Due to the abbreviated 2019-2020 Broadway season, the 74th Tony Awards had to be postponed. Despite this, the awards were recently announced to be taking place virtually.
With the shortened season, many shows that received rave reviews are not eligible for this year’s awards, including many high-profile revivals such as “West Side Story” and “Company,” which are not eligible for the Best Revival of a Musical award. Because of this, famous actors such as Patti LuPone (“Company”), Laurie Metcalf (“Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?”) and Isaac Powell (“West Side Story”) are not eligible for the Best Actor categories, in which they were predicted to win at the beginning of the season.
However, almost all plays that opened during the 2020-2021 season, as well as some popular musicals are eligible for the awards. Because of this, this year’s Tony’s will be interesting because Broadway plays often receive less attention compared to the musicals, but none of the eligible voters got a chance to see the shows, or they never opened.
Although the nominees are not officially announced, the eligible shows have been, so making predictions about this year’s Tony’s is pretty easy, considering the low amount of shows and actors that are eligible.
With the Best Original Play category, it is safe to assume that “Slave Play” will most likely win. The play examines issues such as sex, trauma and interracial relationships, all issues that the voting body has, in the past, enjoyed seeing plays break barriers. This year will most likely be no different.
On the other hand, predicting who will win for the Best Original Musical category is a little complicated this year. Only four musicals are eligible for the award, three of which being jukebox musicals, or musicals whose music comes from other artists’ already exists. Jukebox musicals have, historically, not been enjoyed by the voting body. This year will be made difficult by the unexpected success of “Moulin Rouge! The Musical,” however, it will most likely be a tight race between “Moulin Rouge!” and “Jagged Little Pill,” which also had unexpectedly positive reviews and is a fan-favorite among the theater community, due in part to its music being taken from Alanis Morisette’s album “Jagged Little Pill.”
The Best Actor in a Play category is also a little complicated, because of the amount of eligible actors, however the nominees will most likely consist of Jake Gyllenhaal (“Sea Wall/A Life”), Kyle Soller (“The Inheritance”), Tom Hiddleston (“Betrayal”) and Jonathan Price (“The Height of the Storm”). The award itself will probably go to Jake Gyllenhaal, who’s really seeing a “golden age” of his career with recently successful movies like “Spiderman: Far From Home” and a successful stage role in “Sunday in the Park with George.”
The Best Actress in a Play category is no different, however the nominees will most likely be Mary-Louise Parker (“The Sound Inside”), Audra McDonald (“Frankie and Johnny”), Laura Linney (“My Name is Lucy Barton”), and Joaquina Kulakango (“Slave Play”). The award will most likely go to Audra McDonald.
If there’s one thing the voting body likes to do, it’s to nominate and award McDonald, as she is the most awarded Broadway actress in history, making her a favorite to win.
This year’s theatre season is truly unprecedented, and so handing out awards will be no different. With the virtual awards ceremony, as well as the interesting amount of eligible shows and actors, this year’s Tony’s will play out to be an interesting one.
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