With Tony Awards coming in just a few days, I have my predictions ready for each category. Listed are who I think is the most likely to win followed by an alternative. For some of the categories, I've included my reasons.
My Pick: Mean Girls
What Might Win: The Band's Visit
I think Mean Girls has a fantastic chance of winning Best Musical. Despite opening less than a month before nominations were announced to mostly good reviews, it's immensely popular and has a massive fan base. If this year follows the trend of most popular in the category winning then Mean Girls will take home the prize. The Band's Visit opened early in the season and is the critic's darling but doesn't have the same fan base as Mean Girls does. I expect that it will take home some awards but maybe not Best Musical.
My Pick: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts One and Two
What Might Win: Farinelli and the King
Harry Potter has a massive fan base as well. In my opinion that is very telling and it seems the most likely to take home Best Play. If that did not happen for some reason, Farinelli and the King probably would as it was very, very, well received during its limited run.
Best Revival of a Musical
My Pick: Once on this Island or My Fair Lady
Both shows were met with good reviews. However I think Once on this Island has the edge over My Fair Lady. It's only the first revival and it has struck a chord with audiences that My Fair Lady has not in the same way. However everyone knows the score of My Fair Lady which gives in some edge too.
Best Revival of a Play
My Pick: Angels in America
What Might Win: Three Tall Women
This is a no-brainer. Angels in America was met with incredible reviews, and now 11 Tony nominations. I don't see anything being able to take home the award but the only thing that I think could is Three Tall Women, which is also a big success.
Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play
My Pick: Andrew Garfield (Angels in America)
Who Might Win: Mark Rylance (Farinelli and the King)
Mark Rylance is pretty incredible, but Andrew Garfield has been the most talked about. I would be happy to see either win, but it will likely go to Garfield.
Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play
My Pick: Glenda Jackson (Three Tall Women)
Who Might Win: Lauren Ridloff (Children of a Lesser God)
Both actresses have received rave reviews, but especially since it's been such a long time since Jackson was on Broadway and how well reviewed her performance has been she has the edge in this category.
Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical
My Pick: Harry Hadden-Patton (My Fair Lady)
Who Might Win: Ethan Slater (SpongeBob Squarepants)
This is hard to call but I think it could go either way. Harry Hadden-Patton has made his role his own and reinvented a controversial character in the era of Time's Up. However Ethan Slater did win the Drama Desk for his performance. In the past though, the Tony's tend to go to the more serious performances.
Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical
My Pick: Hailey Kilgore (Once on this Island) or Taylor Louderman (Mean Girls)
Alternative: Katrina Lenk (The Band's Visit)
Hailey Kilgore has charmed everyone in her Broadway debut while Taylor Louderman has made waves playing the evil Regina George. I think this category will go to one of the two. While Katrina Lenk was raved about, the show opened a while ago and that could give her a slight disadvantage.
Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Play
My Pick: Nathan Lane (Angels in America)
Who Might Win: Anthony Boyle (Harry Potter)
Nathan Lane is a legend and after receiving good reviews for his role in Angels in America I think he has a good chance of winning. However Anthony Boyle has done very well, and won the Olivier for his role.
Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play
My Pick: Noma Dumezweni (Harry Potter)
Who Might Win: Laurie Metcalf (Three Tall Women)
The general consensus seems that it's a given for Noma Dumezweni to win this category, especially since she already won an Olivier for her role. However I would never count out Laurie Metcalf, who is incredibly talented.
Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical
My Pick: Grey Henson (Mean Girls) or Norbert Leo Butz (My Fair Lady)
Who Might Win: Ari'el Stachel (The Band's Visit)
This is the toughest category this year, in my opinion. All of the nominated performs are awesome but I think it will come down to Grey Henson or Norbert Leo Butz. That said, Ari'el Stachel's performance was one of the more enjoyable parts of The Band's Visit for me so I think he has a shot.
Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical
My Pick: Ashley Park (Mean Girls) or Lindsay Mendez (Carousel)
Who Might Win: Diana Rigg (My Fair Lady)
This is another tough category. Ashley Park has received so much acclaim for her turn as Gretchen and I think that it's a clear indicator of her positive chance to win. That said, Lindsay Mendez is one of the more enjoyable parts of Carousel and she has been the best received actor in the show. While I think those two are who it comes down to, Diana Rigg is fantastic in My Fair Lady. She's not onstage for a huge amount of time but she can certainly make an entrance and leave an impression.
Best Book of a Musical
My Pick: Tina Fey, Mean Girls
Who Might Win: Jennifer Lee, Frozen
Tina Fey's book for Mean Girls is phenomenal. It's humorous with a good message and it's been incredibly well received. I would pick Frozen as an alternative for a few reasons. The Band's Visit is such a music heavy show and I find the script and scenes to be lacking. Frozen's script is quite good but I think Mean Girls has the edge.
Best Original Score
My Pick: Mean Girls, Jeff Richmond (Music) and Nell Benjamin (Lyrics)
Who Might Win: The Band's Visit, David Yazbek
This is another tough category. Jeff Richmond and Nell Benjamin created a pop-like score, very in line with shows that have won major awards in past years. While I find the music in The Band's Visit enjoyable, it is the main focus of the show after all, I think that it's not as engaging and there are fewer memorable songs.
Best Scenic Design of a Play
My Pick: Jonathan Fensom, Farinelli and the King
Who Might Win: Christine Jones, Harry Potter
I absolutely adored the scenic design of Farinelli. However I think Harry Potter is very close behind it, especially with the amount of renovations that the Lyric Theatre went through. At this point it's probably a toss up.
Best Scenic Design of a Musical
My Pick: Michael Yeargon, My Fair Lady
Alternative: Dane Laffrey, Once on this Island
I think My Fair Lady is a given for this category. The moving set pieces, the incredible house, Covent Garden, and more all make you feel so immersed in the show. That said, the transformation that the Circle in the Square undergoes during Once on this Island is pretty amazing too.
Best Costume Design of a Play
My Pick: Katrina Lindsay, Harry Potter
Alternative: Jonathan Fensom, Farinelli and the King
I feel that Harry Potter has an edge in this category. However the costumes for Farinelli were pretty amazing so they have a very good chance as well.
Best Costume Design of a Musical
My Pick: Clint Ramos, Once on this Island
Alternative: Catherine Zuber, My Fair Lady
The costumes in Once on this Island are incredible, without a doubt. They transform throughout the show and the transformation is so cool to watch. On the other hand the costumes of My Fair Lady are quite beautiful. However I think the creativity applied to Once on this Island gives it an edge.
Best Lighting Design of a Play
My Pick: Paul Russell, Farinelli and the King
Who Might Win: Neil Austin, Harry Potter
The fact that Farinelli was done in basically candlelight is incredible. If it wins anything, I think it needs to win for its lighting design.
Best Lighting Design of a Musical
My Pick: Jules Fisher and Peggy Eisenhauer, Once on this Island
Who Might Win: Tyler Micoleau, The Band's Visit
To light the Circle in the Square Theater is a challenge, especially with all the aspects of the production. I think it's a lock in this category.
Best Sound Design of a Play
My Pick: Tom Gibbons, 1984
Who Might Win: Adam Cork, Travesties
I heard mixed things about 1984, but I think it will probably win in this category, being the only category it's nominated in. However, I would like to see Travesties take something home and the sound design is pretty good.
Best Sound Design of a Musical
My Pick: Brian Ronan, Mean Girls
Who Might Win: Scott Lehrer, Carousel
The sound design for Mean Girls is pretty incredible so I think it’s a strong contender.
Best Direction of a Play
My Pick: Patrick Marber, Travesties
Who Might Win: John Tiffany, Harry Potter
I would love to see Travesties win something and it is incredibly well directed. However John Tiffany has spent so much time with Harry Potter that it would be a likely win for him.
Best Direction of a Musical
My Pick: Bartlett Sher, My Fair Lady or Casey Nicholaw, Mean Girls
Who Might Win: Michael Arden, Once on this Island or Tina Landau, SpongeBob Squarepants
Both Sher and Nicholaw have done incredible things with their productions. However I don't think Arden should be counted out. Though I feel that if SpongeBob were to win an award, I think honoring Tina Landau would be the best way to do recognize the production.
My Pick: Casey Nicholaw, Mean Girls
Who Might Win: Justin Peck, Carousel
Anyone who can choreograph with cafeteria tray tables is a winner in my book. While Peck's choreography is beautiful and very ballet heavy, it is a bit dragging, something I noticed in other reviews as well.
My Pick: Jamshied Sharifi, The Band's Visit
Who Might Win: Annmarie Milazzo and Michael Starobin, Once on this Island
The orchestrations are in The Band's Visit are incredible, and I think they're likely a lock for this category. However the score of Once on this Island has been completely transformed in an incredible way so it also has a choice.