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Summertime...Took a little vacation! Three reviews coming soon! Amazing Grace, Hand to God and Mamma Mia!

I hope you'll come back for frequent visits, to see new reviews, to share opinions, to take a survey (or two), and to celebrate the shows and show people that have made the TheatreScene!

Jeff

Saturday, June 8, 2013

The 2013 Tony Awards: Jeff and Mike's Predictions

At last!  The most exciting night of the year for Broadway fans is just one day away!  And just as we have for the past few seasons, my friend Mike and I are weighing in who we think the Tony winners will and should be.

This year, even though I saw three of the four Best Play nominees, and Mike saw two (so far), neither of us saw any of the play revivals.  So we don't feel "qualified" to even guess about any of the play categories.  Good luck to all of the nominees!

Of course, all of this would be so much easier if the winners of the Tonys were solely based upon who or what was the best of the season.  Instead, if history is any indicator, we also need to consider:

  • "Momentum" - perceived swings in opinion based on such things as who won other awards, and how well the shows present and represent themselves at events and in the news. (Kinky Boots anyone?)
  • "Past History" - awards are given to individuals as awards for careers that have thus far gone Tony-less. (This year, Billy Porter, Terrence Mann and Laura Osnes could be in this boat...)
  • "Rialto Politics" - You've seen SMASH.  I bet real-life is even uglier.  (Matilda might have played it a wee too cocky from what I hear...)
  • "Chat room stink" - like it or not, voters do read the chat rooms and message boards, especially for shows they don't actually go see (a whole other issue for another time). If the bloggers, message boarders and the like are talking favorably, then the smell is of roses for a show or performer; conversely, if they aren't saying nice things, then the stink is just that. (Just as Frank Wildhorn...)
  • "Tourability" - perhaps the most important thing to consider, since the majority of Tony voters are tour producers or have a stake in future productions.  They have the most at stake, with the most to gain by advertising touring shows as "Tony Winning," and as a result, they have the most to lose. (Remember Urinetown vs Thoroughly Modern Millie? or Avenue Q vs Wicked?)

But we will try, for fun, to make our best guesses!

Will it be Kinky Boots?

Will it be Matilda?


Mike figures that Pippin will take 8 Tonys, Kinky Boots will take 5, and Matilda will take only 2.  His choices include a near sweep of the acting awards by Pippin.

I figure that Pippin will also be the night's biggest winner with 6 Tonys, Kinky Boots with 4, Matilda with 3, and Cinderella with 2.  I see the voters going with a more "spread it around" approach, especially since all four of these shows will benefit from a Tony boost in New York, and, more importantly to most of the voters, they'll benefit as touring productions.

Will Cinderella get any Tony love?

Or will it be all Pippin?

BEST MUSICAL

MIKE: WILL WIN:
 Kinky Boots
SHOULD WIN:
 Matilda
JEFF: WILL WIN:
 Kinky Boots
SHOULD WIN:
 Matilda
COMMENTS: Mike: Kinky Boots seems to have the momentum at this point, though I wouldn't be surprised if Matilda pulled it off, as it deserves to. JEFF: I agree with Mike about momentum, plus I can't help but think that the touring producers/Tony voters are going to pull a Millie/Urinetown type thing.  And as much as I enjoyed Kinky Boots, it really isn't my first or second choice for Best Musical.  Those would be Matilda and Hands on a Hardbody.
BEST BOOK OF A MUSICAL

MIKE: WILL WIN:
 Harvey Fierstein, Kinky Boots
SHOULD WIN:
Dennis Kelly, Matilda 
JEFF: WILL WIN:
Dennis Kelly, Matilda 
SHOULD WIN:
Dennis Kelly, Matilda 
COMMENTS: Mike: My second choice would be Douglas Carter Beane for Cinderella, but the Tonys don't seem to be too kind to him. JEFF: Again, I have to agree with Mike about DCB. I won't be surprised if Harvey wins, but I'm hoping that, in lieu of the "big prize," Tony voters will reward Kelly's imagination, a tight structure, and a great adaptation for adults (maybe more so) and children.
BEST ORIGINAL SCORE (MUSIC AND/OR LYRICS) WRITTEN FOR THE THEATRE

MIKE: WILL WIN:
Cyndi Lauper, Kinky Boots
SHOULD WIN:
Tim Minchin, Matilda 
JEFF: WILL WIN:
Cyndi Lauper, Kinky Boots 
SHOULD WIN:
Tim Minchin, Matilda 
COMMENTS: JEFF: This is one category where there really are no losers - I'll be happy for any of the four - and its the first Broadway score for each nominee!  Like I said, no losers.  But Cyndi's score is the most original thing about Kinky Boots and the Broadway community loves her. Have fun, girl!
BEST REVIVAL OF A MUSICAL

MIKE: WILL WIN:
Pippin
SHOULD WIN:
Pippin 
JEFF: WILL WIN:
Pippin
SHOULD WIN:
Pippin 
COMMENTS: JEFF: This production is so brilliant, it makes me tingle at the thought of it. If Drood was still around there might be some competition (and a video of that show simply won't do it justice for voters); Annie stinks, but no one will say it out loud, and Cinderella is very good, but the new book has people confused - is this really a revival? I'd say 75% of it is...
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE IN A MUSICAL

MIKE: WILL WIN:
Billy Porter, Kinky Boots
SHOULD WIN:
Bertie Carvel, Matilda 
JEFF: WILL WIN:
Billy Porter, Kinky Boots
SHOULD WIN:
Rob McClure, Chaplin 
COMMENTS: Mike: Again, I'm going with the momentum here. Bertie Carvel might be in the wrong category, but he deserves the award for the outsized impression he makes on stage. JEFF: Billy will win because: 1. when was the last time a drag queen lost?, and 2. mostly because he is the ultimate Broadway story - working for 20 years to finally head a show.  And he is so good, it makes you ache.  Bertie is getting a lot of press, and Mike's right.  He makes a huge impression.  But it is a small, one-note role in the wrong category, and I have a feeling he could fall victim to Matilda backlash.  And Rob McClure, who gave a bravura performance that people are still talking about in a decent (and soon to tour, don't forget) show.  He could be a vote-spoiler - not enough to win, but enough to screw it up for Porter or Carvel.
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE IN A MUSICAL

MIKE: WILL WIN:
Patina Miller, Pippin 
SHOULD WIN:
Patina Miller, Pippin 
JEFF: WILL WIN:
Laura Osnes, Cinderella
SHOULD WIN:
Patina Miller, Pippin
COMMENTS: Mike: Laura Osnes has a decent shot, too. The other nominees do not. JEFF: I LOVED Patina. Brilliant in every way.  But EVERYONE (myself included) loves Laura, and she's finally carrying her own show.  Maybe voters will reward her for several great roles in a row.  But my guess is that the voters are going to spread the love a little and throw the girl in the glass slippers a bone. We'll never know, but I bet this will be a close one.
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A FEATURED ROLE IN A MUSICAL

MIKE: WILL WIN:
Terrence Mann, Pippin
SHOULD WIN:
Keith Carradine, Hands on a Hardbody 
JEFF: WILL WIN:
Terrence Mann, Pippin
SHOULD WIN:
Terrence Mann, Pippin 
COMMENTS: Mike: My "should" pick might be a bit of a sentimental choice, based on my love for Hands on a Hardbody. But I think Pippin will pull off a near-sweep of the acting awards. JEFF: Like Billy Porter, Terrence Mann has done it all, and in an even longer, bigger way (Cats, Les Miz, Beauty/Beast) and this Broadway baby is still Tony-less.  Pippin is the ticket for him.  Plus, have you ever seen a Pippin with a Charles that makes such an enormous impression?
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A FEATURED ROLE IN A MUSICAL

MIKE: WILL WIN:
Andrea Martin, Pippin 
SHOULD WIN:
Andrea Martin, Pippin 
JEFF: WILL WIN:
Andrea Martin, Pippin
SHOULD WIN:
Keala Settle, Hands on a Hardbody 
COMMENTS: JEFF: I loved Andrea Martin.  But her role is a one scene triumph.  Like Mike, my sentimentality for Hands on a Hardbody makes Ms. Settle an obvious choice.  And she was superb beyond her famous number, which also stole the show.  Truth be told, my choice for this category, Matilda's Lesli Margherita, wasn't even nominated.
BEST DIRECTION OF A MUSICAL

MIKE: WILL WIN:
Diane Paulus, Pippin 
SHOULD WIN:
Matthew Warchus, Matilda 
JEFF: WILL WIN:
Diane Paulus, Pippin
SHOULD WIN:
Matthew Warchus, Matilda  
COMMENTS: Mike: I'm happy with either of them winning. Diane Paulus probably should have won for Hair a few years ago. JEFF: I couldn't agree more, Mike.
BEST CHOREOGRAPHY

MIKE: WILL WIN:
Chet Walker, Pippin 
SHOULD WIN:
Chet Walker, Pippin 
JEFF: WILL WIN:
Chet Walker, Pippin
SHOULD WIN:
Chet Walker, Pippin 
COMMENTS: JEFF: This one could be an upset.  First, you'll notice that Gypsy Snider is not listed with Walker.  Do voters think the whole thing is Walker's work or do they realize he did only the dancing?  Will some not vote for him because the centerpiece of his work is a step-for-step reproduction of Fosse's "The Manson Trio"?  I recognize his invaluable contribution to this total triumph of conceptual staging.  But I wouldn't be shocked if Jerry Mitchell, won, or, for that matter, Andy Blankenbuehler, whose Bring It On work is most obvious in this category, could win, too, if the voters really want to spread the Tony love. (And it would help justify the show's Best Musical inclusion...)
BEST ORCHESTRATIONS

MIKE: WILL WIN:
Stephen Oremus, Kinky Boots 
SHOULD WIN:
Chris  Nightingale, Matilda
JEFF: WILL WIN:
Stephen Oremus, Kinky Boots 
SHOULD WIN:
Danny Troob, Cinderella 
COMMENTS: JEFF: No one knows what this category means, Tony voters included.  It usually goes to the same show that wins the Best Score Tony.  But Troob, to my ear, did a Cinderella-esque transformation, making Rodgers and Hammerstein's middle of the road oldies-fest sound like a top drawer modern classic.
BEST SCENIC DESIGN OF A MUSICAL

MIKE: WILL WIN:
 Rob Howell, Matilda
SHOULD WIN:
 Rob Howell, Matilda
JEFF: WILL WIN:
 Rob Howell, Matilda
SHOULD WIN:
 Rob Howell, Matilda
COMMENTS: Mike: This is one of two categories where I think it will be hard to ignore the creative achievement of MatildaJEFF: Perfectly stated, Michael!
BEST COSTUME DESIGN OF A MUSICAL

MIKE: WILL WIN:
Dominique Lemieux, Pippin 
SHOULD WIN:
Dominique Lemieux, Pippin  
JEFF: WILL WIN:
William Ivey Long, Cinderella
SHOULD WIN:
William Ivey Long, Cinderella 
COMMENTS: JEFF: The only other reasonable shot for Tony voters to give some silver to Cinderella.  And when was the last time costumes have had audiences gasping?  If Pippin wins, I'm OK with that, too. This is the only category where I think I'd be disappointed if Matilda were to win.
BEST LIGHTING DESIGN OF A MUSICAL

MIKE: WILL WIN:
Hugh Vanstone, Matilda 
SHOULD WIN:
Hugh Vanstone, Matilda 
JEFF: WILL WIN:
Hugh Vanstone, Matilda 
SHOULD WIN:
Hugh Vanstone, Matilda 
COMMENTS: Mike: Yes, I think Kenneth Posner will lose three times. This is another area where Matilda shines (no wordplay intended). JEFF: Mike is right.  If Posner does win, it'll be for Pippin, and his work there is Tony-worthy .  He'll be riding the Pippin wave to glory. This is Vanstone's to lose.
BEST SOUND DESIGN OF A MUSICAL

MIKE: WILL WIN:
Jonathan Deans and Garth Heim, Pippin 
SHOULD WIN:
Jonathan Deans and Garth Heim, Pippin  
JEFF: WILL WIN:
Jonathan Deans and Garth Heim, Pippin 
SHOULD WIN:
Jonathan Deans and Garth Heim, Pippin 
COMMENTS: JEFF: Another category that no one really understands.  I'm going with Pippin because, despite everything going on - on the floor, backstage, behind scenery and in the air - it is the only show all season where I understood every single word, spoken or sung.  Matilda or Kinky Boots could win, depending on how the tide runs for any of the three shows.  On the other hand, Motown might get to call itself a Tony-winner, after all.  This one is wide open just like every year.

We'll see how we did after tomorrow's Tonys!

Be sure to come back to this blog tomorrow morning, when the winners of the 3rd Annual JKTS Awards will be announced!  And then come back on Tony night and catch up with my LIVE blog!

Jeff
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