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MAY
27
4 MOS

FEINBERG FORECAST: Tonys Race Heats Up With 10 Days Until Voting Closes

THR's awards analyst weighs the impact of the Drama League Awards, the Outer Critics Circle Awards, the Manhattan Theatre Club's annual gala and other awards season campaign stops, spots and endorsements.

After Midnight Dule Hill Cast - H 2013
Matthew Murphy
Best musical Tony nominee "After Midnight"

The following projections and commentary are based on THR awards analyst Scott Feinberg's ongoing viewings of the nominees; his consultations with THR theater critic David Rooney; and careful readings of other Broadway commentators, plus Tony history books, rule books and much more. You can expect new and updated forecasts each Monday [Tuesday this week due to the holiday] through the Tonys!

* * *

BEST PLAY
Nominees
1. All the Way (March 6-, THR review)
2. Casa Valentina (April 23-, THR review)

3. Act One (April 17-, THR review)
4. Mothers and Sons (Oct. 17-, THR review)
5. Outside Mullingar (Jan. 23-March 16, THR review)

On May 16, Robert Schenkkan added some additional hardware to his mantelpiece when his LBJ bioplay All the Way was awarded this year's Drama League Award for Outstanding Production of a Broadway or Off-Broadway Play.… Casa Valentina scribe Harvey Fierstein has been getting plenty of exposure as well, penning an op-ed about transsexuality -- the subject of Casa -- in The New York Times on May 17 and both presenting at the Obies and co-hosting, with Mullingar star Debra Messing, the star-studded annual gala of the Manhattan Theatre Club -- which produced Casa and Mullingar -- on May 19.… On May 22, the team behind Mothers and Sons unleashed a provocative new TV and Twitter campaign to promote their show, which looks at the present-day reverberations of the AIDS crisis of the 1980s.

BEST MUSICAL
Nominees
1. Beautiful: The Carole King Musical (Jan. 12-, THR review)
2. A Gentleman's Guide to Love & Murder (Nov. 17-, THR review)
3. Aladdin (March 20-, THR review)
4. After Midnight (Nov. 3-, THR review)

A Gentleman's Guide to Love & Murder, which received a field-leading 10 Tony noms en route to an Outer Critics Circle win and other accolades, continued to perform strongly on the awards circuit since our last update, picking up the Drama League Award for Outstanding Production of a Broadway or Off-Broadway Musical on May 16.… While Beautiful is still in search of similar precursor recognition -- it could get it at the 59th Drama Desk Awards on June 1, although Gentleman's has a field-leading 12 noms there -- it does have other cause for celebration: Its original cast recording, released on May 13, debuted at  No. 1 on the Billboard Top Broadway Albums Chart and, even more notably, came in at No. 60 on the Billboard Top 200 Chart, a ranking matched in recent years by only The Book of Mormon and Kinky Boots.… Aladdin was the object of a love letter in the May 19 Wall Street Journal and could get a big boost at the 32nd Annual Fred and Adele Astaire Awards, which honor choreography, on June 2.… After Midnight was feted at a May 20 dinner hosted by Tommy Tune, got a nice endorsement on May 25 and will, apparently, provide the opening number at the Tonys on June 8.

BEST REVIVAL OF A PLAY
Nominees
1. The Glass Menagerie (Sept. 26-Feb. 23, THR review)
2. A Raisin in the Sun (April 3-, THR review)

3. Twelfth Night (Nov. 10-Feb. 16, THR review)
4. The Cripple of Inishmaan (April 20-, THR review)

The Glass Menagerie, which closed way back in February, is winning accolades over shows that are still on Broadway and going strong (A Raisin in the Sun and The Cripple of Inishmaan) plus one other that is also long gone (Twelfth Night): On May 16, Menagerie was honored as the year's Outstanding Revival of a Broadway or Off-Broadway Play by the Drama League.… Inishmaan isn't going down without a fight, unleashing its not-so-secret weapon, its A-list star Daniel Radcliffe, just as voting is heating up. Radcliffe was a guest on the May 23 episode of Charlie Rose.

BEST REVIVAL OF A MUSICAL
Nominees
1. Hedwig and the Angry Inch (April 22-, THR review)
2. Les Miserables (March 23-, THR review)
3. Violet (April 20-, THR review)

Hedwig is starting to look unbeatable, adding to its already long list of honors, on May 16, the Drama League's prize for Outstanding Revival of a Broadway or Off-Broadway Musical. On May 20, the show's playwright John Cameron Mitchell, composer Stephen Trask and star Neil Patrick Harris talked it up at a "Times Talks" event. And, at its May 22 performance, in its audience was not only yours truly, but also Madonna, who Instagrammed a pic of the show and told her Twitter followers, "Go see Hedwig and The Angry Inch! On Broadway. It was incredibly moving! I loved it! @hedwigonbroadway A real example of #artforfreedom." … On May 20, Les Miserables star Nikki James performed the show's song "On My Own" on The Wendy Williams Show.… Also on May 20, Violet had a nice media hit as well, with the show's nominees Sutton Foster and Joshua Henry and Colin Donnell performing its song "All to Pieces" on The View -- and receiving a standing ovation for their efforts.

BEST ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE IN A PLAY
Nominees
1. Bryan Cranston (All the Way)

2. Tony Shalhoub (Act One)
3. Mark Rylance (Richard III)
4. Samuel Barnett (Twelfth Night)

5. Chris O'Dowd (Of Mice and Men)

Cranston collected his certificate for Outstanding Actor in a Play at the 57th Outer Critics Circle Awards on May 24 at Sardi's. Days earlier, on May 21, his friend and former Seinfeld costar Jason Alexander tweeted that he'd seen All the Way and found Cranston "BRILLIANT… this is a not 2 B missed performance!" … O'Dowd was a nominee for Best Male Performance in a Comedy Programme at the BAFTA Arqiva British Academy Television Awards, which were given out in London on May 18. He was unable to attend the show -- as he put it on Twitter, "Sad to be missing the BAFTAs. Would love to be there doing my good loser face, but these puppies won't strangle themselves." -- and ended up losing to his The It Crowd costar Richard Ayoade.

BEST ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE IN A PLAY
Nominees
1. Audra McDonald (Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill)

2. LaTanya Richardson Jackson (A Raisin in the Sun)
3. Cherry Jones (The Glass Menagerie)
4. Tyne Daly (Mothers and Sons)

5. Estelle Parsons (The Velocity of Autumn)

McDonald collected her certificate for Outstanding Actress in a Musical (a category in which she was deemed ineligible by the Tonys Administration Committee) at the Outer Critics Circle Awards ceremony. Days earlier, on May 21, Jason Alexander caught her show and tweeted "McDonald is peerless… Transformational performance," … Freshly minted Cannes Award winner Julianne Moore is hosting a tea this afternoon for Jackson, at which the attendance of many other big names -- including Phylicia Rashad (who won a Tony for playing Jackson's role in a prior Raisin revival a decade ago), Judith Light, Heather Hitchens, Whoopi Goldberg, Judith Jamison and Patti Lupone -- is expected.… Daly is at the center of a new TV commercial promoting her show.… A trailer has been released for Sarah Treem's upcoming off-Broadway drama When We Were Young and Unafraid, which will be produced by the Manhattan Theatre Club and will star Jones -- who was on hand at the 57th Outer Critics Circle Awards ceremony to collect a certificate recognizing her as the year's Outstanding Actress in a Play.

BEST ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE IN A MUSICAL
Nominees
1. Neil Patrick Harris (Hedwig and the Angry Inch)

2. Jefferson Mays (A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder)
3. Andy Karl (Rocky)
4. Bryce Pinkham (A Gentleman's Guide to Love & Murder)
5. Ramin Karimloo (Les Miserables)

At the Drama League Awards on May 16, Harris was the sole thesp feted, picking up the Distinguished Performance Award.… At the Outer Critics' Circle Awards, Mays picked up a certificate recognizing him as the year's Outstanding Actor in a Musical.… Karl was a guest on the May 22 episode of Larry King Now, a day after he received high praise from Broadway giant John Patrick Shanley (who tweeted, "I just saw Andy Karl in Rocky. He is crazy beautiful in the part, a fiery star, gigantic and human. I was shocked by the talent.") and the same day on which Jason Alexander tweeted kind words, as well ("Welp, if you ever wanted a Bway musical to blow your mind at the final curtain, go see Andy Karl & Co. In ROCKY. Talk about packs a punch.").

BEST ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE IN A MUSICAL
Nominees
1. Jessie Mueller (Beautiful: The Carole King Musical)
2. Kelli O'Hara (The Bridges of Madison County)
3. Idina Menzel (If/Then)
4. Sutton Foster (Violet)
5. Mary Bridget Davies (A Night With Janis Joplin)

The legendary Liza Minnelli caught the May 14 performance of Beautiful and afterward warmly embraced star Mueller.… Just a day after Bridges closed, O'Hara performed at the Manhattan Theatre Club's annual gala on May 19 and received the loudest ovation of any of the many musical performers -- and high praise from fellow Tony nominee/MTC gala performer Bryce Pinkham (A Gentleman's Guide to Love & Murder), who tweeted, "Well. It's final. @kelliohara is the image and sound of grace. Singing from @BridgesBroadway @MTC_NYC's Gala tonight #wow." A few days later, on May 23, O'Hara and several of her Bridges collaborators marked the release of the show's original cast recording with a concert and album signing.… On May 20, Bobby Lopez, who co-wrote the Oscar-winning song "Let It Go" for Frozen that Menzel turned into a hit, tweeted, "Saw the incomparable @idinamenzel kick ass and take names tonight with the fantastic cast of @IfThenMusical kudos to Yorkey and Kitt!"

BEST ACTOR IN A FEATURED ROLE IN A PLAY
Nominees
1. Mark Rylance (Twelfth Night)
2. Brian J. Smith (The Glass Menagerie)
3. Reed Birney (Casa Valentina)

4. Stephen Fry (Twelfth Night)
5. Paul Chahidi (Twelfth Night)

At the Outer Critics Circle Awards ceremony, Smith collected a certificate for the year's Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play.

BEST ACTRESS IN A FEATURED ROLE IN A PLAY
Nominees
1. Sophie Okonedo (A Raisin in the Sun)
2. Mare Winningham (Casa Valentina)

3. Celia Keenan-Bolger (The Glass Menagerie)
4. Anika Noni Rose (A Raisin in the Sun)
5. Sarah Greene (The Cripple of Inishmaan)

Winningham collected her certificate for Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play at the Outer Critics Circle Awards.… Noble, an indie Irish film starring, among others, breakout actress Greene, screened out of competition at the Cannes Film Festival.

BEST ACTOR IN A FEATURED ROLE IN A MUSICAL
Nominees
1. James Monroe Iglehart (Aladdin)

2. Nick Cordero (Bullets Over Broadway)
3. Jarrod Spector (Beautiful: The Carole King Musical)
4. Danny Burstein (Cabaret)
5. Joshua Henry (Violet)

Cordero collected his certificate for Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical at the Outer Critics Circle Awards ceremony.

BEST ACTRESS IN A FEATURED ROLE IN A MUSICAL
Nominees
1. Lena Hall (Hedwig and the Angry Inch)

2. Anika Larsen (Beautiful: The Carole King Musical)
3. Adriane Lenox (After Midnight)

4. Linda Emond (Cabaret)
5. Lauren Worsham (A Gentleman's Guide to Love & Murder)

Hall and Worsham were the subject of an "odd couple" profile in The New York Times on May 25.

BEST BOOK OF A MUSICAL
Nominees
1. A Gentleman's Guide to Love & Murder (Robert L. Freedman)

2. Beautiful: The Carole King Musical (Douglas McGrath)
3. Aladdin (Chad Beguelin)
4. Bullets Over Broadway (Woody Allen)

Freedman collected his certificate for Outstanding Book of a Musical at the Outer Critics Circle Awards.

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE (MUSIC AND/OR LYRICS) WRITTEN FOR THE THEATRE
Nominees
1. A Gentleman's Guide to Love & Murder (Steven Lutvak, Robert L. Freedman)

2. The Bridges of Madison County (Jason Robert Brown)
3. Aladdin (Chad Beguelin, Alan Menken)
4. If/Then (Tom Kitt, Brian Yorkey)

Brown collected his certificate for Outstanding New Score at the Outer Critics Circle Awards.

Twitter: @ScottFeinberg