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Monday, May 15, 2006


2006 Tony Predictions: The Musicals

Our final installment of Tony Award nomination predictions, which will be announced tomorrow...and it's the Kentucky Derby of theatre prizes: the musicals!

ModFab Predicts: The Color Purple; The Drowsy Chaperone; Jersey Boys; The Wedding Singer
Spoiler: Chita Rivera: The Dancer's Life; Tarzan

Essentially a two-show race between popular hit Jersey Boys and the late-surging Chaperone, we're pretty convinced that Oprah's star power will carry Color Purple into a third slot on the list. As for the fourth? The Wedding Singer picked up Drama Desk and Drama League nominations, but the critics panned it. Chita Rivera is a sentimental industry favorite, but it's been shuttered for months. Tarzan's got weak reviews and anti-Disney schadenfreude to overcome. When all is said and done, we think the Singer will eke through.

The Only Contenders: The Pajama Game; Sweeney Todd; The Threepenny Opera

All three will be nominated, given their high-profile. But it's really a race between Pajama and Sweeney, which promises to be a tradition-versus-experimental battle royale like the one in 1985, when La Cage Aux Folles and Sunday in the Park with George went head to head in the media. Good news for Pajama Game fans: Sondheim lost back in '85. Bad news for Pajama Game fans: Sweeney has won all of the precursor awards to date.

ModFab Predicts: Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice, Jersey Boys; Bob Martin and Don McKellar, The Drowsy Chaperone; Terrence McNally, Chita Rivera: The Dancer's Life; Marsha Norman, The Color Purple
Spoiler: David Henry Hwang, Tarzan

No one disputes the structural brilliance of Jersey Boys, the cleverness of Drowsy, or the reputations of McNally and Norman. (Not even old pros like Hwang or Linda Woolverton, who are suffering through Tarzan and Lestat, respectively.)

ModFab Predicts: Phil Collins, Tarzan; Bob Gaudio and Bob Crewe, Jersey Boys; Lisa Lambert and Greg Morrison, The Drowsy Chaperone; Brenda Russell, Allee Willis and Stephen Bray, The Color Purple
Spoiler: Elton John and Bernie Taupin, Lestat

A category without any of the usual suspects (no LaChiusa, Guettel, Brown, Tesori, Finn or Sondheim), it's wide open. I'm guessing Disney will push Phil Collins heavily, and Drowsy's a sure thing. One may wonder if forty-year-old Frankie Valli tunes can be considered as a new score, but I have four words for you: 2003 nominee Urban Cowboy. That leaves Purple as the best of the remainders, but Elton John's star power and Wedding Singer's good-time vibe might make either a contender.

Previously on ModFab:
Tony Predictions: The Plays
Tony Predictions: The Actors
Tony Predictions: The Actresses
Tony Predictions: The Designers and Directors
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