The Great "Best Musical" Race of 2019

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jacobsnchz14
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The Great "Best Musical" Race of 2019#1
Posted: 4/24/19 at 11:42am

We've had a pretty eclectic collection of new musicals that opened this season.  And with recent reviews of Hadestown and Tootsie, things are shaping up before Tuesday's award nominations announcement.  We just had OCC nominations and Drama Desks tomorrow could also heat things up. 

Seems like Hadestown, Tootsie, and The Prom have some good energy behind them, then we have one-to-two potential slots.  Here is a recap of all of the musicals from this season. Let the predictions and assumptions begin!

Ain't Too Proud
Beetlejuice
Be More Chill
The Cher Show
Gettin' the Band Back Together
Hadestown
Head Over Heels
King Kong
Pretty Woman: The Musical
The Prom
Tootsie

 

BritCrit
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The Great "Best Musical" Race of 2019#2
Posted: 4/24/19 at 11:45am
Can we save time and cut Gettin The Band Back Together from the shortlist? Pretty Woman and King Kong also have little chance of competing in the major categories, but could do well in the technicals...
sethepstein12
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The Great "Best Musical" Race of 2019#3
Posted: 4/24/19 at 11:46am

I think Ain't Too Proud will get a nomination. Assuming we have 5 (which I think we do?), I think it's dependent on Beetlejuice's reviews tomorrow night. Many people on this board despised it, but many people really enjoyed it. If it gets good reviews, I think it'll get the 5th slot. If not, it would be between The Cher Show and Be More Chill, with a slight edge to Be More Chill because of its originality, and because I don't think two bio musicals will be nominated in the same year.

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The Great "Best Musical" Race of 2019#4
Posted: 4/24/19 at 11:49am

I'll be honest, as much as I'm thrilled for their reviews and glad people are enjoying it, I'll be incredibly disappointed if Tootsie beats out Hadestown for best musical. All that anyone has been lamenting these past few years is how Broadway is saturated by commercial theater and screen-to-stage adaptations; we finally have an inventive, unique, beautiful new musical on our hands, what everyone has been moaning and groaning and asking for, and its biggest competition is yet another, frankly unoriginal, adaptation, that seems to have a fair chance at winning. Sigh.

Everyone is, of course, entitled to root for what they want but I have some strong feelings on the subject.

I think ATP and BMC may take the last two spots.

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Mike Barrett
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The Great "Best Musical" Race of 2019#5
Posted: 4/24/19 at 12:13pm

I believe the nominations will be: 

 

Ain't Too Proud 

Hadestwon 

Tootsie 

The Prom

 

 

At this point, I think only BMC has a chance to either be added or replace one of the nominees, likely Aint Too Proud since it is a original musical, which last year showed the Tony voters do indeed favor. I think Hadestown will win best musical still, even with the raves for Tootsie. Just makes it a strong season! 

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The Great "Best Musical" Race of 2019#6
Posted: 4/24/19 at 12:18pm

I think it's Hadestown's to lose- but Tootsie will pick up awards like Best Actor and Best Book, so it won't be a washout. 

"...everyone finally shut up, and the audience could enjoy the beginning of the Anatevka Pogram in peace."
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Rogerdellibovi
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The Great "Best Musical" Race of 2019#7
Posted: 4/24/19 at 12:25pm

treblemakerz said: "I'll be honest, as much as I'm thrilled for their reviews and glad people are enjoying it, I'll be incredibly disappointed if Tootsie beats out Hadestown for best musical. All that anyone has been lamenting these past few years is how Broadway is saturated by commercial theater and screen-to-stage adaptations; we finally have an inventive, unique, beautiful new musical on our hands, what everyone has been moaning and groaning and asking for,and its biggest competition is yet another, frankly unoriginal, adaptation, that seems to have a fair chance at winning. Sigh.

Everyone is, of course, entitled to root for what they want but I have some strong feelings on the subject.

I think ATP and BMC may take the last two spots.
"

Agreed! I’m not sure why Tootsie is seemingly exempt from the “I hate commercial theater” crowd. I mean you can say it’s very different than the original, but it’s not much more different than Mean Girls was. Just really hoping Hadestown (or the Prom) pulls the big title! 

woeisme3
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The Great "Best Musical" Race of 2019#8
Posted: 4/24/19 at 12:33pm
As much as it sucks when a movie-to-musical is made with no real effort/creativity, I don’t think that changes when one is good. Most musicals in general are adaptations of something, and some of the greatest ones of all time have been adapted from movies.

For me personally, I thought both Hadestown and Tootsie were great, but Tootsie seemed like the more well-crafted musical to me. Hadestown, as gorgeous as the score was felt like a paragraph of plot stretched over two hours, and despite a small group of leads, characters like Eurydice and Hermès were never really fleshed out.

I think Hadestown will likely win because the tony voters have been erring towards interesting original work nowadays, and it’ll be a great Beat Musical, but I don’t think originality automatically = the objective best musical.
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ACL2006
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The Great "Best Musical" Race of 2019#9
Posted: 4/24/19 at 12:38pm
Hoping for 5 nominees:

Hadestown
Tootsie
Ain't Too Proud
The Prom
The Cher Show
A Chorus Line revival played its final Broadway performance on August 17, 2008. The tour played its final performance on August 21, 2011. A new non-equity tour started in October 2012 played its final performance on March 23, 2013. Another non-equity tour launched on January 20, 2018. The tour ended its US run in Kansas City and then toured throughout Japan August & September 2018.
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The Great "Best Musical" Race of 2019#10
Posted: 4/24/19 at 12:52pm

Who "hates" big commercial Musicals?  Producers and Tour cities certainly don't. And last year's wonderful winner THE BAND'S VISIT was a screen to stage adaptation as well as an artistic triumph. It's good to have a real competition instead of a sweep, makes for a more exciting night.  I think THE CHER SHOW might surprise some people with a bunch of nods. TOOTSIE vs. HADESTOWN makes for an exciting climax to a rather dull season.

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bdn223
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The Great "Best Musical" Race of 2019#11
Posted: 4/24/19 at 12:54pm

I said this in the Tootsie  reviews thread, I have a weird feeling this season is going to turn into a Kinky Boots vs Matilda. Hadestown’s producers will overplay their hands as the expected frontrunner, allowing for a big hearted musical Tootsie (or possibly The Prom) to get the hearts and votes of Tony voters.

Having overheard some producers of Hadestown talking about the show, other shows and Tony campaign plans, they very much seemed to think they have Best Musical in the bag. They seemed to give the impression that Hadestown is high art and should be awarded for that. Its this sense of entitlement that turned Tony voters sour on Matilda. The one thing that might prevent this year from becoming another 2013 is that unlike that season where only Kinky Boots was there to collect the protest Matilda votes, this season we have 2 well reviewed big hearted musicals that could split the vote. 

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Kad
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The Great "Best Musical" Race of 2019#12
Posted: 4/24/19 at 12:54pm

The "original" vs "adapted/existing property" debate misses the point. The argument should be "creativity vs. laziness." Who cares what the source of a musical is as long as it's executed well- with style, with smarts, with vision? People object to laziness- plopping down songs or movie moments everyone knows onstage and going, "This what you idiots want, right?" And original works can sure as hell be lazy garbage, too. A well-crafted adaptation is preferably to a rougher original work. 

And sorry y'all- unless it's being produced by Roundabout, Second Stage, Lincoln Center, or MTC, everything on Broadway is commercial. 

"...everyone finally shut up, and the audience could enjoy the beginning of the Anatevka Pogram in peace."
Steven Szmutko
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The Great "Best Musical" Race of 2019#13
Posted: 4/24/19 at 4:25pm
I don't think Tootsie is a safe bet for Best Book anymore, concerns of its treatment of women's issues though the male lens, as well as concerns of it already being dated. Though it's certainly the funniest book, I could see The Prom edging it out.

I also think the assumption Santino will win for best actor, given the concerns around those characterizations, might make it a tougher race for him regardless, and down line voting may give that award to Damon Daunno.

For best musical I see Tootsie and The Prom splitting similar voters with Hadestown coming on top, boosted by a best director award (I think it'll edge out Oklahoma due to a bit of backlash against the dream ballet).

As for a repeat of Kinky Boots vs Matilda, Matilda was not a universal favorite in the season, with weird choices (the Russian mob final song) and the idea that she didn't have her powers, the main story, til the midway of act 2. It was also the most big name commercial production of that season, I don't see much comparison.
JSquared2
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The Great "Best Musical" Race of 2019#14
Posted: 4/24/19 at 4:32pm

Sorry to all the Hades-Heads, but I'm afraid you're in for as big of a disappointment this year as many of you were a few years ago with Great Comet.  Hades will get a bunch of nominations, but won't win more than 1 or 2 minor awards.  Not only that, seeing a performance from it on the Tony Awards out of context will do nothing but further confuse people, and certainly won't sell tickets.  It's going to be Tootsie vs The Prom.

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Kad
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The Great "Best Musical" Race of 2019#15
Posted: 4/24/19 at 4:48pm

Hadestown and Great Comet aren't particularly comparable, director aside, and neither are the circumstances of those two seasons. Hadestown is in a very good position to take home several of the major awards- director, score, musical- thanks to its critical praise, its savvier producers, and its ability to genuinely win audiences and sell tickets.  

The Prom is a B musical- that should be clear to most, except the deep-pocketed forces who seem intent on having it limp along to the Tonys. 

"...everyone finally shut up, and the audience could enjoy the beginning of the Anatevka Pogram in peace."
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TotallyEffed
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The Great "Best Musical" Race of 2019#16
Posted: 4/24/19 at 4:50pm

Steven Szmutko said: "I don't think Tootsie is a safe bet for Best Book anymore, concerns of its treatment of women's issues though the male lens, as well as concerns of it already being dated. Though it's certainly the funniest book, I could see The Prom edging it out.

I also think the assumption Santino will win for best actor, given the concerns around those characterizations, might make it a tougher race for him regardless, and down line voting may give that award to Damon Daunno.

For best musical I see Tootsie and The Prom splitting similar voters with Hadestown coming on top, boosted by a best director award (I think it'll edge out Oklahoma due to a bit of backlash against the dream ballet).

As for a repeat of Kinky Boots vs Matilda, Matilda was not a universal favorite in the season, with weird choices (the Russian mob final song) and the idea that she didn't have her powers, the main story, til the midway of act 2. It was also the most big name commercial production of that season, I don't see much comparison.
"

Keep going, I wanna hear what else you’re delusional about!

Steven Szmutko
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The Great "Best Musical" Race of 2019#17
Posted: 4/24/19 at 4:55pm

Kad said: "Hadestown and Great Comet aren't particularly comparable, director aside, and neither are the circumstances of those two seasons. Hadestown is in a very good position to take home several of the major awards- director, score, musical-thanks to its critical praise, its savvier producers, and its ability to genuinely win audiences and sell tickets.

The Prom is a B musical- that should be clear to most, except the deep-pocketed forces who seem intent on having it limp along to the Tonys.
"

I agree, but it's really amping up momentum, with a book deal and Ryan Murphy's announced film deal. While, as a queer person,  I'm sick of queer stories about a perfect, characterless St. Gay who only exists to inspire more interesting change in the other characters, it is the kind of thing people vote for. 

 

... also I joined the site today cause I really wanted to talk about this season but... I didn't realize somehow I set my real name as my name... can I change that or do I have to re register?

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Kad
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The Great "Best Musical" Race of 2019#18
Posted: 4/24/19 at 4:59pm

That's not momentum, that's publicity. They are desperate to keep the production in the news and on minds. 

"...everyone finally shut up, and the audience could enjoy the beginning of the Anatevka Pogram in peace."
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The Great "Best Musical" Race of 2019#19
Posted: 4/24/19 at 4:59pm

In my perfect universe, Head Over Heels would still be running and nominated. 

 

Fredrich Yeager
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The Great "Best Musical" Race of 2019#20
Posted: 4/24/19 at 6:44pm

... also I joined the site today cause I really wanted to talk about this season but... I didn't realize somehow I set my real name as my name... can I change that or do I have to re register?"

I did the same thing, and unfortunately you can't change it without re-registering. I didn't even remember them asking for a username, just my name. I've been feeling very formal and slightly exposed being referred to as "Mr. Yeager" and by "benplattsleftsock54" and such in the forums lol.

Also, I think the award will go to Hadestown with Tootsie as a close second, but I don't think the commericial/unoriginal factor is going to influence the decision against Tootsie. For one, Hadestown is just a really, really good show. For another, theatre is inherently derivative and most of the great theatre of history has been based on other things, and although that's become less assumed as of late, it's still pretty common for theatre to be adaptations of other stories. I mean, Hadestown is also based on a Greek legend. Tootsie is very different from the source material - the main reason people claim it's "unoriginal" is that it just hasn't been as long since the source material itself originated. The Broadway adaptation of Hairspray actually received some criticism from audiences (although not by critics) about it not being original because it was based on a movie. Nobody seems to care about that anymore. 

I don't think Tootsie's going to lose because it's bad, or problematic, or unoriginal. I think it's none of those things and probably my personal favorite show of the season even though I know it's not as top notch as Hadestown. It's okay to say that you think Hadestown is better without putting down the other shows.

 

Rainah
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The Great "Best Musical" Race of 2019#21
Posted: 4/24/19 at 7:12pm
It's definately Hadestowns to lose. The bigger race is between Oklahoma! and Hadestown for direction
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The Great "Best Musical" Race of 2019#22
Posted: 4/24/19 at 7:48pm
Starting this by saying I am team Hadestown ALL the way.........buuuuuuuuuuut..... after seeing it today I can also foresee a situatiob in which it looses to Tootsie very easily. They are very different shows that split their pros and cons right down the middle. But where I see Tootsie getting a slight edge is because of it's super strong book. Hadestown is brilliant, do not get me wrong, but Act 2 is a long drawn out needed cuts drag that takes forever to get to the point. I can very easily see voters torn between them tipping towards a classic comedy if Hadestown was a bit to much for them to take in.
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The Great "Best Musical" Race of 2019#23
Posted: 4/24/19 at 7:53pm
I don’t understand the Act II being dragged out argument. It all felt super well paced to me and I don’t know what you would cut in the second act. It all felt right to me.
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The Great "Best Musical" Race of 2019#24
Posted: 4/24/19 at 7:54pm
I think Hadestown takes Best Musical. I totally enjoyed Tootsie and laughed my head off the whole time (which apparently takes away my feminist card?), but if we’re taking about giving a grand prize to a show for artistic achievement, I’d give that to Hadestown.

I don’t really get the comparisons to Great Comet. That score was kind of weird and opera-y, and in my anecdata, I know a ton of people, myself included, who though it was visually sensational, but couldn’t get into the music. I’ve tried a few times, and I just find it unpleasant outside of a couple of songs. On the flip side, Hadestown is so easy to listen to, most importantly to the general public. It sounds like a Joe Cocker or folk rock album more than musical theatre (I mean, it was), and for that reason alone I think it’ll attract a much broader audience. My dad, who enjoys going to the theatre but doesn’t listen to showtunes and rarely talks about a show after the fact, can’t stop talking about the great Hadestown music.

As far as nominees, I think it should be
Ain’t Too Proud
Hadestown
The Prom
Tootsie

Personally I would leave it at those four, because think there’s a big gap between those and the rest of the season. If I had to pick a fifth it’d be Be More Chill, if only to try to increase Tony viewership.

spidernight
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The Great "Best Musical" Race of 2019#25
Posted: 4/24/19 at 8:04pm

The main difference between Hadestown and Great Comet's best musical chances is that Great Comet had to go up against the juggernaut that is Dear Evan Hansen and Hadestown has much easier competition. I'm not a voter and am not in the industry, but I'd bet that Dear Evan Hansen would easily beat Hadestown. If Hadestown even only had to go up against Come From Away, I think Come From Away would take it.