And so to the moment the nation and Patti LuPone have been waiting for—the Tony Awards on CBS, Sunday, June 15, at 8 p.m. What a great night it’ll be for Ms. LuPone and the diva’s devoted followers known as LuPonistas. It better be! But first things first:
Who do you think is going to take home the Tony for Best Sound Design of a Musical? Sound is pretty essential to a show, of course. (“Sing out, Louise!”) You could almost say that without it, the show wouldn’t be the same. But who on earth knows a thing about sound—except, of course, for sound designers and their nearest and dearest?
Nevertheless, I’m boldly predicting the proud winner for the coveted Best Sound Design Tony will be Scott Lehrer for his fine, unobtrusive work on Rodgers and Hammerstein’s South Pacific.
When in doubt during your Tony sweepstakes, vote for the heavily favored South Pacific in all categories.
That’s why the one and only Ms. LuPone’s lonely, heroic battle in Gypsy to wrest the Tony for best actress in a musical from sweet, adorable and bland Kelli O’Hara in South Pacific will be the pivotal drama of the evening. I have just the slightest bias in favor of Ms. LuPone. After all, Mama Rose is the ultimate challenge among all musical roles; not for nothing has the lady been called Mrs. Lear.
Ms. LuPone was born to play Rose. There ought to be no contest between her and Ms. O’Hara’s nice, clean, cockeyed optimist Nellie Forbush. Not everyone agrees, however. The Times is strongly backing Ms. O’Hara (“The Ingénue Who Roared”). The outcome is said to hang in the balance. Here’s my prediction:
Will win: Patti LuPone.
Should win: Patti LuPone.
Best actor in a musical? I’m afraid that I found the Emile of South Pacific’s Paulo Szot (“Some Enchanted Evening”) unswooningly wooden. Be that as it may—
Will win: Paulo Szot.
Should win: the dynamic Lin-Manuel Miranda of In The Heights.
And so to the best musical revival—
Will win: South Pacific.
Should win: No contest.
Best director of a musical—
Will win: Bartlett Sher for his loving, somewhat overcareful production of South Pacific.
Should win: Ask Arthur Laurents.
Mr. Laurents—the veteran 90-year-old director and book-writer of Gypsy—has complained with others that nonprofit theater productions like Lincoln Center’s lavish South Pacific are at an unfair advantage and should in any case be barred from competing in the commercial arena at the Tonys. Mr. Laurents might have a point. But he’s never made it before. …
WHEN IT COMES to plays on Broadway, it’s usually British and, of late, Irish. Three of the four nominees for Best Play are British and Irish. Four of the five nominees for best actor are British. Three of the four nominees for best director are British and Irish. All four plays in the Best Revival category were written by Brits.
Tracy Letts’ all-American gothic soap opera August: Osage County, hailed as a modern masterpiece on a par with O’Neill, is the clear favorite for Best Play over Tom Stoppard’s political parable Rock ’n’ Roll and Conor McPherson’s ghost story about the usual Irish drunks and ghoulies, The Seafarer.
Will win: August: Osage County, or my name is Barack Obama.