The 2016 Tony Awards take place June 12 in New York. Lin Manuel Miranda's acclaimed hip-hop-infused show "Hamilton" -- about America's first Treasury Secretary -- seems a sure bet to win for best musical. It received a record 16 nominations.
"Even if you think to yourself,'Hmm, hip hop, Alexander Hamilton, I don't know, you go in [to the theater] and you're blown away, just because it's so well done," said Broadway musical lover Sally Parry, associate dean at Illinois State University.
As has been our custom these past few years, Parry and her husband Robert McLaughlin, an ISU English professor, helped us handicap the Tony nominees for best musical, as we listened to excerpts of numbers from each of the shows.
Also up for awards are "Shuffle Along, Or The Making Of The Musical Sensation Of 1921," one of the first musical productions written, produced and performed by African Americans; "School of Rock - The Musical," which marks Andrew Lloyd Webber's return to Broadway; "Waitress," starring previous Tony best actress winner Jessie Mueller; and "Bright Star," co-written by actor Steve Martin.
While much of the attention is going to "Hamilton," it's been an historic season on Broadway for other reasons as well, according to Parry and McLaughlin.