Saturday, June 06, 2009

SOB's 2009 Tony Picks

SOB's 2009 Tony Picks

The American Theatre Wing’s 63rd annual Tony Awards ceremonies honor the best of Broadway's 2008-09 Theatrical Season, so it's time for me to place my wagers on those nominees I believe will actually win, as well as tell you whom I think should win.

Unlike last year when I saw every single nominated show, I pulled back on my theatregoing this year because I actually pay for each and every ticket (there were more shows opening this year vs. last, making this an expensive habit for anyone trying to see everything).

Of the 44 new Broadway shows and revivals that opened on the Great White Way during the 2008-09 Theatrical Season, I saw 28 of them - the number increases to 31 if you count my previous viewings of Billy Elliot - The Musical (2005) and God Of Carnage (2008) in London and White Christmas in St. Paul (2006), and even 32 if you count my earlier Off-Broadway viewing of [title of show](2006).

The productions I never had a chance to see before they closed include Cirque Dreams, A Tale Of Two Cities, A Man For All Seasons, American Buffalo, Dividing The Estate or Soul Of Shaolin. Of the current shows, I most likely will not see Irene's Vow, The Philanthropist, Accent On Youth or, sorry to say, Joe Turner's Come And Gone. But I already have post-Tony Award tickets to see both Mary Stuart and Waiting For Godot.

Here are the nominees and my picks (I'm recusing myself from offering any "should wins" if I have not seen all the shows or performances):

Best Play
Dividing The Estate - Horton Foote, Author
God Of Carnage - Yasmine Reza, Author Will win
reasons to be pretty - Neil LaBute, Author
33 Variations - Moises Kaufman, Author

Best Musical
Billy Elliot - The Musical Will win
next to normal Should win
Rock Of Ages
Shrek The Musical

Best Book of a Musical
Billy Elliot - The Musical - Lee Hall Will win
next to normal - Brian Yorkey
Shrek The Musical - David Lindsay-Abaire
[title of show] - Hunter Bell Should win

Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) Written for the Theatre
Billy Elliot - The Musical - Music: Elton John, Lyrics: Lee Hall Will win / Should win
next to normal - Music: Tom Kitt, Lyrics: Brian Yorkey
9 To 5 -The Musical - Music & Lyrics: Dolly Parton
Shrek The Musical - Music: Jeanine Tesori, Lyrics: David Lindsay-Abaire

Best Revival of a Play
Joe Turner's Come And Gone
Mary Stuart
The Norman Conquests Will win
Waiting For Godot

Best Revival of a Musical
Guys And Dolls
Hair Will win / Should win
Pal Joey
West Side Story

Best Special Theatrical Event
Liza's At The Palace Will win
Slava's Snowshow
Soul Of Shaolin
You're Welcome America. A Final Night With George W Bush

Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Play
Jeff Daniels - God Of Carnage
Raúl Esparza - Speed-The-Plow
James Gandolfini - God Of Carnage
Geoffrey Rush - Exit The King Will win
Thomas Sadoski - reasons to be pretty

Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Play
Hope Davis - God Of Carnage
Jane Fonda - 33 Variations
Marcia Gay Harden - God Of Carnage Will win
Janet McTeer - Mary Stuart
Harriet Walter - Mary Stuart

Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical
David Alvarez, Trent Kowalik, and Kiril Kulish - Billy Elliot - The Musical Will win
Gavin Creel - Hair
Brian d'Arcy James - Shrek The Musical
Constantine Maroulis - Rock Of Ages
J. Robert Spencer - next to normal

Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical
Stockard Channing - Pal Joey
Sutton Foster - Shrek The Musical
Allison Janney - 9 To 5 - The Musical
Alice Ripley - next to normal Will win / Should win
Josefina Scaglione - West Side Story

Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Play
John Glover - Waiting For Godot
Zach Grenier - 33 Variations
Stephen Mangan - The Norman Conquests
Paul Ritter - The Norman Conquests
Roger Robinson - Joe Turner's Come And Gone Will win

Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Play
Hallie Foote - Dividing The Estate
Jessica Hynes - The Norman Conquests
Marin Ireland - reasons to be pretty
Angela Lansbury - Blithe Spirit Will win
Amanda Root - The Norman Conquests

Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical
David Bologna - Billy Elliot - The Musical
Gregory Jbara - Billy Elliot - The Musical
Marc Kudisch - 9 To 5 - The Musical
Christopher Sieber - Shrek The Musical
Will Swenson - Hair Will win

Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical
Jennifer Damiano - next to normal
Haydn Gwynne - Billy Elliot - The Musical
Karen Olivo - West Side Story Will win
Martha Plimpton- Pal Joey
Carole Shelley - Billy Elliot - The Musical

Best Scenic Design of a Musical
Robert Brill - Guys And Dolls
Ian MacNeil - Billy Elliot - The Musical Will win
Scott Pask - Pal Joey
Mark Wendland - next to normal Should win

Best Scenic Design of a Play
Dale Ferguson - Exit The King
Rob Howell - The Norman Conquests Will win
Derek McLane - 33 Variations
Michael Yeargan - Joe Turner's Come And Gone

Best Costume Design of a Play
Dale Ferguson - Exit The King
Jane Greenwood - Waiting For Godot
Martin Pakledinaz - Blithe Spirit
Anthony Ward - Mary Stuart Will win

Best Costume Design of a Musical
Gregory Gale - Rock Of Ages
Nicky Gillibrand - Billy Elliot - The Musical
Tim Hatley - Shrek The Musical Will win / Should win
Michael McDonald - Hair

Best Lighting Design of a Play
David Hersey - Equus
David Lander - 33 Variations
Brian MacDevitt - Joe Turner's Come And Gone
Hugh Vanstone - Mary Stuart Will win

Best Lighting Design of a Musical
Kevin Adams - Hair Will win / Should win
Kevin Adams - next to normal
Howell Binkley - West Side Story
Rick Fisher - Billy Elliot - The Musical

Best Sound Design of a Play
Paul Arditti - Mary Stuart
Gregory Clarke - Equus
Russell Goldsmith - Exit The King Will win
Scott Lehrer and Leon Rothenberg - Joe Turner's Come And Gone

Best Sound Design of a Musical
Acme Sound Partners - Hair
Paul Arditti - Billy Elliot - The Musical
Peter Hylenski - Rock Of Ages
Brian Ronan - next to normal Will win / Should win

Best Direction of a Play
Phyllida Lloyd - Mary Stuart
Bartlett Sher - Joe Turner's Come And Gone
Matthew Warchus - God Of Carnage
Matthew Warchus - The Norman Conquests Will win

Best Direction of a Musical
Stephen Daldry - Billy Elliot - The Musical Will win
Michael Greif - next to normal
Kristin Hanggi - Rock Of Ages
Diane Paulus - Hair Should win

Best Choreography
Karole Armitage - Hair
Andy Blankenbuehler - 9 To 5 - The Musical
Peter Darling - Billy Elliot - The Musical Will win / Should win
Randy Skinner - Irving Berlin's White Christmas

Best Orchestrations
Larry Blank- Irving Berlin's White Christmas
Martin Koch - Billy Elliot - The Musical Will win / Should win
Michael Starobin and Tom Kitt - next to normal
Danny Troob and John Clancy - Shrek The Musical

So fellow theatregoers, do you agree with these picks? Or do you think I'm terribly misinformed? Either way -- or wherever in between -- I invite you to weigh in.

Finally, don't forget that the Tony Awards begin at 7 p.m. EDT Sunday, June 7, although the live CBS telecast starts at 8 p.m.

This is Steve On Broadway (SOB).

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