Who’s Winning the Tony in Social?

Published on Jun 2nd, 2017

Shareablee has been watching how the 2017 Tony Award nominees fare with audiences on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter in the Best Musical, Best Play, Best Revival of a Play, and Best Revival of a Musical categories. Results weren’t necessarily what we expected in the timeframe from when the nominees were announced through May 30.

The Best Musical category has no frontrunner this year unlike last year when Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton dominated the conversation and awards but social engagement is another story in this year’s group of nominees. Dear Evan Hansen, the musical about its namesake teenager where a fellow classmate’s death forces him to address his social anxiety, has been charming audiences in social through this period leading with 399,000 actions. That musical has been dominating the social conversation within the category this year with a 20% lead over the combined total engagement of all the other musical nominees (Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1912, Groundhog Day the Musical, and Come From Away).

Indecent, acclaimed playwright Paula Vogel’s Broadway debut about the obscenity charges and cast arrests made due to the staged depiction of lesbian relationship in the 1923 New York production of God of Vengeance, leads total engagement in the Best Play category with 8,100 total engagements. This is a substantial lead of 59% over the second-highest leader in social engagements, Lynn Nottage’s Sweat, this year’s Pulitzer Prize winner for Drama. This year has been a good one for female playwrights in the category, being a unique year where there are nominees for more than one female playwright. The combined total engagement of both those plays leads by 78% over the total engagement of both Lucas Hnath’s A Doll’s House Part 2 and J. T. Rogers’ Oslo. Hopefully, this will lead to female playwrights’ productions on Broadway no longer being an anomaly.

The Best Revival of a Musical category perhaps had the most surprising results. We expected the Bette Midler-fronted revival of Hello, Dolly! to lead here based on celebrity interest alone. It turns out though that Miss Saigon, the musical love story about how the fall of Vietnam at the war’s end permanently splits an American soldier from his young Vietnamese bargirl girlfriend, continues to resonate heavily on social leading with 48,000 actions, a 60% lead over Hello, Dolly!

Manhattan Theatre Club fared well this year in the Best Revival of a Play category with its productions of Lillian Hellman’s The Little Foxes and August Wilson’s Jitney both receiving nominations this year. The Little Foxes, lead by Laura Linney and Cynthia Nixon swapping places each performance in the title roles of Regina and Birdie, has been resonating the most on social with 1,200 total engagements. This is a 20% lead over total engagement from the revival of John Guare’s Six Degrees of Separation with a cast lead by Allison Janney. What is most interesting though is that the revival of Jitney has 839 total actions, in spite of having closed in March, making the revival category a very good one on social for Manhattan Theatre Club overall. This is a 41% lead over the Kevin Kline-fronted and currently running revival of Noel Coward’s Present Laughter.

These results go to show you that anything can happen in social media. We’ll be checking in again next week before the awards show on June 11. Until then, be social and break a leg all you nominees!

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