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Tony Awards predix: Angela Lansbury will score historic sixth win

April 7, 2010 |  3:50 pm

Last year, Angela Lansbury tied record-holder Julie Harris when she won a fifth Tony Award for her featured (supporting) performance as the madcap Madame Arcati in the Noel Coward play "Blithe Spirit." Martin Denton (NYTheatre.com) predicts Lansbury will break that tie this year when she wins for her featured (supporting) role as the cynical Madame Armfeldt in the first rialto revival of Stephen Sondheim's 1973 Tony-winning tuner "A Little Night Music."

It is a tad early for Gold Derby to be bugging Broadway journos for Tonys predix with 10 shows still to open in the home stretch of the eligibility period before nominations are announced on May 4. But we're asking the experts anyway and will be featuring lots of their views here. Let's start with Martin, who admits, "Since I haven't seen a lot of the shows yet myself, everything else is seat-of-the-pants, gut instinct stuff." But here goes. Martin's views below.

Angela Lansbury Broadway tonys news

Only sort of obvious shoo-in: Angela Lansbury will win No. 6 for "A Little Night Music" as best featured actress.

Best musical: "American Idiot" looks like the major contender. I loved "Come Fly Away," but I don't think it's going to register big in the race this year (except look for Karine Plantadit to get nominated). Other likely nominees: "The Addams Family" on account of it feeling like a hit, "Fela," "Memphis" and "Million Dollar Quartet."

The acting categories for musicals feel wide open to me except for Lansbury. For best actor in a musical: Sahr Ngaujah in "Fela" or Douglas Hodge in "La Cage aux Folles" maybe? Bebe Neuwirth and Nathan Lane ("The Addams Family"), Sean Hayes and Kristin Chenoweth ("Promises, Promises") could all be contenders -- haven't seen their shows yet!

The best-play race feels like it may ultimately be impacted by the new composition of the voters this year. Lots of possibilities here: "Next Fall," "Race," "Enron," "Red" seem like likely nominees. I feel like Christopher Walken ("A Behanding in Spokane"), James Spader ("Race"), and Liev Schreiber ("A View From the Bridge") are very strong best actor contenders; maybe add Denzel Washington ("Fences") to the mix and you'll have a very starry category. Best Actress in a play is very much wide open. If the Tonys included off-Bway, Cate Blanchett would be walking away with it, however, right?

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Photo: Angela Lansbury in "A Little Night Music." Credit: Walter Kerr Theatre

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Comments

Agree with poster RBC. Saw Promises, Promises last weekend, and I am still laughing at Katie Finneran's performance.

No surprise there, she's an awesome performer, I've followed her career for many, many years and no matter what her performance is, she completely excels in all of them, she nails her characters perfectly.... She's just a born performer!!!!

I agree that Angela Lansbury will probably win her 6th Tony Award, and deservedly so. She was fabulous in A Little Night Music. But, I think the dark horse here is Katie Finneran in Promises, Promises. She only appears briefly in Act 2, but she is an absolute riot! She definitely makes the most of her short time on stage. If there's an upset in this category, I think it might be her.

'Can't believe your critic passed over the hands down Best Musical this season, SONDHEIM ON SONDHEIM. It doesn't open at Studio 54 'till the 22nd, but as of an early preview last week was knocking the competition into a cocked hat. Spectacular performances, "new" trunk songs and stories and the best set since Boris Aronson started designing above; it's simply the best revue since before JEROME ROBBINS' BROADWAY and the best new musical since AVENUE Q. AMERICAN IDIOT will almost certainly be nominated, but it was closer to BROOKLYN than TOMMY in its tryout. Interestingly (if grungily and VERY loudly) staged and well performed, Green Day fans *should* give it an advance, but awards? ADDAMS FAMILY is reputed to be far better since Chicago, but still is still undergoing birthing pangs and a lot of baggage is still being off loaded. In New York they're getting more press about unhappy leads than how hilarious Nathan and the *show* are, and noone's talking about the score. As you noted, COME FLY AWAY, while an enjoyable dance recital, just isn't MOVIN' OUT (one British critic called it "boring pornography"). While highly praised in quarters which are into after hours clubbing, the plot-lite but pretentious FELA isn't drawing a main-line theatre audience, and stands as much chance of touring as the far better SONG OF JACOB ZULU of a few years ago. The lame MEMPHIS is at best a potential "filler" nomination. We're still hoping for great things from THE MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET, but like MEMPHIS, it doesn't have a lot of successfully experienced hands behind it giving confidence. The only thing most people (who haven't seen SONDHEIM ON SONDHEIM) seem to agree on is that CATCH ME IF YOU CAN, THE SCOTTSBORO BOYS (the Kander & Ebb show which could have made the deadline if they had found a theatre they liked) or anyone with a respectable show ready to run SHOULD have rushed into production for Tonys this season, since the entries you guys cited are all eminently beatable. SONDHEIM... will.

If Angela Lansbury doesn't win, I'll take it as one of the signs of the apocalypse. She is freakin' brilliant!

I saw Bebe Neuwirth and Nathan Lane in a Chicago preview of ADDAMS FAMILY...aside from a music nomination and maybe a nomination for Best Book...I can't see it being nominated...however, if it turns out to be a weak year for Musicals, it'll sweep the nominations but still I can't see it winning much if anything

The Tonys always put on the best show of all awards shows...and it's also the most gayest (which is soooo fabu!).


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