Who Really Deserves ‘Best Actress’ Award At 2011 Tony Awards?

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Jennifer Jason Leigh, Ben Stiller and Edie Falco on the Broadway opening night of ‘The House of Blue Leaves’ at the Walter Kerr Theatre on April 25, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Henry S. Dziekan III/Getty Images)

Jennifer Jason Leigh, Ben Stiller and Edie Falco on the Broadway opening night of ‘The House of Blue Leaves’ at the Walter Kerr Theatre on April 25, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Henry S. Dziekan III/Getty Images)

WCBS 880′s Jim Taylor shares his thoughts on Broadway and the 2011 Tony Awards. He will be blogging about his picks and predictions on the nominees, and will cover the awards from the red carpet on June 12th.

I have been on a red carpet or two during the course of my journalism career, though not for anything quite so star-studded as the 65th annual Tony Awards, set to take place Sunday evening.

What a thrill. Here’s the line-up: the evening hosted by Emmy winner Neil Patrick Harris, and will feature appearances by: Daniel Radcliffe, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Whoopi Goldberg, Chris Rock, Alec Baldwin, Samuel L. Jackson, Kelsey Grammer, Viola Davis, Vanessa Redgrave, James Earl Jones, Harry Connick, Jr., Christie Brinkley, David Hyde Pierce, Marg Helgenberger, Matthew Broderick, Angela Lansbury, Jim Parsons, Joel Grey, Patrick Wilson, Robert Morse and many others.

Meanwhile, I have been trying desperately to see everything before this Sunday. Somehow one big one escaped me until late: ‘House of Blue Leaves.’

Written a long time ago by John Guare (‘Six Degrees of Separation’), it tells an interwoven story of love, loss, and what might have been. And it features the perhaps the most star power on one stage this season: Ben Stiller, Edie Falco and Jennifer Jason Leigh. Mary Beth Hurt, Thomas Sadowski, and Alison Pill don’t show up till the second act. Which may be the funniest second act on Broadway right now (okay, okay…’Importance of Being Earnest,” I know).

About Edie Falco: She is marvelous. Transcendent. It’s a wonder to simply watch her act when others are going through their lines on stage. Who cares about them, I’m watching her every move, every carefully nuanced decision she makes. Yes she’s nominated – but not for the best actress nod. Rather, she’s nominated for best performance by an actress in a featured role. Will she win? It would be okay with me. Although Ellen Barkin is similarly nominated for ‘The Normal Heart.’

As for the Best Actress, I’m torn between newcomer Nina Arianda in ‘Born Yesterday’ and screen veteran Frances McDormand in ‘Good People.’ Because of what happened the other night however, I’m gonna go with Ms. McDormand.

At a critical point in the tension-filled show, a cell phone went off in the audience – and someone answered it with ‘Hello?’

Ms. McDormand stopped the performance and announced the cast would wait until the call was finished. For that she wins some kind of award. Personally, I’m in favor of tossing out people whose phones go off in the theatre.

Oh calm down. Tony Awards air this Sunday night on CBS. Did I mention I’m excited?

Click here for complete Tony Award coverage.

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