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.
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.