Predicting the Tonys: Critics Weigh In

Part Four: Who Will (and SHOULD) Win the Musical-Specific Categories?

Show-Score | By Deeksha Gaur | Jun 9, 2016

We reached out to a number of leading critics to ask them who they thought will win the Tonys (and who SHOULD win). Some of their responses just might surprise you!

2016 Tony Awards Logo 2016 Tony Awards Logo | By www.tonyawards.com

Here at Show-Score, we like to hear from both critics and fans about the theater they love. To date, over 20,000 theater fans have Predicted the Tonys, but our critic community has yet to weigh in...until now!


On Monday, we looked at which shows will (and should) win this year’s Tonys.


On Tuesday, we found out critic predictions of the acting Tonys.


Yesterday, we covered Tony predictions for direction and production design.


Now let’s find out what the critics thought of the noms in the musical-only categories!


BEST BOOK OF A MUSICAL

Nominees: Steve Martin, “Bright Star”; Lin-Manuel Miranda, “Hamilton”; Julian Fellowes, “School of Rock”; George C. Wolfe, “Shuffle Along”
Critics Say WILL Win: Lin-Manuel Miranda, “Hamilton”
Critics Say SHOULD Win: Lin-Manuel Miranda, “Hamilton”
Show-Score Members Say WILL Win: Lin-Manuel Miranda, “Hamilton”


“This one isn’t even close.”- David Barbour, Lighting and Sound America

“More duh” - Raven Snook, TimeOut New York

“Another pointless category” - Matthew Murray, Talkin’ Broadway

“It’s ‘Hamilton’ by a mile!” - Howard Miller, Talkin’ Broadway


Critics and 92% of audiences believe this is “no contest.” There were a couple of nods to George C. Wolfe in the SHOULD win category, but it seems with this one, the writing’s on the wall.



BEST ORIGINAL SCORE (MUSIC AND/OR LYRICS) WRITTEN FOR THE THEATER

Nominees: Steve Martin & Edie Brickell, “Bright Star”; Lin-Manuel Miranda, “Hamilton”; Glenn Slater & Andrew Lloyd Webber, “School of Rock”; Sara Bareilles, “Waitress”
Critics Say WILL Win: Lin-Manuel Miranda, “Hamilton”
Critics Say SHOULD Win: Lin-Manuel Miranda, “Hamilton”
Show-Score Members Say WILL Win: Lin-Manuel Miranda, “Hamilton”


“Are you sick of me saying duh?” - Raven Snook, TimeOut New York

“Another another pointless category” - Matthew Murray, Talkin’ Broadway

“Maybe the other nominees could get together for a Tony viewing party.” - David Barbour, Lighting and Sound America



BEST CHOREOGRAPHY

Nominees: Andy Blankenbuehler, “Hamilton”; Savion Glover, “Shuffle Along”; Hofesh Shechter, “Fiddler on the Roof”; Randy Skinner, “Dames at Sea”; Sergio Trujillo, “On Your Feet”
Critics Say WILL Win: Andy Blankenbuehler, “Hamilton”
Critics Say SHOULD Win: Savion Glover, “Shuffle Along"
Show-Score Members Say WILL Win: Andy Blankenbuehler, “Hamilton”


This was actually a very closely run two-horse race. American Theatre Magazine’s Rob Weinert-Kendt said that this is “the only category where ‘Hamilton’ is plausibly threatened.” Jonathan Mandell of New York Theater explained, “Andy Blankenbuehler’s choreography greatly enhances ‘Hamilton’. But Savion Glover’s choreography makes ‘Shuffle Along’. If you removed Blankenbuehler’s choreography, Hamilton would still dazzle. If you removed Glover’s, Shuffle Along…wouldn’t.”   



BEST ORCHESTRATIONS

Nominees: August Eriksmoen, “Bright Star”; Larry Hochman, “She Loves Me”; Alex Lacamoire, “Hamilton”; Daryl Waters, “Shuffle Along”
Critics Say WILL Win: Alex Lacamoire, “Hamilton”
Critics Say SHOULD Win: Alex Lacamoire, “Hamilton”
Show-Score Members Say WILL Win: Alex Lacamoire, “Hamilton”


Like 88% of Show-Score members, most critics believe Alex Lacamoire of “Hamilton” will and should win. Some, like David Barbour at Lighting and Sound America, believe that “voters don't really understand orchestrations and will vote with ‘Hamilton’, because why not.” Others offer up other explanations. According to New York Theater’s Jonathan Mandell: “In a musical where the words are vital yet come at a fast clip, Alex Lacamoire deserves kudos for the difficult job of making sure the musical instruments didn't overwhelm the rappers. (If there were still a Tony for sound design, Hamilton's sound designer Nevin Steinberg would surely win it.)”


However, in the end, he and a couple of others believe ‘Shuffle Along’ has the best orchestrations on Broadway: “The jazz syncopation is glorious in ‘Shuffle Along’, and Waters does it without synthesizers.”


Now that you know what the critics think, don’t forget to finalize your own predictions for a chance to win up to 1,000,000 Audience Rewards Points!




Read this next…