Tony Predictions, Part Deux

I know you all were wondering what the rest of my Tony predictions are so here it goes….

Best Book of a musical
Well as much fun as I had at the production of “Lysistrata Jones”, I must say that “Once” is going to carry this award away.  However, there has been talk of the cleverness that Joe DiPietro did with the book for “Nice Work If You Can Get It” and could steal it away.  But I will go with “Once”.
Nominees:
"Lysistrata Jones," Douglas Carter Beane
"Newsies," Harvey Fierstein
"Nice Work If You Can Get It," Joe DiPietro
"Once," Enda Walsh

Best Original score (music and/or lyrics) written for the theater
This one is too easy, “Once Man, Two Guvnors” is going to blow this category out of the water.  However, many people believe “Newsies” will win.  But the music in “One Man…” was just down right fantastic.  Weird that it is a play and not a musical right?
"Bonnie & Clyde," music: Frank Wildhorn; lyrics: Don Black
"Newsies," music: Alan Menken; lyrics: Jack Feldman
"One Man, Two Guvnors," music & lyrics: Grant Olding
"Peter and the Starcatcher," music: Wayne Barker; lyrics: Rick Elice

Best Performance by an actor in a leading role in a play
Though he is going up against some of the greatest names in theater history, James Corden will come away with the trophy with his brilliant work in “One Man, Two Guvnors.” He has to be the funniest man to cross a Broadway stage in decades.
James Corden, “One Man, Two Guvnors”
Philip Seymour Hoffman, “Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman”
James Earl Jones, “Gore Vidal’s The Best Man”
Frank Langella, “Man and Boy”
John Lithgow, “The Columnist”

Best Performance by an actress in a leading role in a play
Word around town is that Nina Arianda is a front runner for this award, but I must say that Linda Lavin gave one of the strongest performances of the season in my opinion.  But the Tonys see a bright future in Nina, so I predict she gets it.
Nominees:
Nina Arianda, “Venus in Fur”
Tracie Bennett, “End of the Rainbow”
Stockard Channing, “Other Desert Cities”
Linda Lavin, “The Lyons”
Cynthia Nixon, “Wit”

Best Performance by an actor in a leading role in a musical
I personally thought Danny Burnstein did better work in the 2008 revival of “South Pacific” than he did in this year’s “Follies” but alas he won the Drama Desk for it.  My gut has to go with Jeremy Jordan of “Newsies” though as I think Broadway is in love with this young man.  He has a bright future.
Nominees:
Danny Burstein, “Follies”
Jeremy Jordan, “Newsies”
Steve Kazee, “Once”
Norm Lewis, “The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess”
Ron Raines, “Follies”

Best Performance by an actress in a leading role in a musical
Oh Audra, Audra, Audra… how you hurt me so.  Audra might be the front runner for this category, but since she has missed so many performances during Tony voting, I am not entirely sure they got to see her performance (I sure didn’t).  So my vote is for Cristin Milioti, who does a wonderful job in “Once” but I am mailing pulling for her because I have a giant crush.
Nominees:
Jan Maxwell, “Follies”
Audra McDonald, “The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess”
Cristin Milioti, “Once”
Kelli O’Hara, “Nice Work If You Can Get It”
Laura Osnes, “Bonnie & Clyde”

Best Performance by an actor in a featured role in a play
Yep, Christian Borle is a master of the stage and steals the show in “Peter and the Starcatcher” as Stash.  If the Tonys want to do right, they will give it to this guy.  Brilliant work and a must see.
Nominees:
Christian Borle, “Peter and the Starcatcher”
Michael Cumpsty, “End of the Rainbow”
Tom Edden, “One Man, Two Guvnors”
Andrew Garfield, “Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman”
Jeremy Shamos, “Clybourne Park”

Best Performance by an actress in a featured role in a play
Not only is Judith Light one of the nicest professional actors I have ever met, but she ALWAYS does such great work.  She is phenomenal to watch, and that is no different in “Other Desert Cities.”  She should win.  My runner-up would be Celia Keenan-Bolger who gives 110% in “Peter and the Starcatcher.”
Nominees:
Linda Emond, “Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman”
Spencer Kayden, “Don’t Dress for Dinner”
Celia Keenan-Bolger, “Peter and the Starcatcher”
Judith Light, “Other Desert Cities”
Condola Rashad, “Stick Fly”

Best Performance by an actor in a featured role in a musical
I don’t have anyone I am really pulling for in this category.  I have seen most of their work, so if I had to pick one I would say Michael McGrath.  He has such spot on comedic timing and deserves a Tony for his professionalism and work ethic.
Nominees:
Phillip Boykin, “The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess”
Michael Cerveris, “Evita”
David Alan Grier, “The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess”
Michael McGrath, “Nice Work If You Can Get It”
Josh Young, “Jesus Christ Superstar”

Performance by an actress in a featured role in a musical
Well, newcomer Da’Vine Joy Randolph is a true gem in “Ghost: the Musical” and you cannot help but fall in love with her sauciness.  However, Judy Kaye, is a veteran of the stage and can do no wrong in “Nice Work If You Can Get It” so I think she will be the favorite.  On another note, Jessie Mueller has the voice of an angel.
Nominees:
Elizabeth A. Davis, “Once”
Jayne Houdyshell, “Follies”
Judy Kaye, “Nice Work If You Can Get It”
Jessie Mueller, “On a Clear Day You Can See Forever”
Da’Vine Joy Randolph, “Ghost the Musical”

Best Director of a Play
I think each and every one of these nominees could win.  They did such a great job with each nominated production.  However, the inventiveness and unique staging of “Peter and the Starcatcher” wins me over, so I select the partnership of Alex Timbers and Roger Rees.
Nominees:
Nicholas Hytner, “One Man, Two Guvnors”
Pam MacKinnon, “Clybourne Park”
Mike Nichols, “Death of a Salesman”
Roger Rees and Alex Timbers, “Peter and the Starcatcher”

Best Director of a Musical
Well, it is a battle between the two Js.  And as much as Glamsmash will be rooting for the ever awesome “Newsies,” I think John Tiffany’s direction in “Once” will be recognized as the best on Tony night.
Nominees:
Jeff Calhoun, “Newsies”
Kathleen Marshall, “Nice Work If You Can Get It”
Diane Paulus, “The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess”
John Tiffany, “Once”

Best Choreography
No one will be able to compete with the energy and sheer command of the stage in the “Newsies” choreography.  Christopher Gattelli is destined for a Tony on Sunday.
Nominees:
Rob Ashford, “Evita”
Christopher Gattelli, “Newsies”
Steven Hoggett, “Once”
Kathleen Marshall, “Nice Work If You Can Get It”

Best Orchestrations
Though the “Porgy and Bess” orchestrations are beautiful and “Once” has been worn out on my iPod, I must say that “Newsies” will take this award not only because of the perfection they have achieved in the orchestrations, but because there is no better sound on Broadway when Steven Malone is leading the “Newsies” orchestra.
Nominees:
William David Brohn and Christopher Jahnke, “The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess”
Bill Elliott, “Nice Work If You Can Get It”
Martin Lowe, “Once”
Danny Troob, “Newsies”

Well, as much as I want to get into the technical categories, I think this blog has gotten way too long for the average reader.  I would hate to go over 2000 words, so I think I am going to end the Tony predictions here.  Feel free to give your personal thoughts and predictions by commenting to this post.

Much love!

Ryan Chittaphong
Executive Director, Glamsmash Productions

Tony Predictions, Part 1

Hi Glamsmashers!

Since it is Tony Awards week, Glamsmash is switching gears with the blog for a second to focus on the wonderful world of live theatre.  We have had the fortunate pleasure of working with several New York theater companies and productions, so it is only fitting to focus on one of Broadway’s greatest nights, the Tonys!

Austin Sanders and I had the chance to attend the 57th Annual Drama Desk Awards this past weekend, which many people view as a foreshadowing of what the Tonys could be.  While I agree with some of the winners, others were a bit surprising.  But this got me to thinking about what my Tony Award predictions will be.  So before the ceremony gets under way this Sunday (I don’t get to watch unfortunately because I am in a production of Cloud 9 and have a show on the same night ), I wanted to share with you my predictions.

Best Play
This is a hard one.  My favorite play this year HAS to be “Peter and the Starcatcher”… but honestly, I am a HUGE Peter Pan fan, so that is a bit of an automatic love affair.  Honestly though, it is a fantastic production!  I was completely blown away.  But I don’t think anything can beat the superb and exquisitely crafted production of “Clybourne Park” which won last year’s Pulitzer Prize.  Dede Harris, who is a dear friend of Glamsmash, is a producer behind “Clybourne Park” so we gotta root for this show!
Nominees:
"Clybourne Park,"  Bruce Norris
"Other Desert Cities,"  Jon Robin Baitz
"Peter and the Starcatcher,"  Rick Elice
"Venus in Fur,"  David Ives

Best Musical
I think this category comes down to two musicals, “Once” and “Newsies”.  Anyone who has seen “Newsies” will tell you what a phenomenal production it is.  And our close friend, Steven Malone, is one of the conductors of the “Newsies” orchestra.  They said early on that it was a limited engagement, but everyone knew this would be a hit and is now in an indefinite run.  Glamsmash will definitely be rooting for “Newsies”.  However, personally I have to say that I was greatly affected by the artistry and beauty of the simplistic musical “Once.”  “Once” is a show that I could go to over and over.  The music and story line just carries me away.  I honestly think “Once” might win over most of the voters and take home the prize.  They won four awards at the Drama Desk, which was the most of all shows.
Nominees:
"Leap of Faith"
"Newsies"
"Nice Work If You Can Get It"
"Once"

Revival of a play
Though I have heard mixed reviews from fellow colleagues, I am pretty sure that “Death of a Salesman” has this award locked down with its star studded cast and creative team.  Plus, using the original set design will bring nostalgia back to any Tony voter lucky enough to have seen the original production.  Personally, I love the cast chemistry of “The Best Man” and have heard nothing by raves of the revival.
Nominees:
"Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman"
"Gore Vidal’s The Best Man"
"Master Class"
"Wit"

Best Revival of a Musical
Well, I can’t say enough about the stunning production of “Follies” that I saw earlier this year.  I think the theater community will agree with me on this one.  “Follies” ended up winning the Drama Desk Award this past weekend, and I think the Tony’s will agree.  Besides, when I saw “Porgy and Bess” Audra McDonald decided not to show up to perform… so I can’t root for that.
"Evita"
"Follies"
"The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess"
"Jesus Christ Superstar"

Check back this week to see the rest of our predictions!