Our Tony Awards predictions for The Best Musical

June 6, 2014

It’s time! It’s time to tap our red shoes twice, put on our phantom masks, get our inner badass out and belt the magnum opus of Chicago till the neighbors come-a-knocking. We all remember the ecstatic feeling of joy that we felt when Once took home the Tony for “Best Musical”, or when Spring Awakening won over Mary Poppins. The Best Musical category is perhaps one of the most anticipated and the most unpredictable category in the Tony Awards. And that is why it is also the most celebrated category, with every new musical waiting and wishing to bag a nomination if nothing else.
This year, we theatre-heads saw a season that has probably been one of the most versatile in its range of human experiences and emotions. The official list of nominees for the Best Musical category was released a while back and while we rejoiced over the success of all four productions, it is now time to pick one horse and pray that it crosses the finish line.
The four shows that made the final cut include, After Midnight, Aladdin, Beautiful – The Carole King Musical and A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder. With the Tony’s right around the corner, here is our prediction on which production wins the most coveted award of the night. Ready? Set! Go.


1. After Midnight


Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea, this is one musical that blew us away. The perfect homage to Duke Ellingon’s music, this production revives the glory of The Cotton Club. With publications such as New York Magazine praising the musical as “just about perfect,” we have no doubt that this will do well at the Tony’s. However, the Best Musical is a completely different ball game. While the musical may have the World on a String, it might not have the “Best Musical” Tony in its bag.


• Why After Midnight should go home with the Tony:


It’s not every day that you find a musical that celebrates jazz. This musical is bound to have the grumpiest of souls crack a smile here and tap a foot there. The songs are fantastic, and the dance is divine. There is no reason why anyone wouldn’t like this.


• Why this musical should get the boot:


The glory of the “Best Musical” award rests in the genius of innovation that the musical embodies. The music is supreme, yes. But not original. We’ve heard this one before, folks.


2. Aladdin


What do you get when you put together Disney and Broadway? A Whole New World! We all remember when we fell in love, along with Princess Jasmine, with the poor boy from the street. Street rag Aladdin makes his way to the polished stage of Broadway, monkey, genie and magic carpet included. The musical became an instant hit as it opened this year, and was the perfect show for the family. The story stays largely true to the original Disney movie, and the soundtrack includes a few new ones that got cut from the 1992 hit. This production won big when it got nominated for the “Best Musical” category.


• Give him the money:


Here’s why Aladdin should get the coveted “Best Musical” Tony. He’s charming, he’s loveable, and he comes along with a cast full of superstars.


• Here’s why you shouldn’t:


We get it. The musical gave us a longing nostalgia for the days gone by of when Disney was the most important things in our lives. However, the musical ranks low in terms of innovation. Yes, we already knew the songs. No, we did not want to sing along. Aladdin got the kingdom. Maybe he should let the award go to someone else.


3. Beautiful – The Carole King Musical


Her name is Carole King, her story is beautiful, and this musical is one spectacular story of a teenage girl who grew up to become one of industry’s brightest stars. Using songs from King’s own repertory such as Take Good Care of My Baby, Some Kind of Wonderful, We Gotta Get Out of This Place, and the ultimate anthem, You Make Me Feel Like A Natural Woman, this musical is the perfect tribute for the perfect woman. We loved the singer, we loved her songs, and now we get to love her story.


• She’s gonna knock this one out of the park, just like her songs:


Here’s the thing. You can’t go wrong with Carole King. The musical is a shoe (or a pair or two) in for the win. We couldn’t help but sing along to the tunes, and grip our seats every time King took the stage.


• Or maybe not:


King’s life story might be the perfect fodder for lead actress, Jessie Mueller, to rise as a star. And somewhere along the line, the show might seem like that only; a marketing piece for Mueller. But hey! We ain’t complaining that much.


4. A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder


A musical that came out of nowhere and blew us away, this is the ultimate underdog production that made us root for the slimy little lead who goes around killing everyone and their mothers to get his hand on the family riches. The musical deals with a serial killer in the best possible way; after all, it has us pumping our feet to the music despite the murder spree. The Gent’s Guide just might win the Tony race.


• Why the Guide is sure to win:


One actor playing eight different roles, all of whom die eight different times, in eight different ways. Comedy that makes light of mass murder in such a way that the audience finds it entertaining. Superb acting, an easy script and captivating songs. Need we go on?


• Then again, this is the Tony’s:


The story of this musical is based on another book which has already spawned various other adaptations. So the content isn’t exactly new. Maybe, just maybe, this one is better off without the Tony as long as it keeps up the commercial success.

Here’s the bottom line. We’ve got four highly enjoyable, highly pleasing musicals that everyone love. What’s going to happen, no one knows. But if we were to put our money on one show, we’d bet on Beautiful. Why? Because it was the perfect musical; brilliant cast, brilliant book and of course, brilliant songs. But you never know the Gent’s Guide just might pull another murder-spree and kill the competition.

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