Friday, June 08, 2012

2012 Tony Nominations

2012 Tony Award Nominations

As the annual awards ceremony approaches, here's my take on what should happen on Sunday, though that may not be the case.  My choices are in bold italics.

 Best Play

Clybourne Park                      Author: Bruce Norris
Other Desert Cities               Author: Jon Robin Baitz
Peter and the Starcatcher    Author: Rick Elice
Venus in Fur                           Author: David Ives

 I liked ODC, PATS and VIF equally, but feel that ODC was the best constructed of the three.

Best Musical

Leap of Faith
Nice Work If You Can Get It

Without a doubt, Once is the best new musical I've seen in several years.  Disney will give it a strong run for its money with its very popular Newsies, but Once is the superior musical by far.

Best Book of a Musical

Lysistrata Jones                      Douglas Carter Beane
Newsies                                   Harvey Fierstein
Nice Work If You Can Get It    Joe DiPietro
Once                                         Enda Walsh

Once again, beautifully adapted from the 2006 film by Enda Walsh.

Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) Written for the Theatre

Bonnie & Clyde                Music: Frank Wildhorn
                                                    Lyrics: Don Black

Newsies                                     Music:  Alan Menken
                                                     Lyrics:  Jack Feldman

One Man, Two Guvnors             Music & Lyrics: Grant Olding

Peter and the Starcatcher      Music:  Wayne Barker
                                                      Lyrics:  Rick Elice

Since this category requires that the music and lyrics must be written for the stage production, Once is ineligible.  That's one reason two of the nominees are actually plays, not musicals.  Consider, too, Bonnie & Clyde got a nod here?  Not the stellar year for  musicals as we've seen in years past.  For that reason, I'm pulling for Peter and the Starcatcher.

Best Revival of a Play

Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman
Gore Vidal's The Best Man
Master Class

Purely on the strength of its pedigree, Death of a Salesman is the winner here.

Best Revival of a Musical

The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess
Jesus Christ Superstar

Follies will struggle because it has closed, and Evita  is selling really well with Ricky Martin, but my vote goes to Follies.
Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play

James Corden                           One Man, Two Guvnors
Philip Seymour Hoffman           Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman
James Earl Jones                     Gore Vidal's The Best Man
Frank Langella                           Man and Boy
John Lithgow                            The Columnist

It's a very tight race for this category and though I'm sure Mr. Jones is excellent, Mr. Lithgow should be taking the award home this year.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play
Nina Arianda                            Venus in Fur
Tracie Bennett                          End of the Rainbow
Stockard Channing                  Other Desert Cities
Linda Lavin                               The Lyons
Cynthia Nixon                            Wit

Another tight race with superb performances, I'm pulling for Nina Arianda in her breakout role.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical

Danny Burstein                          Follies
Jeremy Jordan                          Newsies
Steve Kazee                             OnceNorm Lewis                               The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess
Ron Raines                                Follies

Mr. Kazee's portrayal  of the heartbroken Irish busker wins.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical

Jan Maxwell                               Follies
Audra McDonald                      The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess
Cristin Milioti                              Once
Kelli O'Hara                                Nice Work If You Can Get It
Laura Osnes                              Bonnie & Clyde

The smart money is probably on Audra to bring home her 5th, but for me, the prize goes to Jan Maxwell's bitter turn as Phyllis.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Play
Christian Borle                          Peter and the Starcatcher
Michael Cumpsty                      End of the Rainbow
Tom Edden                                One Man, Two Guvnors
Andrew Garfield                        Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman
Jeremy Shamos                        Clybourne Park

Though Mr. Cumpsty sailed far above the two-dimensional writing in End of the Rainbow, the prize goes to Mr. Borle for his delicious Black Stache in Peter and the Starcatcher.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play
Linda Emond                             Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman
Spencer Kayden                       Don't Dress for Dinner
Celia Keenan-Bolger                Peter and the Starcatcher
Judith Light                                 Other Desert Cities
Condola Rashad                        Stick Fly

It's another tight contest here, and Ms. Rashad makes an impressive debut, but my money is on Celia Keenan-Bolger.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical

Phillip Boykin                              The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess
Michael Cerveris                        Evita
David Alan Grier                         The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess
Michael McGrath                         Nice Work If You Can Get It
Josh Young                                  Jesus Christ Superstar

I didn't find many redeeming qualities in Porgy and Bess, but Mr. Grier's performance provided excellent entertainment, even though he seemed to be in a different show than the rest of the cast.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical

Elizabeth A. Davis                      Once
Jayne Houdyshell                        Follies
Judy Kaye                                    Nice Work If You Can Get It
Jessie Mueller                             On a Clear Day You Can See Forever
Da'Vine Joy Randolph               Ghost the Musical

The show was a red hot mess, but Ms. Mueller managed a little style despite having to navigate the most wooden of Harry Connick, Jrs.

Best Direction of a Play

Nicholas Hytner                            One Man, Two Guvnors
Pam MacKinnon                          Clybourne Park
Mike Nichols                               Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman
Roger Rees and Alex Timbers    Peter and the Starcatcher

Mr. Nichols made directorial choices that might be described as restoration, wisely resurrecting both the original set design and original music.  He then maximizes the benefit of a truly superb play.

Best Direction of a Musical

Jeff Calhoun                                 Newsies
Kathleen Marshall                        Nice Work If You Can Get It
Diane Paulus                               The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess
John Tiffany                               Once

I'm back to my obvious favorite Once here.

Best Choreography

 Rob Ashford                                 Evita
Christopher Gattelli                      Newsies
Steven Hoggett                            Once
Kathleen Marshall                         Nice Work If You Can Get It

See above.

There are many more award categories.  You can find them here.

I'll publish a full list of the actual winners next week.

Go see a play!

No comments: