Top 10 Tony-Nominated Shows to See Now

ST_Robinson_TAW-Tony-Nominees

The 2019 Tony Award nominees have been announced, and it has been a dazzling season that will culminate with the awards ceremony on Sunday, June 9. That means that you still have a window of opportunity to see some of Broadway’s hottest shows before the big night. There are so many terrific shows to experience on Broadway, and many you can enjoy long past the Tonys, but here are ten that we recommend that you try and see before the ceremony to give you an edge on making your predictions:

Hadestown
Greek mythology has never looked like this, and from the rave reviews and the plentiful ticket sales, Hadestown is proving to be an exciting twist on the age-old yarns. Set in a post-apocalyptic world, the stories of Orpheus and Eurydice, as well as Persephone and Hades, unfold before our eyes to the thrill of Anais Mitchell’s electrically charged score. A highlight of the show is Rachel Chavkin’s atmospheric, inventive staging.

Nominated for: Best Musical, Best Director (Chavkin), Best Actress (Eva Noblezada), Best Featured Actor (Andre De Shields and Patrick Page), Best Featured Actress (Amber Gray), Best Scenic Design, Best Costume Design, Best Lighting Design, Best Sound Design, Best Choreography and Best Orchestrations

To Kill a Mockingbird
Aaron Sorkin’s stage adaptation of Harper Lee’s perennial classic To Kill A Mockingbird is proving to be one of the season’s hottest tickets, telling a story of racism in the rural south and of those who have the courage to stand up to it. Film and TV star Jeff Daniels takes on the role of Atticus Finch, one of literature’s most revered characters for his convictions and his gentle way of imparting them to his children

Nominated for: Best Actor (Jeff Daniels), Best Direction (Bartlett Sher), Best Featured Actress (Celia Keenan-Bolger), Best Featured Actor (Gideon Glick), Best Score, Best Scenic Design, Best Costume Design, Best Lighting Design and Best Sound Design

Tootsie
Who doesn’t enjoy good, old-fashioned musical comedy that imparts joy and provides melodic, infectious music by David Yazbek? The classic 1982 film comedy Tootsie, about a down-on-his-luck actor who reinvents himself as a woman in order to secure a role, has been wisely and wonderfully reimagined with a contemporary slant. The masterful performance of Santino Fontana (Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella; TV’s Crazy Ex-Girlfriend) is reason enough to see this show, but the whole cast shines in a musical that is guaranteed to put a smile on your face.

Nominated for: Best Musical, Best Actor (Santino Fontana), Best Book, Best Score, Best Featured Actor (Andy Grotelueschen), Best Featured Actress Lilli Cooper, Best Costume Design, Best Direction of a Musical (Scott Ellis), Best Choreography and Best Orchestrations

Hillary and Clinton
The pairing of two of theater’s greatest stars, Laurie Metcalf and John Lithgow, in a play that is equal parts political commentary and a raw assessment of sexism, makes Hillary and Clinton a must-see of the current nominees. Playwright Lucas Hnath sets the story in an alternate universe where a presidential candidate named Hillary Clinton is rallying to save a struggling campaign to secure her party’s nomination

Nominated for: Best Actress (Metcalf)

The Prom
What do four Broadway performers do to save their fading careers? They find a way to inject their personalities into a current event issue as part of a publicity stunt. And what is that news item that wins their time and ultimately their hearts? A teenage girl from the Midwest wants to bring her girlfriend to the prom and must fight for the right to do it. The Prom is a winning celebration of our right to love who we want to love.

Nominated for:  Best Musical, Best Actress (Caitlin Kinnunen and Beth Leavel), Best Actor (Brooks Ashmanskas) and Best Direction of a Musical (Casey Nicholaw)

Oklahoma!
Oklahoma! may currently be celebrating 76 years since it first premiered on Broadway back in 1943, but this Rodgers and Hammerstein classic has been revived with a spin that makes it feel refreshingly contemporary. The production, directed by Daniel Fish, probes the darker aspects of this musical about a young woman who finds herself navigating the attentions of a cocky cowboy and a possessive, unstable farmhand.

Nominated for: Best Revival of a Musical, Best Actor in a Musical (Damon Daunno), Best Featured Actress in a Musical (Ali Stroker and Mary Testa), Best Scenic Design, Best Sound Design, Best Direction of a Musical and Best Orchestrations

Kiss Me, Kate!
Two of Broadway’s consistently entertaining musical theater talents, Kelli O’Hara and Will Chase, star in this musical comedy classic about an ex-husband and wife who are starring opposite each other in a stage musical version of William Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew. Art imitates life when the action backstage begins to parallel the Bard’s story. Kiss Me, Kate! also features a time-honored score by Cole Porter and a show-stopping dance performance by Chita Rivera Award nominee Corbin Bleu.

Nominated for: Best Revival of a Musical, Best Actress (O’Hara), Best Choreography and Best Orchestrations

Beetlejuice
Tim Burton’s iconic film about the comedically macabre comes to the Broadway stage in a riotously funny production starring Alex Brightman (School of Rock) in the titular role. Beetlejuice takes audiences into the world of the afterlife, where a teenage girl conspires with a couple of ghosts to drive her family out of their newly acquired home. In the process, they unleash one of the un-dead’s most unsavory characters.

Nominated for: Best Musical, Best Score, Best Book, Best Actor (Brightman), Best Scenic Design, Best Costume Design, Best Lighting Design and Best Sound Design

What the Constitution Means to Me
Don’t let the title scare you away. Heidi Schreck’s What the Constitution Mean to Me is no mere civics lesson, but rather a compelling glimpse into the document that gives our country structure and how that has shaped women’s role in society. Reflecting on her time as a teenager giving speeches on the Constitution, Schreck recalls how her feelings on the document have evolved in the intervening years.

Nominated for: Best Play and Best Actress (Schreck)

Ain’t Too Proud – The Life and Times of the Temptations
This jukebox musical about the popular band of the 1960s and ‘70s is more than just a story with songs sandwiched in. Rather, it’s a thoughtful drama about the ups and downs of a group of young artists navigating the world of music in a time period where the odds were stacked against them. Ain’t Too Proud – The Life and Times of the Temptations features energetic and driving direction by Des McAnuff.

Nominated for: Best Musical, Best Book of a Musical, Best Actor in a Musical (Derrick Baskin), Best Featured Actor (Jeremy Pope and Ephraim Sykes), Best Scenic Design, Best Costume Design, Best Lighting Design, Best Sound Design, Best Direction of a Musical, Best Choreography and Best Orchestrations

Mark Robinson is the author of the two-volume encyclopedia The World of Musicals, The Disney Song Encyclopedia, and The Encyclopedia of Television Theme Songs. He maintains a theater and entertainment blog at markrobinsonwrites.com.

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