Mac’s Tony Award Breakdown 2012

Best Musical

Rankings/Should Win:
1) Once
2) Nice Work If You Can Get It
3) Newsies
4) Leap of Faith

Will Win: Once
Should Have Been Nominated: Ghost: The Musical

Once is really in a league of its own this year.  Powerful, emotionally potent, and with a real sense of time and place.  It is phenomenal, where that word doesn’t come close to any other new musical this year.  Nice Work was joyous and a lot of fun.  Newsies is a generally good time, though not necessarily ‘good’.  With the threat of my snob credentials being taken way, I really enjoyed Ghost and thought it was a campy and was genuinely wowed by some of the effects–I would have definitely included it as the fourth of the tepid Leap of Faith.

Best Play

Rankings/Should Win:
1) Clybourne Park
2) Venus in Fur
3) Peter and the Starcatcher
4) Other Desert Cities

Will Win: Clybourne Park
Should Have Been Nominated: The Lyons

Now, this is a category worthy of the adjective ‘best’.  All four of these are thrilling productions.  Clybourne Park is my personal favorite, but Venus in Fur and Peter are both statue-worthy too.  I would have personally picked the less polished, more potent production of The Lyons over Other Desert Cities but there’s really nothing to complain about here.

Best Revival of a Musical

Rankings/Should Win:
1) Follies
2) The Gershwins’ Porgy & Bess
3) Evita
4) Jesus Christ Superstar

Will Win: The Gershwins’ Porgy & Bess
Should Have Been Nominated: Eh, it doesn’t really matter if On A Clear Day… was slightly less horrific than JCS

It’s all between the top two here, the brilliant incomparably brilliant Stephen Sondheim masterwork Follies, and the solid incredibly-performed (and still open) Porgy & Bess.  It could go either way.  Also in the mix you have Evita with two disastrous leads, and Jesus Christ Superstar with disastrous direction.  I wish they would have just gone with two nominees again this year.

Best Revival of a Play

Rankings/Should Win:
1) Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman
2) Gore Vidal’s The Best Man
3) Wit
4) Master Class

Will Win: Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman
Should Have Been Nominated: A Streetcar Named Desire

This category is a bit odd for me.  I really enjoyed all four of these productions, and I enjoyed them all with some pretty solid caveats.  Death of a Salesman has stuck with me the most.  Despite feeling the production was a bit ‘screamy’ and poorly paced for the emotional rollercoaster of Arthur Miller’s text, I can’t get that great American classic out of my head. I must give the production credit for that.  Master Class was my least favorite, though perfectly fine, it seemed a bit dusty–a bit ‘why now’.  No major complaints here, but nothing I feel the desire to champion either.

Best Actress in a Musical

Rankings/Should Win:
1) Audra McDonald as Bess in The Gershwins’ Porgy & Bess
2) Cristin Milioti as Girl in Once
3) Kelli O’Hara as Billie Bendix in Nice Work If You Can Get It
4) Jan Maxwell as Phyllis Stone in Follies
Laura Osnes as Bonnie Parker in Bonnie & Clyde

Will Win: Audra McDonald, The Gershwins’ Porgy & Bess
Should Have Been Nominated (And Won): The Foremost Interpreter of Stephen Sondheim, Ms. Bernadette Peters as Sally Plummer in Follies

Looking past the egregious overlooking of Ms. Peters (an American treasure), you still have four incredible leading ladies here, which were each so uniquely suited for their show and role it was hard to rank among them.  Audra will take the big prize, but Cristin’s emotional center, Kelli’s surprisingly adeptness as physical comedy, and Maxwell’s firey Could I Leave You? will be noted as worthy competitors.  (I missed Bonnie & Clyde, as it was open slightly longer than Bobbi Boland)

Best Actress in a Play

Rankings/Should Win:
1) Linda Lavin as Rita Lyons in The Lyons
2) Nina Arianda as Vanda in Venus in Fur
3) Tracie Bennett as Judy Garland in End of the Rainbow
4) Stockard Channing as Polly Wyeth in Other Desert Cities
5) Cynthia Nixon as Vivian Bearing in Wit

Will Win: Tracie Bennett, End of the Rainbow
Should Have Been Nominated: N/A

Wow.  This is the category for the record books.  Five knock-your-socks-off performances.  I have went around in circles for weeks on my rankings and prediction.  Four of the five carry their shows with perfect comedic timing, pathos, and gravitas (and Stockard is a remarkable team player in a well-rounded ensemble).  Lavin ends up with the slightest of edges for me, but only the slightest.  I will be thrilled (and not surprised) by any outcome–though I think Bennett gets an edge for being the biggest, brashest, most scenery-chewing of the five in her haunting take on Judy Garland’s last months.

Best Actor in a Musical

Rankings/Should Win:
1) Steve Kazee as Guy in Once
2) Danny Burstein as Buddy Plummer in Follies
3) Norm Lewis as Porgy in The Gershwins’ Porgy & Bess
4) Jeremy Jordan as Jack Kelly in Newsies
5) Ron Raines as Benjamin Stone in Follies

Will Win: Steve Kazee, Once
Should Have Been Nominated: Richard Fleeshman as Sam Wheat in Ghost: The Musical

The top three are all great.  Kazee is my personal favorite, but I would be happy with a win from Burstein or Lewis.  Jordan and Raines are both servicable.  I would swap one of them out with Richard Fleeshman, he succeeds admirably with what he’s given.

Best Actor in a Play

Rankings/Should Win:
1) James Corden as Francis Henshall in One Man, Two Guvnors
2) Philip Seymour Hoffman as Willy Loman in Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman
3) John Lithgow as Joseph Alsop in The Columnist
4) James Earl Jones as President Arthur Hockstader in Gore Vidal’s The Best Man
Frank Langella as Gregor Antonescu in Man and Boy

Will Win: James Corden, One Man Two Guvnors
Should Have Been Nominated: Stacey Keach, Other Desert Cities

This competition between James Corden and Philip Seymour Hoffman is the most ‘apples and oranges’ of this year’s Tonys.  Corden’s exuberantly silly in the commedia del arte-inspired One Man, Two Guvnors is tough to put up against Hoffman’s take on the great American tragic hero Willy Loman.  I prefer the absolute commitment to the ridiculous over this brooding, boiling version of Loman.  But Tony could go either way.

Best Featured Actress in a Musical

Rankings/Should Win:
1) Da’Vine Joy Randolph as Oda Mae Brown in Ghost: The Musical
2) Judy Kaye as Estonia Dulworth in Nice Work If You Can Get It
3) Jessie Mueller as Melinda Wells in On A Clear Day You Can See Forever
4) Elizabeth A. Davis as Reza in Once
5) Jayne Houdyshell as Hattie Walker in Follies

Will Win: Judy Kaye, Nice Work If You Can Get It
Should Have Been Nominated: Liz Mikel as Heratia in Lysistrata Jones

Best Featured Actress in a Play

Rankings/Should Win:
1) Celia Keenan-Bolger as Molly in Peter and the Starcatcher
2) Condola Rashad as Cheryl in Stick Fly
3) Linda Emond as Linda Loman in Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman
4) Judith Light as Silda in Other Desert Cities
5) Spencer Kayden as Suzette in Don’t Dress for Dinner

Will Win: Judith Light, Other Desert Cities
Should Have Been Nominated: Christina Kirk as Bev/Kathy in Clybourne Park

Best Featured Actor in a Musical

Rankings/Who Should Win:
1) Michael Cerveris as Juan Peron in Evita
2) Philip Boykin as Crown in The Gershwins’ Porgy & Bess
3) Michal McGrath as Cookie McGee in Nice Work If You Can Get It
4) David Alan Grier as Sportin’ Life in The Gershwins’ Porgy & Bess
Josh Young as Judas in Jesus Christ Superstar (he was out when I saw the show, and it was way too bad to pay for twice)

Who Will Win: Michael Cerveris, Evita
Should Have Been Nominated: Paul Whitty, Once

Best Featured Actor in a Play

Rankings/Who Should Win:
1) Jeremy Shamos as Karl/Steve in Clybourne Park
2) Andrew Garfield as Biff Loman in Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman
3) Christian Borle as Black Stache in Peter and the Starcatcher
4) Tom Edden as Alfie in One Man, Two Guvnors
5) Michael Cumpsty as Anthony in End of the Rainbow

Who Will Win: Christian Borle, Peter and the Starcatcher
Should Have Been Nominated: Michael Esper as Curtis in The Lyons

Best Director of a Musical

Rankings/Who Should Win:
1) John Tiffany, Once
2) Kathleen Marshall, Nice Work If You Can Get It
3) Jeff Calhoun, Newsies
4) Diane Paulus, The Gershwins’ Porgy & Bess

Who Will Win: John Tiffany, Once
Should Have Been Nominated: Eric Schaeffer, Follies

Best Director of a Play

Rankings/Who Should Win:
1) Roger Rees and Alex Timbers, Peter and the Starcatcher
2) Pam MacKinnon, Clybourne Park
3) Mike Nichols, Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman
4) Nicholas Hytner, One Man, Two Guvnors

Who Will Win: Mike Nichols, Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman
Should Have Been Nominated: Walter Bobbie, Venus in Fur

Best Original Score

Rankings/Who Should Win:
1) Wayne Barker and Rick Elice, Peter and the Starcatcher
2) Frank Wildhorn and Don Black, Bonnie & Clyde
3) Grant Olding, One Man, Two Guvnors
4) Alan Menken and Glen Slater, Newsies (new material)

Who Will Win: Alan Menken and Glen Slater, Newsies
Should Have Been Nominated: Dave Stewart, Glen Ballard and Bruce Joel Rubin, Ghost: The Musical

Best Book of a Musical

Rankings/Who Should Win:
1) Enda Walsh, Once
2) Douglas Carter Beane, Lysistrata Jones
3) Joe DiPietro, Nice Work If You Can Get It
4) Harvey Fierstein, Newsies

Who Will Win: Enda Walsh, Once
Should Have Been Nominated: N/A

Best Choreography

Rankings/Who Should Win:
1) Steven Hoggett, Once
2) Rob Ashford, Evita
3) Christopher Gattelli, Newsies
4) Kathleen Marshall, Nice Work If You Can Get It

Who Will Win: Christopher Gattelli, Newsies
Should Have Been Nominated: Dan Knechtges, Lysistrata Jones

Best Orchestrations

Rankings/Who Should Win:
1) Martin Lowe, Once
2) Danny Troob, Newsies
3) William D. Brohn and Christopher Janhke, The Gershwins’ Porgy & Bess
4) Bill Elliott, Nice Work If You Can Get It

Who Will Win: Martin Lowe, Once
Should Have Been Nominated: N/A

Best Scenic Design of a Musical

Rankings/Who Should Win:
1) George Tsypin, Spider-man: Turn off the Dark
2) Bob Crowley, Once
3) Rob Howell and Joe Driscoll, Ghost: The Musical
4) Tobin Ost and Sven Ortel, Newsies

Who Will Win: George Tsypin, Spider-man: Turn off the Dark
Should Have Been Nominated: Christopher Oram, Evita

Best Scenic Design of a Play

Rankings/Who Should Win:
1) Donyale Werle, Peter and the Starcatcher
2) John Lee Beatty, Other Desert Cities
3) Daniel Ostling, Clybourne Park
4) Mark Thompson, One Man, Two Guvnors

Who Will Win: Donyale Werle, Peter and the Starcatcher
Should Have Been Nominated: Eugene Lee, A Streetcar Named Desire

Best Costume Design of a Musical

Rankings/Who Should Win:
1) Gregg Barnes, Follies
2) ESosa, The Gershwins’ Porgy & Bess
3) Eiko Ishioka, Spider-man: Turn off the Dark
4) Martin Pakledinaz, Nice Work If You Can Get It

Who Will Win: Gregg Barnes, Follies
Should Have Been Nominated: Christopher Oram, Evita

Best Costume Design of a Play

Rankings/Who Should Win:
1) Paloma Young, Peter and the Starcatcher
2) Paul Tazewell, A Streetcar Named Desire
3) Mark Thompson, One Man, Two Guvnors
4) William Ivey Long, Don’t Dress for Dinner

Who Will Win: Paloma Young, Peter and the Starcatcher
Should Have Been Nominated: Anita Yavich, Venus in Fur

Best Lighting Design of a Musical

Rankings/Who Should Win:
1) Christopher Akerlind, The Gershwins’ Porgy & Bess
2) Natasha Katz, Follies
3) Natasha Katz, Once
4) Hugh Vanstone, Ghost: The Musical

Who Will Win: Natasha Katz, Once
Should Have Been Nominated: Neil Austin, Evita

Best Lighting Design of a Play

Rankings/Who Should Win:
1) Jeff Croiter, Peter and the Starcatcher
2) Brian MacDevitt, Death of a Salesman
3) Kenneth Posner, Other Desert Cities
Peter Kaczorowski, The Road to mecca

Who Will Win: Brian MacDevitt, Death of a Salesman
Should Have Been Nominated: Edward Pierce, A Streetcar Named Desire

Best Sound Design of a Musical

Rankings/Who Should Win:
1) Kai Harada, Follies
2) Clive Goodwin, Once
3) Acme Sound Partners, The Gershwins’ Porgy & Bess
4) Brian Ronan, Nice Work If You Can Get It

Who Will Win: Clive Goodwin, Once
Should Have Been Nominated: Mick Potter, Evita

Best Sound Design of a Play

Rankings/Who Should Win:
1) Darron L. West, Peter and the Starcatcher
2) Gareth Owen, End of the Rainbow
3) Paul Arditti, One Man, Two Guvnors
4) Scott Lehrer, Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman

Who Will Win: Darron L. West, Peter and the Starcatcher
Should Have Been Nominated: John Gromada, Gore Vidal’s The Best Man

 

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