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Monday, June 7, 2010

The Tony Awards

Sunday is Tony Awards day. Besides being a day to honor the great talent of the year it is also an opportunity to look at the season as a whole and to rate the year.

Looking at the nominations, you have to say it hasn't been a very good year. Broadway is noted for its musicals and most likely you couldn't name all four nominees. They are American Idiot, Fela!, Memphis and Million Dollar Quartet.

I didn't see any of them, but I will predict Fela! just because it is the type of small musical with a conscience that the voters have been honoring over the past few seasons. I doubt that they will choose American Idiot, a show inspired by a Green Day rock album, or the juke box musical Million Dollar Quartet. Memphis has an outside shot, as it is the only contender that also had its score nominated for the award.

Speaking of musical scores, the most telling thing about the musical category this season is that in the best score category two nominees ENRON and Fences are non-musicals. Dwell on that. Two dramas have been nominated over all other musicals (except two) for best score. One of those nominated is The Adams Family which gets no other major nominations - not even for its star, Nathan Lane.

Best actor in a musical will probably go to one of the television stars on Broadway. I'm picking Sean Hayes (Will and Grace) for Promises, Promises over Kelsey Grammer (Frazier) in La Cage Aux Folles, because Hayes does a terrific job in carrying a weak show. La Cage will get best musical revival.

It would be nice to see Christopher Fitzgerald win best featured actor in a musical for his work in Finian's Rainbow. Fitzgerald honed his craft at nearby Williamstown Theatre Festival starting as an intern and working his way up to leading performer on the mainstage. He returns this year to star in the WTF opening show, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.

I'm picking Sherie Rene Scott as best actress in a musical for Everyday Rapture, a work she created for herself. Best featured actress in a musical should go to Barbara Cook because she's a legend who is still great. The only competition is Angela Lansbury who already got her legend award.

I'd like to see Sarah Ruhle get the award for writing best play, but not for Vibrator Play, which is nominated. She should get it for Passion Play, an amazing work that was produced in Brooklyn and not eligible for the Tony.

If it can't be Passion Play, I hope Red sweeps the drama awards. Best play, best actor and best supporting actor.

I do think Eddie Redmayne will win best featured actor for Red, but I wouldn't feel bad if Stephen Kunken wins for his excellent work in ENRON.

I insist Alfred Molina deserves the Tony for his brilliant performance in Red, but I have to believe Christopher Walkin will win for Behanding in Spokane. Walkin did Walkin in the play but he did it so very well it was a delight to see. Sorry to see Sam Rockwell wasn't nominated for his fine work in Behanding.

Best actor is the toughest category with each nominee being deserving of the award. Also nominated is Jude Law for Hamlet, Denzel Washington for Fences and Liev Schreiber for A View From the Bridge. Talk about an all star lineup.

I just hope the Sunday show is swift, entertaining and is a credit to Broadway.


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