The 2014-2015 season in Broadway theatre brought many amazing new shows and revivals of old shows to the New York stage. On June 7, 2015, the 69th Annual Tony Awards will recognize achievement in Broadway theatre at Radio City Music Hall. Before you sit down to enjoy the views of the stars of America’s most famous stages and the performances they will bring to viewers, be sure you have brushed up on your knowledge of this year’s nominees with Rhino Press’s Viewing Guide for the 69th Annual Tony Awards.
Tune into the awards on CBS at 7 PM Central Time (8 PM ET). Alan Cumming and Kristen Chenoweth host the 69th Annual Tony Awards. Get ready to see performances by each of the shows nominated for Best Musical, as well as performances by Gigi, Finding Neverland, It Shoulda Been You, Jersey Boys (10 year anniversary), and a special number by Josh Groban joined by over 175 performers. The awards will also feature appearances by Bradley Cooper, Neil Patrick Harris, Jim Parsons, Amanda Seyfried, Ashley Tisdale, Bryan Cranston, Bernadette Peters, Sutton Foster, and many others. See Playbill for more info.
We’ve ranked each of the nominees in the order we think they stand to win; however, for the shows and actors we would also love to see grab that award, we’ve included an asterisk by their name.
- The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
- Hand to God ***
- Wolf Hall Parts One and Two
Who We Think Will Win: Curious Incident has a straight shot at this one. The stunning physical side of the production merges with emotionally intense performances. Sorry, Disgraced, but save your Pulitzer, this is not your award.
Who We Want to Win: The merits of Curious Incident put it at the top of our list, but here at Rhino Press, we would also be happy to see the hilarious Hand to God win. Why couldn’t this dark comedy dealing with relatable issues follow in the footsteps of Avenue Q and beat out a favorite (Phantom)? Additionally, never underestimate the “America” card, as Hand to God advertises itself as “A New AMERICAN Play” with an obvious jab at Curious Incident’s British origins.
- Fun Home ***
- An American in Paris
- Something Rotten!
- The Visit
Who We Think Will Win: This one is Fun Home all the way. Although An American In Paris emerged as a late contender with great reviews, and Something Rotten! boasts Broadway’s best comedic talent, these shows may be too commercial to win Best Musical. Simply put, these other shows are great, but Fun Home is transcendent.
Who We Want to Win: The beauty of An American in Paris and the hilarity of Something Rotten! is, unfortunately, overshadowed by Jeanine Tesori’s best work. The profound story comes together with unforgettable music performed by nuanced and insightful actors to create a piece of theatre worth remembering. We have been watching Fun Home show since it was Off-Broadway, and we are ready to see it continue winning awards.
Best Revival of a Play
- The Elephant Man
- You Can’t Take It With You ***
- This Is Our Youth
Who We Think Will Win: The award for Best Revival of a Play may be a tough one to call. Even though Skylight is the only show still open, which says a lot, The Elephant Man became super popular, possibly due to the Bradley Cooper’s acclaimed performance. It will be a close race, but the star power may pull The Elephant Man through. However, it is always good to bet on the play that is still open, and critics everywhere predict Skylight.
Who We Want to Win: With Broadway stars abound- James Earl Jones, Kristine Nielson, Annaleigh Ashford- we would love to see the Kaufman and Hart You Can’t Take It With You win the award. Although the fun comedy is only nominated for one other acting award (Ashford for Featured Actress), it would be great for the brilliant revival to pull an award from Tony night.
Best Revival of a Musical
- The King and I
- On the Town ***
- On the Twentieth Century
Who We Think Will Win:The Rodgers and Hammerstein classic is on top for this award. The production is beautiful: flowing costumes, elegant dancing, a huge cast, and of course the darling Kelli O’Hara. On the Twentieth Century could spoil with its all-star cast, but it looks like that show may only bring a win for the starring Chenoweth.
Who We Want to Win: On the Town is just such a fun show. How can you beat the upbeat dancing and classic music? Rhino Press would love to see this love letter to New York win a Tony. It has picked up Leading Actor and Director nominations, so maybe the entertaining show could pull together and get a Best Revival award.
Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play
- Alex Sharp for The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
- Steven Boyer for Hand to God
- Bradley Cooper for The Elephant Man ***
- Bill Nighy for Skylight
- Ben Miles for Wolf Hall Parts One and Two
Who We Think Will Win: This one seems very close between Alex Sharp and Steven Boyer. These two newcomers both come from Best Play nominees, and both give physically and emotionally electrifying performances. But Sharp’s portrayal of the main character of the front-runner for Best Play (Curious Incident) gives him an edge over the hilarious Boyer.
Who We Want to Win: Although we would be thrilled for either Sharp or Boyer to win, Bradley Cooper’s titular Elephant Man is a truly inspiring story in the theatre. Cooper, fascinated with the story and the man, has been working on this role since college, and Rhino Press would love to see him rewarded for his dedication and emotional performance.
Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play
- Helen Mirren for The Audience ***
- Carey Mulligan for Skylight
- Elisabeth Moss for The Heidi Chronicles
- Geneva Carr for Hand to God
- Ruth Wilson for Constellations
Who We Think Will Win: Do we even need to talk about this? Helen Mirren has this one in the bag. Long live the queen!
Who We Want to Win: Did you not hear us before? Long live the queen!
Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical
- Robert Fairchild for An American in Paris
- Michael Cerveris for Fun Home ***
- Brian d’Arcy James for Something Rotten!
- Tony Yazbeck for On the Town
- Ken Watanabe for The King and I
Who We Think Will Win: As much humor and nuance is brought by each of the other actors in this category, triple threat Robert Fairchild is destined to win this Tony Award for his performance in the titular role of the dance-heavy An American in Paris.
Who We Want to Win: Both Cerveris and d’Arcy James are seasoned Broadway veterans, but as the mysterious and controlling father in Fun Home, Michael Cerveris is unforgettable, and his nuanced performance combined with the way he makes it looks easy is why we want to see him win this Tony.
Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical
- Kristin Chenoweth for On the Twentieth Century
- Kelli O’Hara for The King and I ***
- Chita Rivera for The Visit
- Beth Malone for Fun Home
- Leanne Cope for An American in Paris
Who We Think Will Win: The Tony Award for Leading Actress in a Musical usually goes to big names with big performances, and that is exactly what Kristin Chenoweth brings. Just look at past winners: Sutton, Audra, Patti, and you’ll see why Chenoweth’s high energy performance in a role that one could swear was written specifically for her could overshadow O’Hara’s lighter role.
Who We Want to Win: Kelli O’Hara has continued to deliver her consistently beautiful singing and stunning acting skills as Anna in The King and I. This role has brought a lot of leading ladies a Tony Award (1952, 1996), so who knows?
Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Play
- Nathaniel Parker for Wolf Hall Parts One and Two
- Richard McCabe for The Audience
- Micah Stock for It’s Only a Play ***
- Allesandro Nivola for The Elephant Man
- K. Todd Freeman for Airline Highway ***
- Matthew Beard for Skylight
Who We Think Will Win: Who knows on this one? Both McCabe and Parker have won Olivier’s for the same roles, and they still seem to be the frontrunners. It could come down to a coin flip between the two, and McCabe’s hilarious take on Prime Minister Wilson may surely bring him the award. But Parker’s Henry VIII is also funny and it brings and intensity that will be hard to beat, which is why many critics (and Rhino Press) predict Parker winning.
Who We Want to Win: He may not have a great chance, but K. Todd Freeman’s portrayal of Sissy Na Na in Airline Highway was all sass! Or maybe Micah Stock’s breakout role, with deadpan comedy and perfect timing makes him a great choice for Featured Actor.
Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play
- Annaleigh Ashford for You Can’t Take It With You
- Patricia Clarkson for The Elephant Man
- Lydia Leonard for Wolf Hall Parts One and Two ***
- Julie White for Airline Highway
- Sarah Stiles for Hand to God ***
Who We Think Will Win: Ashford’s ridiculous interpretive dancing wins her the Tony on this one! Well, maybe her entire hilarious performance will help her dance her way to victory. It may be a tough one, but it looks like the sole acting nomination for You Can’t Take It With You could clench the award. Clarkson may have spoil, though, after her amazing return in such a tender role.
Who We Want to Win: While Sarah Stile may not have the best chance at the award, leave it to Rhino Press to choose the most fun performance to win! But let’s face the fact: more likely than the hilarious Hand to God actress, it may be the seductive and intense Lydia Leonard in Wolf Hall, who’s Anne Boleyn commands the stage.
Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical
- Andy Karl for On the Twentieth Century
- Brad Oscar for Something Rotten!
- Max von Essen for An American in Paris ***
- Christian Borle for Something Rotten!
- Brandon Uranowitz for An American in Paris
Who We Think Will Win: Andy Karl plays hilariously off Kristin Chenoweth, creating a truly funny role out of a smaller character. He seems to have a slight leg up on Borle, although it will be a close race with Borle coming off of a Drama Desk win. However, Brad Oscar stole the show even in the star-studded cast of Something Rotten!. It seems like everyone is talking about Karl though, and that’s why we see him winning this one.
Who We Want to Win: We have loved Max von Essen since Submissions Only, so we are ready to see him win this Tony. He is just so fun and so funny. Plus, he features in the beautiful dancing of An American in Paris. At this point, his Act Two showstopper alone could win him the Tony.
Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical
- Judy Kuhn for Fun Home
- Sydney Lucas for Fun Home ***
- Ruthie Ann Miles for The King and I
- Emily Skeggs for Fun Home
- Victoria Clark for Gigi
Who We Think Will Win: The main battle for this award lies in the ladies of Fun Home: will it be Sydney Lucas or Judy Kuhn? With her 4th nomination, it could be Kuhn. Like Lucas, she delivers a heart-wrenching performance and a well-interpreted song, and her amazing portrayal of Alison’s mother is just beautiful.
Who We Want to Win: Unless a split among the Fun Home women leads to a surprise win for the heartwarming Ruthie Ann Miles, more than anything else, we would love to see Sydney Lucas clench the award. Her performance represents the single best interpretation of a song this season with “Ring of Keys,” and her complete portrayal of Young Alison definitely deserves the award.
Here are our ranks for the rest of the awards:
Best Direction of a Play
- Marianne Elliot for The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time ***
- Jeremy Herrin for Wolf Hall Parts One and Two
- Moritz von Stuelpnagel for Hand to God
- Stephen Daldry for Skylight
- Scott Ellis for You Can’t Take It With You
Best Direction of a Musical
- Sam Gold for Fun Home
- Christopher Wheeldon for An American in Paris ***
- Bartlett Sher for The King and I
- Casey Nicholaw for Something Rotten!
- John Rando for On the Town
Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) Written for the Theatre
- Fun Home by Jeanine Tesori and Lisa Kron ***
- The Last Ship by Sting
- Something Rotten! by Wayne and Karey Kirkpatrick
- The Visit by John Kander and Fred Ebb
Best Book of a Musical
- Fun Home by Lisa Kron ***
- Something Rotten! by Karey Kirkpatrick and John O’Farrell
- An American in Paris by Craig Lucas
- The Visit by Terrence McNally
- Christopher Wheeldon for An American in Paris
- Joshua Bergasse for On the Town
- Scott Graham, Steven Hoggett for The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time ***
- Christopher Gatelli for The King and I
- Casey Nicholaw for Something Rotten!
- Christopher Austin, Don Sebesky, and Bill Elliott for An American in Paris
- John Clancy for Fun Home
- Rob Mathes for The Last Ship ***
- Larry Hocham for Something Rotten!
Best Scenic Design of a Play
- Bunny Christie and Finn Ross for The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time ***
- David Rockewell for You Can’t Take It With You
- Christopher Oram for Wolf Hall Parts One and Two
- Bob Crowley for Skylight
Best Scenic Design of a Musical
- Bob Crowley and 59 Productions for An American in Paris
- Michael Yeargan for The King and I
- David Rockwell for On the Twentieth Century ***
- David Zinn for Fun Home
Best Costume Design of a Play
- Christopher Oram for Wolf Hall Parts One and Two ***
- Bob Crowley for The Audience ***
- Jane Greenwood for You Can’t Take It With You
- David Zinn for Airline Highway
Best Costume Design of a Musical
- Catherine Zuber for The King and I
- Bob Crowley for An American in Paris
- William Ivey Long for On the Twentieth Century
- Gregg Barnes for Something Rotten! ***
Best Lighting Design of a Play
- Paule Constable for The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time ***
- Paule Constable and David Plater for Wolf Hall Parts One and Two
- Japhy Weideman for Airline Highway
- Natasha Katz for Skylight
Best Lighting Design of a Musical
- Natasha Katz for An American In Paris
- Donald Holder for The King and I
- Japhy Weideman for The Visit ***
- Ben Stanton for Fun Home