Saturday, June 6, 2015

My Tony Award Predictions 2015 (THE ONES I MISSED ARE IN RED)

Tony Award Predictions 
By Lauren Yarger
So who will it be? Will An American in Paris best Fun Home for Best Musical? Will The King and I win Best Revival? Will Chita Rivera sneak past favorite Kristen Chenoweth to snag the Best Actress in a Musical Tony?
The answers to those questions seem pretty obvious to me this year. You can find out if I am right by watching the Tony awards tomorrow evening, beginning at 8 pm on CBS TV. Follow along with me on Facebook where each person joining the conversation will be entered into a drawing for prizes.
Here are my predictions (in bold among the nominees) along with some comments. I'm not saying these are my choices for the award -- just who I think will win. Read a review of the show by scrolling on the right hand side of this page under 2014-2015 reviews. The only one you won't find in Fun Home, which hasn't invited press to the Broadway version since it was considered in its Off-Broadway version for awards. Sorry, I didn't review it off Broadway either, so you are out of luck on that one. This Is Our Youth also is unavailable.
Best Play (Hands down winner.)
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Simon Stephens 
Disgraced by Ayad Akhtar Hand to God by Robert Askins Wolf Hall Parts One and Two by Hilary Mantel and Mike Poulton 

Best Musical ( I wouldn't be surprised to see a tie here. If not, then it will be An American in Paris. I am not trying to hedge my bets -- it's just that these two shows are so very different and appeal to the Tony voters for different reasons, so I wouldn't be surprised to find them split).
An American in Paris
Fun Home
Something Rotten!The Visit

Best Revival of a Play   (I totally disagree with my prediction here. You Can't Take it with You deserves it, but for some reason everyone liked the really boring Skylight..... Even Elephant Man deserves it before Skylight.... and what the heck is This is Our Youth even doing here?)
The Elephant Man
This Is Our YouthYou Can’t Take It with You

Best Revival of a Musical  (though I wouldn't be surprised if On the Town wins here. It was well done and well liked. Voters will feel bad for snubbing Kelli O'Hara (in The King and I) once again in the Best Actress in a musical category, and so will throw their votes of support here. But overall, On the Town deserves the award. The King and I was flawed, but probably will be one of the most comprehensive stagings of this musical that we will see in a generation.)
The King and I
On the TownOn the Twentieth Century

Best Book of a Musical
An American in Paris
Craig Lucas
Fun Home
Lisa Kron
Something Rotten!
Karey Kirkpatrick and John O’Farrell
The Visit
Terrence McNally

Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) Written for the Theatre
Fun Home
Music: Jeanine Tesori
Lyrics: Lisa Kron
The Last Ship
Music and Lyrics: Sting
Something Rotten!
Music and Lyrics: Wayne Kirkpatrick and Karey Kirkpatrick
The Visit
Music: John Kander
Lyrics: Fred Ebb

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play
Steven Boyer, Hand to God
Bradley Cooper, The Elephant Man
Ben Miles, Wolf Hall Parts One and Two
Bill Nighy, Skylight
Alex Sharp, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play (A weak category. Geneva Carr and Elisabeth Moss shouldn't be in here.....)
Geneva Carr, Hand to God
Helen Mirren, The Audience
Elisabeth Moss, The Heidi Chronicles
Carey Mulligan, Skylight
Ruth Wilson, Constellations

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical (Many are predicting Robert Fairchild, who gives a great performance, but comparatively, Michael Cerveris comes out ahead. Brian d'Arcy James and Tony Yazbeck also gave great performances -- a strong category that should not include Ken Watanabe who cannot be understood as the King of Siam.)
Michael Cerveris, Fun Home
Robert Fairchild, An American in Paris
Brian d’Arcy James, Something Rotten!
Ken Watanabe, The King and I
Tony Yazbeck, On the Town

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical (Sentimental votes will go to Chita Rivera, insider votes will go to Broadway favorite Kelli O'Hara (though I don't think she deserves it for this role), but as everyone worships Kristen Chenoweth, and this role seems tailor-made for her, she'll take home the Tony).
Kristin Chenoweth, On the Twentieth Century
Leanne Cope, An American in Paris
Beth Malone, Fun Home
WINNER --  Kelli O’Hara, The King and I
Chita Rivera, The Visit

Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Play (This one is hard. Micah Stock is the darling of Broadway having made a great debut, but it's hard to overlook Olivier winner Nathaniel Parker, especially when the terrific Wolf Hall is unlikely to win a lot of other awards......)
Matthew Beard, Skylight
K. Todd Freeman, Airline Highway
WINNER -- Richard McCabe, The Audience
Alessandro Nivola, The Elephant Man
Nathaniel Parker, Wolf Hall Parts One and Two
Micah Stock, It’s Only a Play

Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play
Annaleigh Ashford, You Can’t Take It with You
Patricia Clarkson, The Elephant Man
Lydia Leonard, Wolf Hall Parts One and Two
Sarah Stiles, Hand to God
Julie White, Airline Highway

Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical (Andy Karl could give Christian a run for his money, but I think Christian will win because Something Rotten!, a really fun show with commercial appeal to the Tony voters who book shows to tour through their performing arts centers across the country, will be passed on for other awards).
Christian Borle, Something Rotten!
Andy Karl, On the Twentieth Century
Brad Oscar, Something Rotten!
Brandon Uranowitz, An American in Paris
Max von Essen, An American in Paris

Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical (A lot of people are predicting co-star Judy Kuhn will win here, but it is hard to get 11-year-old Sydney Lucas out of your mind once you hear her sing "Ring of Keys." It's one of those Broadway moments and she nails it. When she sings it on the Tony broadcast tomorrow night, ticket sales will surge.)
Victoria Clark, Gigi
Judy Kuhn, Fun Home
Sydney Lucas, Fun Home
WINNER -- Ruthie Ann Miles, The King and I
Emily Skeggs, Fun Home

Best Scenic Design of a Play
Bunny Christie and Finn Ross, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
Bob Crowley, Skylight
Christopher Oram, Wolf Hall Parts One and Two
David Rockwell, You Can’t Take It with You

Best Scenic Design of a Musical
Bob Crowley and 59 Productions, An American in Paris
David Rockwell, On the Twentieth Century
Michael Yeargan, The King and I
David Zinn, Fun Home

Best Costume Design of a Play
Bob Crowley, The Audience
Jane Greenwood, You Can’t Take It with You
Christopher Oram, Wolf Hall Parts One and Two
David Zinn, Airline Highway

Best Costume Design of a Musical 
Gregg Barnes, Something Rotten!
Bob Crowley, An American in Paris
William Ivey Long, On the Twentieth Century
Catherine Zuber, The King and I

Best Lighting Design of a Play
Paule Constable, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
Paule Constable and David Plater, Wolf Hall Parts One and Two
Natasha Katz, Skylight
Japhy Weideman, Airline Highway

Best Lighting Design of a Musical
Donald Holder, The King and I
Natasha Katz, An American in Paris
Ben Stanton, Fun Home
Japhy Weideman, The Visit

Best Direction of a Play
Stephen Daldry, Skylight
Marianne Elliott, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
Scott Ellis, You Can’t Take It with You
Jeremy Herrin, Wolf Hall Parts One and Two
Moritz von Stuelpnagel, Hand to God

Best Direction of a Musical
Sam Gold, Fun Home
Casey Nicholaw, Something Rotten!
John Rando, On the Town
Bartlett Sher, The King and I
Christopher Wheeldon, An American in Paris

Best Choreography
Joshua Bergasse, On the Town
Christopher Gattelli, The King and I
Scott Graham and Steven Hoggett for Frantic Assembly, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
Casey Nicholaw, Something Rotten!
Christopher Wheeldon, An American in Paris

Best Orchestrations
Christopher Austin, Don Sebesky, Bill Elliott, An American in Paris
John Clancy, Fun Home
Larry Hochman, Something Rotten!
Rob Mathes, The Last Ship

* * *

Recipients of Awards and Honors in Non-competitive Categories

Special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre
Tommy Tune

Special Tony Award
John Cameron Mitchell

Regional Theatre Tony Award
Cleveland Play House, Cleveland, Ohio

Isabelle Stevenson Tony Award
Stephen Schwartz

Tony Honors for Excellence in the Theatre
Arnold Abramson
Adrian Bryan-Brown

Gene O’Donovan

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Our reviews are professional reviews written without a religious bias. At the end of them, you can find a listing of language, content or theological issues that Christians might want to know about when deciding which shows to see.

** Mature indicates that the show has posted an advisory because of content. Usually this means I would recommend no one under the age of 16 attend.

Theater Critic Lauren Yarger

Theater Critic Lauren Yarger

My Bio

Lauren Yarger has written, directed and produced numerous shows and special events for both secular and Christian audiences. She co-wrote a Christian musical version of “A Christmas Carol” which played to sold-out audiences of over 3,000 in Vermont and was awarded the 2000 Vermont Bessie (theater and film awards) for “People’s Choice for Theatre.” She also has written two other dinner theaters, sketches for church services and devotions for Christian artists. Her play "From Reel to Real: The Jennifer O'Neill Story" was presented as part of the League of professional Theatre Women's Julia's reading Room Series in New York in February 2018.

Yarger trained for three years in the Broadway League’s Producer Development Program, completed the Commercial Theater Institute's Producing Three-Day Training and produced a one-woman musical about Mary Magdalene that toured nationally and closed with an off-Broadway run.

She was a Fellow at the National Critics Institute at the O'Neill Theater Center in Waterford, CT. She writes reviews of Broadway and off-Broadway theater (the only ones you can find in the US with an added Christian perspective) at

She is editor of The Connecticut Arts Connection (, an award-winning website featuring theater and arts news for the state. She is a contributing editor for She previously served as theater reviewer for the Manchester Journal-Inquirer, Connecticut theater editor for and as Connecticut and New York reviewer for American Theater Web.

She is a Co-Founder of the Connecticut Chapter of the League of Professional Theatre Women.

Yarger is a book reviewer for Publishers Weekly and freelances for other sites. She is a member of the National Book Critics Circle.

She is a freelance writer and playwright and member of The Drama Desk, The Outer Critics Circle, The American Theater Critics Association and The League of Professional Theatre Women. She served as a judge for the SDX Awards presented by the Society of Professional Journalists. She also is a member of the Connecticut Critics Circle. and the Episcopal Actors' Guild.

A former newspaper editor and graduate of the University of Missouri’s School of Journalism, Yarger also worked in arts management for the Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts, the Hartford Symphony Orchestra and served for nine years as the Executive Director of Masterwork Productions, Inc. She lives with her husband in West Granby, CT. They have two adult children.


All material is copyright 2008- 2018 by Lauren Yarger. Reviews and articles may not be reprinted without permission. Contact


Key to Content Notes:

God's name taken in vain -- means God or Jesus is used in dialogue without speaking directly to or about them.

Language -- means some curse words are used. "Minor" usually means the words are not too strong or that it only occurs once or twice throughout the show.

Strong Language -- means some of the more heavy duty curse words are used.

Nudity -- means a man or woman's backside, a man's lower front or a woman's front are revealed.

Scantily clad -- means actors' private areas are technically covered, but I can see a lot of them.

Sexual Language -- means the dialogue contains sexually explicit language but there's no action.

Sexual Activity -- means a man and woman are performing sexual acts.

Adultery -- Means a married man or woman is involved sexually with someone besides their spouse. If this is depicted with sexual acts on stage, the list would include "sexual activity" as well.

Sex Outside of Marriage -- means a man and woman are involved sexually without being married. If this is depicted sexually on stage, the list would include "sexual activity" as well.

Homosexuality -- means this is in the show, but not physically depicted.

Homosexual activity -- means two persons of the same sex are embracing/kissing. If they do more than that, the list would include "sexual activity" as well.

Cross Dresser -- Means someone is dressing as the opposite sex. If they do more than that on stage the listing would include the corresponding "sexual activity" and/or "homosexual activity" as well.

Cross Gender -- A man is playing a female part or a woman is playing a man's part.

Suggestive Dancing -- means dancing contains sexually suggestive moves.

Derogatory (category added Fall 2012) Language or circumstances where women are referred to or treated in a negative and demeaning manner.

Other content matters such as torture, suicide or rape will be noted, with details revealed only as necessary in the review itself.

The term "throughout" added to any of the above means it happens many times throughout the show.

Reviewing Policy

I receive free seats to Broadway and Off-Broadway shows made available to all voting members of the Outer Critics Circle and The Drama Desk, the two professional critics organizations with journalists covering NY theater. Journalistically, I provide an unbiased review and am under no obligation to make positive statements. Sometimes shows do not make tickets available to reviewers. If these are shows my readers want to know about (I review all Broadway shows and pertinent Off-Broadway shows), I will purchase a ticket. If a personal friend is involved in a production, I'll let you know, but it won't influence a review. If I feel there is a conflict, I won't review their portion of the production.

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