Who Could Win a Tony Award This Year?

The Tony Awards ceremony is Broadway’s biggest night! Every June, all the stars of the stage come out to celebrate the robust state of the theatre industry, and the stakes are high: any theatre professional who doesn’t win a Tony is dropped by their agent and forced to go renew their real estate license.

Which Broadway shows could win big this year?

Small Cast Musical About Something Really Serious

With a cast of five, Low Dosage: A Mentally Ill New Musical is being hailed as “intimate” and “psychological” and “a much cheaper investment to recoup.” It helps that the show’s sound is influenced by rock n’ roll: the music of the people. They’ve even got a crossover radio hit on their hands with “A Bag Full of Trash”—the song the mentally ill teen sings about wishing he could throw his mental illness away like a bag full of trash.

The Toast of Chicago

If you couldn’t tell from the title, The Nuts and the Bolts of the F**king Thing is a play from Chicago, and has that edgy Chicago energy going for it. Plays from Chicago don’t need movie stars in them, just a stacked cast of sweaty, ugly-hot stage legends in their early sixties. This one’s a shouty drama about an auto repair shop where every employee is a former poet who just moved back to their hometown: Chicago. “But poets don’t yell,” you say. Nuh uh uh. In Chicago: poets yell. This show will probably win Best Play, the eighth biggest prize of the night.

Revival of Wacky Four-Hundred-Year-Old Farce

This latest production of The Cuckold of Palermo, or, Better a Wife Without Than a Wife Provoked does what all great stagings of classical comedies do: heavily indicate which lines are supposed to be the funny ones. For most people, a $200 ticket is too much to pay for this. But for some, The Cuckold of Palermo is an opportunity to explain to their spouse why something is technically, if not actually, funny. And you can’t put a price tag on that.

Jukebox Musical Written by Really Overqualified Playwright

Goran Jovanović, winner of the Nobel Prize, was jailed for resisting censorship in his native Yugoslavia, where he is considered the defining cultural figure of the 20th Century. Now he’s turned that big noggin towards giving characters good excuses to sing the tunes of Frankie Goes to Hollywood in Frankie Goes to Hollywood Goes to Broadway. You’d think he’d be above doing this kind of thing, but the Nobel Prize doesn’t have the same cachet in certain circles as the Tony Award for Best Book of a Musical.

British Thing with Puppets

People always ask, what makes a show inherently theatrical? How can it display a unique understanding of what theatre can do? The Brits answered: “Oi, you put a bunch of bloody puppets in it, dawn’t you!” And that’s what they’ve done with Men Were Men, Then—a show that realizes one can’t really comprehend the devastation of World War I without a bunch of technically impressive, unfun puppetry.

They Finally Fixed This Classic Musical

Everyone loves Sunday Best. It’s part of the canon! People hear “Every Day Is Sunday (When We’re at Church)” and tearfully remember the first dance at their daughter’s wedding. Unfortunately, there’s one small element of Sunday Best people agree doesn’t really work: all of the dialogue. Whenever the characters talk without singing, audiences recoil in horror and start begging their daughters to get divorced. The creative team has devised a novel solution to this problem by removing the dialogue altogether. It now runs a swift, unintelligible fifty-three minutes, though older audiences have complained it could stand to lose another fifteen.

The One Starring Felicity Saxonville

What do you mean you’ve never heard of obscure character actress Felicity Saxonville? Sure, she’s never been the lead of a TV show, but she’s played a sassy landlady on a bunch of them. On the Broadway stage, however: she is Mother. She’s won the untelevised award for Best Featured Actress sixteen years in a row, but that doesn’t mean her role as a another sassy landlady in Tenant Unrepentant isn’t an opportunity to finally give Felicity Saxonville her due. If she doesn’t win, even Felicity Saxonville will have to slink back to real estate like the rest of us. That’s showbiz, I guess.

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