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Tony Predictions: Song-and-Dance Division

Posters courtesy of Grey Gardens, Legally Blonde, Mary Poppins, and Spring Awakening

Just a few days to go until the Tony Award nominations are announced Tuesday! After one of the richest Broadway seasons in years, the noms will finally have some drama; this is the first year in memory where it's possible that not a single totally embarrassing piece of crap will get nominated for a top award. We're pleased to present our predictions for the Tony nominations in the musical categories.

Best Musical
Locks: Grey Gardens; Mary Poppins; Spring Awakening
Probably in: Legally Blonde
Possible surprise: LoveMusik

Everyone loves Grey Gardens and Spring Awakening, and Mary Poppins' eleven Outer Critics Circle nominations suggest there's a reservoir of goodwill for the Disney behemoth. If Legally Blonde weren't such a big hit, or if LoveMusik wasn't so dramatically uneven, we'd give the nod to Alfred Uhry's bio-musical of Kurt Weill, but given the mediocre reviews for both, we'll go with the box-office smash.

Best Musical Revival
Locks: 110 in the Shade; The Apple Tree; A Chorus Line; Company
Possible surprise: None

Surely they won’t nominate the only other eligible revival, Les Misérables, right?

Best Actor
Locks: Michael Cerveris, LoveMusik; Raúl Esparza, Company
Probably in: Jonathan Groff, Spring Awakening
On the bubble: David Hyde Pierce, Curtains; Martin Short, Martin Short: Fame Becomes Me
Possible surprises: Will Chase, High Fidelity; Gavin Lee, Mary Poppins

Will the Tony nominators go with the big Hollywood names in this category or with unknowns? Both Martin Short and Will Chase gave decent performances in musical comedies that impressed few and have already closed, but we tend to think Short will get the nod just to up the celebrity quotient at the always-desperate-for-viewers Tonys.

Best Actress
Locks: Kristin Chenoweth, The Apple Tree; Christine Ebersole, Grey Gardens; Audra McDonald, 110 in the Shade; Donna Murphy, LoveMusik
Fighting it out for the last two slots: Ashley Brown, Mary Poppins; Laura Bell Bundy, Legally Blonde; Debra Monk, Curtains

Pity everyone in this category; how often do Tony hopefuls have to go up against four beloved Broadway legends? Chenoweth, Ebersole, McDonald, and Murphy share eight Tonys among them and are shoo-ins to be nominated again this year. Poor single-Tony winner Monk may get shut out, despite her well-liked performance in Curtains, just so the category includes at least one fresh face.