Wednesday, May 31, 2017

2017 Tony and Drama Desk Award Predictions

Dear Evan Hansen with Ben Platt will clean up at the Tonys,
but is ineligible for Drama Desks. Credit: Matthew Murphy
Usually the results of the Tony and Drama Desk Awards are pretty much the same, even though the Tonys are only for Broadway shows and the DDs combine on and Off-Broadway. The 120 or so DD voters, a group of theater critics, reporters, and editors, usually vote for Broadway with occasional departures for Off-Broadway hits such as Hamilton when it played the Public. The 868 Tony electorate consists of the members of the Broadway League (the producers' organization), the American Theatre Wing, boards of directors of various professional unions and guilds such as Actors Equity and the Society for Stage Directors and Choreographers, and the members of the New York Drama Critics Circle (full disclosure: I am member and so also a Tony voter as well as a Drama Desk voter).

This year the two theater accolades may vary somewhat because many Tony-eligible shows have won or been nominated for Drama Desk Awards for previous seasons when they played Off-Broadway. These include Dear Evan Hansen and Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812. Plus the Drama Desk nominating Committee (seven DD members) didn't seem to like Groundhog Day very much--they gave it one major nomination for lead actor Andy Karl--while the Tonys have nominated the show for seven awards. Here are my predictions for both awards, indicating where I think they will vary. The Drama Desks will be held on June 4 and the Tonys are handed out the following week on June 11: