As the reigning Broadway queens here at Paper Publishing HQ, we took it upon ourselves to weigh in on this year's Tony Award nominees. The actual winners will be announced this Sunday on the annual telecast hosted for the umpteenth time by Neil Patrick Harris. We can't wait to see what rap this triple-threat spits out this year, but we do have one observation about this year's nominees that he should consider for his monologue: There were almost as many snubbed starlets as there were boys in underpants. Just something to think about NPH...
Best Play nominees:
The Assembled Parties by Richard Greenburg
Lucky Guy by Nora Ephron
The Testament of Mary by Colm Tóibín
Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike by Christopher Durang
Our pick:Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike. Christopher Durang wrote an amazing script, we LOL'd non-stop. And Billy Magnussen ran around in his underpants. It was an easy sell.
Snub: I'll Eat You Last: A Chat With Sue Mengers. This one-woman show starring Bette Midler is special event theater that has sold millions of tickets. And remember The Performers? That hilarious show featuring Cheyenne Jackson in a leather jockstrap was taken from us too soon. We can go off-Broadway to see experimental, avant-garde plays that challenge religious paradigms.
Best Musical nominees:
Bring It On: The Musical
A Christmas Story, The Musical
Matilda The Musical
Our pick: It's a bad sign when we've only cared to see half of the musicals in this category and three of them need "The Musical" in their title. That said, Matilda is London musical theater at its best.
Snub: Motown: The Musical. Anything that gets Diana Ross and Mary Wilson on the same stage, even if it's just for an opening night curtain call, deserves a nomination.
Best Book of a Musical:
A Christmas Story, The Musical by Joseph Robinette
Kinky Boots by Harvey Fierstein
Matilda The Musical by Dennis Kelly
Rodgers + Hammerstein's Cinderella by Douglas Carter Beane
Our pick: Kinky Boots, if only to hear Harvey Fierstein croak his acceptance speech.
Snub: Not a banner year for book writing.
Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) Written for the Theatre:
A Christmas Story, The Musical, Music and Lyrics: Benj Pasek and Justin Paul
Hands on a Hardbody, Music: Trey Anastasio and Amanda Green Lyrics: Amanda Green
Kinky Boots, Music & Lyrics: Cyndi Lauper
Matilda The Musical, Music & Lyrics: Tim Minchin
Our pick: Cyndi Lauper. This '80s icon would be the first woman to ever win this category. And we're sure she'll give some cuckoo-bananas, Queens goil speech to go with her cuckoo-bananas outfit.
Snub: It was a stretch to get four. We're just happy Bring It On The Musical got edged out.
Best Revival of a Play:
The Trip to Bountiful
Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
Our pick: The Trip to Bountiful. Cicely Tyson singing hymns in the second act was the deciding factor for us.
Snub: The Heiress and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof are both noticeably missing here. They seem to be casualties of the celebrity backlash this season.
Best Revival of a Musical:
The Mystery of Edwin Drood
Rodgers + Hammerstein's Cinderella
Our pick: Pippin. A fabulous show made even better by muscle boys doing circus acts. "Ohhhh, it's time to start givin... Tony's to Pippin!"
Snub: We're satisfied as long as Pippin wins.
Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play:
Tom Hanks, Lucky Guy
Nathan Lane, The Nance
Tracy Letts, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
David Hyde Pierce, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike
Tom Sturridge, Orphans
Our pick: Tracy Letts was the best thing about one of our favorite plays, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, but Tom Hanks was pretty good in Lucky Guy and if he wins that would give him a chance to give a proper tribute to Nora Ephron. Have the Kleenex handy.
Snub: Was Paul Rudd eligible for this award for his role in Grace? He was thrown up on for the sake of theater! Now he'll probably never be back. And what kind of world are we living in where Ben Walker spends half a play in a towel and can't get nominated? Not one we want to know.
Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play:
Laurie Metcalf, The Other Place
Amy Morton, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
Kristine Nielsen, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike
Holland Taylor, Ann
Cicely Tyson, The Trip to Bountiful
Our pick: Cicely Tyson is the favorite, but our die-hard theater queen hearts are pulling for Kristine Nielsen. She's like the Jan Maxwell of this year. If you get that joke than call us.
Snub: Bette Midler, duh. We would have made room for the Divine Miss M.
Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical:
Stephanie J. Block, The Mystery of Edwin Drood
Carolee Carmello, Scandalous
Valisia LeKae, Motown The Musical
Patina Miller, Pippin
Laura Osnes, Rodgers + Hammerstein's Cinderella
Our pick: Patina Miller. The best thing to happen to Broadway since Jan Maxwell. See previous pick.
Snub: If Scandalous, Kathie Lee Gifford's huge flop of a show is represented here, that means absolutely no one got overlooked.
Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical:
Bertie Carvel, Matilda The Musical
Santino Fontana, Rodgers + Hammerstein's Cinderella
Rob McClure, Chaplin
Billy Porter, Kinky Boots
Stark Sands, Kinky Boots
Our pick: Everyone's saying Bertie Carvel is a shoe-in but Billy Porter was great too. Either way it'll go to a guy in drag, so we're happy.
Snub: Matthew James Thomas is very game as Pippin and Chaplin closed in a month.
Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Play
Danny Burstein, Golden Boy
Richard Kind, The Big Knife
Billy Magnussen, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike
Tony Shalhoub, Golden Boy
Courtney B. Vance, Lucky Guy
Our pick: Billy Magnussen. He went really method for this role, which required him to spend a significant amount of time in his underpants. We applaud his dedication.
Snub: We're getting tired of thinking of people who probably aren't going to attend.
Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play:
Carrie Coon, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
Shalita Grant, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike
Judith Ivey, The Heiress
Judith Light, The Assembled Parties
Condola Rashad, The Trip to Bountiful
Our pick: Judith Light keeps knocking 'em dead on Broadway.
Snub: Can we say Bette Midler again?
Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical:
Charl Brown, Motown The Musical
Keith Carradine, Hands on a Hardbody
Will Chase, The Mystery of Edwin Drood
Gabriel Ebert, Matilda The Musical
Terrence Mann, Pippin
Our pick: Though we love us a Terrence Mann moment, Charl Brown was very good as Smokey Robinson and we need to throw Motown a bone.
Snub: All the actors in Motown did great impersonations of our favorite Motown stars.
Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical:
Annaleigh Ashford, Kinky Boots
Victoria Clark, Rodgers + Hammerstein's Cinderella
Andrea Martin, Pippin
Keala Settle, Hands on a Hardbody
Lauren Ward, Matilda The Musical
Our pick: Annaleigh Ashford was so fun in Kinky Boots. But we'd be happy with Andrea Martin too.
Snub: Patti Lupone. Oh wait, we just wish The Anarchist had been a musical.