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2024 Tony Awards Betting Odds, Picks & Predictions | Broadway

2024 Tonys Betting Odds & Picks

by Trash Sandwiches

While most of the “award season hype” has already come and gone, with everyone’s annual Oscars-nominated movie binge or speculation following what Taylor Swift was really teasing during her Grammy acceptance speech, in my opinion, the best has yet to come!

That’s right, I’m talking about the fourth and often-forgotten letter in the EGOT acronym, the Tony Awards, honoring the best Broadway musicals and plays from the past year. The 77th Annual Tony Awards will be broadcast live on Sunday, June 16, but these awards have already entered the record books based on nominations alone!

Don’t worry if you haven’t been in the Tonys trenches yet this year because I dug deep to get you ready for the biggest night on Broadway, including which shows to bet on taking home the hardware for the six main awards.

Disclaimer:  I have not seen any of this year’s nominees because I’m broke and don’t live in New York. However, I have conducted extensive research via video clips, reviews, podcasts and the all-knowing Broadway Reddit forums!

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2024 Tonys Betting Odds & Picks

(Odds courtesy of BetUS)

2024 Tony Awards Primer

Before we get into who will win the night’s biggest awards, let’s review the Tonys as a whole and which shows are the ones to watch at this year’s ceremony.

The Tony Awards are the most prestigious form of recognition for a Broadway show; there are 26 categories, and most of the categories are awarded separately for musicals and plays. In addition to the overall “Bests” and lead and featured performance awards, there are also ones for production aspects like choreography or orchestrations and technical awards in categories like costumes, scenic design, lighting and sound.

Original shows and revivals alike are eligible for all categories other than the big two, but there are also revival-specific awards for the Best Play and Best Musical, which will not be featured here but should be ones to watch during the awards ceremony year.

Now, let’s talk more about this year’s interesting mix of nominees! I’ll give more information about the shows as we get into the picks, but let’s start with some fun stats and bits to know for betting. Two shows have tied for the most nominations this year, with 13 noms each for the semi-autobiographical Alicia Keys jukebox musical “Hell’s Kitchen” and the “technically it’s a play with music, not a musical” show “Stereophonic.”

After breaking the record for the most nominations received by a play, “Stereophonic” is a clear frontrunner in many of the play categories. The record was previously 12 nominations, earned by “Slave Play” during the 2020 COVID-19 asterisk year, but this feels a little asterisk-y itself. The show walks a fine line between a play and a musical and two of their nods are for Best Original Score and Best Orchestrations, which are both typically awards for musicals. If they win the former of those two, it’ll be only the second time that a play won Best Original Score, with the first win also coming with a big 2020 asterisk (and your blogger’s fervent take that “The Lightning Thief” was absolutely snubbed).

In my opinion, however, the most exciting nomination record set by this year’s Tony class was among the Best Direction categories. Seven women got the nod, comprising four out of the five directors nominated for musicals and three of the five for plays. That completely shatters the previous record of four out of 11 nominees in 2022. While Best Direction will not be one of the categories featured below, the smart money is to bet on these talented women!

Without further ado (but with no promises to avoid future ado and ramblings), let’s get into the categories for which we can place our bets on the 2024 Tony Award winners!

Best Leading Actor in a Musical

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  • Jonathan Groff – “Merrily We Roll Along” (-300)
  • Eddie Redmayne – “Cabaret at the Kit Kat Club” (+500)
  • Brian d’Arcy James – “Days of Wine & Roses” (+600)
  • Brody Grant – “The Outsiders” (+600)
  • Dorian Harewood – “The Notebook” (+800)

The actors nominated for “Merrily We Roll Along” may be the closest we get to Broadway household name recognition, with Jonathan Groff up once again for Best Lead. Casuals may recognize him as King George from “Hamilton,” for which he was nominated as the Best Featured Actor, and theater nerds should know him from his previous nomination in this category, “Spring Awakening.” Even more of a household name is Groff’s castmate and fellow nominee in the Best Featured Actor category, Daniel Radcliffe of “Harry Potter” fame, who is also the clear frontrunner in his category.

Yes, there’s a chance that Eddie Redmayne or Brian d’Arcy James could pull out the upset. But there’s also a chance that we see a “Merrily” sweep with the third in their trio, Lindsay Mendez, also up for Best Featured Actress. Groff should probably already have a Tony, but I’d certainly bet on him taking this one.

Trash’s Pick: Jonathan Groff – “Merrily We Roll Along” (-300)

Best Leading Actress in a Musical

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  • Maleah Joi Moon – “Hell’s Kitchen” (+200)
  • Kelli O’Hara – “Days of Wine & Roses” (+225)
  • Eden Espinosa – “Lempicka” (+300)
  • Gayle Rankin – “Cabaret at the Kit Kat Club” (+300)
  • Maryann Plunkett – “The Notebook” (+350)

This award should go to Maleah Joi Moon and if you don’t know that name yet, you probably will in time. She’s the youngest nominee of the year, at only 21, and is starring in her first role on Broadway. She is playing Ali, the Alicia Keys stand-in, and the praise for her in that role is seemingly-universal . She deserves it and I think she’s the safest bet. Otherwise, it’s probably a toss up between everyone not named Eden Espinosa.

Trash’s Pick: Maleah Joi Moon – “Hell’s Kitchen” (+200)

Best Leading Actor in a Play

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  • Leslie Odom Jr. – “Purlie Victorious: A Non-Confederate Romp Through the Cotton Patch” (-150)
  • Jeremy Strong – “An Enemy of the People” (+300)
  • William Jackson Harper – “Uncle Vanya” (+500)
  • Liev Schreiber – “Doubt” (+500)
  • Michael Stuhlbarg – “Patriots” (+800)

You can take Leslie Odom Jr. out of “Hamilton,” but you can’t take the “Broadway period piece” out of Leslie Odom Jr. He’s the favorite in this category for his role as the titular Reverend “Purlie Victorious” Judson, a traveling preacher going back to save his hometown Georgia church. His performance has gotten a lot of positive reviews, as one would hope for a past Tony winner, and he could certainly win this.

But if you want to have a little fun with your betting, put your money on Jeremy Strong for his performance in “An Enemy of the People.” The show is about a Norwegian doctor who finds contamination in the town’s water source and refuses to be silenced, thus becoming the enemy of the people.

Now if you’ll humor me with a trip down Narrative Street, Strong is on record that he chose this role in “response to what [he] experienced from the New Yorker article.” The article in question was basically one making fun of him for taking his role on the satirical “Succession” too seriously, so now he is on Broadway in this role as the “Enemy of the People.” This is peak entertainment, and I, for one, love to bet on chaos.

Trash’s Pick: Jeremy Strong “An Enemy of the People” (+300)

Best Leading Actress in a Play

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  • Sarah Paulson – “Appropriate” (-300)
  • Rachel McAdams – “Mary Jane” (+550)
  • Jessica Lange – “Mother Play” (+600)
  • Amy Ryan – “Doubt” (+600)
  • Betsy Aidem – “Prayer for the French Republic” (+800)

Yes, three screen stars are the top three contenders for Leading Actress in a Play, and it really could be any one of them who takes it!

But this is a betting article, and if I’m putting my money on one of them, it’s Jessica Lange for “Mother Play: A Play in Five Evictions.” It’s a family drama that spans 40 years of a mother and her two children, played by Jim Parsons of “The Big Bang Theory” and past Tony winner Celia Keenan-Bolger. They are also both nominated for Best Featured Performances in a Play, but as one reviewer describes it, this is “a showcase for Lange.” It doesn’t hurt that Lange is also the only one of the three with a Tony already under her belt, and I expect her to add another.

Trash’s Pick: Jessica Lange “Mother Play” (+600)

Best Musical

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  • “Suffs” (-200)
  • “Hell’s Kitchen” (+250)
  • “Illinoise” (+350)
  • “Water for Elephants” (+600)
  • “The Outsiders” (+800)

“Suffs” is the frontrunner for Best Musical, and it’s probably the smart money; it’s a musical about the women’s suffrage movement co-produced by Hillary Clinton and Malala Yousafzai.

As one Redditor described the show, it “felt like… someone said ‘Hamilton did a thing, so you’re gonna do the same thing.’” And like “Hamilton,” it even stars Shaina Taub, who did the book, music and lyrics for the show. That’s no small feat, and I have to give Taub props, especially as a fellow Vermonter. Still, I will confess that I felt like the 2020s women’s politics were shoehorned into the 1920s facade; there are certainly a lot of comparisons to be made, but it seemed like everything was done in the most over-the-top way, where perhaps subtlety would have also done the trick.

Either way, Lin-Manuel Miranda swept the 2016 awards for Best Musical, Best Book of a Musical and Best Original Score, so maybe Taub can also pull off the hat trick! Unlikely, but she’s likely to at least get this one.

Trash’s Pick: “Suffs” (-200)

Best Play

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  • “Stereophonic” (-350)
  • “Prayer for the French Republic” (+500)
  • “Mother Play” (+550)
  • “Jaja’s African Hair Braiding” (+700)
  • “Mary Jane” (+800)

If there is a plot to be found in “Stereophonic,” it’s basically an inside look at the studio while Fleetwood Mac was recording their infamous album “Rumours” with names changed to protect the innocent. The songs were written by Will Butler of Arcade Fire and they sound like they belong right in 1977, rather than being super “musical-y.” There are only 14 songs, and not all are full length, versus the typical 25ish in a musical, and they aren’t being used to drive the plot like songs in a musical usually do.

All of these and more are reasons given for why it’s considered a play and not a musical. That’s not to criticize the show itself because everyone seems to love it, but rather how it’s all playing out in the nominations. Regardless, I’d be foolish to suggest that any other show will win this category.

Trash’s Pick: “Stereophonic” (-350)

Thanks for reading my 2024 Tony Awards Betting Odds, Picks & Predictions! If you like my kind of trash, you can read more here and follow me on Twitter @trashsandwiches.

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