Final Tony Predictions: Best Musical — Will ‘Kimberly Akimbo’ Keep Mariah Carey From Becoming a Tony Winner?

Variety Awards Circuit section is the home for all awards news and related content throughout the year, featuring the following: the official predictions for the upcoming Oscars, Emmys, Grammys and Tony Awards ceremonies, curated by Variety senior awards editor Clayton Davis. The prediction pages reflect the current standings in the race and do not reflect personal preferences for any individual contender. As other formal (and informal) polls suggest, competitions are fluid and subject to change based on buzz and events. Predictions are updated every Thursday.

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UPDATED: June 8, 2023

2023 Tony Predictions:
Best Musical

J Harrison Ghee Some Like it Hot
J. Harrison Ghee in SOME LIKE IT HOT. Photo credit: Marc J. Franklin

Weekly Commentary: As far back as the fall, Broadway insiders were guessing that the intimate, funny-sad musical “Kimberly Akimbo” would be the show to take home the evening’s top Tony Award. Fueling that prediction was the success of the show’s Off Broadway premiere, which earned critical raves last year and won prizes from the New York Drama Critics Circle, the Drama Desks, the Outer Critics and the Lortels. The praise kept coming when the show opened on Broadway in November.

Now that it’s Tony time, the main competition for “Kimberly Akimbo” has proven to be “Some Like It Hot,” a splashier, larger-scale offering that retells the classic movie with a more contemporary understanding of gender and race. With a well-known title and slick, razzle-dazzle staging, it’s a show that looks like a more obvious draw around the country, which has gotten the attention of some of the industry’s road presenters. “Shucked,” the knowingly silly musical comedy with a country-inflected score, also has its adherents and stands out as the unexpectedly entertaining surprise of the season. It, too, seems a more obvious crowdpleaser for the road.

Despite all that, “Kimberly Akimbo” still looks like the one to beat: It’s the show most often cited by the voters we polled.

Gordon Cox’s Picks
Will win: “Kimberly Akimbo”
Could win: “Some Like It Hot”
Should win: “Kimberly Akimbo”
Should Have Been Nominated: “KPOP”

Clayton Davis’ Picks
Will win: “Kimberly Akimbo”
Could win: “Some Like It Hot”

Read: Variety’s Awards Circuit for the latest Tony Awards predictions in all categories.

The 76th Annual Tony Awards are scheduled for June 11, 2023, at the United Palace in New York City. It will air on CBS and Paramount+ and produced by Ricky Kirshner and Glenn Weiss, with the latter also serving as the director.

And the Nominees Are:

  1. Kimberly Akimbo” (Booth Theatre)
    Produced by David Stone, Atlantic Theater Company, James L. Nederlander, LaChanze, John Gore, Patrick Catullo and Aaron Glick

  2. Some Like It Hot” (Shubert Theatre)
    Produced by The Shubert Organization (Robert E. Wankel: Chairman and CEO; Elliot Greene: Chief Operating Officer; Charles Flateman: Executive Vice President) and Neil Meron; Co-produced by MGM on Stage, Roy Furman, Robert Greenblatt, James L. Nederlander, Kenny Leon, Hunter Arnold, John Gore Organization, The Dalgleish Library Company Group, Sheboygan Conservatory Partners, Ambassador Theatre Group Productions, Bob Boyett, Cue to Cue Productions, Janet and Marvin Rosen, The Araca Group, Concord Theatricals, Marc Howard, Independent Presenters Network, Juanita Jordan, Jujamcyn Theaters, Henry R. Muñoz, III, Ostar and Mariah Carey

  3. Shucked” (Nederlander Theatre)
    Produced by Mike Bosner, Jason Owen, AEG Presents/Jay Marciano/Gary Gersh, Jeffrey A. Sine, Richard Smith, Silvia Schmid, Bob Boyett, Jeremiah J. Harris, James L. Nederlander, EST/Emily Tisch, Sony Music Entertainment, DudaAllen, David W. Busch, Karen Fairchild, HoriPro, Inc., Gordon-Helfner, John Gore Organization, Madison Wells Live, S&Co., Terry Schnuck, Jimi Westbrook and ZKM Media; Produced by Special Arrangement with Opry Entertainment

  4. & Juliet” (Stephen Sondheim Theatre)
    Produced by Max Martin & Tim Headington, Theresa Steele Page, Jenny Petersson, Martin Dodd, Eva Price, Lukasz Gottwald,, Independent Presenters Network, Jack Lane, Library Company, Shellback, Shivhans Pictures, Sing Out, Louise!, Kim Szarzynski, Taylor/Riegler, Tenenbaum/Keyes, Barry Weiss and John Gore Organization

  5. New York, New York” (St. James Theatre)
    Produced by Sonia Friedman Productions, Tom Kirdahy, Wendy Federman & Heni Koenigsberg, Crossroads Live, Playing Field, Stephanie P. McClelland, Ambassador Theatre Group, Waiting in the Wings Productions, Colin Callender, Gilbert and DeeDee Garcia/Sue Vaccaro, Peter May, Rileyfan, Silverhopkins+/Hunter Johnson, Jay Alix & Una Jackman, Eric Passmore, Thomas Swayne, Elliott Cornelious/SunnySpot Productions, Santino DeAngelo/Cynthia Tong, Craig Balsam, Richard Batchelder, Concord Theatricals, Creative Partners Productions, Marguerite Hoffman, Jessica R. Jenen, John Gore Organization, MGM on Stage, James L. Nederlander, Linda B. Rubin, Seriff Productions, Shivhans Pictures, on Broadway, AGL Productions/Brad Blume, Hunter Arnold/Red Mountain Theatre, Cue to Cue Productions/Roy Putrino, Jamie deRoy/Janet and Marvin Rosen, Edgewood/Silva Theatrical Group, Dale Franzen/Henry R. Muñoz, III, Deborah Green/Chris Mattsson, Branden Grimmett/DMQR Productions, Christen James/Gregory Carroll, NETworks Presentations/Lamar Richardson and Ron Simons/Adam Zell; Produced in association with MGM on Stage and Chartoff-Winkler; Executive Director for Sonia Friedman Productions: Diane Benjamin

All Eligible Shows (Unranked)

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About the Tony Awards

The Antoinette Perry Award for Excellence in Broadway Theatre, better known as the Tony Awards, is given out annually by the American Theatre Wing and The Broadway League, recognizing excellence in live Broadway theatre. The ceremony, held annually in New York City, was founded by theatre producer and director Brock Pemberton and is named after Antoinette “Tony” Perry, an actress, producer and theatre director who was co-founder of the American Theatre Wing.

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