i don't really want to change my initial, post-nomination hunches,
and in the past have not even done a follow up post like this. But this year has been so interesting with so many white middle aged men being absolutely, without a doubt, positive that their conflicting choices in any given category will win. Of course, even though the night promises surprises, come Monday morning we'll probably be talking about how boring and mundane they were.
On 4-May I said
"It’s between Red
and Next Fall. Next Fall is a “New American Play” and that alone could get it the win, as could the orgasmic reviews it got. However, people I know who saw it HATED it, and Red is probably the better work."
And Now... Well, I wrote that before seeing either Red or Next Fall. And, to be honest, I had issues with both. As I posted earlier, I thought Next Fall had a lot going for it, but had a major dogmatic crater at what should have been the center of the play. Red was exquisitely executed, and I suppose makes people feel smart, but I thought it was tedious and centered on philosophy just as sophomoric as Next Fall's. But British plays (even though Red was written by an American) have a clear advantage in this category, so Red will take it.
On 4-May I said "I’m pretty sure it’s going to be American Idiot, even if no one is really all that excited about it... Fela! has it’s supporters, but most people thought it was--though stunning--confusing, long, and ultimately boring...Million Dollar Quartet is a crowd pleaser, but not a serious contender. Memphis could actually take home top honors, simply by virtue of its pure intentions..."
And Now... Though just yesterday I listened to a podcast where many of the panelists insisted Idiot is going to win, I just don't see that as an option. It's playing to half full houses and the only people who like it are stodgy, snooty, middle-aged white men who think Green Day remained relevant even after Gloria Reuben sang "I Hope You Have the Time of Your Life" on ER. (They did not.) It's between Fela! and Memphis, and I'm going to put my money on Fela!, because I HAVE to believe, as long as I can, that the theater community has at least the semblance of taste.
BEST BOOK OF A MUSICAL
On 4-May I said " It kinda has to be Memphis
, doesn’t it. Though a win for Everyday Rapture is not out of the question, because everyone loves Sherie."
And Now... I'm going to call it for Everyday Rapture. And not just because everyone loves Sherie (and because she won't win Best Actress), but because, upon seeing it again, I realized it actually has the best writing. Novel conceit I know.
On 4-May I said "Memphis
[will win] for showing up."
And Now... Sigh, we have to give it to 'em.
BEST REVIVAL OF A PLAY
On 4-May I said "A View from the Bridge
And Now... At the time of the nominations, Bridge had recently ended its acclaimed run, and felt like more of a contender. Now, everything's coming up Fences.
BEST REVIVAL OF A MUSICAL
On 4-May I said " La Cage
. It was fresh, felt contemporary, and elevated the source material. It is what a revival should be."
And Now... What can I say? When I'm right, I'm right.
BEST PERFORMANCE BY A LEADING ACTOR IN A PLAY
On 4-May I said "It’s probably between Liev and Denzel. Alfred Molina will win."
And Now... In the month that's passed, Denzel has emerged as a definitive leader in the category, even if Molina has an attache case of lesser awards.
BEST PERFORMANCE BY A LEADING ACTRESS IN A PLAY
On 4-May I said "Jan Maxwell. At least, she should. Otherwise, she’ll keep getting nominated for everything she’s in until she does. It’s called the Susan Sarandon factor. Remember when she was nominated for The Client
? But Maxwell could win in featured, in which case, Lavin will win."
And Now... Okay, I was wrong. It will be Viola Davis.
BEST PERFORMANCE BY A LEADING ACTOR IN A MUSICALOn 4-May I said "It’s between Hodge—who was fantastic in La Cage
—and Ngaujah. If I had a vote, I would go with Hodge, but I think Ngaujah could walk away with it."
And Now... If the tide is really going to turn Fela!'s way--as I believe it must--then Ngaujah has to win. On the other hand, Hodge's performance is WHY La Cage will win best revival--for the first time, Zaza is a credible drag performer around whom an entire night club could exist. I'm going to give it to Hodge.
BEST PERFORMANCE BY A LEADING ACTRESS IN A MUSICALOn 4-May I said "Sherie. Not only is she wonderful and he show poignant and honest, but she basically threw it on Broadway in 2 weeks after Megan Mullaly pulled out of Lips Together, Teeth Apart
. Kate Baldwin was the darling of the fall, and might win if Tony voters want to reward her for, you know, acting, which Sherie doesn’t exactly do, as she is playing herself."
And Now... Again, I was wrong, and it seems to be a toss up between Montego and CZJ. I'll give it to Montego who has a "local girl made good" vibe going for her, took fewer vacations in a show that has run longer, and isn't leaving the show a week after the ceremony. Besides, people are already more excited about Bernadette stepping in than they ever were about CZJ, who over sang "Send in the Clowns", even though it was specifically written to make that more or less impossible.
BEST PERFORMANCE BY A FEATURED ACTOR IN A PLAY
On 4-May I said "The guy from Red
won shit in London, but doesn’t this award always have to go to someone in a revival of an August Wilson play?"
And Now... Redmayne is a cutie-patoodie, but, seriously, you can't beat someone in an August Wilson play in this category. British Plays win top honors, August Wilson gets featured awards, Matthew Murray hates everything. These are constants. Stephen McKinley Henderson, FTW.
BEST PERFORMANCE BY A FEATURED ACTRESS IN A PLAYOn 4-May I said "Jessica Hecht. Unless Jan Maxwell wins this instead of Leading Actress. Really, she should win both."
And Now... This is tough. It's rare for an actor to be nominated twice in an evening and go home empty handed, but to give Maxwell a Tony for her hilarious but brief performance in a silly production doesn't seem to do justice to one of our greatest living actors. I've also been hearing a lot of hubub about Scar Jo. And, though Fences has taken the away most of its thunder, people do think fondly of the Bridge revival, and this may be the chance to recognize it. But I'm actually going to call it for Hecht.
BEST PERFORMANCE BY A FEATURED ACTOR IN A MUSICALOn 4-May I said " I personally think it should be Christopher Fitzgerald, but I actually think it will be Bobby Steggert."
And Now... I have a feeling this will be the chance to throw a bone to MDQ and honor their best
impersonator actor, Levi Kreis. Fitzgerald and Steggert are both dark horses though--Fitzgerald had a role that wins awards (and was fantastic), Steggert has been working non-stop since Ragtime closed, keeping him (if not his performance) fresh in everyone's mind. But he'll lose to Kreis. BEST PERFORMANCE BY A FEATURED ACTRESS IN A MUSICALOn 4-May I said "Angela should have the edge, because she is acting and Babs is just singing songs we’ve heard her sing before. But Angie won last year, and Babs hasn’t been up for nomination since She Loves Me
or something. But Katie Finneran could walk away with the award, like the originator of her role, for providing some merciful humor in Promises, Promises."
And Now... Katie Finneran seems unstoppable.
BEST DIRECTION OF A PLAY
On 4-May I said It looks like I forgot to say anything....oooops.
And Now... I'm going with Kenny Leon on this. He's done a number of artistically and fiscally successful productions in recent years, seemingly selflessly. This is the year for him to put away the bridesmaid's dress and walk down the aisle in Vera Wang.
BEST DIRECTION OF A MUSICAL
On 4-May I said "Terry Johnson."
And Now... Bill T. Jones has the edge for creating the entire Fela! experience. Maybe the producers will let Terry keep La Cage's "Best Revival" Tony at his house.
On 4-May I said "Bill T Jones. I mean, he has to."
And Now... Some people are saying Twyla will win. She won't. No one likes her show, a lot of which is lifted verbatim from a Sinatra Suite she did years before. Bill T.