Celebrating Broadway’s Best: 71st Tony Awards Preview

Broadway’s biggest night is finally here! The 71st Tony Awards will celebrate the brightest stars and most buzz-worthy new shows to grace New York City stages while shaping the popularity of productions for months to come. Check out our predictions for the winning shows in the musical categories. 

Best Musical

Of its nine nominations, Dear Evan Hansen is looking likely to win the biggest category of the night. The story of the titular character (played by Ben Platt) has been widely praised for addressing important the subject matter of social anxiety and suicide while remaining heartwarming in typical coming-of-age fashion. Expect Evan Hansen to prevail over other nominated shows Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812, Come From Away, Anastasia and Groundhog Day.

Best Revival of a Musical

With only three revived shows nominated, the one-in-three odds of picking a winner are pretty favorable. However, we’re 100 percent confident in saying that Hello, Dolly! will earn a Tony here. The original 1964 production took home ten Tony’s and the reinvigorated 2017 version starring Bette Midler as the tour-de-force Dolly has been charming audiences since it premiered at the Shubert Theatre two months ago. The newest revivals of Falsettos and Miss Saigon are hard-pressed to beat Hello, Dolly! in this category.

Best Original Score

Although Best Original Score is a tougher category to predict, it’s likely that either Dear Evan Hansen or Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812 will take the crown. The former features a contemporary pop/rock score to weave together the complex story of teenager Evan Hansen, whereas the later fuses together traditional Russian folk and modern electropop. Scores for Groundhog Day and Come From Away are also nominated. Listen to each of the nominated productions’ score in the playlist below.


Best Actor in a Leading Role

Ben Platt in Dear Evan Hansen

Ben Platt has the edge in this category for his starring role in Dear Evan Hansen. A win would be an extra feather in the rookie’s cap, as he’s pitted against notable Broadway veterans and big names Christian Borle (Falsettos), Josh Groban (Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812), David Hyde Pierce (Hello, Dolly!), and Andy Karl (Groundhog Day). Should Platt get snubbed, Karl would be a worthy choice for his portrayal of Phil Connors in the stage adaptation of the beloved 1993 comedy. Karl received wide praise for continuing to perform despite injuring his ACL during preview shows, making a potential Tony win well deserved.

Best Actress in a Leading Role

Bette Midler in Hello, Dolly!

Patti Lupone (War Paint), Christine Ebersole (War Paint), Denee Benton (Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812), Eva Noblezada (Miss Saigon) and Bette Midler (Hello, Dolly!) make up the distinguished group of women nominated for the Tony of Broadway’s best leading lady. All are worthy, but Midler stands above the rest for her sheer star power and likability brought to an already-iconic role. Expect to see her take this one home.

Best Choreography

Though only nominated in two categories, Bandstand may pick up a win for Best Choreography, which would make Andy Blankenbuehler a repeat winner after earning this Tony last year for Hamilton. Sam Pinkleton is hoping to notch a win for the night’s most nominated musical Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812, though Come From Away, Holiday Inn, and Groundhog Day are also contenders.

The 71st annual Tony Awards will feature appearances by Orlando Bloom, Anna Kendrick, Stephen Colbert, Tina Fey, and Josh Gad, and will honor James Earl Jones with the Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre. Kevin Spacey hosts the show, which airs live from Radio City Music Hall on CBS at 8 p.m. EST.