Talkin' Broadway V.J.



Reader's Poll the 1999 Tony Awards

Here are the results of our Reader's Poll on who they think will win the 1999 Tony Awards. Fergus McGillicuddy, our resident critic, made his picks as well as site founder, V.J. Let's take a look at the results and get some comments from our 2 wise sages.

ACTOR (PLAY)

Brian Dennehy (Death of a Salesman)
Brian O'Byrne (The Lonesome West)
Corin Redgrave (Not About Nightingales)
Kevin Spacey (The Iceman Cometh)

V.J. TB readers overwhelmingly chose Brian Dennehy in this category. I think it was around 78%. Our readers agree with both of us, Fergus. Looks like we're off to a good start.

F.M. Interesting that the Entertainment Weekly predictions also agree. I hear Dennehy doesn't really believe he'll win. I'm looking forward to hearing his speech when he does.

ACTRESS (PLAY)

Stockard Channing (The Lion in Winter) 16%
Judi Dench (Amy's View) 60%
Marian Seldes (Ring Round the Moon) 7%
Zoe Wanamaker (Electra) 17%

V.J. The readers, as well as you, pick Judi Dench. I picked Zoe. Uh-oh, my first casualty, ya think?

F.M. We may all be wrong if Channing comes in as an upset vote, which is a definite possibility. However, Dench looks like the clear winner.

ACTOR (FEATURED ROLE-PLAY)

Kevin Anderson (Death of a Salesman) 53%
Finbar Lynch (Not About Nightingales) 18%
Howard Witt (Death of a Salesman) 9%
Frank Wood (Side Man) 20%

V.J. Now, this is interesting. You are very strong on Finbar and I am still going with Frank Wood. You think our readers know something we don't?

F.M. It depends on whom our readers are all sleeping with, I suppose. Entertainment Weekly calls this the season's toughest category and also picks Finbar Lynch. If Elizabeth Franz weren't going to take it for Featured Actress, Anderson would be a good bet. However, she is so he isn't.

ACTRESS (FEATURED ROLE-PLAY)

Claire Bloom (Electra) 15%
Samantha Bond (Amy's View) 11%
Dawn Bradfield (The Lonesome West) 2%
Elizabeth Franz (Death of a Salesman) 72%

V.J. It's an obvious choice, but what did you say about Franz and billing?

F.M. That Franz doesn't belong in this category. She'll win, but it's a cheap, sleazy way to do it.

ACTOR (MUSICAL)

Brent Carver (Parade) 64%
Adam Cooper (Swan Lake) 6%
Martin Short (Little Me) 20%
Tom Wopat (Annie Get Your Gun) 10%

V.J. Looks like the readers agree with you, Fergus. Still, I have this feeling about Wopat. Everytime I listen to the CD, it reminds me of how very good he is.

F.M. And Entertainment Weekly picked Martin Short. Watch Adam Cooper win because of a split vote and make us all look like fools.

ACTRESS (MUSICAL)

Carolee Carmello (Parade) 52%
Dee Hoty (Footloose) 2%
Bernadette Peters (Annie Get Your Gun) 43%
Sian Phillips (Marlene) 3%

V.J. Uh-oh! What happened here? Drama Desk influence? Or Parade enthusiasts voting more than once. Actually, I would love to see Carolee get the Tony. I know. You disagree.

F.M. Strongly. If Bernadette doesn't win, I'll do the hula-hula in a grass skirt in front of the TKTS booth just before a Saturday matinee. (Weather permitting.)

V.J. There ya go. We could do a benefit and call it Broadway Scares!

ACTOR (FEATURED ROLE-MUSICAL)

Roger Bart (You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown) 67%
Desmond Richardson (Fosse) 10%
Ron Taylor (It Ain't Nothin' but the Blues) 1%
Scott Wise (Fosse) 22%

V.J. Easy one, yes?

F.M. Yes. What's interesting here is that this is just as much a breakout performance for Bart as Chenoweth, although she's getting all the publicity. (It just occurred to me this morning who Bart reminds me of - a young Gene Kelly.) With this win, and if he picks his next show wisely, we could be in on the birth of a major new Broadway star. After this and the ill-fated Triumph of Love, I would say he's just about ready to carry his own musical.

ACTRESS (FEATURED ROLE-MUSICAL)

Gretha Boston (It Ain't Nothin' but the Blues) 4%
Kristin Chenoweth (You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown) 73%
Valarie Pettiford (Fosse) 15%
Mary Testa (On the Town) 8%

V.J. This is getting too easy.

F.M. Ain't it? I'd love to see Chenowith go with a nice, juicy role in a straight play as her next project. (I wonder if anyone is planning a revival of Design for Living for the Coward Centennial? She'd be perfect!)

BEST NEW PLAY

Closer by Patrick Marber 16%
Lonesome West by Martin McDonough 6%
Not About Nightingales by Tennessee Williams 21%
Side Man by Warren Leight 57%

V.J. Looks like I agree with our readers, yet, you're still sticking with Nightingales?

F.M. To the bitter end. Granted, there is a strong urge among the younger Tony voters to give this Tony to a living playwright. But, there is also a strong tendency among the older Tony voters to give it to Williams as a message that they aren't at all happy with the direction serious drama has taken in the last few years.

DIRECTOR (PLAY)

Howard Davies (The Iceman Cometh) 12%
Robert Falls (Death of a Salesman) 33%
Garry Hynes (The Lonesome West 3%
Trevor Nunn (Not About Nightingales) 52%

V.J. Now, this I don't understand. If the category of Best New Play is for the entire production, where is the director for Side Man in this category? Or, is Best New Play based solely on the script?

F.M. Best New Play is based on everything, all things considered. Humph. Our readers picked Trevor Nunn. That would tend to support my pick of Nightingales as best new play, wouldn't you think? However, I still believe Robert Falls will take it for Salesman. Although, if there was ever a category that deserved a tie, this is it. Falls and Nunn both earned it.

BEST NEW MUSICAL

The Civil War 29%
Fosse 12%
Ain't Nothing But the Blues 7%
Parade 52%

V.J. Everone knows it's Parade, everyone but the Tony voters who don't generally vote for closed musicals in this category. So I'm sticking with Fosse because it was just as rotten a season when Jerome Robbins' Broadway snatched the prize in 1989. History repeats itself is my logic.

F.M. Entertainment Weekly agrees with you about Fosse. I don't. Civil War will win or my name isn't Fergus McGillicuddy!

DIRECTOR (MUSICAL)

Matthew Bourne (Swan Lake) 37%
Richard Maltby Jr. & Ann Reinking (Fosse) 2%
Michael Mayer (You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown) 41%
Harold Prince (Parade) 20%

V.J. I'll agree with our readers here. I believe you like Bourne. Was this even a musical? Y'know, if they borrowed a few Indians from Annie Get Your Gun, they could have called it Dances With Men. Now there's a musical!

F.M. (Long Pause) You've been under a lot of pressure lately, haven't you?

BOOK (MUSICAL)

Footloose (Dean Pitchford & Walter Bobbie) 10%
It Ain't Nothin' but the Blues (Charles Bevel, Lita Gaithers, Randal Myler, Ron Taylor & Dan Wheetman) 6%
Marlene (Pam Gems) 5%
Parade (Alfred Uhry) 79%

V.J. I see 6% of our readers are idiots. If Parade doesn't get it, can I borrow that grass skirt?

F.M. I'll bring the grass skirt, you bring the ukulele. (Will Craig ever let us back in Barrymore's again after this?) Parade, of course.

ORIGINAL MUSICAL SCORE

Footloose (Music & Lyrics: Tom Snow (Eric Carmen, Sammy Hagar, Kenny Loggins & Jim Steinman)
Parade (Music & Lyrics: Jason Robert Brown
The Civil War (Music: Frank Wildhorn Lyrics: Jack Murphy
Twelfth Night (Music: Jeanine Tesori)

V.J.Parade was declared the TB choice with 58% of the vote before the Wildhorn fans sabotaged the poll. I, of course, think Jason is the sure thing. Only goes to show that Parade should win for Best Musical.

F.M. Best Original Score, yes. Best Musical, no. I hear Brown is a sensible kid with a good head on his shoulders and more talent than he knows what to do with. I'm seriously looking forward to his next project.

SCENIC DESIGNER

Bob Crowley (The Iceman Cometh) 12%
Bob Crowley (Twelfth Night) 39%
Riccardo Hernandez (Parade) 27%
Richard Hoover (Not About Nightingales) 22%

V.J. Readers go with Crowley. He's got 2 nominations. Could this mess things up in any way? I think he'll win only because the math here looks good. Who did you pick?

F.M. I also picked Crowley, but for Iceman. I wonder if the only nominee 39% of the voters in this category saw this year was that PBS broadcast of Twelfth Night last summer? That would explain this. The Tony voters who pick Crowley will be going with Iceman, so he should win by a neat margin.

COSTUME DESIGNER

Lez Brotherston (Swan Lake) 51%
Santo Loquasto (Fosse) 24%
John David Ridge (Ring Round The Moon) 2%
Catherine Zuber (Twelfth Night) 23%

V.J. I love anything Santo does, but I think you and I agree on this one. Chalk one up for Dances With Men.

F.M. Actually, I picked Catherine Zuber for Twelfth Night. You really thought I would pick a bunch of guys running around a stage in feather covered knickers? Oy!

V.J. ...says the man who owns a grass skirt!

LIGHTING DESIGNER

Andrew Bridge (Fosse) 38%
Mark Henderson (The Iceman Cometh) 22%
Natasha Katz (Twelfth Night) 22%
Chris Parry (Not About Nightingales) 22%

V.J. Readers call it right, but anything can happen here.

F.M. And I agree with them. Honestly, the only thing Fosse has going for it is decent lighting.

CHOREOGRAPHER

Patricia Birch (Parade) 10%
Matthew Bourne (Swan Lake) 65%
A.C. Ciulla (Footloose) 13%
Rob Marshall (Little Me) 12%

V.J. Where's Fosse? A dance show nominated for Best Musical without a choreography nomination? Makes no sense. However, I'll go with the readers and spare the jokes.

F.M. I've seen Fosse, it makes perfect sense to me.

REVIVAL (PLAY)

Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller 64%
Electra by Euripides 5%
The Iceman Cometh by Eugene O'Neill 20%
Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare 11%

V.J. Poor Euripides. He's been waiting all these centuries too. Me thinks our readers nailed it.

F.M. I recall someone making a comment that this is the first season in Broadway history with plays by Miller, O'Neill, and Williams running concurrently. I don't know how much longer this trend will continue, but I hope at least a few more seasons. Having the unimaginable luxury of picking between these or similar quality choices is something I could become accustomed to quite easily.

BEST REVIVAL (MUSICAL)

Annie Get Your Gun 38%
Little Me 11%
Peter Pan 2%
You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown 49%

V.J. Everyone I've talked to picks Charlie Brown and I agree, however Annie's got a good shot probably for all the wrong reasons.

F.M. Like everyone else, I would like to see Charlie Brown win, but realistically I think Annie has it in the bag.

Where were all these Charlie Brown supporters the first couple of months the show was running? All I kept hearing was a lot of uninformed show bashing. And it's cold comfort that once those turkeys actually saw the show they changed their tune. I just hope that all of that bad word of mouth they generated won't take too great a toll. If I've said it once, I've said it a thousand times - everyone has a right to their opinion and the privilege of expressing it. But - and this is one very big BUT - nobody has a moral right to bash or praise a show until they've bought a ticket, planted their ass in a seat, and watched the damn thing.

ORCHESTRATION

Ralph Burns & Douglas Besterman (Fosse) 22%
David Cullen (Swan Lake) 10%
Don Sebesky (Parade) 65%
Harold Wheeler (Little Me) 3%

V.J. Readers call it pretty good if you ask me. Where was The Civil War in this category?

F.M. I agree. As for The Civil War, isn't winning Best New Musical enough?

V.J. Y'know Fergus, I think our readers are pretty informed. And, we'll certainly find out this Sunday when we hear those magic words, "the envelope please." But I think I outpicked you.

F.M. Think so, huh? Think again.

V.J. Fergus, can you bake a pie?

F.M. Huh? What? No.

V.J. Neither can I. See ya next year.

F.M. Same time. Same Internet.


Wanna' talk to others about this column or anything else theatre related? Check out All That Chat!


Past Rialto Columns

Search What's New on the Rialto



Terms of Service

[ © 1997 - 2014 www.TalkinBroadway.com, Inc. ]