Part 1: Frontmezzjunkies weighs in on the Tony Race – Director/Scenic/Lighting/Costume

img_4413Part 1: Frontmezzjunkies weighs in on the Tony Race – Director/Scenic/Lighting/Costume

by Ross

Here is Part One of my five part split-up of the categories for this year’s Tony Awards. Who I think will win (👉) and who I loved (❤️). Sometimes there was more then one love, but I tried to narrow it down to the one I would probably vote for if I was able.

Hamilton and The Humans seem to be leading the pack and will come out multiple winners that night, and both are very deserving in many of the categories but I do hope the voting population spreads the love around to all these wonderful and masterful shows. So here’s hoping my predictions are wrong most, or maybe some, of the time.

Links to my blog reviews will appear in Red here and there throughout this by the blog review title below their picture. Please click on them and check out what I had to say at the time. And as always, read, like, share, retweet, enjoy.

Best Direction of a Play

Rupert Goold, King Charles III

Jonathan Kent, Long Day’s Journey Into Night

👉Joe Mantello, The Humans

Liesl Tommy, Eclipsed

❤️Ivo Van Hove, Arthur Miller’s A View from the Bridge


I thought The Humans was so successful and beautifully directed with a perfect cast of pros. So well deserving of this award. But I must admit, I didn’t love the play as much as others, or at least the ending.  I did love the non-traditional approach that Hove did with this Miller classic, The View from the Bridge. It ripped it out of its realism and caused it to leap into our faces with a power that I didn’t expect.

Best Direction of a Musical

❤️Michael Arden, Spring Awakening

John Doyle, The Color Purple

Scott Ellis, She Loves Me

👉Thomas Kail, Hamilton

George C. Wolfe, Shuffle Along, Or the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed


Kail will join Miranda in the warmth of Tony glow for his spectacular work with Hamilton. Beautifully and energetically staged, he should be very proud of his achievement.

I’m not saying Arden should win over Hamilton, but I did love Spring Awakening and its re-staging with both deaf and non-deaf actors utilizing sign language throughout. It’s structure, surprisingly, enhanced many a moment and many an emotion. This show, powerful to begin with, brought me to tears for unexpected reasons and ways.

Best Scenic Design of a Play

Beowulf Boritt, Thérèse Raquin

Christopher Oram, Hughie

❤️Jan Versweyveld, Arthur Miller’s A View from the Bridge

👉David Zinn, The Humans


Boritt created one of the most beautiful and dynamic sets of the year with Thérèse Raquin but it was saddled with a slow slightly dull play. Even the dark dread of the Paris apartment was spectacular but Zinn’s realistic two floor New York apartment for The Humans will probably grab the Tony, mainly because the play is just so much better (although not perfect).

That being said, I adored what Versweyveld did with View. That took guts and more creative thinking then it looks. I’d be so pleased if it won.

Best Scenic Design of a Musical

Es Devlin & Finn Ross, American Psycho

👉❤️David Korins, Hamilton

Santo Loquasto, Shuffle Along, Or the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed

❤️David Rockwell, She Loves Me


Although I thought the other three did superlative work on their respective shows; the insane prettiness of She Loves Me; the insane slickness of American Psycho; and the insane richness of Shuffle Along, the real and very deserved award will go to Korins for Hamilton. And this time he’s not riding on the Hamilton express, but completely deserving of exceptional and dynamic work.

Best Costume Design of a Play

👉Jane Greenwood, Long Day’s Journey Into Night

❤️Michael Krass, Noises Off

Clint Ramos, Eclipsed

❤️Tom Scutt, King Charles III


Now, I have yet to see Long Days Journey… as I write and post this, and part of me thinks I would have placed the ❤️ next to Greenwood’s name had I am waiting until the 4th of June to see it (with my good friend to celebrate his birthday). That being said, I’m guessing it will win, with or without my love, so of the remaining, I’ll give my love to the beautiful costumes of that magnificent play King Charles III, with the hope that this production walks away with at least one Tony award.

Best Costume Design of a Musical

Gregg Barnes, Tuck Everlasting

❤️Jeff Mahshie, She Loves Me

Ann Roth, Shuffle Along, Or the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed

👉Paul Tazewell, Hamilton


I’m thinking that Tazewell will grab this award away from the other three, and I’m not sure he deserves to. The costumes for She Loves Me and Shuffle Along are exceptional. As are the ones for Tuck. It’s a hard call. I would vote for Mahshie for the lovely colorful designs befitting old world Budapest, but it’s a close call and Hamilton will most likely triumph.

Best Lighting Design of a Play

Natasha Katz, Long Day’s Journey Into Night

👉Justin Townsend, The Humans

❤️Jan Versweyveld, Arthur Miller’s The Crucible

Jan Versweyveld, Arthur Miller’s A View from the Bridge


I’m guessing the play, The Humans will grab a lot of awards come Tony night, although I’m hoping this award will go to the more moody Long Days Journey… Or either of the Miller classics, both designed by Versweyveld. I’m loving The Crucible a bit more then the others here, so my love goes with her, and them.
Best Lighting Design of a Musical

👉Howell Binkley, Hamilton

❤️Jules Fisher & Peggy Eisenhauer, Shuffle Along, Or the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed

Ben Stanton, Spring Awakening

Justin Townsend, American Psycho


Will American Psycho grab one award at these Tony Awards? The highly snubbed show was my least favorite of the year, but I can understand this nomination. It really did look great, especially in lighting and projections. But I’m thinking Hamilton will take it again, out of pure dominance, from the possibly more deserving hands of Fisher & Eisenhauer, and their spectacular work on Shuffle Along.



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