Special Reports

What Shows Will Win the Best Musical, Play, and Revival Tonys in 2024?

Our critics offer their predictions for Sunday’s Tony Awards.

The winners of the 2024 Tony Awards will be revealed in a televised ceremony this Sunday, June 16. After offering their predictions in the acting and creative categories, our critics have some thoughts about the likely winners of the four big show categories: Best Musical, Best Play, Best Revival of a Musical, and Best Revival of a Play.

Michael Esper, Ella Beatty, Natalie Gold, Alyssa Emily Marvin, Corey Stoll, and Sarah Paulson star in Appropriate on Broadway.
(© Joan Marcus)

Best Revival of a Play
THE NOMINEES
Appropriate
An Enemy of the People
Purlie Victorious

David Gordon
Will Win: Appropriate
Should Win: Purlie Victorious

Purlie felt like a real discovery to me, and that’s amazing considering the play is 60 years old. Appropriate has the momentum, though, and I don’t begrudge it. Adding the moniker “Tony Award winner” to Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’s name will give me hope for the future of this medium.

Zachary Stewart
Will Win: Appropriate
Should Win: Appropriate

Appropriate is a perfect fulfillment of the mission of Second Stage Theater, which is to give a second chance to relatively new American plays. Misunderstood in its 2014 off-Broadway run, Appropriate is now a Broadway hit — the kind that makes you gasp, wince, and laugh. It seems only appropriate that it should win this category.

Pete Hempstead
Will Win: Appropriate
Should Win: Appropriate

All three plays are strong contenders in my book. I was excited that Enemy had Broadway audiences talking about an Ibsen play that I find superior of A Doll’s House, and Purlie brought a modern classic back to the stage in a near-perfect production. But Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’s Appropriate has been given a new, thrilling urgency by Lila Neugebauer and her team. It’s a play of our time that we’re now finally understanding.

7 MERRILY WE ROLL ALONG 1074 PJZEDIT v001
Daniel Radcliffe, Jonathan Groff, Reg Rogers, and Krystal Joy Brown star in the Broadway revival of Merrily We Roll Along.
(© Matthew Murphy)

Best Revival of a Musical
Cabaret
Gutenberg! The Musical!
Merrily We Roll Along
The Who’s Tommy

David Gordon
Will Win: Merrily We Roll Along
Should Win: Merrily We Roll Along

Tommy didn’t get any other nominations. Gutenberg! is here only as an eff you to The Wiz. The only person who liked Cabaret is my wife. Merrily is the best revival of the season, period. It’s the only show that should be on this list.

Zachary Stewart
Will Win: Merrily We Roll Along
Should Win: Merrily We Roll Along

The outcome of this category has been one of the few sure things this season, and it was confirmed the night Cabaret opened to an ice bucket of reviews.

Pete Hempstead
Will Win: Merrily We Roll Along
Should Win: Merrily We Roll Along

Merrily is a shoo-in in this category. The other three pale in comparison. Done deal here.

Tom Pecinka and Sarah Pidgeon star in Stereophonic on Broadway.
(© Julieta Cervantes)

Best Play
Jaja’s African Hair Braiding
Mary Jane
Mother Play
Prayer for the French Republic
Stereophonic

David Gordon
Will Win: Stereophonic
Should Win: Stereophonic

No contest.

Zachary Stewart
Will Win: Stereophonic
Should Win: Stereophonic

It’s ambitious. It’s full of music (but is not a musical). It’s a commercial run. And it strokes that sweet spot of Boomer nostalgia. Looks like a winner to me.

Pete Hempstead
Will Win: Stereophonic
Should Win: Stereophonic

All the plays on this list have something to recommend them. Jaja was my second favorite here, but Stereophonic is the giant among this year’s plays, and it will win.

Maleah Joi Moon (center) leads the Broadway cast of Hell’s Kitchen.
(© Marc J Franklin)

Best Musical
Hell’s Kitchen
Illinoise
The Outsiders
Suffs
Water for Elephants

David Gordon
Will Win: Hell’s Kitchen
Should Win: Hell’s Kitchen

Hell’s Kitchen is what you think of when you imagine a Broadway musical: engrossing story, great songs, amazing performances, and production numbers that just explode off the stage. I’m glad Suffs is here — they worked hard to fix that show, and it’s not just a viable piece, but it’s extremely moving. The Outsiders and Water for Elephants felt like English class assignments. I loved Illinoise, but Hell’s Kitchen is the whole package.

Zachary Stewart
Will Win: Water for Elephants
Should Win: Water for Elephants

Hell’s Kitchen is one of the best jukebox musicals to emerge on Broadway in the last decade, but I still have a hard time imagining the voters giving this award to a musical made from a collection of preexisting pop songs. The last time they did (discounting the strange pandemic year, when only jukeboxes were nominated) was in 2006 for Jersey Boys. Coincidentally, the book writer of that show, Rick Elice, is also the writer of Water for Elephants, which is absolutely the best new musical on Broadway this season.

Pete Hempstead
Will Win: Hell’s Kitchen
Should Win: Hell’s Kitchen

The only show on this list that I would happily see again is Hell’s Kitchen, and I’ve already seen it twice. Water for Elephants comes close. It’s a spectacle that kept my eyes entertained, but not so much my ears. Hell’s Kitchen is a jukebox musical, but it’s a strong one — not to mention incredibly moving. Plus, it’s very New York. It’s got the fire to win.

Featured In This Story

Merrily We Roll Along

Final performance: July 7, 2024

Appropriate

Final performance: June 30, 2024

Stereophonic

Final performance: January 5, 2025

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