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Tony Awards: Tom O'Neil's fearless, 100% perfect predictions

When comparing my Tony Award predictions with those of my L.A. Times colleague Charles McNulty, it's clear that we disagree on very few categories. We concur that Sunday night's kudofest will be a lovefest for "The Book of Mormon" and "War Horse" among original productions, and "Anything Goes" and "The Normal Heart" among revivals.

Book of MormonHowever, McNulty isn't clear which "Book of Mormon" star he believes will win lead actor in a musical. He says merely that "one of the doorbell ringers should bring home the prize." That means he's covering his bets if either Josh Gad or Andrew Rannells prevails.

However, I -– ever the fearless daredevil -– am prepared to be much more bold, and so I forecast a win by roly-poly scene stealer Gad.

Most Tony pundits agree with McNulty that Laura Benanti ("Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown") will win best featured (or supporting) actress in a musical, but I'm scooting out on a limb for Victoria Clark ("Sister Act"). Yeah, because I'm such a swashbuckling daredevil.

I'm absolutely sure that McNulty is dead wrong about who'll prevail as best director of a play. He picks Joel Grey and George C. Wolfe ("The Normal Heart"). I say Marianne Elliott and Tom Morris, ("War Horse").

McNulty doesn't make predictions beyond the main categories, but I square off against 13 other Broadway experts, including the editors of Entertainment Weekly, Playbill and Back Stage, over at Gold Derby. You can see all of us rank nominees in each category according to their likelihood of winning. Even better: You can make your own predictions and see how you fare on Monday morning, when you'll receive an email tallying your score. Can you beat the experts? That's a dare!

Below, my predix, category by category:


BEST MUSICAL
"The Book of Mormon"

BEST PLAY
"War Horse"

BEST REVIVAL OF A MUSICAL
"Anything Goes"

BEST REVIVAL OF A PLAY
"The Normal Heart"

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE IN A PLAY
Mark Rylance, "Jerusalem"

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE IN A PLAY
Frances McDormand, "Good People"

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE IN A MUSICAL
Josh Gad, "The Book of Mormon"

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE IN A MUSICAL
Sutton Foster, "Anything Goes"

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A FEATURED ROLE IN A PLAY
John Benjamin Hickey, "The Normal Heart"

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A FEATURED ROLE IN A PLAY
Ellen Barkin, "The Normal Heart"

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A FEATURED ROLE IN A MUSICAL
John Larroquette, "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying"

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A FEATURED ROLE IN A MUSICAL
Victoria Clark, "Sister Act"

BEST DIRECTION OF A PLAY
Marianne Elliott and Tom Morris, "War Horse"

BEST DIRECTION OF A MUSICAL
Casey Nicholaw and Trey Parker, "The Book of Mormon"

BEST CHOREOGRAPHY
Rob Ashford, "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying"

BEST BOOK OF A MUSICAL
"The Book of Mormon" (Trey Parker, Robert Lopez and Matt Stone)

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE (MUSIC AND/OR LYRICS) WRITTEN FOR THE THEATER
"The Book of Mormon" (music and lyrics: Trey Parker, Robert Lopez and Matt Stone)

BEST SCENIC DESIGN OF A PLAY
Rae Smith, "War Horse"

BEST SCENIC DESIGN OF A MUSICAL
Scott Pask, "The Book of Mormon"

BEST COSTUME DESIGN OF A PLAY
Mark Thompson, "La Bête"

BEST COSTUME DESIGN OF A MUSICAL
Tim Chappel & Lizzy Gardiner, "Priscilla Queen of the Desert"

BEST LIGHTING DESIGN OF A PLAY
Paule Constable, "War Horse"

BEST LIGHTING DESIGN OF A MUSICAL
Brian MacDevitt, "The Book of Mormon"

BEST SOUND DESIGN OF A PLAY
Christopher Shutt, "War Horse"

BEST SOUND DESIGN OF A MUSICAL
Brian Ronan, "The Book of Mormon"

BEST ORCHESTRATIONS
Larry Hochman and Stephen Oremus, "The Book of Mormon"

RELATED:

Charles McNulty's Tony picks

Play-at-Home Tonys Ballot

Photo: Andrew Rannels and Josh Gad in "The Book of Mormon." Credit: Eugene O'Neill Theatre

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