Tuesday, June 4, 2013


Here are my predictions of who will walk home with Broadway's biggest prizes on Sunday night. I didn't include every award, just the ones I have strong opinions about. Please comment with thoughts on whether or not you agree!

Best Play
Will Win: Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike - I think this critical and fan favorite will get the big prize for plays. It was a huge success off and on Broadway, which speaks well to its chances.

Should Win: Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike - It should win for the reasons above

Could Win: Lucky Guy - Tom Hanks and Nora Ephron make a killer combo. While I think they have better shots individually, they could take the big prize too.

Best Musical
Will Win: Matilda - While I had my own opinions about it, it was an amazing production altogether, which is what this award is about. Plus the fact that it is the most popular new show on Broadway right now, it should follow up its success from London.

Should Win: Matilda - It was one of (if not) the best productions I've ever seen and does truly deserve the honor.

Could Win: Kinky Boots - This show has a little bit wider a net than Matilda and considering a lot of out of town professionals are voters, there could be a big push for a Kinky Boots win.

Best Revival of a Play
Will Win: Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? - This was the best play I have ever seen. I could have sat through a whole night of this production and I think voters will remember it.

Should Win: Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? - See above

Could Win: The Trip to Bountiful/Golden Boy - These shows got great reviews, so if people "forget" about Woolf, either show could walk away big.

Best Revival of a Musical
Will Win: Pippin - An all-around amazing production of one of the most beloved musicals directed by Tony-baby Diane Paulus, with a circus troupe and amazing cast. This is a no-brainer.

Should Win: Pippin - See above.

Could Win: Let's be honest. Pippin is going to win.

Best Book of a Musical
Will Win: Dennis Kelly, Matilda - The book was witty and endearing, without losing its grit. It is going to be hard to beat.

Should Win: Dennis Kelly, Matilda - See above.

Could Win: Harvey Fierstein, Kinky Boots - He is loved by the theatre community and people are loving Kinky Boots right now. Could be a lethal combo.

Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) Written for the Theatre
Will Win: Cyndi Lauper, Kinky Boots - I think this will be where Kinky Boots overthrows Matilda. It's a great pop score written by one of pop's biggest legends.

Should Win: Cyndi Lauper, Kinky Boots - I might get backlash for saying this, but I think Cyndi wrote the best score of the year. Sorry, Tim. It might not be as complex, but I think it's a great score.

Could Win: Tim Minchin, Matilda - Another great score that is complex and well written. I just don't think it was perfect and I think this was one of the weaker parts of Matilda. Sorry, not sorry.

I'm just adding - I would LOVE to see Pasek & Paul take the award to support new, contemporary musical theatre (my favorite), but don't think it will happen.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play
Will Win: Tom Hanks, Lucky Guy - Big Hollywood star giving a great performance in a well-received show that already recouped. It's his to lose.

Should Win: Tracy Letts, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? - The fact that as George he gave the strongest performance of the show in a group of powerhouse actors should win him the award alone. Unfortunately, I think the show closed too long ago.

Could Win: Nathan Lane, The Nance - Nathan Lane has a lot of fans out there and is giving one hell of a performance.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play (Arguably the toughest category)
Will Win: Cicely Tyson, The Trip to Bountiful - Easily the critic favorite who seems to be gaining the most traction ahead of the awards.

Should Win: Amy Morton, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? - If you can't tell, I loved this show. Amy's performance was amazing, but will be forgotten in such a crowded category considering the show closed so long ago.

Could Win: Kristine Nielsen, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike - The fact that she completely overshadowed Sigouney Weaver should show how great a performance she gave. She could be the black horse winner, and a well-deserved one at that.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical
Will Win: Bertie Carvel, Matilda The Musical - If you read my review of MATILDA, you'd know that this is the performance to beat. He was flawless and perfect in every way.

Should Win: Bertie Carvel, Matilda The Musical - See above.

Could Win: Billy Porter, Kinky Boots - If Bertie wasn't in this category, it'd definitely be Billy's to lose. That's why I'm not counting out his powerful, drag performance yet.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical
Will Win: Patina Miller, Pippin - She is one of the highlights of one of the most talked about shows of the season. Plus she is playing one of the greatest musical theatre roles created. I think it's definitely hers to lose.

Should Win: Patina Miller, Pippin - See above.

Could Win: Laura Osnes, Rodgers + Hammerstein's Cinderella - She is a princess. And Broadway's princess at that. She might pick up her Tony for this role, but I think she won't get the necessary support.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Play
Will Win: Danny Burstein, Golden Boy - People really love Danny Burstein.

Should Win: I honestly don't know.

Could Win: Courtney B. Vance, Lucky Guy - He got some serious raves for his performance. And working with Tom Hanks doesn't hurt.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play
Will Win: Judith Light, The Assembled Parties - She followed up an amazing Tony Award-winning performance from last season with another amazing performance. She will win again.

Should Win: Judith Light, The Assembled Parties - See above.

Could Win: I honestly doubt Judith will lose.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical
Will Win: Terrence Mann, Pippin - Pippin is going to get a lot of love in the acting categories, as it was overall probably the strongest musical of the year.

Should Win: Will Chase, The Mystery of Edwin Drood - He will have been forgotten by now, but I think his performance was definitely a standout in this super fun revival.

Could Win: Keith Carradine, Hands on a Hardbody - I was one of like 10 people saw this show, but if enough people did, his performance was heartwarming and powerful enough to sway some voters.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical
Will Win: Andrea Martin, Pippin - She gets a mid-show standing ovation at most performances. I'd say that is a good indication that she will win.

Should Win: Andrea Martin, Pippin - See above.

Could Win: Annaleigh Ashford, Kinky Boots or Keala Settle, Hands on a Hardbody - Both gave some of the strongest performances in their shows and could get enough love/split the vote enough to walk away with the award.

Best Direction of a Musical
Will Win: Matthew Warchus, Matilda The Musical - This show had amazing vision all the way through and I think that is a direct reflection of phenomenal direction.

Should Win: Diane Paulus, Pippin - In typical Paulus fashion, she did something amazing that I don't think anyone else would attempt. She deserves this award.

Could Win: Jerry Mitchell, Kinky Boots - He is loved and did a great job with one of the season's best shows. I don't think he should be counted out.

Best Choreography
Will Win: Peter Darling, Matilda The Musical - While I wasn't wow-ed by the choreo, a lot of people were and I think it's uniqueness will win it the award.

Should Win: Jerry Mitchell, Kinky Boots - This is one award I think Kinky Boots definitely has on Matilda, but I don't know if the voters will agree.

Could Win: Chet Walker, Pippin - His Fosse-inspired choreo could have a lot of voters on his side.

I know this was long winded, but now all my opinions are on the table. I can't wait to see what happens Sunday!


So. Better late than never. But FINALLY, here is my review of MATILDA on Broadway.

I probably haven't ever had a show built up for me as much as MATILDA was. Reviews were stellar. Word of mouth was stellar. My friends who saw the show in London (and are the pickiest theatregoers I know) said it was the most amazing experience they ever had in the theatre. Unfortunately, my reaction wasn't on the same level.

I thoroughly enjoyed the two and a half hours I spent in the Shubert Theatre and will argue that it was one of the best productions I have ever seen. Technically, everything was as on point as Matilda's quick wit, but the show itself didn't resonate with me as I had hoped.

Tim Minchin's pop-y score had standout moments (like Bertie Carvel's "The Smell of Rebellion" and the ensemble number "When I Grow Up"), but didn't have me leave the theatre thinking I needed to listen to the score on repeat for the next month. The group numbers were definitely the highlights, with the solo numbers lacking some of the luster and power that they could have had.

Dennis Kelly's book was as witty as one would hope for a show about a young girl with brilliance beyond her years. The problem, for me, was that it didn't resonate. I felt for Matilda and her classmates, but it didn't instill in me any sort of passion. While I am not one to ever argue that shows can be "for boys" or "for girls," after talking with a lot of my (female) friends, I think some of the meaning is lost on a young adult male like myself.

There are a few parts of the hype though that I COMPLETELY agree with. First. BERTIE FREAKING CARVEL! If he does not win the Tony Award this Sunday, I will revolt like the children in the show. His performance was flawless . He made my skin crawl from his visciousness, and I felt his pain in some of his more emotional scenes. His portrayal of Miss Trunchbull was so well created that I at no point thought I was watching a man playing a woman. Bertie Carvel was Miss Trunchbull.

I am not going to say which Matilda I saw (because it shouldn't matter). But she was a superstar on stage. Although one of the youngest, smallest members of the company, she commanded the attention she deserved as the eponymous character.

Technically, the show was gorgeous. From the moment you walk in and see the proscenium covered with Scrabble tile-like letters, you know you are in for a treat. The set was simple in looks, but complex in use. Things went in and out of the wood floor with ease, creating the library, home, and school quickly and efficiently. The lighting was phenomenal, especially with some surprises that will please any audience. The coolest thing for me was when Matilda used her powers and things moved by themselves. I couldn't figure out how they made the tricks worked, which made it super effective as an audience member. Most times the theatre-maker in me can figure out how things happen, but I was as dumbfounded as Trunchbull when Matilda made the chalk move.

I understand why MATILDA got the hype it did and am glad it is a success. I am interested to see how it fares come Sunday.