NY1 Predicts Tony's Big Winners
NY1 tries its hand at predicting some of Broadway's winners at the upcoming Tony Awards. NY1's Roma Torre filed the following report.
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It was a banner year on Broadway that had theater watchers asking, "What recession?" With 43 shows opening this season, the most in 26 years, it meant a wealth of excellence for Tony nominators to pick from. It also meant many theater critics are fretting over predicting the winners.
But that is not the case with "Hair," the much-lauded musical revival that is expected to flower power its way to Tony Awards nirvana, besting its only real competition, "West Side Story."
Maria in "West Side Story," the gifted newcomer Josefina Scaglione, made a very pretty Broadway debut, but she'll have to rumble with some of Broadway's most celebrated veterans for Best Actress in a Musical.
Channing in "Pal Joey."
Stockard Channing, earning her sixth Tony nomination, is vying for her second win with her star turn in "Pal Joey." Four-time nominee Sutton Foster is also looking to scare up her second win in "Shrek," and both Allison Janney of "9 to 5" and Alice Ripley of "Next To Normal" are twice-nominated and looking for their first win.
It's strong competition, but the extraordinary Ripley's got the award all sewn up.
The Best Actor in a Play category also features some very meaty roles from James Gandolfini and Jeff Daniels in "God Of Carnage." Raul Esparza earns his third nomination in as many years for "Speed The Plow" and showing Jeremy Piven how it's done. But the "Carnage" guys could well cancel each other out and Esparza's "Speed" will be outrun by "Exit The King's" supreme talent, Geoffrey Rush.
"The Norman Conquests"
All four of the Play Revival nominees - "Joe Turner's Come And Gone," "Mary Stuart," "Waiting For Godot" and "Norman Conquests," deserve to win but the unanimously-praised trio of comedies by Alan Ayckbourn will be the victor on Tony night.
In the all-important race for Best Musical, it's a battle between two prime contenders - the blockbuster from London, "Billy Elliot," and the homegrown little tuner from Off-Broadway, "Next To Normal." Pegged as a possible replay of the "Wicked" vs. "Avenue Q" duel, this time around the bigger show will dance off with the night's biggest prize.
James in "Shrek."
In Best Actor in a Musical, look for the three young phenoms of "Billy Elliot" - David Alvarez, Trent Kowalik and Kiril Kulish - to leap to victory over the monstrously-talented Brian d'Arcy James of "Shrek," Gavin Creel of "Hair" and "Next To Normal's" former "Jersey Boy" J. Robert Spencer.
The Best Actress in a Play category is tougher to predict. Will it be Jane Fonda of "33 Variations," in an impressive and long overdue return to the New York stage, Janet McTeer who knocked us dead in "Mary Stuart" or the brawling Marcia Gay Harden from "God Of Carnage?" It could go to any of them, but I think Harden's great comic chops will win to advantage.
Finally, Best Play pits "Reasons To Be Pretty," "33 Variations," the long-shuttered "Dividing The Estate" and "God Of Carnage" against one another. But "Carnage" should win, as it's a hot play with hot stars that audiences are eating up without waiting for it to cool.