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2014 Tony Awards: OUR Picks for Who SHOULD Win

Tickets-page-imageLast year, my choices for Best Play and Best Revival of a Play actually won the 2013 Tony Awards. My choice for Best Musical and Best Revival of a Musical did not. The way I see it, my views — and yours — are just as valid choices as those by the Tony voters — many of whom are out-of-towners who don’t necessarily see all the shows.

Below are my picks, and yours, for the 2014 Tony Awards — by which I mean, whom I would choose among the nominees. These are not my predictions of who will actually win: How can I guess what 800-odd people who haven’t even seen all the shows will vote for? And why should I? We’ll learn the answers soon enough (on June 8th.)

I took a survey asking you which ones you would pick for 14 of the categories, and I’ve put the results of that (so far) as well. (I’ll update the results if they change.)

Best Play

Nominees: Act One, All The Way, Casa Valentina, Mothers and Sons, Outside Mullingar

My choice: All The Way.

Survey choice:  Act One

All The Way, a play by Robert Shenkkan about President Lyndon Johnson, is a smart history lesson (that’s not a put-down: I love history.)  If it’s not a play for the ages, it’s the best of the nominated lot this year, all of which I found engaging, albeit flawed.

Best Musical

Nominees: After Midnight, Aladdin, Beautiful The Carole King Musical, A Gentleman’s Guide To Love and Murder

My choice: After Midnight

Survey choice: A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder

I loved this revue, which has virtually no book, but I’m choosing it in a process of elimination. I did not like A Gentleman’s Guide.

Best Revival of A Play

Nominees: The Cripple of Inishmaan, The Glass Menagerie, A Raisin in the Sun, Twelfth Night

My choice: The Glass Menagerie

Survey choice: The Glass Menagerie

This is the hardest category. Every single one of these revivals deserves an award. But “The Glass Menagerie” has never even been nominated before as a production,  although it’s been on Broadway a total of seven times,

Best Revival of a Musical

Nominees: Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Les Miserables, Violet

My choice: Hedwig and the Angry Inch 

Survey choice: Hedwig and the Angry Inch

 

Best Book of a Musical

Nominees: Aladdin, Beautiful,Bullets Over Broadway, A Gentleman’s Guide To Love and Murder

This one is a tough choice, because I hate two of the shows mostly because of their books, and the books of the two I like are among their weakest elements.  If forced to vote, I would do so for Beautiful.

 

Best Original Score

Nominees: Aladdin, The Bridges of Madison County, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder,  If/Then

My Choice: The Bridges of Madison County


Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play

Nominees:

Samuel Barnett, Twelfth Night
Bryan Cranston, All The Way
Chris O’Dowd, Of Mice and Men
Mark Rylance, Richard III
Tony Shalhoub, Act One

My choice; Bryan Cranston

Survey choice: Bryan Cranston

A shout-out to all of the actors in this category.


Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play

Tyne Daly, Mothers and Sons
LaTanya Richardson Jackson, A Raisin in the Sun
Cherry Jones, The Glass Menagerie
Audra McDonald, Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill
Estelle Parsons, The Velocity of Autumn

My choice: Cherry Jones

Survey choice: Audra McDonald

This is the exact contest that could encourage any sane theater lover to turn against the whole concept of awards competition. How dare they pit such national treasures against one another. The Tony committee put Audra McDonald in the wrong category.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical

Neil Patrick Harris, Hedwig and the Angry Inch
Ramin Karimloo, Les Misérables
Andy Karl, Rocky
Jefferson Mays, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder
Bryce Pinkham, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder

My choice: Neil Patrick Harris

Survey choice:  Neil Patrick Harris


Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical

Mary Bridget Davies, A Night with Janis Joplin
Sutton Foster, Violet
Idina Menzel, If/Then
Jessie Mueller, Beautiful – The Carole King Musical
Kelli O’Hara, The Bridges of Madison County

My choice: Kelli O’Hara

Survey choice:  Kelli O’Hara


Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Play

Reed Birney, Casa Valentina
Paul Chahidi, Twelfth Night
Stephen Fry, Twelfth Night
Mark Rylance, Twelfth Night
Brian J. Smith, The Glass Menagerie

My choice: Brian J. Smith

Survey choice: Brian J. Smith


Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play

Sarah Greene, The Cripple of Inishmaan
Celia Keenan-Bolger, The Glass Menagerie
Sophie Okonedo, A Raisin in the Sun
Anika Noni Rose, A Raisin in the Sun
Mare Winningham, Casa Valentina

My choice: Celia Keenan-Bolger

Survey choice: Celia Keenan-Bolger


Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical

Danny Burstein, Cabaret
Nick Cordero, Bullets Over Broadway
Joshua Henry, Violet
James Monroe Iglehart, Aladdin
Jarrod Spector, Beautiful – The Carole King Musical

My choice: James Monroe Iglehart

Survey choice: James Monroe Iglehart


Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical

Linda Emond, Cabaret
Lena Hall, Hedwig and the Angry Inch
Anika Larsen, Beautiful – The Carole King Musical
Adriane Lenox, After Midnight
Lauren Worsham, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder

My choice: Linda Emond

Survey choice: Lena Hall


Best Scenic Design of a Play

Beowulf Boritt, Act One
Bob Crowley, The Glass Menagerie
Es Devlin, Machinal
Christopher Oram, The Cripple of Inishmaan

My choice: Es Devlin


Best Scenic Design of a Musical

Christopher Barreca, Rocky
Julian Crouch, Hedwig and the Angry Inch
Alexander Dodge, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder
Santo Loquasto, Bullets Over Broadway

My choice: Christopher Barreca


Best Costume Design of a Play

Jane Greenwood, Act One
Michael Krass, Machinal
Rita Ryack, Casa Valentina
Jenny Tiramani, Twelfth Night

My choice: Jenny Tiramani

While the costumes in all these shows were great, this is no contest: The Twelfth Night costumes meticulously re-created what Elizabethan actors actually wore, using only material that was available in England during the era.


Best Costume Design of a Musical

Linda Cho, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder
William Ivey Long, Bullets Over Broadway
Arianne Phillips, Hedwig and the Angry Inch
Isabel Toledo, After Midnight

My choice: Isabel Toledo


Best Lighting Design of a Play

Paule Constable, The Cripple of Inishmaan
Jane Cox, Machinal
Natasha Katz, The Glass Menagerie
Japhy Weideman, Of Mice and Men

My choice: Jane Cox

This was a tough choice.  If nothing else, this was a season of terrific lighting.


Best Lighting Design of a Musical

Kevin Adams, Hedwig and the Angry Inch
Christopher Akerlind, Rocky
Howell Binkley, After Midnight
Donald Holder, The Bridges of Madison County

My choice: Kevin Adams

I’m surprised that Paule Constable was not nominated for her work on “Les Miserables.” Adams’ lighting helped turn this musical into an exciting rock show.


Best Sound Design of a Play

Alex Baranowski, The Cripple of Inishmaan
Steve Canyon Kennedy, Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill
Dan Moses Schreier, Act One
Matt Tierney, Machinal

My choice: Matt Tierney


Best Sound Design of a Musical

Peter Hylenski, After Midnight
Tim O’Heir, Hedwig and the Angry Inch
Mick Potter, Les Misérables
Brian Ronan, Beautiful – The Carole King Musical

My choice: Peter Hylenski

 

Best Direction of a Play

Tim Carroll, Twelfth Night
Michael Grandage, The Cripple of Inishmaan
Kenny Leon, A Raisin in the Sun
John Tiffany, The Glass Menagerie

My choice: Tim Carroll

Survey choice: John Tiffany


Best Direction of a Musical

Warren Carlyle, After Midnight
Michael Mayer, Hedwig and the Angry Inch
Leigh Silverman, Violet
Darko Tresnjak, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder

My choice: Michael Mayer

Survey choice: Michael Mayer


Best Choreography

Warren Carlyle, After Midnight
Steven Hoggett & Kelly Devine, Rocky
Casey Nicholaw, Aladdin Susan Stroman, Bullets Over Broadway

My choice: Warren Carlyle 

Best Orchestrations

Doug Besterman, Bullets Over Broadway
Jason Robert Brown, The Bridges of Madison County
Steve Sidwell, Beautiful – The Carole King Musical
Jonathan Tunick, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder

My choice: Jason Robert Brown

 

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About New York Theater
Jonathan Mandell is a 3rd generation NYC journalist, who sees shows, reads plays, writes reviews and sometimes talks with people.

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