Going Home with Tony: Predictions for the Much Postponed 2019-2020 Season

by FIN |

By Leonard Feigenblatt ~ The Tony Awards for the shortened 2019-2020 season will be presented on Sunday, Sept. 26, at the Winter Garden Theatre. It will be streamed on Paramount+ and hosted by six-time Tony Award Winner Audra McDonald.

The Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre will be presented to Choreographer, Director and Dancer Graciela Daniele. Tony Award honors for excellence will be given to Scenic Designer Fred Gallo, longtime Press Agent Irene Gandy, Stage Manager Beverly Jenkins and the New Federal Theatre, founded by Woodie King Jr. The Isabelle Stevenson Award will be given to Actress Julie Halston, in recognition of her humanitarian work raising money for the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation. Special Tony Awards will also be given to The Broadway Advocacy Coalition, David Byrne’s “American Utopia” and “Freestyle Love Supreme.”

At the end of the evening some will go home with a Tony, while others should have, and some did not receive the nominations their performances deserved – but the show must go on. Let’s take a look at the competitive categories:

BEST PLAY

  • “Grand Horizons” by Bess Wohl
  • “The Inheritance” by Matthew Lopez
  • “Sea Wall/A Life” by Simon Stephens and Nick Payne
  • “Slave Play” by Jeremy O. Harris
  • “The Sound Inside” by Adam Rapp

Who Will Win: It’s a race between “The Inheritance” and “Slave Play.” “The Inheritance” has won all awards until now, but “Slave Play” will win the Tony.

Who Should Win: “The Inheritance” is by far the best play.

Who Should Have Been Nominated: “The Height of the Storm” by Florian Zeller, a terrible oversight.

BEST MUSICAL

  • “Jagged Little Pill”
  • “Moulin Rouge! The Musical”
  • “Tina – The Tina Turner Musical”

Who Will Win: It’s a very tight race between “Moulin Rouge!” And “Jagged Little Pill” and it could go either way, but “Moulin Rouge!”should pull out a victory.

Who Should Win: “Jagged Little Pill.” It is the musical with the far superior acting performances and the much better book.

BEST REVIVAL OF A PLAY

  • “Betrayal” by Harold Pinter
  • “Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune” by Terrence McNally
  • “A Soldier’s Play” by Charles Fuller

Who Will Win: It’s a race between “Betrayal and “A Soldier’s Play,” with the winner being “A Soldier’s Play.”

Who Should Win: “Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune.”

BEST DIRECTOR OF A PLAY

  • David Cromer for “The Sound Inside”
  • Stephen Daldry for “The Inheritance”
  • Kenny Leon for “A Soldier’s Play”
  • Jaime Lloyd for “Betrayal”
  • Robert O’Hara for “Slave Play”

Who Will Win: The race is between Kenny Leon and Stephen Daldry, with Daldry coming out victorious in the end because “The Inheritance” was a two-part play.

Who Should Win: Stephen Daldry – no question.

BEST DIRECTOR OF A MUSICAL

  • Phyllida Lloyd for “Tina – The Tina Turner Musical”
  • Diane Paulus for “Jagged Little Pill”
  • Alex Timbers for “Moulin Rouge! The Musical”

Who Will and Should Win: Alex Timbers.

BEST ACTOR IN A PLAY

  • Ian Barford for “Linda Vista”
  • Andrew Burnap for “The Inheritance”
  • Jake Gyllenhaal for “Sea Wall/A Life”
  • Tom Hiddleston for “Betrayal”
  • Tom Sturridge for “Sea Wall/A Life”
  • Blair Underwood for “A Solder’s Play”

Who Will Win: It is a three-way race between Andrew Burnap, Tom Hiddleston and Jake Gyllenhaal, which could go any way, but Gyllenhaal, by virtue of his movie star power, should come out the winner.

Who Should Win: Andrew Burnap.

Should have been Nominated: Samuel H. Levine for “The Inheritance.” His was one of the best performances of the season. Also Jonathan Pryce for “The Height of the Storm” should have been part of this nomination pool.

BEST ACTRESS IN A PLAY

  • Joaquina Kalukango for “Slave Play”
  • Laura Linney for “My Name is Lucy Barton”
  • Audra McDonald for “Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune”
  • Mary-Louise Parker for “The Sound Inside”

Who Will Win: One can never rule out Audra McDonald, who has won six Tonys. However, this race looks to be between Mary-Louise Parker and Joaquina Kalukango, with Kalukango the winner.

Who Should Win: Laura Linney for “My Name is Lucy Barton.”

Who Should have been Nominated: Eileen Atkins for “The Height of the Storm.”

BEST ACTOR IN A MUSICAL

Aaron Tveit for “Moulin Rouge! The Musical.”

Who Will and Should Win: This looks like a slam-dunk for Aaron Tveit as he is the only actor nominated. According to Tony rules, he must receive 60 percent of the vote. That should happen and Aaron should win his first Tony.

BEST ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL

  • Karen Olivo for “Moulin Rouge! The Musical”
  • Elizabeth Stanley for “Jagged Little Pill”
  • Adrienne Warren for “Tina – The Tina Turner Musical”

Who Will Win: This looks like a lock for Adrienne Warren.

Who Should Win: Elizabeth Stanley for “Jagged Little Pill.”

BEST FEATURED ACTOR IN A PLAY

  • Ato Blankson-Wood for “Slave Play”
  • James Cusati-Moyer for “Slave Play”
  • David Alan Grier for “A Soldier’s Play”
  • John Benjamin Hickey for “The Inheritance”
  • Paul Hilton for “The Inheritance”

Who Will Win: It’s a race between David Alan Grier and Paul Hilton. In the end, Grier should triumph.

Who Should Win: Paul Hilton.

Who Should have been Nominated: Michael Urie for “Grand Horizons.”

BEST FEATURED ACTRESS IN A PLAY

  • Jane Alexander for “Grand Horizons”
  • Chalice La Tour for “Slave Play”
  • Annie McNamara for “Slave Play”
  • Lois Smith for “The Inheritance”
  • Cora Vanderbilt Broek for “Linda Vista”

Who Will and Should Win: This award is a lock for Lois Smith.

BEST FEATURED ACTOR IN A MUSICAL

  • Danny Burstein for “Moulin Rouge! The Musical”
  • Derek Klena for “Jagged Little Pill”
  • Sean Allan Krill for “Jagged Little Pill”
  • Sahr Ngaujah for “Moulin Rouge! The Musical”
  • Daniel J. Watts for “Tina – The Tina Turner Musical”

Who Will Win: Another lock for seven-time nominee Danny Burstein to pick up his first Tony.

Who Should Win: Though far from his best work, Danny Burstein.

BEST FEATURED ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL

  • Kathryn Gallagher for “Jagged Little Pill”
  • Celia Rose Golding for “Jagged Little Pill”
  • Robyn Hurder for “Moulin Rouge! The Musical”
  • Lauren Patten for “Jagged Little Pill”
  • Myra Lucretia Taylor for “Tina – The Tina Turner Musical”

Who Will and Should Win: While all are wonderful performances, it is Lauren Patten. She makes the biggest impression.

CBS will be airing the 74th Tony Awards at 7 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. It will be followed by a post-award show,“The Tony Awards Present: Broadway’s Back!” Hosted by Tony Award winner and Academy Award nominee Leslie Odom Jr., it will include musical numbers from the three Best Musical nominees, numbers from upcoming Broadway musicals, and presentation of the evening’s three top Tony Awards: Best Musical, Best Play and Best Revival of a Play. 

About the Author

FIN

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