The Tony Awards

Tony Awards 2018 Predictions - The Creatives

Check out Part 4 of our 2018 Tony Awards predictions...

Tom Millward
Tom Millward

The 72nd Annual Tony Awards are almost upon us! On Sunday, June 10, the envelopes will be opened, the trophies will be handed out and another Broadway season will be celebrated in style and waved off into the sunset. Over the past few weeks we've been sharing with you our thoughts and predictions for this year's ceremony. We began with Part 1: The Shows, followed it up with Part 2: The Actresses and last week it was the boys' turn with Part 3: The Actors and now it's time for our final installment and round it off with the remaining categories, honoring la crème de la crème of Broadway's creative teams.

Here are the nominees...

Best Book of a Musical

Itamar Moses The Band's Visit
Jennifer Lee Frozen
Tina Fey Mean Girls - PREDICTED WINNER!
Kyle Jarrow SpongeBob SquarePants

The "Saturday Night Live" and "30 Rock" favorite has taken Broadway by storm, adapting her own screenplay of the 2004 hit film "Mean Girls" for the hugely popular musical adaptation. With the right balance maintained between the iconic lines from the movie and updated references from the last fourteen years (particularly in the social media domain), the book of Mean Girls is one of its strongest elements and provides a number of genuine laugh-out-loud moments. Itamar Moses might provide the "upset victory" for his book of The Band's Visit (which we feel will be crowned "Best Musical" on the night), but, despite this, our money is still on Tina Fey.

Mean Girls Tickets are available now for performances through to March 31, 2019.

Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) Written for the Theatre

Angels in America - Music: Adrian Sutton
The Band's Visit - Music & Lyrics: David Yazbek - PREDICTED WINNER!
Frozen - Music & Lyrics: Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez
Mean Girls - Music: Jeff Richmond, Lyrics: Nell Benjamin
SpongeBob SquarePants - Music & Lyrics: Yolanda Adams, Steven Tyler & Joe Perry of Aerosmith, Sara Bareilles, Jonathan Coulton, Alex Ebert of Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, The Flaming Lips, Lady Antebellum, Cyndi Lauper & Rob Hyman, John Legend, Panic! at the Disco, Plain White T's, They Might Be Giants, T.I., Domani & Lil'C

It goes without saying that if a musical wins the all-important "Best Musical" category, it must also justify the win by also having the best score and/or best book. We feel that the Tony voters will opt for the best score for The Band's Visit in this case, whilst Tina Fey is awarded for her book for Mean Girls. Personally, I feel the wildly eclectic score of SpongeBob SquarePants is most deserving and a special mention should also go to Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez for a handful of truly beautiful numbers added to the Broadway score of Frozen, such as "Dangerous to Dream" and "True Love", but David Yazbek's Middle Eastern-infused score is a welcomed addition to Broadway, showcasing a style and genre of music that has too often been underrepresented on the Great White Way.

The Band's Visit Tickets are available now for performances through to February 17, 2019.   

Best Direction of a Play

Marianne ElliottAngels in America - PREDICTED WINNER!
Joe MantelloThree Tall Women
Patrick MarberTravesties
John TiffanyHarry Potter and the Cursed Child
George C. WolfeThe Iceman Cometh

This category was a tough one to call and we feel it might be regarded as a two-horse race with Marianne Elliott and John Tiffany neck and neck for Angels in America and Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, respectively. Both directors have masterfully guided the ship through two marathon productions, each with two long (or very long) parts, but we feel Ms. Elliott's choices in Angels in America just edge her over line ahead of her fellow British contemporary. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child will probably dominate in the production design categories, but the performances Ms. Elliott has been able to draw out from her performers should be commended. Her take on Tony Kushner's Pulitzer Prize-winning epic has undeniably invigorated the piece for audiences of 2018.

Angels in America Tickets are available now for performances through to July 15, 2018.

Best Direction of a Musical

Michael ArdenOnce On This Island
David CromerThe Band's Visit
Tina LandauSpongeBob SquarePants
Casey Nicholaw, Mean Girls
Bartlett SherMy Fair Lady- PREDICTED WINNER!

My personal favorite in this category has to be Michael Arden, closely followed by Tina Landau, for their fascinatingly innovative direction on Once on This Island and SpongeBob SquarePants, respectively. Their imagination seemingly knows no bounds when it comes to recreating the Jewel of the Antilles or the cartoony Bikini Bottom in a theatrical space. But the more traditional choice would be Bartlett Sher and he has, once again, done what Bartlett Sher does best in exquisitely presenting timeless Broadway musicals with the timeless, formula-winning approach. He scooped his first Tony for his revival of South Pacific in 2008 and lost out in 2015 for his revival of The King and IMy Fair Lady may well put him back on the mountaintop come June 10.

My Fair Lady Tickets are available now for performances through to January 6, 2019.

Best Choreography

Christopher GattelliMy Fair Lady
Christopher GattelliSpongeBob SquarePants
Steven HoggettHarry Potter and the Cursed Child
Casey NicholawMean Girls
Justin PeckCarousel - PREDICTED WINNER!

We feel the only Tony Award the Broadway revival of Rodgers & Hammerstein's Carousel will probably take home this season is "Best Choreography" and that's all thanks to Justin Peck of the New York City Ballet. Perhaps the most appealing and vibrant element of the new revival is dance. Infused with a clear, balletic style and beautifully combining the masculine and the feminine, Mr. Peck has amplified the production's dreamlike quality and has kick-started what promises to be a very exciting Broadway career.

Carousel Tickets are available now for performances through to January 6, 2019.  

Best Orchestrations

John ClancyMean Girls
Tom KittSpongeBob SquarePants
Annmarie Milazzo & Michael StarobinOnce On This Island
Jamshied SharifiThe Band's Visit - PREDICTED WINNER!
Jonathan TunickCarousel

Much like the "Best Score" category, we feel Tony voters will opt for Sharifi's orchestrations as an element for justifying The Band's Visit as this season's "Best Musical". Although my personal pick would be Tom Kitt, who had the mammoth task of supervising, arranging and orchestrating the score for SpongeBob SquarePants from individual offerings from a multitude of recording artists, Mr. Sharifi's orchestrations are equally compelling and uniquely hypnotic.

The Band's Visit Tickets are available now for performances through to February 17, 2019. 

Best Scenic Design of a Play

Miriam BuetherThree Tall Women
Jonathan FensomFarinelli and The King
Christine JonesHarry Potter and the Cursed Child - PREDICTED WINNER!
Santo LoquastoThe Iceman Cometh
Ian MacNeil and Edward PierceAngels in America

As aforementioned, we feel Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is set to sweep the board, when it comes to the design categories at this year's Tony Awards and, despite Jonathan Fensom's grandiose efforts in Farinelli and the King or Miriam Beuther's clever, scenic trickery in Three Tall Women, it all starts with Christine Jones' darkly atmospheric and spellbinding scenic design in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Tickets are available now.

Best Scenic Design of a Musical

Dane LaffreyOnce On This Island
Scott PaskThe Band's Visit
Scott PaskFinn Ross & Adam YoungMean Girls
Michael YearganMy Fair Lady - PREDICTED WINNER!
David Zinn, SpongeBob SquarePants

With a presumed budget, many a designer would kill for, Michael Yeargan has mustered up a simply divine and lavishly overhwelming set for Lincoln Center Theater's revival of My Fair Lady. From clever illusions of depth to detailed decorative precision and even the use of the orchestra on stage during the Embassy Waltz, Mr. Yeargan has provided perhaps the finest scenic design of the season. Special mention goes, once again, to Once on This Island (Dane Laffrey) and SpongeBob SquarePants (David Zinn) for their superior designs, in terms of innovation and imagination.

My Fair Lady Tickets are available now for performances through to January 6, 2019.

Best Costume Design of a Play

Jonathan FensomFarinelli and The King
Nicky GillibrandAngels in America
Katrina LindsayHarry Potter and the Cursed Child - PREDICTED WINNER!
Ann RothThree Tall Women
Ann RothThe Iceman Cometh

A shout out to Jonathan Fensom for his exquisite costumes in Farinelli and the King, but Katrina Lindsay's costume design for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child offers both the aesthetic Potterheads have grown accustomed to in the Wizarding World, as well as the functionality needed to execute some of the production's illusions.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Tickets are available now.

Best Costume Design of a Musical

Gregg BarnesMean Girls
Clint RamosOnce On This Island
Ann RothCarousel
David ZinnSpongeBob SquarePants
Catherine ZuberMy Fair Lady - PREDICTED WINNER!

Just like her fellow creative team member Michael Yeargan, Catherine Zuber's efforts in My Fair Lady embody elegance and attention to detail. With such a large cast to cater for and such an array of costumes from the spectrum of classes in old London town, Ms. Zuber's costumes are a feast for the eyes... And Dame Diana Rigg's outfits, in particular, are to die for!

My Fair Lady Tickets are available now for performances through to January 6, 2019.

Best Lighting Design of a Play

Neil AustinHarry Potter and the Cursed Child - PREDICTED WINNER!
Paule ConstableAngels in America
Jules Fisher + Peggy EisenhauerThe Iceman Cometh
Paul RussellFarinelli and The King
Ben StantonJunk

Although I feel the Harry Potter and the Cursed Child train will continue its winning path in this category thanks to Neil Austin's extraordinary use of darkness and light, underwater effects and atmospheric shades, a special mention should also go to Paule Constable's neon-infused design for Angels in America and Ben Stanton's intelligent, Wall Street-inspired design for Junk. One word... Lumos!  

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Tickets are available now.

Best Lighting Design of a Musical

Kevin AdamsSpongeBob SquarePants - PREDICTED WINNER!
Jules Fisher + Peggy EisenhauerOnce On This Island
Donald HolderMy Fair Lady
Brian MacDevittCarousel
Tyler MicoleauThe Band's Visit

The production design of SpongeBob SquarePants needs to be rewarded at least once, in our opinion, and we feel Kevin Adams' zany, cartoonish lighting design may just bring home the bacon... or the Krabby Patty, in this case! The lighting effects at SpongeBob evoke the exact assault on the senses you'd hope for in an animation-to-stage adaptation. It could be the "Best Day Ever" for Mr. Adams come June 10.

SpongeBob SquarePants Tickets are available now for performances through to September 2, 2018. 

Best Sound Design of a Play

Adam CorkTravesties
Ian Dickinson for AutographAngels in America
Gareth FryHarry Potter and the Cursed Child - PREDICTED WINNER!
Tom Gibbons1984
Dan Moses SchreierThe Iceman Cometh

And the final win for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child might well go to Gareth Fry's sound design. With more sound effects of charms, incantations and swishing cloaks than you could throw a Nimbus 2000 at, Mr. Fry has done a masterful job across both parts of Cursed Child, proving again that not just seeing, but hearing too, is believing.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Tickets are available now.

Best Sound Design of a Musical

Kai HaradaThe Band's Visit 
Peter HylenskiOnce On This Island
Scott LehrerCarousel
Brian RonanMean Girls
Walter Trarbach and Mike DobsonSpongeBob SquarePants - PREDICTED WINNER!

On account of the sheer number of cartoon sound effects employed mercilessly during SpongeBob SquarePants, we're tipping our hats to Walter Trarbach and Mike Dobson. From Squidward's squelching to Pearl's booming as the characters pace across the stage, each performance is a zany marathon in sound and we were thoroughly entertained!

SpongeBob SquarePants Tickets are available now for performances through to September 2, 2018. 

Well, now we come to the end of the road for this year's Tony predictions. How did we do? Do you agree with all our tips or do you feel the decisions may fall differently? There's only one way to find out and that's to tune into The 72nd Annual Tony Awards broadcast live on CBS from the Radio City Music Hall in New York City on Sunday, June 10 at 8/7c. Happy Tonys, everybody!


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