Meet 6 Tony Award Front Runners!

We are a little over a month away from Tony Award nominations, so let’s introduce you to some of the shows people are predicting to be the stars of the awards!

The Annual Tony Awards will be broadcast live from NYC on Sunday, June 11th, 2023, on the CBS Television Network. The eligibility cut-off date to honor shows from the 2022-2023 season is Thursday, April 27th, 2023. On Tuesday, May 2nd, 2023, the Tony Award nominations will be announced.

Sweeney Todd

The new revival of Sweeny Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, starring Josh Groban and Annaleigh Ashford, opened on March 26th. The show is directed by Thomas Kail, featuring choreography by Steven Hoggett and lighting design from Tony Award winner Natasha Katz. Jordan Fisher stars as the young sailor, Anthony, and Maria Bilbao stars as the lovely Johanna.

The original Broadway show, which debuted in 1979, won eight Tony Awards in the year 1980, which included Best Musical. It has gone on to be revived in 1989 and 2005, as well as an Off-Broadway revival in 2017. In 2007, Tim Burton directed a film adaptation starring Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter.

The show is based on Christopher Bond’s play, and the musical follows Sweeney Todd, a revengeful barber who seeks to murder a corrupt judge who wrongly imprisoned him many years ago. With the help of Mrs. Lovett, a pie shop owner, they find that he can dispose of his murderous desires by disguising the evidence through Mrs. Lovett’s meat pies.

Sam Eckmann and David Buchanan believe for the Musical Revival category Sweeney Todd and Into the Woods will receive coveted nominations, including Annaleigh Ashford for Best Actress, Best Revival of a Musical, Josh Groban for Best Actor, and more.

Kimberly Akimbo

Opened on November 10th, 2022, Kimberly Akimbo is about Kim, a regular teen from New Jersey who happens to look like a 72-year-old lady. While one may expect her looks may be at the top of her problems, that is the least of her worries as she is forced to juggle family life, borderline personalities, and even possible felonies. Kim is determined to find happiness in a world that may not be on her side.

Starring Tony Award Winner Victoria Clark as Kimberly and Justin Cooley in his Broadway debut. The show is based on David Lindsay-Abaire’s play of the same name, and he is credited as the creator of the book and the lyrics. The music is by Tony Award-winning Jeanine Tesori, choreography by Danny Mefford, and direction by Jessica Stone.

Buchanan and Eckmann predict Kimberly Akimbo will receive nominations for Best Musical Prize, with Victoria Clark receiving a nomination in the Best Actress category, a nomination for Best Direction, and Bonnie Milligan receiving a nomination for Best Featured Actress. You can start listening to the soundtrack to prepare for their possible presentation at the Tony’s.

& Juliet

On November 17th, 2022 & Juliet opened on Broadway and was a highly anticipated Broadway premiere after becoming an Olivier Award-winning original musical. The show puts a fun spin on the play we all know and love, Romeo and Juliet with the question asked: “what would happen next if Juliet didn’t end it all over Romeo?”

The story is told through iconic pop hits such as “Since U Been Gone,” “Roar,” “Baby One More Time,” “Domino,” and more. You will find all of the songs in the musical are written/produced by Max Martin. The book is brought to us by the Emmy Award-winning David West Read, directed by Luke Sheppard, and choreographed by Jennifer Weber.

The musical follows William Shakespeare and Anne Hathaway as they rewrite the ending of his play. Anne proposes a new ending in which Juliet doesn’t die and moves to Paris with her friends to discover a new world after grief.

According to Michael Calabrese’s predictions, & Juliet is predicted to be a high contender in the Best Musical category and Lorna Courtney is considered eligible in the category of Best Performance by an Actress in Leading Role in a Musical category.

Prima Facie

Prima Facie is a solo drama starring Jodie Comer and follows Comer’s character, Tessa, who is an attorney in the UK whose view on the legal system changes after she is sexually assaulted. Before her assault, she had established herself as an attorney who defended men accused of sex crimes.

The play originally premiered on Broadway at the Harold Pinter Theatre on April 15th, 2022, and closed on June 18th, 2022, but Comer is back reprising her role in the Broadway Production. With Suzie Miller as the playwright, direction from Justin Martin, costume/set design from Miriam Buether, and lighting design from Natasha Chivers, the play is predicted to be one of the top nominated shows and predicted to be nominated for Best Play.

Comer has already made her way through the awards by winning the 2022 Evening Standard Best Actress Award for her performance, and Eckmann and Buchanan have no doubt Comer will be nominated for Lead Actress in a Play. Broadway insiders believe the two plays standing out in the nominations are going to be Prima Facie and Leopoldstadt.

Summer, 1976

The show is set to open at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre on April 4th, 2023, and tells the story of an unlikely friendship that develops between Diana, played by Laura Linney, and Alice, played by Jessica Hecht. These two young Ohio women “navigate motherhood, ambition, and intimacy, and help each other discover their own independence.”

Eckman and Buchanan are predicting Laura Linney and Jessica Hecht will have a potential vote split for Lead Actress in a Play. Creative credits include David Auburn as the playwright, Daniel Sullivan as director, John Lee Beatty as the scenic designer, and Linda Cho as the costume designer.

Summer, 1976 is currently eligible for Best Play at the 2023 Tony Awards. With only two leading ladies and two understudies, there is a big chance there will be a toss-up in votes for Leading Actress between Linney and Alice.


On January 31st, 2023, the Tony Awards Eligibility for the year – Part 1 came out, and Leopoldstadt was in the discussion during this round. Set in Vienna during the last days of 1899, it follows an extended family as they head into the 20th Century. There are over four generations of families that live in a single apartment in Vienna over a span of fifty-six years starting on Christmas Day in 1899.

Opening on Broadway on October 5th, 2022, the cast includes Jesse Aaronson, who departed from the show on March 12th, 2023, Besty Aidem, Jenna Augen, Corey Brill, and Daniel Cantor. The playwright is Tom Stoppard, with direction from Patrick Marber, scenic design from Richard Hudson, and lighting design from Neil Austin.

Leopoldstadt is currently Sam Eckmann and David Buchanan’s front-runner for Best Play nomination, and this would give Tom Stoppard a fifth win in the Best Play category, more than any other playwright in history. They also are looking at someone from the cast to possibly be nominated for Best Featured Actor.

About the Author

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Izzy Oropeza

Izzy Oropeza is a Junior at Penn State University majoring in advertising/public relations with a minor in theatre. She is an intern for AfterBuzzTV and Heal Squad with Maria Menounos and she hopes to pursue a career in the entertainment industry, whether on the screen or behind the scenes.