The Top 5 Tony-Nominated Musicals to See Now in NYC

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Catch Tony Nominee Bette Midler as she performs in Hello, Dolly!

Love musicals? You’re in luck: The 2016-17 Broadway season featured a wonderfully diverse array of new musicals. And, now that the Tony nominations have been announced, this is the perfect time to check out the best of Broadway.

Of course, only one can take home the big prize for Best Musical on June 11 when the Tonys are presented at Radio City Music Hall in a gala ceremony hosted by Oscar winner Kevin Spacey. But until then, check out these top five Tony-nominated musicals – and decide for yourself who should nab the ultimate honors.

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  1. Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812A techno-pop musical based on the massive literary classic War and Peace? Seems like a weird idea, but this unlikely hit has reaped this year’s most Tony nominations, with 12 nods. Pop star Josh Groban stars as Pierre, the dissolute son of a noble Russian family and newcomer Denée Benton is the innocent Natasha, teetering on the brink of a scandalous affair. Both are Tony nominated. After the show’s two Off-Broadway runs, set designer Mimi Lein reconfigured the Imperial Theatre into a Soviet supper club and director Rachel Chavkin guides the action, which takes place all around you. Dave Molloy, who played Pierre Off-Broadway, wrote the eclectic score and book.
  2. Hello, Dolly!Bette Midler, the Divine Miss M herself, returns to Broadway in Jerry Herman’s beloved classic focusing on the irrepressible matchmaker Dolly Gallagher Levi. Believe it or not, this is Midler’s Broadway debut in a leading musical role. She first appeared on the Great White Way as a replacement for one of Tevye’s daughters in the original production of Fiddler on the Roof. When she became a superstar she headlined two concert productions and then played legendary agent Sue Mengers in a solo non-musical play I’ll Eat You Last. Dolly! is up for 10 Tonys and Midler, who has already won the Outer Critics Circle Award, is the favorite to take Best Actress in a Musical.
  3. Come From Away – Amid a season full of big names and movie adaptations, Come From Away is that rare bird – a totally original musical with no stars in the cast. Despite these handicaps, this intimate, uplifting show has raked in seven Tony nominations and is one of the favorites to do well on Broadway’s biggest night. Inspired by real events, this ensemble piece concerns one of most tragic days in recent history. When terrorists attacked the World Trade Center in NYC and the Pentagon in Washington, several hundred flights were diverted to the little Newfoundland town of Gander. The book and score by husband-and-wife team Irene Sankoff and David Hein follows the citizens of this friendly hamlet and their unexpected guests over an eventful and unforgettable few days.
  4. Dear Evan Hansen – Teenage suicide and social media abuse are the up-to-the-minute themes of this intimate musical. Ben Platt gives a shattering performance as the lonely title character who finally achieves acceptance through a series of mistakes and an unintended Internet hoax. Oscar winners Benj Pasek and Justin Paul (La La Land) composed the moving score, which combines traditional Broadway sounds with pop sensibilities. After a hit engagement at Off-Broadway’s Second Stage, Dear Evan Hansen is up for nine Tonys. Steven Levensen (If I Forget) wrote the compassionate book.
  5. Groundhog Day – The bizarre, wildly funny 1993 film comedy, starring Bill Murray as an obnoxious weatherman stuck endlessly reliving the same day, is miraculously transformed into a stage vehicle thanks to Matthew Warchus’ innovative direction. Andy Karl repeats his Olivier Award-winning performance as the perplexed Phil Connor. He’s a prime candidate to take the Tony as well despite seriously injuring his knee during a preview performance. He missed a few performances, but is now wearing a brace and is back eight times a week.

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By: David Sheward

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