TONYS: ‘Oslo’ Looks to Dominate Play Categories at The Tony’s

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Raise the curtains and strike up the lights. The Tony Awards are upon us to honor the best of stage achievements. While not all of us can make it to New York to catch the latest Broadway triumphs, that doesn’t mean we can’t predict the Tony Awards. Head over to the Circuit Center and make your latest Tony Awards predictions.

See below for a guide on the play categories for help. A guide to the musical categories will follow.

Best Play

  • “A Doll’s House, Part 2”
  • “Indecent”
  • “Oslo”
  • “Sweat”

Frontrunner: “Oslo”

Spoiler: “Sweat”

The drama “Oslo” has run the gauntlet in precursor awards. The play possesses top awards from the Lucille Lortel Awards, Outer Critics Circle Awards, New York Drama Critics Circle, Drama League Awards and Obie Awards. Depicting the behind the scenes deals behind the 1990 Oslo Peace Accords, the play may be the smart political choice of the evening due to the current climate. If any show has a shot at taking it down, it could be “Sweat.” Taking place entirely in a bar in Reading, Pennsylvania, the show looks at working class issues personified by three women. The lack of a directing nomination, however, is troubling.

Both “A Dolls House, Part 2” and “Indecent” are aimed specifically at theater aficionados. The former is a sequel to a classic Henrik Ibsen play. The latter deals with the nearly shut down performance of “God of Vengeance” for obscenity. While both have good reviews, neither seemed to have inflamed the zeitgeist as much as “Oslo” or “Sweat.”

Best Revival of a Play

  • “Jitney”
  • “The Little Foxes”
  • “Present Laughter”
  • “Six Degrees of Separation”

Frontrunner: “Jitney”

Spoiler: “The Little Foxes”

This tight category comes down to two powerhouse works of writing. “Jitney” is August Wilson’s eighth entry in the “Pittsburgh Cycle” about unlicensed gypsy cab stations that take people to the parts of town taxis don’t dare enter. Lillian Helman’s “The Little Foxes” follows a woman struggling for wealth and freedom against traditional Southern patriarchal rules. “The Little Foxes” may have more acting nominations, but seeing Wilson’s play put on Broadway for the first time could give “Jitney” the edge. “Six Degrees of Separation” made quite a splash, but was snubbed for both directing and actress for Alison Janney, showing the play’s vulnerability. Lastly, “Present Laughter” is more of a showcase for lead actor Kevin Kline. The play could be too farcical to steal the award away from “Jitney” or “The Little Foxes.”

Best Leading Actor in a Play

  • Denis Arndt, “Heisenberg”
  • Chris Cooper, “A Doll’s House, Part 2”
  • Corey Hawkins, “Six Degrees of Separation”
  • Kevin Kline, “Present Laughter”
  • Jefferson Mays, “Oslo”

Frontrunner: Kevin Kline, “Present Laughter”

Spoiler: Jefferson Mays, “Oslo”

Oscar and two time Tony winner Kevin Kline gets quite a juicy role in “Present Laughter” as a famous comic actor preparing to go on tour. However, if the voters aren’t in for as showy of a performance, they may opt for Jefferson Mays in “Oslo.” Name recognition of both the character of Torvald and the actor Chris Cooper could propel the Oscar winner to his first Tony win. However, Laurie Metcalfe has won the lion’s share of raves in “A Doll’s House, Part 2.” Corey Hawkins’ performance shows promise, but it might be too early to hand the actor an award for “Six Degrees of Separation.” Just as green, albeit a bit older, Denis Arndt made his Broadway debut in “Heisenberg” at the ripe age of 77. The nomination is the reward for Arndt, but he should make a fun entry in the nominees lineup.

Best Leading Actress in a Play

  • Cate Blanchett, “The Present”
  • Jennifer Ehle, “Oslo”
  • Sally Field, “The Glass Menagerie”
  • Laura Linney, “The Little Foxes”
  • Laurie Metcalf, “A Doll’s House, Part 2”

Frontrunner: Laurie Metcalf, “A Doll’s House, Part 2”

Spoiler: Laura Linney, “The Little Foxes”

This is quite a star studded lineup, as every person here has won either an Oscar, Emmy or a Tony. In a sea of famous names, performers like Sally Field or Cate Blanchett won’t be able to coast to a win on name recognition alone. As Nora in “A Doll’s House, Part 2,” Laurie Metcalfe has to bring to life one of the most famous theater characters, only fifteen years older. The three time Emmy winner could earn her first Tony for the risk. However, four time Emmy winner Laura Linney continues to swap roles in “The Little Foxes” with co-star Cynthia Nixon. This degree of difficulty could propel her to a win if there is more good will for “The Little Foxes” than “A Doll’s House, Part 2.” Don’t count out two time Tony winner Jennifer Ehle if “Oslo” wants to sweep as well.

Best Featured Actor in a Play

  • Michael Aronov, “Oslo”
  • Danny DeVito, “The Price”
  • Nathan Lane, “The Front Page”
  • Richard Thomas, “The Little Foxes”
  • John Douglas Thompson, “Jitney”

Frontrunner: Danny DeVito, “The Price”

Spoiler: Michael Aronov, “Oslo”

While there may be no shortage of star power in the lead categories, Danny DeVito could use the relative low profile of most of his other nominees to stage a win for his performance in “The Price.” The only thing standing in his way is a possible “Oslo” juggernaut in the form of Michael Aronov. While Richard Thomas and John Douglas Thompson may have their supporters, both of their projects seem more likely to win attention in the heated Revival of a Play category. Nathan Lane is the other famous name in the lineup, but already has two Tonys to his name, giving little urgency for a win here.

Best Featured Actress in a Play

  • Johanna Day, “Sweat”
  • Jayne Houdyshell, “A Doll’s House, Part 2”
  • Cynthia Nixon, “The Little Foxes”
  • Condola Rashad, “A Doll’s House, Part 2”
  • Michelle Wilson, “Sweat”

Frontrunner: Cynthia Nixon, “The Little Foxes”

Spoiler: Johanna Day, “Sweat”

There are so many things working in Cynthia Nixon’s favor. She’s a well-respected actor with two Emmys, one Grammy and a previous Tony to her name. In trading roles with fellow actor, Laura Linney, she often times gets to helm the lead role in “The Little Foxes.” Furthermore, both “Sweat” and “A Doll’s House, Part 2” have dual nominees, which could lead to vote splitting. If one had to pick a possible spoiler, Johanna Day could pull out a win for “Sweat” if voters are looking for a place to reward the play.

Best Direction of a Play

  • Sam Gold, “A Doll’s House, Part 2”
  • Ruben Santiago-Hudson, “Jitney”
  • Bartlett Sher, “Oslo”
  • Daniel Sullivan, “The Little Foxes”
  • Rebecca Taichman, “Indecent”

Frontrunner: Bartlett Sher, “Oslo”

Spoiler: Ruben Santiago-Hudson, “Jitney”

The Original Play and Revival Play frontrunners square off in the Directing field. “Oslo” seems to have a leg up, but fans of “Jitney” could bring the drama down. Also not to be counted out is the flashy “Indecent,” which could rally support to sneak in a win here. Passionate fan sectors for “The Little Foxes” and “A Doll’s House, Part 2” keep them in the race, but a safe distance from the prize.

Best Scenic Design of a Play

  • David Gallo, “Jitney”
  • Nigel Hook, “The Play That Goes Wrong”
  • Douglas W. Schmidt, “The Front Page”
  • Michael Yeargan, “Oslo”

Frontrunner: “The Play That Goes Wrong”

Spoiler: “Jitney”

There’s something interesting about a play that wants to destroy itself. “The Play That Goes Wrong” seems to want to demolish everything on stage as it goes along, which makes it quite a threat in the scenic design category. Broad, flashy comedy could play well here, even if it is not mentioned in any of the main categories. From the more conventional Tony players, “Jitney” could win if voters are voting down the line for the same plays they have seen.

Best Costume Design of a Play

  • Jane Greenwood, “The Little Foxes”
  • Susan Hilferty, “Present Laughter”
  • Toni-Leslie James, “Jitney”
  • David Zinn, “A Doll’s House, Part 2”

Frontrunner: “The Little Foxes”

Spoiler: “Present Laughter”

It’s hard not to imagine prestige costume dramas doing well in the costume category, much like at other awards shows. While there are other period pieces in the category, “The Little Foxes” could take the cake here, especially as dual sets of costumes had to be made for stars Laura Linney and Cynthia Nixon switching roles. Right behind them would be “Present Laughter,” which takes a more zany period look than the others. However, this could help the piece stand out and pull a surprise victory.

Best Lighting Design of a Play

  • Christopher Akerlind, “Indecent”
  • Jane Cox, “Jitney”
  • Donald Holder, “Oslo”
  • Jennifer Tipton, “A Doll’s House, Part 2”

Frontrunner: “Indecent”

Spoiler: “Oslo”

Will Tony voters go for the flashy production or vote for one play across the board? The ambitious oral history nature and structure to “Indecent” puts it ahead in this category. However, this could be the first step in “Oslo’s” march to the big win at the end of the night. Either “Jitney” or “A Doll’s House, Part 2” could muster pockets of support to reward the projects in this category.

Please let us know who will win the Tony Awards in both the comments and in the Circuit Center. The Tony Awards air on June 11th on CBS.