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Play And Musical Revivals Make For Cutthroat Competition In Tony Award Categories

May 4, 2011 2:57 PM

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"Good People" Opening Night (credit: Taylor Hill/Getty Images)

“Good People” Opening Night (credit: Taylor Hill/Getty Images)

112801610 Play And Musical Revivals Make For Cutthroat Competition In Tony Award Categories

The opening night of "Jerusalem" on Broadway at The Music Box Theatre on April 21, 2011. (credit: Slaven Vlasic/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 up until the awards on June 12.

Best Play

109755603 Play And Musical Revivals Make For Cutthroat Competition In Tony Award Categories

"Good People" Opening Night (credit: Taylor Hill/Getty Images)

Thanks to an impressive run in London, War Horse rode in as the pre-season favorite. Dark, fearsome and plenty of great puppetry — albeit not a favorite of the Humane Society, and perhaps no longer the favorite for a Tony. That could instead be Good People, the dark but not too fearsome David Lindsay-Abaire play that features Francis McDormand. She is so real. The play is so now.

Jerusalem is a three-hour Mark Rylance spectacular that’s, well, dark…and fearsome. If he doesn’t win, it’s a crime (although I say that without having seen the magnificent Joe Mantello in A Normal Heart). That leaves the Chris Rock vehicle Mother****** with the Hat — interestingly, it’s his co-star Bobby Cannavale who is nominated.

Invoking the spirit of Bill Murray, I’m gonna say that veteran actors Brian Bedford in The Importance of Being Earnest and Al Pacino in ‘the Merchant of Venice’ cancel each other out.

Best Revival Of A Musical

anything goes broadway Play And Musical Revivals Make For Cutthroat Competition In Tony Award Categories

Sutton Foster and Joel Grey (C) and the cast of the Broadway play 'Anything Goes' takes a bow during curtain call opening night of 'Anything Goes' at Stephen Sondheim Theatre on April 7, 2011. (credit: Bennet Raglin/Getty Images)

The best revival of a musical is between just two venerable shows: the old-timey pleasures of the Cole Porter-packed Anything Goes versus the over-rehearsed self-conscious How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. Guess which one I’m picking.

Best Revival Of A Play

110398683 Play And Musical Revivals Make For Cutthroat Competition In Tony Award Categories

"Arcadia" Broadway Opening Night (credit: Jemal Countess/Getty Images)

This may be the toughest category to predict this year. I can’t do it. Arcadia made my head spin. The Importance of Being Earnest is still so sophisticated and so clever. The Merchant of Venice was a helluva production, but it was a long time ago (really, all the way back to Shakespeare in the Park), and Tony prefers the most recent openings. That brings us to The Normal Heart, which is picking up the most buzz of late.

Or maybe that’s just my friends.

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