Books

Predictions: What Will Win the Best Book and Score Tony Awards in 2022?

The Tony Awards will be announced on Sunday, June 12. Our critics have already predicted the winners of the acting and directing categories — but who will win Best Book and Best Score? You can read their predictions below:

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Jacquel Spivey leads the Broadway cast of A Strange Loop.
(© Marc J. Franklin)

Best Book of a Musical

THE NOMINEES:
Conor McPherson, Girl From the North Country
Lynn Nottage, MJ
Billy Crystal, Lowell Ganz, and Babaloo Mandell, Mr. Saturday Night
Christina Anderson, Craig Lucas & Larry Kirwan, Paradise Square
Michael R. Jackson, A Strange Loop

Hayley Levitt:
Will win: Michael R. Jackson
Should win: Michael R. Jackson

The nice Pulitzer Prize people seemed to enjoy A Strange Loop, and I have a hunch the Tony folks will reach the same verdict. Not only does Jackson broach topics never seen before within the confines of a musical, but he does so with just the right amount of restraint. It keeps his lofty concept contained to a tight one-act show rather than creating a runaway behemoth (like a few of the other books on this list).

Zachary Stewart:
Will win: Michael R. Jackson
Should win: Michael R. Jackson

June 12 will be a big night for Michael R. Jackson and A Strange Loop, and this will be just one of the awards that musical wins. Jackson has written a book that is so raw, honest, and on a Broadway stage that I cannot see how he doesn’t win this award.

David Gordon:
Will win: Michael R. Jackson
Should win: Michael R. Jackson

In a season rich with mediocre scripts, Michael R. Jackson’s book for A Strange Loop stands out for being brave, smart, and audacious. More than anything else, though, it makes a good musical.

Pete Hempstead:
Will win: Michael R. Jackson
Should win: Michael R. Jackson

No storytelling on Broadway right now achieves the raw honesty and gut-punching impact of A Strange Loop. Is that what makes a good book? Not necessarily. But the writing also shows craft in a work that evolves, grows, and deepens as we watch. Artistry like this ought to be recognized — and it will be.


Could Lucy Six composers Lucy Moss and Toby Marlow win the Tony for Best Score?
(© Tricia Baron)

Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) Written for the Theater

THE NOMINEES:
Tom Kitt and Michael Korie, Flying Over Sunset
Jason Robert Brown and Amanda Green, Mr. Saturday Night
Jason Howland, Nathan Tysen, and Masi Asare, Paradise Square
Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss, Six
Michael R. Jackson, A Strange Loop

Hayley Levitt:
Will win: Michael R. Jackson
Should win: Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss

A Strange Loop has the benefit of fresh buzz, but let’s all remember which album got us through the pandemic.

Zachary Stewart:
Will win: Michael R. Jackson
Should win: Michael R. Jackson

A Strange Loop composer Michael R. Jackson faces real competition here in the form of Toby Marlow and Lucy’s Moss’s Six, which features a radio-ready score and has already triumphed on stages across the globe (even on the high seas). I still predict that Jackson will win with a hummable score that sounds like it could have been on a Broadway stage in the 1970s (until you pay attention to the lyrics).

David Gordon:
Will win: Michael R. Jackson
Should win: Michael R. Jackson

Conceivably, this is the only category where Six could win, but it won’t.

Pete Hempstead:
Will win: Michael R. Jackson
Should win: Tom Kitt and Michael Korie

A Strange Loop‘s Michael R. Jackson is the favorite to win here, but Flying Over Sunsetwhich sadly not enough people saw, and Paradise Squarestood out for me as more satisfyingly new, with the edge going to Sunset for its eclectic rhythms and occasional echoes of Sondheim. It was one of the season’s underrated gems, and for the originality of its music and the beautiful strangeness of its lyrics, Tom Kitt and Michael Korie would get my vote.

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