As the March Madness craze sets in for basketball fans, Playbill is giving theatre fans their own shot at deciding a Brackets Champion. However, in this instance, fans will decide which Tony Award-winning Broadway musical will reign supreme as the 2017 Broadway Brackets Champion.
Here’s how it works: Playbill looked at the last 16 Tony Award-winning Best Musicals and placed them into two “divisions”: 2001–2008 and 2009–2016. We then tallied the total number of nominations each Best Musical Tony winner earned and ranked them accordingly.
For example, Hamilton (2016) and The Producers (2001) have 16 and 15 nominations, respectively, making them the top-ranking shows in their divisions. They were then paired accordingly with a musical in their division that had the least amount of nominations. Each bracket was then broken down into subsequent match-ups based on number of nominations.
(The nominations/ranking tie-breaker for Spring Awakening and Thoroughly Modern Millie was determined by which show won the most Tony Awards.)
Here’s a look at the nominations breakdown and ranking for each Best Musical:
(1) The Producers – 15 nominations, 12 wins
(2) Spamalot – 14 nominations, 3 wins
(3) Hairspray – 13 nominations, 8 wins
(4) In the Heights – 13 nominations, 4 wins
(5) Spring Awakening – 11 nominations, 8 wins
(6) Thoroughly Modern Millie – 11 nominations, 5 wins
(7) Jersey Boys – 8 nominations, 4 wins
(8) Avenue Q – 6 nominations, 3 wins
(1) Hamilton – 16 nominations, 11 wins
(2) Billy Elliot – 15 nominations, 10 wins
(3) The Book of Mormon – 14 nominations, 9 wins
(4) Kinky Boots – 13 nominations, 6 wins
(5) Fun Home – 12 nominations, 5 wins
(6) Once – 11 nominations, 8 wins
(7) A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder – 10 nominations, 4 wins
(8) Memphis – 8 nominations, 4 wins
Beginning March 10, Broadway fans can print out their brackets and share their picks on social media using the hashtag #BwayBrackets.
Official online voting for the first round begins Monday, March 13 at noon ET; check back here at that time to cast your vote. Voting will remain open until 10 AM ET March 14. Voting for the next round will begin March 14 at noon ET.
Each voting period is 22 hours, except for the championship match-up, which will take place March 17-19. The Broadway Brackets Champion will be announced March 20.
Best of all—there are no wrong answers! This is all about the show you love best and the productions fans have enjoyed the most over the past 16 years!
Keep track at Playbill.com/Broadway-Brackets.
Watch Playbill vlogger Tyler Mount and Broadway favorite Lesli Margherita break down how the competition works: