The Tonys aren't for another three months but awards season is pretty much upon us, so it's time to start guessing who might be hearing their name called on June 10th.
This season has certainly been interesting. We've seen some strong and weak openings. We've seen break out stars and returns of legends. So here are who we think might be deserving of a nod thus far.
Let's do musicals today and plays tomorrow. The following are our predictions pending eligibility.
Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical
- Lea Salonga - Once on this Island
- Renée Fleming - Carousel
On the bubble:
- Lindsey Mendez- Carousel
- Diana Rigg - My Fair Lady
- Lisa Howard - Escape to Margaritaville
- Karen Ziemba - The Prince of Broadway
Given the strong reviews for her performance as Erzulie, I would be shocked if Solonga isn't given at least a nomination. While I haven't heard overwhelming buzz about Fleming, it's a Tony iconic role and that typically will carry votes. I don't know if we may see two nods from Carousel in this category but Audra McDonald did win a Tony for Carrie Pipperidge, so I wouldn't be surprised if Mendez sneaks in. If I was a betting man, I would count on Rigg also getting a nod at this point. Lisa Howard certainly deserves one but I don't know if she'll be able to crack into the top five. I do think this season has been somewhat week for new female characters but I'll be interested to see if Mean Girls or Donna: The Donna Summer Musical and their rosters of talent impact this category. Also don't forget the slew of stars from The Prince of Broadway either.
Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical
- Ari'el Stachel - The Band's Visit
- Alex Newell - Once on this Island
- Norbert Leo Butz - My Fair Lady
On the Bubble:
- Jelani Alladin - Frozen
- Greg Hildreth - Frozen
- Gavin Lee - SpongeBob SquarePants
- Danny Skinner - SpongeBob SquarePants
- Tony Yazbeck - The Prince of Broadway
This is going to be a close race. I'm not ready to call a front-runner here, so the field is wide open. Given their performance, I would say Stachel and Newell are deserving. Butz is going to be nominated for that role, let's just all agree on that right now. But it's a crowded field, so I would be very interested to see who else gets in.
Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical
- Katrina Lenk - The Band's Visit
- Patti Murin - Frozen
- Caissie Levy - Frozen
- Jessie Mueller - Carousel
- Lauren Ambrose- My Fair Lady
On the Bubble:
- Hailey Kilgore - Once on this Island
And there it is. The entire category already pre-set. I would be shocked if this wasn't the final five come June. While the reviews for Frozen haven't been stellar, the praise for Murin and Levy has been, so just like Wicked, I expect both of them to earn a nod. Lenk certainly deserves it and she's also my front-runner pick as of right now as well. However, the buzz I'm hearing about Ambrose is quite strong. I also expect Mueller in there as well. But I also wouldn't be surprised if Hailey Kilgore sneaks in and knocks someone off the ballot. If I had to guess who...it might be Levy.
Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical
- Joshua Henry - Carousel
- Tony Shalhoub - The Band's Visit
On the Bubble:
- Harry Hadden-Paton - My Fair Lady
- Ethan Slater - SpongeBob SquarePants
I think Henry and Shalhoub are definitely set for a nomination. I think Slater could be an interesting pick as well. Hadden-Paton should also probably be getting a nod as well given the role. This isn't exactly a crowded field, given that The Prince of Broadway cast are only elgiable for the feature categories, but it should be interesting.
Best Revival of a Musical
- Once on this Island
- My Fair Lady
Unless I'm missing something, these are the only revivals that will qualify for Tonys. So here they are.
- The Band's Visit
On the Bubble:
- The Prince of Broadway
No disrespect to the shows that have already opened and those still about to, but it's The Band's Visit's Tony to lose at this point. Many other new musicals haven't received strong response from critics such as SpongeBob SquarePants and Escape to Margaritaville. I do think either Mean Girls or Donna: The Donna Summer Musical could sneak in and depending on how its catagorized, The Prince of Broadway could also see some love here as well.