It’s Tony Time!

BEST REVIVIAL OF A PLAY

Nominees: Fences, Lend Me a
Tenor
, The Royal Family, A View From the Bridge

Will Win: Fences

Should Win: Fences or View From the Bridge

 

It’s a toss-up between Fences and View From the Bridge-both tremendous productions of classic works with blockbuster leading men. But Fences is a slightly better play, and, though I think Liev Schreiber’s Bridge performance was stronger than Denzel Washington’s in Fences, Fences is still playing, which will give it the edge.

 

BEST REVIVAL OF A MUSICAL

Nominees: Finian’s Rainbow,
La Cage Aux Folles, A Little Night Music, Ragtime

Will win: La Cage

Should win: La Cage

 

You could make a decent argument for three of the four nominees to win. (The less said about Finian’s, the fourth, the better.) But Ragtime was a commercial failure and Night Music, while excellent, never quite caught fire. So the sweet, scruffy La Cage it is.

  

BEST PERFORMANCE BY A LEADING ACTOR IN A PLAY

Nominees: Jude Law (Hamlet), Alfred Molina (Red), Liev Schreiber (A View From the Bridge), Christopher Walken (A Behanding in Spokane), Denzel Washington (Fences)

Will Win: Denzel Washington

Should Win: Liev Schreiber

 

Mr. Schreiber is arguably the best stage actor working today. But Mr. Washington is a huge movie star. He’ll get the award, partially because he deserves it and partially as a thank-you note from a Broadway desperate to keep the Hollywood stars coming east.

 

BEST PERFORMANCE BY A LEADING ACTRESS IN PLAY

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

Will Win: Viola Davis

Should Win: Linda Lavin

 

In truth, any of these five women deserves the award.

 

BEST PERFORMANCE BY A LEADING ACTOR IN A MUSICAL

Nominees: Kelsey Grammar (La Cage), Sean Hayes (Promises, Promises), Douglas Hodge (La Cage), Chad Kimball (Memphis), Sahr Ngaujah (Fela!)

Will Win: Sahr Ngaujah

Should Win: Sahr Ngaujah

 

BEST PERFORMANCE BY A LEADING ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL

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

Will Win: Montego Glover

Should Win: Montego Glover

 

All of these actresses were wonderful, but Ms. Glover managed to shine in an otherwise dreadful show. That’s impressive.

 

BEST DIRECTION OF A PLAY

Nominees: Michael Gandage (Red), Sheryl Kaller (Next Fall), Kenny Leon (Fences), Gregory Mosher (A View From the Bridge)

Will Win: Kenny Leon

Should Win: Kenny Leon


BEST DIRECTION OF A MUSICAL

Nominees: Christopher Ashley (Memphis), Marcia Milgrom Dodge (Ragtime), Terry Johnson (La Cage), Bill T. Jones (Fela!)

Will Win: Terry Johnson

Should Win: Marcia Milgrom Dodge

 

I really liked the two revivals. But I was more impressed with Ms. Milgrom Dodge’s minimalist Ragtime, as compared to the over-the-top original, than I was with Mr. Johnson’s delightful seedy La Cage. But Mr. Johnson’s show is running and Ms. Milgrom Dodge’s failed, and that is what will make the difference.

 

BEST CHOREOGRAPHY

Nominees: Rob Ashford (Promises, Promises), Bill T. Jones (Fela!), Lynne Page (La Cage), Twyla Tharp (Come Fly Away)

Will Win: Twyla Tharp

Should Win: Rob Ashford

 

Mr. Ashford (and a very game cast) accomplished the impressive feat of making a terrible show look fantastic.

editorial@observer.com