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Complete 2017 Tony Award predictions in every category

Complete 2017 Tony Award predictions in every category
Photograph: Courtesy Matthew Murphy Dear Evan Hansen

It’s been a grand year for singing. The 2016–17 Broadway season was one of the busiest in memory, especially for musicals, which makes many of the Tony Award races especially competitive. Last year, of course, a little show called Hamilton bulldozed its competition. This time, the love is likely to get spread around, especially among the top musical productions: Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812 (which earned 12 nominations), Dear Evan Hansen (9) and the Bette Midler revival of Hello, Dolly! (10), with Come from Away (7) a potential spoiler. Here’s who we predict will win all 24 of this year's races at Radio City Music Hall on Sunday, June 11, and who might (or should) give the favorites a run for their money.

RECOMMENDED: Time Out's comprehensive guide to the Tony Awards

BEST MUSICAL
Come from Away
Dear Evan Hansen
Groundhog Day
Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812

The race: Thirteen new musicals opened this season, the most in 35 years. In that crowded field, two gorgeous flowers have bloomed: Dear Evan Hansen and The Great Comet. Although Comet snagged three more Tony noms overall, look for the less divisive Hansen, which has already built a following among young people across the country, to take the top honor. But don't rule out an upset victory by Come from Away, which manages to be a feel-good musical about 9/11 and which has passionate adherents.


BEST PLAY
A Doll’s House, Part 2 (Lucas Hnath)
Indecent (Paula Vogel)
Oslo (J.T. Rogers)
Sweat (Lynn Nottage)

The race: Any of the plays in this strong category would be a credible winner. Our own choice would be A Doll's House, Part 2, which earned eight nominations, the most of any play. But after sweeping the pre-Tony theater prizes—including the Lucille Lortel Awards, the Drama Desk Awards and the the Obies—J.T. Rogers’s wide-angle survey of the 1993 Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations is the undeniable front-runner. If there’s a surprise, it will probably come from Sweat, a populist and timely drama that won the 2017 Pulitzer Prize.


BEST REVIVAL OF A MUSICAL
Falsettos 
Hello, Dolly!
Miss Saigon

The race: Hello, Tony.


BEST REVIVAL OF A PLAY
Jitney
The Little Foxes 
Present Laughter
Six Degrees of Separation

The race: Voters tend to have short memories, which would argue against Jitney, the only one of the four worthy nominees that is no longer running. But the production was rapturously received, and earned a Special Citation from the New York Drama Critics' Circle. And in a season that is notably less racially diverse than the previous one, Jitney offers a chance for the Tonys to celebrate artists of color.


BEST SCORE
Come from Away (Irene Sankoff and David Hein)
Dear Evan Hansen (Benj Pasek and Justin Paul)
Groundhog Day The Musical (Tim Minchin)
Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812 (Dave Malloy)

The race: Hansen and The Great Comet—two scores that richly reward multiple listens—are the main events in this race, a likely harbinger of the Best Musical outcome. Although Dave Malloy's Comet score is more variegated and musically ambitious, the tunefulness and emotion of Pasek and Paul's Hansen songs will earn them a Tony to accompany the Oscar they won earlier this year for their La La Land lyrics.


BEST BOOK OF A MUSICAL
Come from Away (Irene Sankoff and David Hein)
Dear Evan Hansen (Steven Levenson)
Groundhog Day The Musical (Danny Rubin)
Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812 (Dave Malloy)

The race: The tight race for Best Musical makes it difficult to assess the odds for this category. We lean toward Hansen again, based on the tightness and power of Steven Levenson's book. But Sankoff and Hein's complicated multistrand storytelling in Come from Away might impress voters more (and give them a chance to recognize that popular musical as a whole), and Malloy's cheeky adaptation of Tolstoy's War and Peace has a lot of appeal as well.


BEST ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL
Denée Benton, Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812
Christine Ebersole, War Paint
Patti LuPone, War Paint
Bette Midler, Hello, Dolly!
Eva Noblezada, Miss Saigon

The race: In a different year LuPone and Ebersole would battle it out, but no one can compete with Midler’s back-where-she-belongs return to Broadway. Gather your most valuable possessions, put them in a box, and stick Midler’s Best Actress win on it, because the lady’s a total lock.


BEST ACTOR IN A MUSICAL
Christian Borle, Falsettos
Josh Groban, Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812
Andy Karl, Groundhog Day
David Hyde Pierce, Hello, Dolly!
Ben Platt, Dear Evan Hansen

The race: Platt’s star turn in the title role is an astonishing combination of technical prowess and raw emotional power. Playing an unpopular high school kid has made Platt very popular indeed. He's unforgettable, and the Tony will be the cherry on the sundae of praise he has earned.


BEST ACTRESS IN A PLAY
Cate Blanchett, The Present
Jennifer Ehle, Oslo
Sally Field, The Glass Menagerie
Laura Linney, The Little Foxes
Laurie Metcalf, A Doll’s House, Part 2

The race: Metcalf was a charter member of Chicago’s great Steppenwolf Theatre Company before she rose to national fame in Roseanne, and she has returned to her stage roots with a vengeance. In Lucas Hnath’s issue-play sequel, she gives a stunning performance as a liberated woman who returns to the dull house she abandoned 15 years earlier. This is her fourth Tony nomination in 10 years, and it will be her first win.


BEST ACTOR IN A PLAY
Denis Arndt, Heisenberg
Chris Cooper, A Doll’s House, Part 2
Corey Hawkins, Six Degrees of Separation
Kevin Kline, Present Laughter
Jefferson Mays, Oslo

The race: In the absence of one of the year’s most impressive leading-male performances—Gideon Glick’s utterly heartrending but sadly unnominated turn in Joshua Harmon’s Significant Other—stage and screen prince Kline will win his third Tony (the last was way back in 1981) for his elegantly droll take on a narcissistic actor in Noël Coward’s dry-champagne comedy.


BEST FEATURED ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL
Kate Baldwin, Hello, Dolly!
Stephanie J. Block, Falsettos
Jenn Colella, Come from Away
Rachel Bay Jones, Dear Evan Hansen
Mary Beth Peil, Anastasia

The race: On merit this award belongs to Jones for her achingly loving and lovable depiction of an overworked single mother in Dear Evan Hansen. We think she has the edge, but affection for Come from Away may yield a win for Colella, an iron-voiced stage veteran who has this ensemble show's only solo number.


BEST FEATURED ACTOR IN A MUSICAL
Gavin Creel, Hello, Dolly!
Mike Faist, Dear Evan Hansen
Andrew Rannells, Falsettos
Lucas Steele, Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812
Brandon Uranowitz, Falsettos

The race: Fifteen years after his Broadway debut in Thoroughly Modern Millie, Creel is likely to pick up a statuette for his charming supporting turn as Hello, Dolly!'s adventure-seeking Cornelius Hackl. But Rannells and Steele will put up a solid fight.


BEST FEATURED ACTRESS IN A PLAY
Johanna Day, Sweat
Jayne Houdyshell, A Doll's House, Part 2
Cynthia Nixon, The Little Foxes
Condola Rashad, A Doll's House, Part 2
Michelle Wilson, Sweat

The race: Among this year's acting categories, Featured Actress in a Play is the toughest to call. Nixon is very moving as a humiliated, alcoholic Southern wife in The Little Foxes, and gets extra credit for also playing the drama's leading role at half of the show's performances. (She and Laura Linney switch off.) Both Houdyshell and Rashad are absolutely first-rate in DH2, though, and Day's tough performance is the core of a production that voters may not otherwise reward.


BEST FEATURED ACTOR IN A PLAY
Michael Aronov, Oslo
Danny DeVito, The Price
Nathan Lane, The Front Page
Richard Thomas, The Little Foxes
John Douglas Thompson, Jitney

The race: The beloved DeVito completely stole The Price as a crafty old furniture dealer, and seems destined to nab a Tony for his mantel. An award for Thompson, however, would allow voters to honor Jitney's excellent ensemble cast by synecdoche.


BEST DIRECTION OF A MUSICAL
Christopher Ashley, Come from Away
Rachel Chavkin, Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812
Michael Greif, Dear Evan Hansen
Matthew Warchus, Groundhog Day
Jerry Zaks, Hello, Dolly!

The race: Broadway first-timer Chavkin’s creativity and skill in coordinating The Great Comet’s swirling spectacle commands admiration. But only once in the past 15 years have voters given this award to the director of a show that did not win Best Musical or Best Revival of a Musical. Four-time Tony winner Zaks gives old-fashioned entertainment a sterling new polish, but Greif, a talented Broadway stalwart who has yet to win the award—he was passed over for Rent in 1996—has the advantage.


BEST DIRECTION OF A PLAY
Sam Gold, A Doll's House, Part 2
Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Jitney
Bartlett Sher, Oslo
Daniel Sullivan, The Little Foxes
Rebecca Taichman, Indecent

The race: This is one of the year's hardest races to predict. In a competitive field, we have a hunch that Taichman will pull out a win for her deeply moving staging of Paula Vogel's drama, for which she is credited as co-creator.


BEST CHOREOGRAPHY
Andy Blankenbuehler, Bandstand
Peter Darling and Ellen Kane, Groundhog Day
Kelly Devine, Come from Away
Denis Jones, Holiday Inn
Sam Pinkleton, Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812

The race: Blankenbuehler won this award for Hamilton last year, and he takes a big step forward in the ranks of director-choreographers with his exciting, moving work in Bandstand. But since the musical itself was (unjustly) shut out of nominations in the major categories, voters may not take it seriously—or see it at all. Come from Away’s Devine might take it, or Pinkleton could ride Comet’s tailcoats to a win.


BEST SCENIC DESIGN OF A MUSICAL
Rob Howell, Groundhog Day
David Korins, War Paint
Mimi Lien, Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812
Santo Loquasto, Hello, Dolly!

The race: For audiences entering the radically reimagined Imperial Theatre, it’s love at first sight: Designer Lien has remade the venue into a shabby-ornate Russian nightclub that stays true to Comet’s 80-seat–theater origins while expanding the interactive experience to a space 20 times larger, creating an unusually intimate spectacle in the process.


BEST SCENIC DESIGN OF A PLAY
David Gallo, Jitney
Nigel Hook, The Play That Goes Wrong
Douglas W. Schmidt, The Front Page
Michael Yeargan, Oslo

The race: Things fall apart, but rarely as spectacularly and inventively as Hook's disaster-prone set for The Play That Goes Wrong; you leave the show laughing at the scenery. But if voters don't take a shine to the mega-silly show itself (this is its only nomination), the Tony could go to Gallo for his evocative 1970s cab station.


BEST COSTUME DESIGN OF A MUSICAL
Linda Cho, Anastasia
Santo Loquasto, Hello, Dolly!
Paloma Young, Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812
Catherine Zuber, War Paint

The race: In a category overstuffed with gorgeous sartorial creations, we expect Loquasto to win for his lovingly extravagant Dolly costumes, which memorably include a pastel parade of Sunday clothes. (Loquasto also gets bonus points for designing the revival's delightfully retro set.) But Young's kicky, motley outfits for Comet can't be counted out.


BEST COSTUME DESIGN OF A PLAY
Jane Greenwood, The Little Foxes
Susan Hilferty, Present Laughter
Toni-Leslie James, Jitney
David Zinn, A Doll's House, Part 2

The race: There are lots of beautiful period togs in this toss-up category, but the gladdest rags of all are Hilferty's glam creations for the preening swells of Present Laughter.


BEST LIGHTING DESIGN OF A MUSICAL
Howell Binkley, Come from Away
Natasha Katz, Hello, Dolly!
Bradley King, Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812
Japhy Weideman, Dear Evan Hansen

The race: If King doesn't win this award for his exceptional work in Comet, the Tonys should consider eliminating this category entirely in the future. And we're only half-kidding.


BEST LIGHTING DESIGN OF A PLAY
Christopher Akerlind, Indecent
Jane Cox, Jitney
Donald Holder, Oslo
Jennifer Tipton, A Doll's House, Part 2

The race: Akerlind's ravishing work is essential to conveying Indecent's delicate mixture of mourning and joy. It's unusual for lighting to play so central and palpable a role in the overall effect of a production.


BEST ORCHESTRATIONS
Bill Elliott and Greg Anthony Rassen, Bandstand
Larry Hochman, Hello, Dolly!
Alex Lacamoire, Dear Evan Hansen
Dave Malloy, Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812

The race: Hello, Dolly!’s delightful brassy-Broadway sound makes Hochman a major contender for this oft-misunderstood award. But Comet auteur Malloy deserves it for his superb orchestrations of his own compositions, which are essential to how his music operates in the show. And if Comet doesn't win Best Book or Best Score, this would be a way for voters to show Malloy some much-deserved love.

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