Handicapping The Tonys

by BILLY GRAY · June 11, 2010

    Every year I read the Tony Awards nominees and pledge to schlep up to the theater district on the regular next year. This year's slate is particularly guilt-inducing as I've seen one of the 28 shows in contention (sup, Hamlet). What can I say? I prefer off-off-off (like Rockaway Beach) Broadway offerings. Still, I'll handicap the major categories.

    Below are the nominees, with my pick for winner in bold. Good luck in your office pool (people who work on Broadway):


    Best Play:

    In the Next Room or the vibrator play Next Fall Red Time Stands Still

    Why: The title alone is worthy of a naked bald man, assuming that's what a Tony looks like. Also, I read some rave reviews and can't stand the thought of the Tonys awarding obvious commie propaganda like Red.

    Best Musical:

    American Idiot Fela! Memphis Million Dollar Quartet

    Why: Green Day's "Dookie" was one of the first albums I ever bought. I'd also like to be able to know for the rest of my life that a band that released an album named Dookie won a Tony award. Fela! is out because I'm really over excessive exclamation points. I had a horribly bad layover at the Memphis airport once, so screw that. And Million Dollar Quartet is clearly an inferior ripoff of Million Dollar Baby.


    Best Revival of a Play:

    Lend Me a Tenor The Royal Family A View from the Bridge Fences

    Why: Even I know this is a shoo-in. I think.

    Best Revival of a Musical:

    Finian's Rainbow La Cage aux Folles A Little Night Music Ragtime

    Why: I read a ton of Joyce in college and really dug it. Go Finnegan!

    Best Lead Actor in a Play:

    Jude Law, Hamlet Alfred Molina, Red Liev Schreiber, A View from the Bridge Christopher Walken, A Behanding in Spokane Denzel Washington, Fences

    Why: Holy cow, the critics weren't kidding when they bemoaned Broadway turning into Hollywood-on-the-Hudson. I'm going with Walken only because the ceremony needs an eccentric acceptance speech.

    Best Lead Actress in a Play:

    Viola Davis, Fences Valerie Harper, Looped Linda Lavin, Collected Stories Laura Linney, Time Stands Still Jan Maxwell, The Royal Family

    Why: Because Davis was robbed at the Oscars for her great turn in Doubt.

    Best Lead Actor in a Musical:

    Kelsey Grammer, La Cage aux Folles Sean Hayes, Promises, Promises Douglas Hodge, La Cage aux Folles Chad Kimball, Memphis Sahr Ngaujah, Fela!

    Why: Hayes is hosting the show and is still dealing with fallout from and goodwill engendered by a vaguely homophobic Newsweek article about his and other gay actors' inability to play straight characters. It's a lock, I say.

    Best Lead Actress in a Musical:

    Kate Baldwin, Finian's Rainbow Montego Glover, Memphis Christiane Noll, Ragtime Sherie Rene Scott, Everyday Rapture Catherine Zeta-Jones, A Little Night Music

    Why: I've never heard of this Zeta-Jones ingenue and think she could use the attention more than her overexposed peers.