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Can 'Memphis' songbird Montego Glover soar off with a surprise Tony win?

May 9, 2010 |  9:18 am

Montego Glover ("Memphis") is locked in an intriguing battle over the Tony Award for best lead actress. Some pundits like Martin Denton (NYTheatre.com) believe she'll win because she received rave reviews ("a thrilling singer and commanding actress," cheered John Simon of Bloomberg News) and stars in a front-runner to win best musical. Lots of times, performers go along for the Tony ride when their shows win the tuners' trophy: Think Angela Lansbury in best-musical champ "Sweeney Todd."

Montego Glover Memphis Tonys Tony Awards news

But Glover isn't a celebrity and past Oscar nominee like Lansbury, and she's competing against Oscar champ Catherine Zeta-Jones ("Chicago") in "A Little Night Music," nominated for best revival. Believe it or not, that may not be a serious issue. Tony voters often scorn Hollywooders like they're invading carpetbaggers, preferring their own, more obscure Broadway kin. Consider the 2005 race for best actress in a play when Cherry Jones ("Doubt") beat Laura Linney ("Sight Unseen"), Phylicia Rashad ("Gem of the Ocean") and Kathleen Turner ("Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?"). Heck, this year, the Tonys refused even to nominate Hugh Jackman or Daniel Craig after they received critical praise for "A Steady Rain."

That said, could Glover's toughest rival be Sherie Rene Scott, who reaped critics' huzzahs for her autobiographical show "Everyday Rapture"? She's a lesser-known Broadway insider previously nominated for "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels." Or maybe Glover has no tough rival?

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Photo: Montego Glover in "Memphis." Credit: Shubert Theatre

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Comments

Um, Angela Lansbury won for "Sweeney Todd" and Cherry Jones won for "Doubt" because they were some of the best performances of their decades, not because they were "riding a tuner's wave" or because voters were snubbing movie stars.

Sherie Rene Scott's got this one all sewn up.

Good catch, Rick and Steven. Fixed now. TX.

"Everyday Raptures" was not nominated for Best Musical. Ms. Glover and Ms. Scott were both amazing in their respective shows - I think it's a toss-up as to which of those 2 will win. Catherine Zetz-Jones's reviews were not that strong, though she is a commanding presence.

"Everyday Rapture" was not nominated for Best Musical, as much as it truly should have been (along with "Sondheim on Sondheim"). Still, I'd think this award is between Sherie and Catherine. Montego is just riding the "Memphis" wave.

~Steven


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