevin Spacey. Dating all the way back to 1947, the American Theatre Wing’s Tony Awards have honored accomplishment and caliber in Broadway theatre, from acknowledging best leading actress in a musical to best lighting design of a play. The show includes an array of performances from the nominated productions and is an all-around entertaining night celebrating excellence in theatre. With a Tony Award comes great acclaim, respect, and compliment from not only the Broadway community, but the rest of the world as well. In many of the shows nominated this year, star-studded celebrities are leads of the productions, including Ben Platt from Pitch Perfect, singer song-writer Bette Midler, and movie stars Cate Blanchett and Sally Field. The New York Post says that “while it’s easy to predict some of the winners, a lot of categories are up for grabs.” Therefore, as seen in past years, who did or did not win the Tony will cause some controversy.

Our predictions:

Best New Musical

Dear Evan Hansen

This masterpiece has stirred up vital conversation about depression, suicide, parenthood, and inclusion, speaking to each person who watches this musical. Whether the audience is a teenager struggling with feeling alone or a mother who’s having a hard time connecting with her child, there’s something everyone can relate to in the new Broadway smash hit. Each member of the cast brings their character to life in a beautiful and authentic way. This show acts as a piece of social work and provides comfort to every person that sits down in the Music Box Theatre. Not only is the acting flawless, but the score is catchy and truthful, the lighting is creative, and the audience’s interaction through the use of social media is quite original.

Come From Away

Groundhog Day

Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812

Best New Play

Oslo

“Oslo” provides a moving and riveting story about the behind-the-scenes talks and action that contributed to the Oslo Peace Accords between Israel and Palestine in the 1990’s. Yet, its large canvass speaks for just an aspect of the rich production director Bartlett Sher has provided. The cast’s performances undoubtedly portray the urgency of the politics that were at hand. Each character, representing a key participant in the talks, shows how deep the matter was to so many people at the time. But the play also demonstrates that even during a time of conflict with seemingly no hope, something positive can happen. While we know that the peace didn’t last, the current situation in the Middle East allows “Oslo” to be the strikingly relevant play of the year.

Sweat

A Doll’s House, Part 2

Indecent

Best Revival of a Musical

“Falsettos” or “Hello, Dolly!”

“Falsettos” and “Hello, Dolly!” have engaged each other in difficult competition for this category. “Falsettos” brings so much to the stage. It’s modern and inventive staging makes it that much more impressive, since the show is a revival. But most importantly, the production also brings to light many important topics such as coming out, HIV/AIDS, coming of age, and human connection.

Equally as brilliant, “Hello, Dolly!” wows the crowd each night at the Shubert Theatre. Not only is Bette Midler, the show’s title character, glorious, but so is the rest of the cast. The choreography is stunning, the costumes are ridiculously impressive, and the vocal quality is superb. The uplifting tone of “Hello, Dolly!” brings the audience to tears of joy each performance and leaves every person in the audience wondering, “how is it possible for something to be so utterly perfect?”

“Miss Saigon”

Best Revival of a Play

“Jitney”

Like “Oslo,” the relevance of August Wilson’s “Jitney” comes at an important time. Set at a storefront taxi station in 1970’s Pittsburgh, “Jitney” tells the story of nine jitney drivers and their stories. What makes “Jitney” so powerful, though, is its character development. With a cast of just nine, every character undergoes layers of transformations, and viewers learn so much about each one by the end of the show. At a time of racial unease in our country, the beautiful writing and genuine performances in “Jitney” hit us hard at a time when we need it.

“The Little Foxes”

“Present Laughter”

“Six Degrees of Separation”