Tony Predictions: Song-and-Dance Division

The four contenders.Photo: iStockphoto

Just a few days to go until the Tony-award nominations are announced Tuesday! It’s been a great but thin year for musical revivals, and kind of a weird year for new musicals. We know Glory Days won’t get nominated for anything, but what about all the other shows? Now that Michael Riedel has weighed in with his predictions — whaddya know, nothing for The Country Girl! — we’re happy to present our predictions for the Tony nominations in the musical categories.

Best Musical
Locks: In the Heights; Passing Strange
Probably in: Cry-Baby; Xanadu
Possible surprise: A Catered Affair

Are we crazy to think that Tony nominators are a lot more likely to embrace the cheese — and touring potential — of Cry-Baby rather than the dour drama of A Catered Affair, despite its pedigree? Or would we be crazier to suggest that the Tonys would ignore all three of the three kings of current Broadway musical theater: Walt Disney (The Little Mermaid), Mel Brooks (Young Frankenstein), and Harvey Fierstein?

Best Musical Revival
Locks: Gypsy; South Pacific; Sunday in the Park With George
Probably in: A ham
Possible surprise: Grease

Unlike last year, when this category featured five eligible shows — allowing relieved nominators to exclude the miserable Les Misérables — only four musical revivals bowed in the 2007–2008 season. We still think the committee will trim the category to three rather than nominate Grease — or they might nominate our choice, a large, honey-roasted ham.

Best Actor
Locks: Lin-Manuel Miranda, In the Heights; Paulo Szot, South Pacific; Stew, Passing Strange
Probably in: Boyd Gaines, Gypsy; Tom Wopat, A Catered Affair
Possible surprises: Daniel Evans, Sunday in the Park With George; Cheyenne Jackson, Xanadu

Two beloved theater vets seem likely to round out the top five, but they’re challenged by two young upstarts in two very different roles: Evans in the gorgeous but not quite beloved Sunday, and Jackson in the beloved but not good exactly Xanadu. We’ll give the edge to the vets — because the three locks are all Broadway virgins.

Update: Publicists and commenters are telling us that Boyd Gaines has been officially declared a Featured Actor for Gypsy, not a Lead Actor. So cross him off the list!

Best Actress
Locks: Patti LuPone, Gypsy; Kelli O’Hara, South Pacific
It doesn’t really matter because either Patti or Kelli will win and maybe both if the Tonys are smart about it: Kerry Butler, Xanadu; Jenna Russell, Sunday in the Park With George; Faith Prince, A Catered Affair
Possible surprise: Mandy Gonzalez, In the Heights

This one seems pretty easy.

Related: Tony Nominations, Sturm-und-Drang Division!

Tony Predictions: Song-and-Dance Division