As the theatre community gets ready for the Tony nominations on Tuesday, we are back with part 2 of our fearless predictions.
Best Featured Actor in a Musical
As deep as the leading actor category feels this year, the pool of candidates for featured actor category feels equally shallow. There do seem to be two locks in this category.
Michael Cerveris was universally praised for his Juan Peron in Evita, a show that received a universally tepid reaction. Why? Well because Michael Cerveris is better than all of us. Quick, name a show where he sucked.
I rest my case.
Andrew Keenan-Bolger was not my favorite onstage cripple this season (I’m on team Norm Lewis), but he gave an endearing performance as Crutchie and should ride the Newsies tidal wave to his first nomination in a story that becomes infinately cooler if his sister gets a nomination for Peter and The Starcatchers.
From there, the pool gets shallow. David Allen Grier’s Sporting Life came across a little too “1970’s Stereotypical Blaxploitation Film Street Pimp” for my liking, but he is an engaging, likable performer, which should be good enough to get a nomination in a weak year.
Michael McGrath is often overlooked for his talents, but this could be the year he gets a nod for his “nice work” in Nice Work If You Can Get It
Brace yourself, Effie! I’m stepping out on a limb. I fully realize that this will never happen, but if I were a Tony voter, I would give the fifth nod to Leslie Odom, Jr. as Isaiah in Leap of Faith. I left the theater shocked that the Smash producers aren’t giving him a musical number where he can shine. He exudes confidence and energy, with a tremendous voice and awesome dance ability. I look forward to seeing Mr. Odom in a role where he gets more of a character to play with and more of a chance to shine.
All that being said, I imagine it’s a tossup between Patrick Page and Porgy’s Phillip Boykin for the fifth spot, which will probably go to the veteran Page, who was the only remotely enjoyable thing about Spiderman.
Best Featured Actress in a Musical
You have to assume that Follies will be good for two nominations in this category. Elaine Page is a likely lock and I would think that voters will remember Terri White’s excellent tap work and honor her with a nomination as well. The critics were in love with Judy Kaye in Nice Work, claiming that she singlehandedly runs away with the show. She is guaranteed a nomination, and might be your winner. Kara Lindsay left me indifferent in Newsies, but given the amount of love that the show will get, you have to imagine she gets the fourth spot.
That leaves one spot, and while my heart is with the more talented Lewis-Evans, who damn near makes jesus walk into the St James theatre, I imagine this spot will go to Da’vine Joy Randolph as the lone acting nomination for Ghost. Is she funny as Oda Mae Brown? She certainly is. Is she mostly mimicking Whoopi Goldberg and bringing nothing new to the role? She certainly is. I don’t think the committee will hold that against her though, even though she could take a lesson from Lewis-Evans on how to sell a musical number.
The dark horse to watch for on Tuesday is Melissa van der Shyff for Bonnie & Clyde, although I will assume the Tony Awards will try to avoid anything within a 50 miles radius of Frank Wildhorn.
What do you think? Who are your picks in the featured categories?? Leave a comment and we’ll be back with picks for best musical and best revival tomorrow.