AT LAST: My favorite awards show of the year, the Tonys, is upon us tonight. It’s obviously exciting this year because so many people love Hamilton and are dying to see what the cast will perform from it — my personal selection would be “The Room Where It Happens,” but Lin-Manuel Miranda neglected to ask me — but honestly, every year it’s so thrilling to see snippets of all the wonderful productions gracing Broadway. And the community seems so warm and appreciative and admiring of one another. They’ve found the right balance of honoring theatre while also lovingly skewering it, and I hope this year’s telecast continues that.
Here are many of the nominees — including the General himself, Chris Jackson, in a natty suit — atop the Empire State Building.
Let us begin speculating on who might win or lose in each category. The New York Times polled Tony voters anonymously and has its picks, but I won’t link to that, because if they’re right then it’s REAL SPOILERY. Besides, it’s more fun to reason it out. My picks are Leslie Odom Jr, Daveed Diggs (because his charisma is such a shot in the arm; Chris Jackson brings a no less essential sense of wisdom and strength and dignity to George Washington, but it’s easy to forget how hard that is to do because it’s not as flashy), Cynthia Erivo, and Renee Elise Goldsberry. And for plays, I think it’s a horse race between Jessica Lange and Lupita Nyong’o. Here is the full list of nominees, for further speculation.
And, just for kicks, a drinking game. Please feel free to add your own rules in the comments, and then play along tonight; the Tonys air live at 8 p.m. Eastern on CBS. Opposite Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals. NOBODY IN TV UNDERSTANDS MY NEEDS.
DRINK: If James Corden opens with a musical number
GULP: If James Corden opens with a musical number in which he stars in or sings from all the nominated shows
CHUG: If James Corden gets Neil Patrick Harris — or any other previous Tonys host, like Hugh Jackman — to appear in his opening musical number.
DRINK: If James Corden comes out dressed as King George III.
GULP: If anyone else comes out dressed as King George III.
CHUG: If two or more of the four King George IIIs come out dressed as King George III.
DRINK: If anyone thanks the cast
GULP: If anyone thanks “my” cast
CHUG: If anyone forgets to thank anyone else in their show
DRINK: If anyone makes a “room where it happens” joke, a “What’d I Miss” joke, or a “throwing away your shot” joke
GULP: If anyone makes a “throwing away your shot” joke while doing an actual shot; if anyone makes a “You are the WORST, Burr” joke; if anyone makes a “Show Me How To Say No To This” joke
CHUG: If anyone says the name Theodosia; if Corden enters to shouts of, “HERE COMES THE GENERAL.”
DRINK: If a nominated actor/actress who is NOT expected to win makes an exaggerated, jokey face — competitive, enraged, etc. — when their name is read
GULP: If a losing actor/actress smiles VERY WIDELY and blows a kiss and mouths “I LOVE YOU” when acknowledged by the winner, whom she is widely suspected to dislike (known as Pulling A Chenoweth, from when she lost to Idina Menzel for Wicked)
CHUG: If a losing actor/actress lets slip a moment of genuine disappointment
DRINK: If anyone on Broadway but not in Hamilton makes a Hamilton reference
GULP: If anyone makes a reference linking Hamilton to the current election cycle
CHUG: If Lin-Manuel Miranda agrees to run for president
DRINK: If there is a TelePrompTer malfunction or some scripted patter that falls terribly flat
GULP: If the actors appear to be making fun of the scripted patter they’re reading off the TelePrompTer, even as they’re doing it
CHUG: If the presenters are clearly freelancing because their scripted patter was terrible
DRINK: If there is a joke about every guy on Broadway being gay (yes, this has happened before)
GULP: If there is a joke about every woman on Broadway being a total diva (ditto)
CHUG: If Kristen Chenoweth is involved in either of those jokes, with a bonus shot if she’s with Alan Cumming at the time (ditto again, I believe)
DRINK: If Daveed Diggs wears a color-blocked or otherwise unusual suit
GULP: If Idina Menzel (who in truth may not be going, but roll with me) shows up in a Zac Posen dress that doesn’t quite fit right
CHUG: If the snubbed (and apparently mad about it) Jennifer Hudson arrives in the biggest ball gown imaginable
DRINK: If someone makes fun of the Hamilton ticket lines
GULP: If someone makes fun of the Hamilton ticket prices
CHUG: If someone makes fun of the Hamilton ticket lines or prices, but in a way that’s kind of uncomfortable and suggests they would sell their own mothers to be in a show that gets that much attention
DRINK: If anyone gets played offstage
GULP: If anyone gets played offstage in the first hour of the broadcast
CHUG: If anyone gets played offstage and actually does go quietly into the night
DRINK: If Lin-Manuel Miranda loses any of his categories
GULP: If anyone not in Hamilton wins Best Supporting Actor
CHUG: If Hamilton does not win Best Musical