Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Tony Time!

Hello, darlings! The Tony nominations are getting announced in two weeks. This is the first season I've actually followed religiously, and I'm a solid supporter of several candidates. Before we get into my picks, let me say two things. One: I thoroughly enjoyed the Guys and Dolls revival. Sue me. Second: Happy 60th birthday, Patti LuPone! I'd say you don't look it, but, well...you do. Now, on to my predictions! I'm only gonna post certain categories, and I'm not going anywhere near the plays. My condolences to the real nominators who have to sift through the plethora of plays, play revivals, and play performances this year.

Alrighty. The ones in italics are the ones I'm backing, and the ones in boldface are who I think will actually win it.

Best Musical:
Billy Elliott
Next to Normal
9 to 5

Best Revival of a Musical:
Pal Joey
West Side Story
Guys and Dolls

Best Performance by an Actor in a Musical:
J. Robert Spencer as Dan in Next to Normal
Craig Bierko as Sky in Guys and Dolls
Kiril Kulish, Trent Kowalik, and David Alvarez as the Billys Billy Elliott
Brian d'Arcy James as Shrek in Shrek
Gavin Creel as Claude in Hair

Best Performance by an Actress in a Musical:
Alice Ripley as Diana Next to Normal
Allison Janney as Violet in 9 to 5
Kate Jennings Grant as Sarah in Guys and Dolls
Josefina Scaglione as Maria in West Side Story
Sutton Foster as Fiona in Shrek

Best Supporting Actor in a Musical:
Christopher Sieber as Lord Farquaad in Shrek
Aaron Tveit as Gabe in Next to Normal
Greg Jbara as Dad in Billy Elliott
Will Swenson as Berger in Hair
Marc Kudisch as the evil, misogynistic boss in 9 to 5

Best Supporting Actress in a Musical:
Karen Olivo as Anita in West Side Story
Haydyn Gwynne as Mrs. Wilkinson in Billy Elliott
Megan Hilty as Doralee in 9 to 5
Stephanie J. Block as Judy in 9 to 5
Jennifer Damiano (Shut up. It's a hard role.) as Natalie in Next to Normal

There you have it, folks. My narrow-minded, I-like-who-I-like, can't-see-past-the-end-of-my-nose list! Now, a lot is at stake here. The predicted best supporting actress category is pitting three of my favorites against each other. For the record, I'm talking about Olivo, Hilty, and Damiano. I'm too smart to be a Stephanie J. Block fan. My ultimate dream would be for Next to Normal to take Best Musical and turn those pretentious tu-tu wearing toe-steppers over at Billy Elliott on their heads. But I'm not delusional. I'm predicting a very likely if not totally deserved sweep from Elton John and his corporate darling. Best Actress is tricky, too. I've been a Sutton Foster fan for a while, but I just don't think she was that good in Shrek. I enjoyed Kate Jennings Grant's performance very much, and I think Allison Janney might take it, but make no mistake, children: I am a Ripley fan -a 'no she is not a crackhead,' 'her voice is unique not wrecked,' and 'yeah, so what if I saw SIDE SHOW?' fan. She deserves this Tony. Despite the wonderful reviews, Next to Normal probably will not last for a very long time. Although it deserves many awards, it probably won't hit it big at the Tonys. If it only takes home one Tony (and I'm sad to say that might be pretty likely), let it be Best Actress. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of Stephen Sondheim. Amen.

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