Saturday, June 12, 2010

At Last! My Tony 2010 Picks

Since this season has had no real standouts, blockbusters and the like, picking the winners will be a little more difficult than usual.  In some categories, the competition is stiff, with two or more very worthy nominees pitted against each other.  In others, there is no clear choice because mediocrity has ruled the category.  Mediocrity seems to have ruled this entire season, with almost every show getting both great reviews and nasty pans, or worse all "it's a decent show" reviews.  There are two simple truths about this year's nominees:  1.  Some of the best shows, people and technical aspects were not even nominated.  2.  Most any other season, most of these shows would be closed.

Before I list my picks, I'll ask you to review my comments from yesterday's blog so you can get a better idea where I'm coming from before the hate mail starts (LOL, just kidding... please write!).  I will also remind you that I will only be guessing about the musical categories, as my experience with the play nominees is limited.


  • Daryl Waters and David Bryan, Memphis

Come Fly Away

  • Twyla Tharp, Come Fly Away

Rob Ashford's dances for Promises, Promises are the best BY FAR in terms of traditional Broadway choreography, but Twyla takes it all to another level.  I think Tony voters will recognize the difficulty level, even if they don't get what they are watching.  Fela! could be a surprise winner - if Will and Jada present this award, it will be Bill T. Jones'.

Sondheim on Sondheim

Sound Design (Musical)

  • Dan Moses Schrier, Sondheim on Sondheim

Since this is the category no one but sound designers really understands, I'm picking this guy, because I think voters will be dazzled by the smooth singing sound of the cast, mixed with the great sound coming from all those hi-def TVs.  (I think the TVs will be confused with sound.)  That said, any of these could win since no one really knows anything about it. So, it could be La Cage.  When in doubt, back the popular kid on the block.

Lighting Design (Musical)

  • Kevin Adams, American Idiot

The best by far again this year.  Last year, he got ripped off.  This year, they'll make up for it.  They'd better.

Costume Design (Musical)

  • Matthew Wright, La Cage aux Folles

Marina Draghici's work for Fela! might take the prize, but the momentum is La Cage's.

American Idiot

Scenic Design (Musical)

  • Christine Jones, American Idiot

If traditionalists have their say, they might pick Tim Shortall for La Cage, but I suspect everyone will be in awe of the sheer size of Idiot.  Plus, it won't win anything else, so this could be the Idiot's reward for showing up to the party this year.

Direction (Musical)

  • Bill T. Jones, Fela!
I think this, and the 11 nominations, will be the voters' gift to Fela!  Anything but La Cage, please!  And, again, if Will and Jada present this award, it is his.

Promises, Promises

Featured Actress (Musical)

  • Katie Finneran, Promises, Promises
  • Angela Lansbury, A Little Night Music
Why can't they both win?  Any other year, Finneran would/should win, but Angela is sublime in her role, and deserves a 6th Tony for this performance.  Maybe even give back last year's?

Million Dollar Quartet

Featured Actor (Musical)

  • Levi Kreis, Million Dollar Quartet

These picks are who I'd give the award to, right?  Levi is really excellent.  So is Bobby Steggert, the only really superb thing about Ragtime.  But Kevin Chamberlin, like Greg Jbara last year, is a community favorite who has paid his dues.  Plus, it will allow tour producers to call The Addams Family a Tony winner.

A Little Night Music

Actress (Musical)

  • Catherine Zeta-Jones, A Little Night Music

She deserves it for "Send in the Clowns" alone, but hers is the best performance by an actress this year period.  Montego Glover, however, has been all over the place, doing the campaign thing just right, and she is very very good.  She might just pull it off, and I'm OK with that.

La Cage aux Folles

Actor (Musical)

  • Douglas Hodge, La Cage aux Folles

Kelsey Grammer deserves this one.  That's all I'm going to say.


  • David Bryan and Joe DiPietro, Memphis

It should win; it is good.  And despite its quality, Andrew Lippa's The Addams Family doesn't stand a chance.  And to give this award to a play would be a real slap in the face.  On the other hand it could send a very strong message to future musical score writers.

Book of a Musical

  • Joe DiPietro, Memphis

It should win.  Especially given the competition, of which there is none.

La Cage aux Folles

Musical Revival

  • La Cage aux Folles
Not my favorite, but it will win.  I'll say it again.  Had La Cage opened in the fall, and A Little Night Music in the spring, we'd be telling a whole different story.



  • Memphis

Of the nominees, it is the best put together, most solid, and traditional (in the best way possible) show.  Plus, it has something to say, and the performances are awesome.  Not to mention the un-nominated choreography.  That said, Fela!  might just win.  It'll sure make the Tonys look worldly.

I guess we'll see how I did tomorrow night!

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