Friday, June 7, 2013

How to Fill Out Your Tony Ballot

Posted By on Fri, Jun 7, 2013 at 11:42 AM

Tony Awards
Some people fill out award-show ballots based on their feelings: who they like, who they want to win. But that's crazy! Even if there's no money to be won, there's the prestige and good feelings of beating your friends at something. I won't be betting on the Tonys this year because who the hell watches the Tonys? But should you find yourself at a party on Sunday (I'm just bitter because I didn't get invited to any parties whatever) here's the way things will probably shake out.

Matilda musical Broadway
Best Musical
The early favorite was Matilda, based on the Roald Dahl book and transferred from England. But there has since been an upstart: Kinky Boots, based on a fairly obscure British movie with a score by Cyndi Lauper. Were Boots to win, it would be considered an "upset," but it's not unreasonable. So ask yourself: do you want to play it safe? Or take a chance? Consider this also: Boots is a favorite because it feels good, while Matilda is losing steam because some people consider it too dark. [photo]

Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike
Best Play
Do you think Tony voters will be sentimental enough to give this to Nora Ephron, who died last year, for the Tom Hanks-starring Lucky Guy? I'd like to think not, because I hear it's not a particularly great play, plus Nora Ephron won't enjoy the award because she's dead. Better to give it to the also-star-studded Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike and its playwright Christopher Durang, who is much-celebrated and yet has never won a Tony. (Dark horse Assembled Parties has been popular, but probably not enough to get the prize.)

Tom Hanks Lucky Guy Broadway Nora Ephron
Best Actors
You know how Broadway shows are full of movie stars these days? It's not just because they sell tickets; it's because people like movie stars. So Tom Hanks should take the Best Actor in a Play award because he's Tom Hanks. In a play! As for Best Actor in a Musical, it once again comes down to a showdown between Matilda and Kinky Boots: Bertie Carvel vs. Billy Porter, respectively. I'd bet on Porter, because he's a veteran of the New York stage finally getting his big(gest) break. [photo]

Cicely Tyson A Trip to Bountiful
Best Actresses
In a Play, I'd say it's probably Cicely Tyson for her role in A Trip to Bountiful—because she's 88-years-old, and everyone loves her. (And, you know, she's a remarkable actress.) In a Musical, I'd bet on Patina Miller in Pippin, because everybody loved Pippin and I can't imagine Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella getting recognition for anything, even if it's a deserving performance from Laura Osnes.

Whos Afraid of Virginia Woolf Broadway revival 2012 Tracy Letts
Best Revivals
I don't think there's any contest here: Diane Paulus's Pippin for Musical, and the Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? for Play (even though Golden Boy was a-MAY-zing). Hands down. [photo]

click to enlarge pippinpaulus.jpg

Directors
For a musical, it's definitely Diane Paulus: Pippin is going to win most every award it can. For a play, I think George C. Wolfe will take it for Lucky Guy, cuz if people didn't like the play they at least liked the star and the production.

click to enlarge kinkybootscyndilauper.jpg

Score and Book
Like every other musical category, it's Boots vs. Matilda in both of these categories, which I think they'll split: Boots is a lock for score (Cyndi Lauper!), while Matilda should pull off book. [photo]

click to enlarge judithlightassembledparties.jpg

Featured Actors and Actresses
Judith Light in Assembled Parties should take it for Play, as she's reinvented herself as a highly respected woman of the stage in recent years. In a musical, it's Andrea Martin in Pippin, because like I said, this is the year of everything Pippin. That also goes for Terrence Mann as Featured Actor in a Musical. In a Play is a toss-up between a lot of talented people in a lot of good work. I'm going to go with Tony Shaloub in Golden Boy, because he really was something in Golden Boy. And he's famous!

Follow Henry Stewart on Twitter @henrycstewart

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