A Way-Too-Early Look at 2018's Tony Awards Contenders

Gabriel Olsen/FilmMagic
Alanis Morissette at Hollywood Athletic Club on April 22, 2017 in Hollywood, Calif.

A slew of new musicals from Broadway and beyond could be vying for the big prize at next year’s Tonys.

The Band's Visit
This alluringly quiet musical -- based on the 2008 film about a band of Egyptian musicians who get stranded in a remote Israeli town -- was a critical darling when it premiered off-Broadway in 2016. It has a gorgeous score by David Yazbeck, rollicking songs played by a live band and heartbreaking performances from Tony Shalhoub and Katrina Lenk. Casting for the fall’s Broadway production isn’t yet announced, but if they come back, consider both locks for 2018 nominations.

Mean Girls
Can fetch happen at the Tonys? With showman extraordinaire Casey Nicholaw directing and choreographing, Tina Fey’s much-anticipated adaptation of the beloved 2004 movie should spring to life on Broadway next March. Bonus: The score is by Fey’s husband, Jeff Richmond, who wrote 30 Rock’s zippy background tunes.

Not since The Lion King has a Disney stage musical been so eagerly anticipated. Oscar-winning songwriters Bobby Lopez (who also wrote Avenue Q and The Book of Mormon) and Kristen Anderson-Lopez return to the scene of “Let It Go,” with plenty of new songs in tow, for a March 2018 premiere.

Jagged Little Pill: 2019 Contender?
The American Repertory Theater in Cambridge, Mass., is known as a Broadway incubator, so look for the new Alanis Morissette musical, debuting there next May. Diablo Cody wrote the book, and Diane Paulus -- who helmed Sara Bareilles’ Waitress both at ART and on Broadway -- directs.

This article originally appeared in the June 17 issue of Billboard. 

Tony Awards 2017