Tony, Tony, Tony

Hey y’all,

It’s an actor’s favorite night of the year (sort of!) It’s Tony Time!

So, in honor of this great night of nights in the theatre, let’s start with some predictions, eh? I’ll star those I’ve seen. Then we’ll move onto my personal recommendations (Broadway and off).

TONY PREDICTIONS

Best Play
Good People Author: David Lindsay-Abaire
Jerusalem Author: Jez Butterworth
The Motherf**ker with the Hat Author: Stephen Adly Guirgis
War Horse Author: Nick Stafford

My expert opinion is: This is HARD. And I’ve actually not seen any of these (because I’ve been so busy). My guess? WAR HORSE.

Best Musical
The Book of Mormon**
Catch Me If You Can
The Scottsboro Boys**
Sister Act

This one’s easy as pie. There’s no competition. THE BOOK OF MORMON will take it. I saw it– it’s brilliant. So was SCOTTSBORO, but let’s be real guys, a minstrel musical can’t take the cake over those adorable Mormon jokesters.

est Book of a Musical
Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson Alex Timbers**
The Book of Mormon Trey ParkerRobert Lopez and Matt Stone***
The Scottsboro Boys David Thompson ***
Sister Act Cheri SteinkellnerBill Steinkellner and Douglas Carter Beane

Again, BOOK OF MORMON. This might be boring.

Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) Written for the Theatre
The Book of Mormon*** Music & Lyrics: Trey ParkerRobert Lopez and Matt Stone
The Scottsboro Boys** Music & Lyrics: John Kander & Fred Ebb
Sister Act Music: Alan Menken
Lyrics: Glenn Slater
Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown Music & Lyrics: David Yazbek

Wild guess. BOOK OF MORMON.

Best Revival of a Play
Arcadia**
The Importance of Being Earnest
The Merchant of Venice
The Normal Heart**

My call is NORMAL HEART. I saw it this afternoon, and for the last ten minutes, I was snotting all over my face and arm I was crying so hard. After the show, I went out to see my professor, who was in the show, and I hugged him and told him how much it moved me and how much I cried. As I said that, some lady with a Playbill leans over and says, “I know– I was sitting behind you.” HA! The only real competition is MERCHANT, but I think it’ll be NORMAL HEART.

Best Revival of a Musical
Anything Goes
How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying

This is hilarious, I know. And they both sucked. ANYTHING GOES.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play
Brian Bedford The Importance of Being Earnest
Bobby Cannavale The Motherf**ker with the Hat
Joe Mantello** The Normal Heart
Al Pacino The Merchant of Venice
Mark Rylance Jerusalem

This is the fight of the night here. All five are irregularly strong performances by leading men– in theory, talent-wise, it could go to ANY of them. Seriously. This is rare. Here are my thoughts. When MERCHANT moved to Broadway, I was sure it would be Al Pacino (see notes later for Leading Actress). But Mark Rylance is arguable the best actor in our generation (I saw him in BOEING BOEING a few years ago and he was… transformative– unbelievable). Now, I’m thinking it’ll be Rylance. We’ll see!! (Also, I saw Joe Mantello in NORMAL HEART today, and he is unbelievable. He deserves to win, too, and in a normal year he would. But this is not a normal year.)

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play
Nina Arianda Born Yesterday
Frances McDormand Good People
Lily Rabe The Merchant of Venice
Vanessa Redgrave Driving Miss Daisy
Hannah Yelland** Brief Encounter

Fascinating category. One brand new star-in-the-making (Arianda), an old-school dame (Redgrave), a much lauded stage/screen actor (McDormand), the theatre’s new leading lady coming out of her shell (Rabe), and a wild card (Yelland). I think it’s between Rabe and McDormand, and like with Al Pacino, I was sure it would be Rabe until the last couple of months. Now, sources are leaning towards McDormand. We’ll see!

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical
Norbert Leo Butz Catch Me If You Can
Josh Gad** The Book of Mormon
Joshua Henry** The Scottsboro Boys
Andrew Rannells** The Book of Mormon
Tony Sheldon Priscilla Queen of the Desert

Good performances here. Joshua Henry won’t win, but he was remarkable– a star-making turn. It’s BOOK OF MORMON’s game again, and my vote is with Andrew Rannelis– he literally blew my mind. 

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical
Sutton Foster Anything Goes
Beth Leavel Baby It’s You!
Patina Miller Sister Act
Donna Murphy The People in the Picture

Maybe the shittiest category I’ve EVER seen. None of them should win. NONE. It’s ridiculous. I’ll put my money on Patina Miller– just ’cause. She’s the only newbie in the pack.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Play
Mackenzie Crook Jerusalem
Billy Crudup** Arcadia
John Benjamin Hickey** The Normal Heart
Arian Moayed Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo
Yul Vázquez The Motherf**ker with the Hat

This could go many ways. I’m sure Crook is amazing– he was the epitome of Kostya in THE SEAGULL a few years ago. But my vote is with John Benjamin Hickey. Not only is he an alum of my school, but he was absolutely stunning. And NORMAL HEART deserves some more wins.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play
Ellen Barkin** The Normal Heart
Edie Falco The House of Blue Leaves
Judith Light Lombardi
Joanna Lumley La Bête
Elizabeth Rodriguez The Motherf**ker with the Hat

Hmm. This is a toughie. I’ll go with Elizabeth Rodriguez– MOFO needs something.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical
Colman Domingo** The Scottsboro Boys
Adam Godley Anything Goes
John Larroquette How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying
Forrest McClendon** The Scottsboro Boys
Rory O’Malley The Book of Mormon

I’d say this fight’s between Rory O’Malley and Forrest McClendon. I kinda want Rory to win it, because he’s fucking ADORABLE and reminds me of all those adorable, normal gay boys I went to high school with.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical
Laura Benanti Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown
Tammy Blanchard How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying
Victoria Clark Sister Act
Nikki M. James The Book of Mormon
Patti LuPone Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown

Love Laura, Vicky, Nikki, and Patti (I’m not sure I know who Tammy is). But this is an unfair fight– none of them had particularly great parts. I want to say Benanti, because from what I heard, she completely stole the show with literally one song. But realistically? Vicky or Nikki.

Best Direction of a Play
Marianne Elliott and Tom Morris War Horse
Joel Grey & George C. Wolfe** The Normal Heart
Anna D. Shapiro The Motherf**ker with the Hat
Daniel Sullivan The Merchant of Venice

MERCHANT vs. NORMAL HEART, in my opinion. I’d say Daniel Sullivan for the win.

Best Direction of a Musical
Rob Ashford How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying
Kathleen Marshall Anything Goes
Casey Nicholaw and Trey Parker** The Book of Mormon
Susan Stroman** The Scottsboro Boys

MORMON all the way.

Best Choreography
Rob Ashford How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying
Kathleen Marshall Anything Goes
Casey Nicholaw** The Book of Mormon
Susan Stroman** The Scottsboro Boys

MORMON. Although if anything takes it, it would be SCOTTSBORO.

And I’ll stop there. We’ll see how I do!

Next episode, of Tony coverage here will continue later!!

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