WINNER: GARY BEACH, The Producers
"Heil myself!" Beach sings as, well, Hitler, and then launches into an Ethel Merman/Judy Garland impersonation. As the schlocky cross-dressing director behind The Producers' "Springtime for Hitler," Beach earns his second Tony nomination, the first coming for his turn as one of musical theatre's brightest lights: Lumiere in Beauty and the Beast. A Helen Hayes nominee for Of Thee I Sing, Beach put his pipes through a variety of musical theatre lows and highs: Encores! Sweet Adeline, Doonesbury, Annie, Les Miserables, 1776 and Closer Than Ever.
Roger Bart, The Producers
From barking dog to barking mad, Bart, a 1999 Tony Award winner for playing Snoopy in You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown, is now Carmen Ghia, ultra-feminine "common law assistant" to fellow nominee Gary Beach's Roger deBris. Between Disney, Broadway and national tours, Bart has kept busy. His credits include Triumph of Love, King David, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, The Who's Tommy and lending his singing voice to the title character in "Hercules" and Scamp in "The Lady and the Tramp II."
John Ellison Conlee, The Full Monty
Instantly recognizable as "the chubby guy" from The Full Monty, Conlee sings a love song to his stomach, offers to off a new found friend with a club, learns to love himself and earns his first Tony nomination. He recently made his Broadway debut in 1776. With a dash of musical theatre (The Green Heart, Hundreds of Hats, Conlee has had a heaping helping of Shakespeare, appearing in New York Shakespeare Festival's Henry VIII, Two Gentlemen of Verona, The Merry Wives of Windsor and Measure for Measure, as well as regional stagings of All's Well That Ends Well, The Taming of the Shrew and As You Like It.
Andre de Shields, The Full Monty
"Every woman in the world loves a big black man." De Shields turns The Full Monty's "Big Black Man" into a song-and-dance extravaganza through sixties and seventies bump-and-grind moves, proving you don't have to be 22 to shake your thang on Broadway. A Tony nominee for Play On! and an Emmy winner for Ain't Misbehavin', the 54 year old de Shields has played a multitude of parts, musical and otherwise —including the title character in The Wiz, Vladmir in Waiting for Godot, Sheridan Whiteside in The Man Who Came to Dinner and Willy Loman in Death of a Salesman. Brad Oscar, The Producers
Oscar wasn't even supposed to be in Broadway's The Producers; he was a swing when the production kicked off in Chicago. But then Ron Orbach hurt his knee and Oscar went out there a youngster and came back...well, you know. Before taking on the unregenerate, pigeon loving Nazi playwright Franz Liebkind, Oscar spent the last few years being murdered more than 1,500 times in Jekyll & Hyde. He made his Broadway debut in Aspects of Love and traveled the country with the same. Before donning his German helmet and lederhosen, Oscar was playing Santa Claus in the Radio City Christmas Spectacular in Branson, Missouri.