Tony Award predictions: Top eight races
-- Tom O'Neil
X - "The Book of Mormon"
"Catch Me if You Can"
"The Scottsboro Boys"
Not even divine intervention can stop "Mormon" from winning. It's Broadway's hottest show -– both critically and commercially -– and it deserves to win by a mile.
"The Mother ... With the Hat"
X - "War Horse"
"War Horse" is favored because of its impressive stagecraft. Its horse puppets are amazing, but, granted, the play itself is a bit thin as a literary property. Thus, some pundits say "Good People" can pull off an upset, but I don't agree.
BEST REVIVAL OF A MUSICAL
X - "Anything Goes"
"How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying"
"Succeed" is charming and lots of fun, but "Anything Goes" has more critical cachet.
BEST REVIVAL OF A PLAY
"The Importance of Being Earnest"
"The Merchant of Venice"
X - "The Normal Heart"
No contest. The long-overdue arrival on Broadway of the trailblazing AIDS drama "Normal Heart" makes it a major theater event, all the more so because of its cast, which includes Joe Mantello and Jim Parsons.
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE IN A PLAY
Brian Bedford, "The Importance of Being Earnest"
Bobby Cannavale, "The Mother ... With the Hat"
X - Joe Mantello, "The Normal Heart"
Al Pacino, "The Merchant of Venice"
Mark Rylance, "Jerusalem"
Rylance won all of the critics' laurels in London for this role and he wowed Broadway audiences earlier this year with his comedic chops when he starred in "La Bete," but I think Tony voters will opt for a Yankee star. Mantello is Broadway royalty as a director and performer and this is his hour.
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE IN A PLAY
Nina Arianda, "Born Yesterday"
X - Frances McDormand, "Good People"
Lily Rabe, "The Merchant of Venice"
Vanessa Redgrave, "Driving Miss Daisy"
Hannah Yelland, "Brief Encounter"
It's a three-way toss-up between Arianda, McDormand and Rabe. I'm betting on McDormand because of her Oscar pedigree. Furthermore, if voters go for "War Horse" for best play, as I think they will, they'll want to give "Good People" a consolation prize.
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE IN A MUSICAL
Norbert Leo Butz, "Catch Me if You Can"
Josh Gad, "The Book of Mormon"
Joshua Henry, "The Scottsboro Boys"
Andrew Rannells, "The Book of Mormon"
X - Tony Sheldon, "Priscilla Queen of the Desert"
The only contender here who can't win is Joshua Henry. A good case can be made for all of the others. Personally, I think this is between Rannells and Sheldon, although many pundits argue that really Gad is out front. I say Sheldon will win because of his big, flamboyant drag turn -– just like last year's winner, Douglas Hodge ("La Cage aux Folles").
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE IN A MUSICAL
X - Sutton Foster, "Anything Goes"
Beth Leavel, "Baby It's You!"
Patina Miller, "Sister Act"
Donna Murphy, "The People in the Picture"
Very close between Foster and Miller. Foster is a Broadway insider and past Tonys champ ("Thoroughly Modern Millie"). Miller is the breakout new ingenue of the year. I think voters will opt for the insider.
Top photo: "Book of Mormon" / Eugene O'Neill Theatre
Bottom photo: "War Horse" / Vivian Beaumont Theatre