The 2007/2008 Tony Awards, hosted by Whoopi Goldberg, will be broadcast live from Radio City Music Hall on CBS this Sunday. When the nominations, recognizing excellence on Broadway, were announced about a month ago In The Heights, Lin-Manuel Miranda’s musical love letter to the Washington Heights community where he grew up, scored 13 nods covering almost every major category. Not far behind with 11 nominations was the stunning Lincoln Center revival of the American classic South Pacific. Look for these two to dominate the proceedings along with August: Osage County, the three generational drama from Tracy Letts, that has nabbed numerous awards already including the Pulitzer Prize for Drama.
Let’s take a look at the probable winners in the major categories. Here’s a rundown of our predictions for this year’s winners, along with some worthy contenders.
Best performance by a featured actress in a play: A difficult one to call. Rondi Reed, August: Osage County, is the most deserving. Mary McCormack, Boeing-Boeing was hysterical and having already won the Drama Desk, would be a popular choice.
Best performance by a featured actor in a play: Jim Norton, The Seafarer should win. His performance was unforgettable, but he and his fellow cast mate Conleth Hill, whose fantastic performance won the Drama Desk, could cancel each other out, clearing the way for Raul Esparza, The Homecoming.
Best performance by a leading actress in a play: Deanna Dunagan, August: Osage County should prevail. Amy Morton, who played her daughter, was equally amazing. I wish they could share the award both were marvelous. For us it’s a tie!
Best performance by a leading actor in a play: Mark Rylance, Boeing-Boeing our favorite and the surprise of the season. His deadpan performance was superlative and should win. Patick Stewart’s Macbeth is well respected and could make it close.
Best direction of a play: All of the nominees delivered outstanding work. But look for Anna D. Shapiro, August: Osage County to be swept up in the play’s momentum.
Best Play: August: Osage County in a league of its own having already won the Pulitzer Prize and the Drama Desk.
Best performance by a featured actress in a musical: Laura Benanti, Gypsy should win easily.
Best performance by a featured actor in a musical: A wide open category of deserving performers. Daniel Breaker, Passing Strange was memorable. But Boyd Gaines, Gypsy is well liked and his accomplished work will probably win.
Best performance by a leading actress in a musical: Patti LuPone for her dazzling star turn as the stage mother of all stage mothers in Gypsy. Showy, indeed, but we liked Bernadette Peters even better a couple of season’s ago. Go figure?
Best performance by a leading actor in a musical: Paulo Szot should win easily. His charismatic baritone voice was thrilling in the revival of South Pacific and he played much older than his actual years. We had no idea he was so young and sexy.
Best direction of a musical: Bartlett Sher’s helming of South Pacific was simply stunning.
Best Musical: The pulsating “big hit” In The Heights, will probably prevail. The show is a spirited blast with fabulous dancing that will surely win best choreography for Andy Blankenbuehler as well. But Passing Strange, struggling at the box office, will give it competition for best book of a musical, original score and orchestrations. Hopefully the most original musical on Broadway will be rewarded with one win out of its 7 nominations.
Best revival of a musical: South Pacific, an enchanting classic elegantly served!
By Gordin & Christiano
The 62nd Annual Tony Awards will be broadcast on CBS, Sunday, June 15th starting at 8:00 p.m. and will feature exciting live performances from many of the nominated shows.