As Broadway revs up for the Hamiltony Tony Awards on June 12, the question on everyone’s mind is not whether Hamilton will win Best Musical—it will—but how big its total Tony haul will be. Lin-Manuel Miranda's megasuperpopular musical is up for prizes in 13 categories; if it sweeps them all, it can break the all-time 12-Tony record set by The Producers in 2001 and Billy Elliot in 2009. But how likely is that? For those of you following at home next weekend, here’s a rundown of Hamilton's chances in all 13 categories, ranked from most to least likely.
1. Best Musical
2. Best Direction of a Musical
3. Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) Written for the Theatre
4. Best Book of a Musical
The only question here is whether the telecast will let Miranda accept the latter two awards on the air. (We suspect they'll include Best Original Score and give out Best Book in a commercial break.)
5. Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical
6. Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical
7. Best Lighting Design of a Musical
8. Best Orchestrations
It’s hard to imagine that anything can take these out of the Hamilton column. Among the three Hamilton cast members competing for the Featured Actor prize, Daveed Diggs has an edge over Christopher Jackson; a win by Jonathan Groff, who left the show in April, would count as a major surprise.
9. Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical
Here’s where suspense creeps in. Miranda is competing with costar Leslie Odom Jr. for Best Leading Actor. Conventional wisdom once favored Odom, especially since Miranda will already be winning two awards for his score and book. But as Miranda's national profile has risen, so have his odds; he’s Broadway’s biggest breakout star in decades, and he’d be the first person to win Tonys for both writing and starring in the same musical. On the other hand, rumors that Miranda is leaving the show next month may hurt him. And if Miranda and Odom split the vote, there’s a chance that Fiddler on the Roof's Danny Burstein could slip in (as Robert Lindsay did in 1987, when he beat the two male stars of Les Misérables). Adding to Burstein’s chances: He’s a beloved trouper, and if he loses this year he will hold the all-time Tony record (six) for most acting nominations without a win.
10. Best Costume Design of a Musical
11. Best Scenic Design of a Musical
Strong cases can be made on merit for non-Hamilton nominees, especially David Rockwell's set for She Loves Me and Ann Roth's costumes for Shuffle Along. (Like Burstein, Rockwell has been nominated five previous times, and has never won.) But the set and costumes in Hamilton—by David Korins and Paul Tazewell, respectively—are extremely good, and seem poised to ride a Hamilton wave to victory.
12. Best Choreography
In almost any other year, Savion Glover's extraordinary work in Shuffle Along—which does for tap what Jerome Robbins did for ballet—would be a shoo-in. But Andy Blankenbuehler’s nonstop choreography in Hamilton is also thrilling, and essential to the effectiveness of the staging as a whole. Advantage Hamilton, but Glover could very well take it.
13. Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical
Most hopes for a record-breaking Hamilton night are dashed on the rocks of the Best Leading Actress category. Hamilton's Phillipa Soo is superb, but her role as Eliza is arguably a supporting one, and she has much less to do than the other four nominees in this talent-packed category. The Color Purple's Cynthia Erivo, whose eleven o’clock number earns a midshow standing ovation, is likely to take the prize. But don’t count Soo out entirely: Although it’s a long one, she does have a shot.