On May 3, the American Theatre Wing and the Broadway League announced the 2016 Tony Award nominees. They’ll crown the winners—Broadway’s best plays, musicals, performers and behind-the-scenes creative teams—on June 12 at the Beacon Theatre. To no one’s surprise, Hamilton leads the pack with a record-breaking 16 nominations, followed by Shuffle Along, Or the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed with 10 and She Loves Me with eight.
Read on for details of the contenders, and then see the shows for yourself. (Shows whose titles are not linked have finished their Broadway runs.)
Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o stars in Nigerian-American playwright Danai Gurira’s devastating lamentation on the high price of war.
French playwright Florian Zeller’s The Father centers on 80-year-old Andre, whose vision of the world has been warped by dementia. Frank Langella (Frost/Nixon) stars.
Pulitzer Prize finalist (for Sons of the Prophet) Stephen Karam wrote this drama, in which one family’s long-standing resentments, secrets and grudges pour forth over the course of one Thanksgiving dinner.
King Charles III
Last year’s Olivier Award winner for Best New Play is a "future history play" that imagines life with King Charles III many years from now.
Steve Martin (yes, that Steve Martin) and Edie Brickell brought their banjo and folk songwriting skills to the fore in crafting this show, which is based on real events and set against the backdrop of the American South in the 1920s and ’40s.
This multilayered hip-hop musical about founding father Alexander Hamilton won the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for drama and has achieved full-fledged phenomenon status. Lin-Manuel Miranda, who wrote the music, book and lyrics, plays the title character who goes from orphan child to war hero to political mastermind.
School of Rock
Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Broadway version of the popular Jack Black movie features kids (some of whom attend actual School of Rock afterschool music programs) chosen from casting calls all over the country.
Shuffle Along, Or the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed
Back in 1921, Shuffle Along was a debt-saddled, all-black revue that made its way to Broadway and managed to reverse its fortunes, becoming a hit and launching the career of a young Josephine Baker. This mixes the original production with a behind-the-scenes look at how it all happened.
Based on a 2007 movie of the same name, Waitress follows the story of a put-upon Southern server (Tony winner Jessie Mueller) with a special gift for making pies; the music is courtesy of Sara Bareilles. In a fun twist, you can smell the scent of pie wafting through the theater.
Best Revival of a Play
Una (Michelle Williams) confronts a predator (Jeff Daniels) who molested her when she was a young girl.
Arthur Miller’s 1953 anti-McCarthyism play dramatizes the Salem witch trials, during which pervasive fear-mongering ensured no one was safe from suspicion in a small Massachusetts town.
Long Day’s Journey Into Night
Members of the Tyrone family, highlighted by the drug-addicted matriarch (Jessica Lange), struggle with themselves, one another and the world around them.
Starring Tony winner Andrea Martin (Pippin) and Campbell Scott (The Amazing Spider-Man), this comedy follows a director trying his best to control a group of eccentric stage actors.
A View from the Bridge
It’s an Arthur Miller kind of year. This one is about a Brooklyn longshoreman who’s obsessed with his 17-year-old niece.
Best Revival of a Musical
The Color Purple
This iteration of Alice Walker’s Pulitzer Prize–winning 1982 novel features a star-studded ensemble cast—including Jennifer Hudson—and a score with a rich array of music from the jazz era.
Fiddler on the Roof
The story of Tevye and his struggle to maintain his Jewish customs in a changing world is one of Broadway’s best-known musicals. This revival is the fifth time the show has played the Great White Way.
She Loves Me
Based on the classic 1940 romantic comedy The Shop Around the Corner (which also inspired the film You’ve Got Mail), this musical follows two sparring coworkers who have no idea they’re falling in love via anonymous letters.
Duncan Sheik’s rock music and Steven Sater’s book and lyrics tell the story—from Franz Wedekind’s 19th-century German drama—of teenagers grappling with their emerging sexuality.
Best Direction of a Play
Best Direction of a Musical
Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play
Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play
Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical
School of Rock
Recommended for kids ages 8 and up, this Broadway version of the popular Jack Black movie stars real-life kids (some who attend the actual School of Rock) who were chosen from casting calls all over the country. The musical is produced by Andrew Lloyd Webber, who also composed 14 new songs for the show's score.