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Tony Awards 2016 predictions: ‘Hamilton,’ ‘Humans,’ more

Jessica Lange is our pick to win the

Jessica Lange is our pick to win the Tony for best actress in a play for "Long Day's Journey Into Night." Photo Credit: Joan Marcus

Our critic’s predictions:


“Eclipsed,” by Danai Gurira

“The Father,” by Florian Zeller

“The Humans,” by Stephen Karam

“King Charles III,” by Mike Bartlett

SHOULD WIN “The Humans.” Stephen Karam’s Pulitzer finalist begins like just another Thanksgiving family play, then life tumbles down the dark rabbit hole of humanity. And the no-star, all-star cast is spectacular.

WILL WIN “The Humans”


“Bright Star,” with book by Steve Martin, bluegrass score by Martin and Edie Brickell

“Hamilton,” book and score by Lin-Manuel Miranda

“School of Rock — The Musical,” music by Andrew Lloyd Webber, book by Julian Fellowes

“Shuffle Along, or the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed,” created and written by George C. Wolfe

“Waitress,” score by Sara Bareilles, book by Jessie Nelson

SHOULD WIN “Hamilton.” Really, need you ask?

WILL WIN “Hamilton”


“Arthur Miller’s The Crucible,” directed by Ivo van Hove

“Arthur Miller’s A View From the Bridge,” directed by Ivo van Hove

“Blackbird,” by David Harrower, starring Jeff Daniels and Michelle Williams

“Long Day’s Journey Into Night,” Eugene O’Neill’s masterwork with all-star cast led by Jessica Lange

“Noises Off,” backstage farce by Michael Frayn

SHOULD WIN “A View From the Bridge.” Even though it ran last fall, the memory of van Hove’s stripped-down stunner looms even larger than the director’s riveting “Crucible.”

WILL WIN “A View From the Bridge.” Unless voters have forgotten already and favor the still-running “Long Day’s Journey”


“The Color Purple,” John Doyle’s intense tightening of the original

“Fiddler on the Roof,” directed by Bartlett Sher, bizarrely not nominated in the directing category.

“She Loves Me,” a beautiful, jewel-box staging by Scott Ellis

“Spring Awakening,” Deaf West Theatre finds its own expression of the rock musical

SHOULD WIN “The Color Purple.” Hearts are torn between this and “She Loves Me” in this extremely tough category, but Doyle created a bold reclamation of an underrated show.

WILL WIN “The Color Purple”


Gabriel Byrne, “Long Day’s Journey”

Jeff Daniels, “Blackbird”

Frank Langella, “The Father”

Tim Pigott-Smith, “King Charles III”

Mark Strong, “View From the Bridge”

SHOULD WIN Mark Strong, “A View From the Bridge.” A blazing performance by the British actor.

WILL WIN Frank Langella, “The Father.” Langella is always superb, and he’ll get the home-team vote.


Jessica Lange, “Long Day’s Journey”

Laurie Metcalf, “Misery”

Lupita Nyong’o, “Eclipsed”

Sophie Okonedo, “Crucible”

Michelle Williams, “Blackbird”

SHOULD WIN Jessica Lange, “Long Day’s Journey Into Night.” This is a magnificent performance.

WILL WIN Jessica Lange. She may be upset by the tough yet radiant Lupita Nyong’o in “Eclipsed,” but I don’t think so.


Alex Brightman, “School of Rock”

Danny Burstein, “Fiddler on the Roof”

Zachary Levi, “She Loves Me”

Lin-Manuel Miranda, “Hamilton”

Leslie Odom Jr., “Hamilton”

SHOULD WIN Danny Burstein. After six nominations, this Broadway veteran should get his due.

WILL WIN Lin-Manuel Miranda. I can argue that Odom sings better and Burstein is a better all-around actor, but the massive affection for this earth-shaker will let him sweep it all. (But if voters resent him for leaving the show July 9, Odom could win.)


Laura Benanti, “She Loves Me”

Carmen Cusack, “Bright Star”

Cynthia Erivo, “Color Purple”

Jessie Mueller, “Waitress”

Phillipa Soo, “Hamilton”

SHOULD WIN Cynthia Erivo. All are deserving, but she is having one of biggest breakout Broadway debuts in a long time.

WILL WIN Cynthia Erivo


Reed Birney, “The Humans”

Bill Camp, “Crucible”

David Furr, “Noises Off”

Richard Goulding, “King Charles III”

Michael Shannon, “Long Day’s Journey”

SHOULD WIN Reed Birney. One of the great Off-Broadway stars finally gets his due on Broadway.

WILL WIN Reed Birney


Pascale Armand, “Eclipsed”

Megan Hilty, “Noises Off”

Jayne Houdyshell, “The Humans”

Andrea Martin, “Noises Off”

Saycon Sengbloh, “Eclipsed”

SHOULD WIN Jayne Houdyshell. See everything said above about Reed Birney. These two are the real stars of New York theater.

WILL WIN Jayne Houdyshell


Daveed Diggs, “Hamilton”

Brandon Victor Dixon, “Shuffle Along”

Christopher Fitzgerald, “Waitress”

Jonathan Groff, “Hamilton”

Christopher Jackson, “Hamilton”

SHOULD WIN Daveed Diggs. He’s the irrepressible rascal and heartthrob behind Lafayette and Jefferson. Dare you to take your eyes off him.

WILL WIN Daveed Diggs


Danielle Brooks, “Color Purple”

Renee Elise Goldsberry, “Hamilton”

Jane Krakowski, “She Loves Me”

Jennifer Simard, “Disaster!”

Adrienne Warren, “Shuffle Along”

SHOULD WIN Renee Elise Goldsberry. It feels bad to pick just one of the three Schuyler sisters who keep “Hamilton” from being a guy-show, but Goldsberry’s fierce magnetism stands out in an extremely competitive category.

WILL WIN Jane Krakowski, “She Loves Me.” Because America loves her and she is really good.


Rupert Goold, “King Charles III”

Jonathan Kent, “Long Day’s Journey”

Joe Mantello, “The Humans”

Liesl Tommy, “Eclipsed”

Ivo van Hove, “View From the Bridge”

SHOULD WIN Ivo van Hove. In addition to this and “Crucible,” van Hove directed “Lazarus,” the devastating David Bowie musical, and a shimmering “Antigone” at BAM. That’s just this year.

WILL WIN Ivo van Hove, though “Humans” would not be as emotionally exquisite without Mantello.


Michael Arden, “Spring Awakening”

Scott Ellis, “She Loves Me”

John Doyle, “Color Purple”

Thomas Kail, “Hamilton”

George C. Wolfe, “Shuffle Along”

SHOULD WIN Thomas Kail. Because, believe it or not, Lin-Manuel Miranda didn’t do everything.

WILL WIN Thomas Kail


Andy Blankenbuehler, “Hamilton”

Savion Glover, “Shuffle Along”

Hofesh Shechter, “Fiddler”

Randy Skinner, “Dames at Sea”

Sergio Trujillo, “On Your Feet!”

SHOULD WIN Andy Blankenbuehler. Because he gives the show a look as new and unpredictable as the show. But it’s really hard not to give Glover the prize for finding a modern edge without betraying old-time tap.

WILL WIN Andy Blankenbuehler


“Bright Star,Steve Martin and Edie Brickell

“Hamilton,” Lin-Manuel Miranda

“School of Rock,” Andrew Lloyd Webber and Glenn Slater

“Waitress,” Sara Bareilles

SHOULD WIN Lin-Manuel Miranda. Not just for the hip-hop, but for the brilliantly interwoven Broadway music, pop and all that jazz.

WILL WIN Lin-Manuel Miranda


“Bright Star,” Steve Martin

“Hamilton,” Lin-Manuel Miranda

“School of Rock,” Julian Fellowes

“Shuffle Along,” George C. Wolfe

SHOULD WIN Lin-Manuel Miranda. How can one show say so much with such endless charm, brains and heart?

WILL WIN Lin-Manuel Miranda

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