Friday, June 8, 2012

theaterinthenow's Tony Picks

Excited for the Tonys? It's only days away and it's time for's picks for Sunday night's winners in the big categories.  

Best Musical
Will Win: Once
Should Win: Newsies

It's a battle between the heavyweight and the indie underdog. The Disney Company hasn't faired so well in the Tony world since The Lion King, and it's likely it still won't. Both musicals based on movies have packed in the fans, but the Tonys in recent years have been known to give it to the little show that could (see 2004's Avenue Q and 2010's Memphis). Are both shows likely to take the crown? Absolutely. Will "Falling Slowly" be playing as the company excitedly walks on stage to accept the award? Probably.

Best Play
Will Win: Clyboure Park
Should Win: Clybourne Park

It's quite possible that the 2011-2012 season has produced the stiffest competition in new plays. In previous years, all four Best Play nominees could have easily walked away with the title, but this year it'll most likely go to the Pulitzer Prize winning Clybourne Park.

Best Revival of a Musical
Will Win: The Gershwin's Porgy and Bess
Should Win: Follies

The two Andrew Lloyd Weber shows are likely to cancel each other out, rather Jesus Christ Superstar will receive no votes, but it's really a race between two other big shows. Porgy and Bess has been laced with controversy started by Stephen Sondheim himself, but with Porgy and Bess still running in New York and Follies out in Los Angeles, voters are likely to remember what they still can see.

Best Revival of a Play
Will Win: Death of a Salesman
Should Win: Death of a Salesman

Death of a Salesman has been considered by many to be one of the greatest American plays written, and with a Grade A cast, led by Philip Seymour Hoffman, and directed by Mike Nichols, both likely to win awards, there's very little chance it won't win. The All-Star cast of The Best Man has the best chance of knocking down Death of a Salesman.


Best Actor in a Musical
Will Win: Jeremy Jordan (Newsies)
Should Win: Steve Kazee (Once)

Like the race for Best Musical, it's down to Newsies and Once. This time it will go the opposite of Best Musical. The Tonys love to give first timer's their shining moment, but with two heavy-hitting first timers, Jeremy Jordan is the more likely choice having appeared in two shows this season. Those voters who are still reeling in the loss of the ill-fated Bonnie and Clyde are likely to give Jordan the Bonnie and Clyde sympathy vote.

Best Actress in a Musical
Will Win: Audra McDonald (The Gershwin's Porgy and Bess)
Should Win: Jan Maxwell (Follies)

In any other season, Jan Maxwell would be a shoe in for the Tony but the Tonys have a love affair with Audra McDonald so expect her to be walking away with her fifth Tony. A Maxwell win would not be an upset, but with McDonald taking away other awards this season for her turn as Bess, the chances are diminishing.

Best Actor in a Play
Will Win: Philip Seymour Hoffman (Death of a Salesman)
Should Win: Philip Seymour Hoffman (Death of a Salesman)

Will Loman is the epitome of dream roles for many actors. Was Philip Seymour Hoffman the likely choice for the role? Absolutely not, but he's done something right to get everyone to fall for him. With a fresh face and three other big names in the category, Hoffman will be able to overcome any competition.

Best Actress in a Play
Will Win: Nina Arianda (Venus in Fur)
Should Win: Nina Arianda (Venus in Fur)

With all the brilliant plays this season, there were many brilliant performances by leading ladies. All of the women in the category, with possibly the exception of Cynthia Nixon, could walk away with the award, but no woman had a tour de force performance like Nina Arianda in Venus in Fur. Tracie Bennet as Judy Garland may have a chance if this was the Oscars (because they love giving actors awards for playing real life people), but Arianda's star-making performance will be talked about for ages.

Best Featured Actor in a Musical
Will Win: Michael Cerveris (Evita
Should Win: Josh Young (Jesus Christ Superstar)

While Michael McGrath and Michael Cerveris are really the front runners for the award, as the Porgy and Bess boys are likely to cancel each other out, it was Josh Young's Judas that made Jesus Christ Superstar remotely bearable. Unfortunately for Young, missing performances due to illness meant voters missed him. Expect the gold to go to Broadway's golden boy, Michael Cerveris.

Best Featured Actress in a Musical
Will Win: Judy Kaye (Nice Work If You Can Get It)
Should Win: Judy Kaye (Nice Work If You Can Get It)

In a fairly, weak, category, Judy Kaye's crowd pleasing performance will probably win. If the night turns into a Once love fest, you may see Elizabeth A. Davis making a speech, but those chances are minimal.

Best Featured Actor in a Play
Will Win: Christian Borle (Peter and the Starcatcher)
Should Win: Christian Borle (Peter and the Starcatcher)

If Christian Borle was in the Best Actor category, he would have won. Putting him in the Featured Actor category is basically a guaranteed win. Borle's remarkable performance as Black Stache was nothing short of brilliant. Expect one of the night's best speeches. It's worth noting, in any other season, Jeremy Shamos would have taken the prize, but Borle is Black Stache.

Best Featured Actress in a Play
Will Win: Judith Light (Other Desert Cities)
Should Win: Condola Rashad (Stick Fly)

Hands down, Judith Light will win. There's no question. Unless the voters play the young actress card that has happened in the past. Many have already counted out Condola Rashad, but being the sole nomination from Stick Fly in a big year for plays says wonders. Rashad was mentioned as a stand out in all the reviews for a reason.