Which directors, composers and book authors will receive a Tony Nod in 2022?

Broadway is eagerly awaiting the announcement of the 2022 Tony Awards nominations. Originally scheduled to be released this week, the announcement has been delayed to Monday, May 9, to give nominators ample time to view all eligible productions. But that won’t stop our haters from ringing in to see who will get a nod next week. Here are our critics’ predictions for the categories of Best Direction of a Play, Best Direction of a Musical, Best Choreography, Best Original Score, and Best Book of a Musical:

Susan Stroman directed POTUSa farce from the White House to Broadway.
(©Paul Kolnik)

Best Direction of a Play

David Gordon:

Mark Brokawa, How I learned to drive
Camille A. Brown, For girls of color…
Scott Ellis, take me out
Sam Mendes, The Lehman Trilogy
Anna D. Shapiro, Minutes

The only one I’m completely sure of in this category is the likely eventual winner, Sam Mendes. I’m semi-certain about Anna D. Shapiro and Camille A. Brown, for similar reasons: these three directors guided their actors to flawless ensemble work. The remaining slots can go to anyone, and I’d love to see Brokaw and Ellis take them for their edge productions from your seat of How I learned to drive and take me out.

Zachary Stewart:

Tina Satter, Is it a bedroom?
Sam Mendes, The Lehman Trilogy
Susan Stroman, POTUS
Camille A. Brown, For girls of color…
Kate Whoriskey, Clyde’s

There was a large class of excellent, resourceful, and visionary directors on Broadway this year, so it’s hard to predict this category. Tina Satter set the tone for the season, Kate Whoriskey continued with an energetic and magical staging of Clyde’s, and veteran director Susan Stroman closed it with a hilarious take on an average play. It could go to anyone.


Jaquel Spivey (center) leads the cast of A strange loop on Broadway.
(© Marc J. Franklin)

Best Direction of a Musical

David Gordon: Stephen Bracket, A strange loop
Marianne Elliott, Company
Michael Longhurst, Caroline or Change
Conor McPherson, North country girl
Jerry Zaks, The music man

For three-quarters of the season, Elliott nearly burned the Tony for his thunderous, gender-swapped production of Companybut she now has real competition from Brackett and A strange loop. Perennial favorite Zaks will sneak in for The music man instead of Mrs. Doubtfirethough both productions were pretty lazy, and Longhurst and McPherson will round it all out.

Zachary Stewart:

Lucy Moss and Jamie Armitage Six
Stephen Bracket, A strange loop
Marianne Elliott, Company
Michael Mayer, funny girl
Christopher Wheeldon, GM

All of these lounges are open. All of these shows are extremely enjoyable to watch. It’s going to be a real competition, but I suspect Brackett will take it in photo-finish.


Myles Frost directs the cast of GM on Broadway.
(© Matthew Murphy)

Best Choreography

David Gordon:

Camille A. Brown, For girls of color…
Warren Carlyle, The music man
Carrie-Anne Ingrouille, Six
Bill T. Jones, Garrett Coleman and Jason Oremus, Paradise Square
Christopher Wheeldon, Richmond Talauega and Anthony Talauega, GM

These are the five most danced shows of the season, although I would like a Lorin Latarro spoiler for the cooking number in Mrs. Doubtfire.

Zachary Stewart:

Christopher Wheeldon, Richmond Talauega and Anthony Talauega, GM
Bill T. Jones, Garrett Coleman and Jason Oremus, Paradise Square
Carrie-Anne Ingrouille, Six
Raja Plume Kelly, A strange loop
Warren Carlyle, The music man

Broadway’s best dance is in GMwith Paradise Square comes second. Since both of these shows involve multiple moving parts (e.g., GM has two specialists in the Michael Jackson movement), it will be interesting to see who is named in these nominations. But I think the contest is between these two, with the advantage going to GM.


Is the radio-ready score of Six carry it to the finish line?
(© Joan Marcus)

Best Original Score

David Gordon:

Jason Robert Brown and Amanda Green, Mr Saturday night
Michael R. Jackson, A strange loop Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss Six
Nick Powell, The Lehman Trilogy

Last year, the High Score category was all games, but this year only one game will sneak in: The Lehman Trilogy, which featured live piano accompaniment throughout the three-hour production. The race, as Zach describes it below, is between A strange loop and Six, but. I would add Joe DiPietro and David Bryan’s score for Diana the Musicalif only because I have been quoting some of these insane words for months and it gives me great joy.

Zachary Stewart:

Tom Kitt and Michael Korie, fly at sunset
Jason Robert Brown and Amanda Green, Mr Saturday night
Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss Six
Michael R. Jackson, A strange loop

I expect there will be a lot of frustration Six fans on the morning of June 13, and this category may well be added to it when A strange loop win another trophy. That said, the success of Six is so much about its endlessly streamable cast record. The radio-ready score seems to portend a second marriage between Broadway and popular music after a long separation over the past half-century. Tony voters may want to encourage this process by giving a victory to Six.


Michael R.Jackson A strange loop will almost certainly be nominated for Best Book and is a strong contender to win.
(© Marc J. Franklin)

Best Book of a Musical

David Gordon:

Billy Crystal, Lowell Ganz and Babaloo Mandel, Mr Saturday night
Michael R. Jackson, A strange loop
Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss Six
Conor McPherson, North country girl
Lynn Note, GM

Crystal and company wrote the funniest piece of the season, and there just so happens to be songs. But Jackson’s book has the most depth, and everyone knows it.

Zachary Stewart:

Michael R. Jackson, A strange loop
Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss Six
Conor McPherson, North country girl
Lynn Note, GM
Billy Crystal, Lowell Ganz and Babaloo Mandel, Mr Saturday night

It will almost certainly be another victory for Michael R. Jackson, who wrote a musical he thought could never be produced on Broadway…and then brought it to Broadway. Voters will want to reward this audacity. Honorable mentions go to Lynn Nottage for delivering a decent book within the bounds of a field-sponsored bio-musical, and Conor McPherson for writing a good piece around Bob Dylan songs.

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