Playbill Tony Poll: Which Performers Should Win? -- Part 1

Tony Awards   Playbill Tony Poll: Which Performers Should Win? -- Part 1
 
The 1998 Tony Awards will be given June 7. Here is a recap of the nominees in the eight performance categories. Please share your opinion on who should win, and why. Simple lists will not be posted; we want you to tell your reasons for your choices. Also: make sure to state which category you're writing about.

The 1998 Tony Awards will be given June 7. Here is a recap of the nominees in the eight performance categories. Please share your opinion on who should win, and why. Simple lists will not be posted; we want you to tell your reasons for your choices. Also: make sure to state which category you're writing about.

Send responses to Managing Editor Robert Viagas.

As a reminder, here are the nominees:

BEST PERFORMANCE BY A LEADING ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL:
Betty Buckley in Triumph of Love,
Marin Mazzie in Ragtime
Natasha Richardson in Cabaret
Alice Ripley and Emily Skinner in Side Show

BEST PERFORMANCE BY A LEADING ACTOR IN A MUSICAL
Alan Cumming in Cabaret
Peter Friedman for Ragtime
Brian Stokes Mitchell Ragtime
Douglas Sills in The Scarlet PimpernelBEST PERFORMANCE BY A LEADING ACTOR IN A PLAY
Richard Briers in The Chairs
Anthony LaPaglia for A View FROM the Bridge
John Leguizamo for Freak
Alfred Molina for Art

BEST PERFORMANCE BY A LEADING ACTRESS IN A PLAY
Jane Alexander in Honour
Allison Janney in A View FROM the Bridge
Geraldine McEwan in The Chairs
Marie Mullen in The Beauty Queen of Leenane

BEST PERFORMANCE BY A FEATURED ACTOR IN A PLAY
Tom Murphy in The Beauty Queen of Leenane
Brian F. O'Byrne in The Beauty Queen of Leenane
Sam Trammell in Ah, Wilderness!
Max Wright in Ivanov

BEST PEFORMANCE BY A FEATURED ACTRESS IN A PLAY
Enid Graham in Honour
Linda Lavin in The Diary of Anne Frank
Anna Manahan in The Beauty Queen of Leenane
Julyana Soelistyo in The Golden Child

BEST PERFORMANCE BY A FEATURED ACTOR IN A MUSICAL
Gregg Edelman, 1776
John McMartin, High Society
Ron Rifkin, Cabaret
Samuel E. Wright, The Lion King

BEST PERFORMANCE BY A FEATURED ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL
Anna Kendrick, High Society
Tsidii Le Loka, The Lion King
Audra McDonald, Ragtime
Mary Louise Wilson, Cabaret

Polls for the other categories are listed separately.


Here are the results so far. Playbill On-Line thanks all who took the time to write.

From Jeremy M. Boegel (JAYBODEN@aol.com):
Best Actress in a Musical: Alice Ripley & Emily Skinner for SIDE SHOW. The two together make a classic tony-winning team. Their voices combined equal greatness.
Best Actor in a Musical: Brian Stokes Mitchell for RAGTIME . His vocal stylings as Coalhouse Walker Jr. were sublime. Here is a great musical actor of our time.
Best Actress in a Play: Jane Alexander for HONOUR . She is one of the great American actresses of our time. A lot of people don't recognize that. Its time we should.
Best Actor in a Play: Anthony LaPaglia for A VIEW FROM A BRIDGE. He's recreating a role played originally by Eli Wallach. His turn in many films give him credit a well.
Best Featured Actress in a Musical: Audra MacDonald for RAGTIME. It's her third nomination and she's already won twice. Her turn as Sarah, the innocent lover of Coalhouse, made her voice more beautiful than ever.
Best Featured Actor in a Musical: Gregg Edelman for 1776. His performance as Edward Rutledge (plus two previous nominations) bode well for him. His voice is majestic.
Best Featured Actress in a Play: Linda Lavin for THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK. Her performance as Mrs. Van Daan was both comedic and dramatic. Hopefully her Alice roots don't SHOW too much when she accepts.
Best Featured Actor in a Play: Max Wright for IVANOV. One of the only major nominations for this brilliant play. He's an actor in a play which deserves some sort of recognition.


From Joshua Israel:
The 1998 Tony's should go to:
Best. Perf By a Leading Actress in a Musical: Marin Mazzie and the Side SHOW twins (tie) -- Both delivered superb, heartfelt performances in their shows... both brought the audience with them on their odyssey and demonstrated their amazing talents. While it is difficult to consider two performers as one, all three of these performers ranked among the brightest stars shining on Broadway in the past year and deserve this recognition. Perhaps they could do a song called "Two Plus One Equals Three" to celebrate.
Best Perf. By a Leading Actor in a Musical: Brian Stokes Mitchell -- FROM his first appearance in the opening number, through his showstopping "Make them Hear You" and his glorious "Wheels of a Dream (reprise)," Brian Stokes Mitchell demonstrates just how outstanding a Broadway performer can be. Stokes blows the audience away with his singing, dancing, acting, piano, and power. His stage presence is huge, his emotion extraordinary, and his overall performance precisely the kind of excellence that should be honored by the Tony awards. Should this performance not win him a TONY, I'll be stunned.
BEST PERFORMANCE BY A FEATURED ACTOR IN A MUSICAL: Gregg Edelman - As Rutledge, Edelman demonstrates all that a supporting actor should do. While never upstaging the other actors, he manages to shine in his moment ("Molasses to Rum") and to leave the audience remembering his character and the thought provoking ideas he presents. His outstanding voice blows the audience away and his acting leaves a huge mark on the show.
BEST PERFORMANCE BY A FEATURED ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL: Audra MacDonald -- Sure, she's already won two Tonys for Best Performance by a Featured Actress, but she really deserves a third. Even though she barely appears in the second act, her spirit prevails for the entire duration of RAGTIME. Her duets "Sarah Brown Eyes" and" Wheels of a Dream" are absolutely gorgeous and her various styled solos ranging FROM the anguished "Your Daddy's Son" to the painfully optimist "President" demonstrate her range and her heart.
As THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK is the only play I've seen which received a performer nomination, I'll not make any judgements about the Play categories... though Linda Lavin was superb in her role.


From Rick Dool:
BEST ACTOR IN A MUSICAL- By far, Brian Stokes Mitchell is one of the best performers on Broadway in the decade. His performance in RAGTIME was unbelievably good.
BEST ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL- Marin Mazzie's portrayal of Mother in RAGTIME was so well performed that it would be a crime not to give her the Tony.
BEST ACTOR IN A PLAY- Anthony LaPaglia should win, he is an excellent actor, a great choice for his role in A VIEW FROM THE BRIDGE.


From Jay Schwarz:
In my opinion, I feel for best performance by an actress, or actresses for that matter, there is no question about it! The answer is Alice Ripley, and Emily Skinner FROM SIDE SHOW. My reasoning is that they both have beautiful voices, wonderful stage presence and have been through so much with their SHOW closing and all. And for best actor, definitely Alan Cumming. And there is no question which lady will win for best actress in a featured role...AUDRA MCDONALD, I FREAKIN' LOVE HER!!!!


From BarSRos:
Actress/Musical: Natasha Richardson got the reviews and was terrific. Loved the fact that Ripley and Skinner were nominated together. Their show's failure is a true Broadway heartbreaker. Buckley might have stood a better chance in supporting. Marin Mazzie was wonderful, but Richardson was the standout in a category of all winners.
Actor/Musical: Brian Stokes Mitchell was the leading contender until Alan Cumming arrived. I'd love a tie. Here again, all four performers turned in truly Tony-worthy performances.
Feat. Actress/Musical: It's between the amazing Audra McDonald and Tsidii Le Loka. McDonald's been missing a lot of performances -- the Tony judges may not have gotten to see her. Lion King is bound to have at least one performer win. Le Loka's incredible chanting may just be it.
Feat. Actor/Musical: Samuel E. Wright's strong performance is among his best, but Gregg Edelman is 1776's only real chance at winning a Tony.


From Joshscheer:
Personally, I think that Leading actress in a musical should be awarded to Marin Mazzie. I felt that her presence in Ragtime was the only character who managed to remain constant throughout the show. her "back to before" was truly incredible. Natasha Richardson gave a marvelous performance, but I didn't think that it outshined Mazzie's. Betty Buckley also was incredible and delivered "serenity" beautifully, but I think she may have fared better in the supporting category. Ripley and Skinner's joint nomination exists solely for novelty purposes.
Leading actor in a musical belongs to Alan Cumming. He took a role made famous by Joel Grey and completely made it his own. The entire production of Cabaret was groundbreaking, and his performance shall garner him a Tony. His competitors, specifically Douglas Sills gave wonderful performances, but didn't go the extra mile to earn a Tony.
Supporting actress belongs to Tsidii Le Loka. She brings such a sense of spirituality to The Lion King, and her presence alone is enough to capture the award.
As far as the plays are concerned, I have only seen The Chairs, and the overlooked Wait Until Dark. I would love to see both of the players FROM The Chairs earn Tony's, specifically Ms. McEwan.


From Mamaleh483:
John McMartin should definitely win for an otherwise lackluster High Society. HAVING just seen the revival of Follies at the Paper Mill (Lawrence Guittard now playing Ben), I was reminded of the brilliant performance McMartin gave in that SHOW during its original run, and how he was overlooked amidst the hoopla over Dorothy Collins, Alexis Smith, Fifi D'Orsay, Ethel Shutta, Yvonne DeCarlo, etc. His boozy character in HS may be politically incorrect, but it gives the SHOW whatever heart and likability it musters. Besides, I think the other candidates in his category will cancel each other out, although Ron Rifkin may pull it off. Others: Marin Mazzie is wonderful and has a beautiful voice; Peter Friedman was similarly incandescent and for me truly epitomized the immigrant experience. That he does so wonderful a job in a SHOW that is obviously geared to the Coalhouse Walker character is a testament to Friedman's abilities--and this is no knock of Brian Stokes Mitchell, who was also great. I just think it's harder to be memorable when the focus is elsewhere.


From Enjolras77:
Here is my take on how things will turn out. For Best Actress in a Musical it will be Natasha Richardson. She has already won the Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle awards -- why not make it a three-peat?? Also I think that Betty Buckley would have had a better chance if Triumph had run longer. Alice Ripley and Emily Skinner were doomed when they were both nominated for one award -- do you think that the voters would have two people share one award? It would be neat if they did -- but they won't.
For Best Actor in a Musical I am stumped. This is probably the toughest category -- there are three actors who I feel could easily win it: Stokes, Alan Cumming, and Douglas Sills. Peter Friedman won't win because he isn't even the best actor FROM his own SHOW nominated. My sentimental favorite is Stokes, but Cumming has already won both the Outer Critics Circle and Drama Desk so I think it is a toss up between the two with the edge going to Cumming. Sills is my dark horse, he could win if the voters overlook the bad reviews of the SHOW and just at his performance.
In the category for Best Featured Actress I will have to go with Tsidii Le Loka. Even though I love Audra McDonald I think Le Loka has had this award wrapped up for some time now. She has won both the Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards for her performance; and she is the only "Lion King" member who has a shot at winning any performance award (we all know that LK has ALL of the Design Awards sewn up).
In the category of Best Featured Actor I have to go with Greg Edelman FROM 1776. Hey...this is a hilarious show---and it deserves one Tony!!


From Jenn Taylor:
I believe the categories of Best Actress and Actor in a Musical are the most competitive the fields have been in years. Many believe that Natasha Richardson is a shoo-in for Best Actress, but I have to say I saw "Cabaret" and cannot understand what all the fuss is about. While the SHOW in general was phenomenal, and I think Alan Cumming is fabulous (more about him later) I was not entirely "bowled" over by Ms. Richardson's performance. (pardon the pun). I felt her singing left much to be desired and the emotion in her performance was much less real and intense than Alice Ripley and Emily Skinner's standout performance in Side Show. These are two performers who created parts in a new musical, sang, danced and acted with consummate skill, and mastered the challenge of performing attached to another person. Above all, their joint performance was undeniably the most moving of this past Broadway season. Considering the show's painful closing, and the intense love that I know they both possess for Side Show, I guarantee that if they win, there will be no greater emotional moment during the Tony Awards
As for best actor - if it were my decision, I would give a Tony to both Brian Stokes Mitchell for Ragtime, and to Alan Cumming for Cabaret. Both are equally deserving of the award - because both actors are the standout in their respective shows -- but for different reasons. Brian Stokes Mitchell gives the most dramatic performance of his career in Ragtime. His Coalhouse Walker is such a fully realized character - and Stokes sings, acts and even dances (wow!) the part flawlessly. Alan Cumming is equally brilliant in the challenging part of the MC. I found him to be charming and adorable; His performance is so unique, so funny, and so different FROM Joel Gray's that he undeniably deserves the Tony as well. Needless to say- it will be extremely interesting to see how these categories pan out-There are definitely more people deserving of awards than there are awards to give...


From Jazz4460:
I think that Alice Ripley and Emily Skinner of Side Show, deserve to win the Tony for Best Leading Actress in a musical. Their astonishing performance in this overlooked show, captured my heart. I think that this SHOW deserved a lot longer of a run on Broadway, and was not given a fair chance. The performances were phenomenal, and it was one of the best shows I have seen in years. I was also very pleased to see, that the award is joint, so they both can win, because how could you choose one or the other. If you read people's reactions to the Tony nominations, you will notice that everyone is rooting for Side Show. I was also pleased to see that they will be performing on the Rosie O'Donnell show. I never get tired of hearing these two multi talented woman sing their hearts out on the recording of Side Show, and I know I will be watching and praying on June 7, that Emily Skinner and Alice Ripley of Side SHOW win the Tony Award for Best Leading Actress in a Musical.


From Lauren:
I think that Douglas Sills should definitely win because he absolutely fantastic. He has to be the most talented actor on Broadway. His performance in The Scarlet Pimpernel was the highlight of the Broadway season. His voice is spectacular, and he is absolutely hilarious. I don't think that anyone could have played the role of Percy better. It's hard to believe that this is his Broadway debut.


From: LPeck7 I think every single performer in "cabaret" should win: natasha richardson, alan cumming, ron rifkin and mary louise wilson.


From joeb:
Anthony LaPaglia gives a riveting performance. He makes everyman a kin of the classic tragic hero. One minute the audience members are hissing him and in the next, he is drowning their sympathy. "I want my respect" is his heartbreaking anthem that is echoed by so many blue collar lower middle class men. He speaks for an entire generation with eloquence, pathos and understanding. The actor has found a role that seems written for him....and he runs with it. Hard pressed to find a truer performance on B'way this season.
Allison Janney gives a very real performance as Carbone's wife in BRIDGE. She makes the audience believe every word and feel every pain. Bea is no simp, no dope in her hands. She knows what is going on before Eddie does and the actress' subtlety delivering that message to the audience, but not her fellow actors is a tight rope of wonderful acting. In the hands of a lesser actress, the "supporting" role of Bea would fade INTO the woodwork, but in Janey's hands it is star quality and a driving force in the production. Her "Best Actress" nomination is well deserved, and the win should be hers.
Natasha Richardson is scary. Her rendition of the title song in CABARET should get a Tony. She is not likeable and not afraid of being unlikable. There is no jumping INTO the audience's lap and licking their faces in an effort to win their love. It is a gutsy, harrowing performance.
Sam Trammel gives a terrific performance. Totally believable as Richard in AH WILDERNESS. He was a bright light in a very solid production and anyone who missed his performance missed a gem. The character can be annoying, but Trammel made him irresistible, charming, gawky, vibrant, and okay...annoying at times, but I didn't want to see him leave the stage. Terrific job.
Gregg Edelman in 1776. The SHOW is wonderful and deserves an award mention. THis should be the one. Besides none of the others have a role that is nearly as well written.
Audra MacDonald sings like an angel, has some great music to sing and is awfully good in the drama department of RAGTIME. She has two Tonys already so the woman FROM LION KING might win, but of this bunch, Audra is most deserving.But that doesn't necessarily mean anything.
Linda Lavin or Anna Manahan. Tough one to call. Lavin already has hers and Manahan is British. But one of them should walk away with it. I would vote for the BEAUTY QUEEN woman. Especially in the light that no woman on earth could possibly be like that awful character, yet she sure convinced me the lady exists. Alan Cumming. Mesmerizing, but I would almost be tempted to vote for Doug Sills. He was the only thing that managed to rise above the mediocrity of PIMPERNEL. He was funny, charming, dashing, heroic, silly and sings great. Everything he should be for the role. If he only had a director with an imagination and creative instincts I shudder to think how brilliant he might have been., but alas...the Tony goes to ALAN CUMMING.


From Steven Giron:
The three performers that I feel very strongly about are Brian Stokes Mitchell for Best Actor in a Musical and Alice Ripley and Emily Skinner for Best Actress in a Musical.
Here are my reasons:
Brian Stokes Mitchell embodies everything that I feel a broadway performer should be. His voice is absolutely phenomenal...his placement on his higher range and control and resonance in his lower range make for an overall flawless sound that anyone who has heard the Ragtime soundtrack or seen the SHOW can appreciate. His dancing skills, although only really used in one number, are fabulous, and he glides across the large stage with grace and poise. Finally, his acting is so believable ...it is so entrancing as an audience member to see someone who really seems believes what he is saying and singing about and who shows such a high degree of focus for nearly 3 hours! Brian Stokes Mitchell is a fine example of the "triple-threat" that gives an audience the best overall aesthetic experience, and I think he is the most qualified to win his category.
Alice Ripley and Emily Skinner provide a very different but equally moving performance as Mr. Mitchell. Together, they combine fine acting and beautiful singing to create a touching and passionate show. Although I only had the opportunity to see Side SHOW at the Lincoln Center Library after it had closed, I have been a so called "Freak" since the soundtrack came out! Ms. Ripley's stunning and flawless belt voice and Ms. Skinner's powerful gospel sound makes for a great duet combination. Aside FROM that, the emotional level that the twins achieve "hooks" the audience in a unique way. For those of you who missed the SHOW when it was still open, please go see it at the Lincoln Center...it is a performance that will definitely move you, and I wouldn't be surprised if you don't become a "freak" after seeing it yourself! I think that Alice Ripley and Emily Skinner are the most deserving of the Best Actress in a Musical award.


From Karen B:
For best actress, may the award go to Ms. Ripley and Ms. Skinner... not only are both of the women incredibly talented, but their specific performances in Side SHOW were heartbreaking and moved me and so many people so deeply. They are well-deserving.
For best actor: Douglas Sills all the way! I very much enjoy the performance of Mr. Mitchell (who I think probably WILL win), but Douglas Sills is like any other. First of all, he is a brilliant and breathtaking singer and one, if not THE, best addition to Broadway this year! Secondly, he is such an amazing comic actor. I've never laughed so hard and been moved so much at the same SHOW by one performer. I will be crossing my fingers for him on Tony night.


From David Curley, San Francisco:
I believe Peter Friedman should win for Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical. The role may not be as flashy and outrageous as Alan Cumming's in CABARET, nor as politically powerful as Brian Stokes Mitchell's in RAGTIME, but Mr. Friedman's portrayal is the most important one this year. He plays Tateh with an astounding humanity and depth, showing me how a great musical role can be made even better with great acting. I consider myself extremely lucky to have witnessed this performance and I hope he will be honored for his work.


From Mike Garcia:
Musical actress: Marin Mazzie....the core of RAGTIME, her character grew and moved as her lyrics demanded, totally believable the entire time.
Musical Actor: Brian Stokes Mitchell, I know that everyone is touting Alan Cumming, but Mitchell has a true lead that he fills totally, where as Cumming has what is essentially a featured role, which is stylistically inconstant, as eerie as he is.
Featured Actress Musical: Audra McDonald, Tony's Golden Girl, for good reason...although fine performances by Kendrick (stealing HIGH SOCIETY every step onstage) and Mary Louise Parker in CABARET.
Featured Actor Musical: Ron Rifkin in CABARET heartbreakingly truthful and earnest without being cute.


From JDSkeeter:
As a theatre lover...i think Alan Cumming for Cabaret or Douglas Sills for The Scarlet Pimpernel should win for best actor in a musical.


From Sandy:
Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical; the Tony has to go to Brian Stokes Mitchell in Ragtime. No other performer has continued to capture the hearts of theater-goers in two major cities previously and now, most importantly on Broadway. His performance is sheer energy and passion. His portrayal of Coalhouse Walker, Jr. exemplifies the heights to which a performer can reach. The breadth of emotion he exhibits throughout the SHOW is unsurpassed in theater.
He is amazingly versatile, going FROM singing to dancing and acting seamlessly. His performance does not rely on shock-value to hold the audience spellbound. The sheer magnitude of his performance is enough to do that. He has reached the peak for which other performers aspire. This is a once-in-a-lifetime performance and he should be justly rewarded for it.
From the moment he sets foot on stage, until the final curtain, all eyes are on Brian Stokes Mitchell. He exemplifies "perfection" onstage. How could the Tony go to anyone else?


From Jlockhorn:
Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical- While many people are predicting Natasha Richardson or Alice Ripley and Emily Skinner, I predict a triumph of Marin Mazzie. She has the most beautiful voice on Broadway now, and her emotional ballad "Back to Before" is a real heartbreaker. Betty Buckley could have had a chance if Triumph had lasted longer.
Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical. While many praise Douglas Sills for his Pimpernel, the sloppy production will hold him back. Alan Cumming is a fine actor and gives a wonderful performance in Cabaret, yet his singing voice is something to be looking for. Peter Friedman is great as Tateh in Ragtime, but his role isn't as complex as his competitor, Brian Stokes Mitchell. This is his year. Who's won every award for best actor? Stokes. He has the physical presence, acting ability, and voice to win him a tony.
Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical. High Society's Anna Kendrick must face the facts- she doesn't have a chance. Neither does Mary Louise Wilson of Cabaret. It's between Tony darling Audra McDonald and Tsidii Le Loka. Because of Audra's previous two tonys, she may fall behind the newcomer Le Loka. I think it's going to be Le Loka.
Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical. This is a pure toss up. Gregg Edelman has the voice to create the showstopping Molasses to Rum, but his role, well, doesn't cut it. Like his co-star FROM high Society, John McMartin doesn't have a chance Ron Rifkin and Samuel E. Wright should duel it out. Look for a photo finish.


From Erin Devaraux (durdjjd@aol.com):
The category for Best Actor in a Musical has tough competition this year. I have seen the performances of all of the nominees, and I speak firsthand when I say that I would not like to be the one to choose. Broadway has not seen such a remarkably gifted and skilled GROUP of actors in years.
Alan Cumming is impressive in Cabaret, with wonderful command and style.
Brian Stokes Mitchell's rich, melodious voice sends Ragtime soaring, while Peter Friedman's Tateh adds depth to the SHOW with his superb acting.
The person who shines a few watts above this fantastic GROUP is Douglas Sills. Mr. Sills combines sensitivity and power to create a multi-dimensional character worthy of the reputation which surrounds the mysterious Scarlet Pimpernel. FROM his tearful, heartwrenching "Prayer" and "When I Look at You" reprise to the rousing "Into the Fire," Mr. Sills gives Percy Blakeney magnitude and intensity. Add to this his fantastic delivery of witty and sometimes hysterically funny lines, and you get this year's most fabulous performance by an actor in a musical.


From Jlockhorn:
Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical- While many people are predicting Natasha Richardson or Alice Ripley and Emily Skinner, I predict a triumph of Marin Mazzie. She has the most beautiful voice on Broadway now, and her emotional ballad "Back to Before" is a real heartbreaker. Betty Buckley could have had a chance if Triumph had lasted longer.
Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical While many praise Douglas Sills for his Pimpernel, the sloppy production will hold him back. Alan Cumming is a fine actor and gives a wonderful performance in Cabaret, yet his singing voice is something to be looking for. Peter Friedman is great as Tateh in Ragtime, but his role isn't as complex as his competitor, Brian Stokes Mitchell. This is his year. Who's won every award for best actor? Stokes. He has the physical presence, acting ability, and voice to win him a Tony.
Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical High Society's Anna Kendrick must face the facts- she doesn't have a chance. Neither does Mary Louise Wilson of Cabaret. It's between Tony darling Audra McDonald and Tsidii Le Loka. Because of Audra's previous two Tonys, she may fall behind the newcomer Le Loka. I think it's going to be Le Loka. Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical This is a pure toss up. Gregg Edelman has the voice to create the showstopping Molasses to Rum, but his role, well, doesn't cut it. Like his co-star FROM high Society, John McMartin doesn't have a chance Ron Rifikin and Samuel E. Wright should duel it out. Look for a photo finish.


From Katzes:
Actress in musical- Marin Mazzie
Actor in musical- Brian Stokes Mitchell
Featured Actress in Musical- Audra McDonald
Ragtime is the best musical in the world. I saw it three twice and I'm seeing it again. Marin has the most amazing voice I have ever heard. Audra is fab and so is Brian. I think that the three of them deserve to win. They all gave heart wrenching performances. If Ragtime were a film it would deserve an Oscar.


From: OHMeeskite:
Sorry Betty and Marin, but the Twins should win.
Douglas Sills is basically the only contender for best actor.
John Leguizamo for Freak, Marie Mullen for The Beauty Queen of Leenane, Sam Travell for Ah, Wilderness!; Linda Lavin for The Diary of Anne Frank.
Here's where the choices get tough. Gregg Edelman sings Molasses to Rum amazingly, John McMartin is wonderful, but it has to go to Ron Rifkin. Also, despite what people will say Tsidii Le Loki should win the Tony over Audra McDonald.
These are just my take on it.


From: Mkudhair:
I feel that John McMartin should win for best supporting actor, and here's why: not only does he do a brilliant job tackling the difficult job of making a doddering, lecherous drunk likable and heartbreaking, but he has had an amazing career, almost 40 years , in the theatre, has been nominated 3 times before, and has yet to win. Not only does his performance in High Society deserve award, but his entire career, and I think it's high time, no pun intended


From joseph botten (Snopjo@aol.com):
The only musical I have seen and that I can vote for is The Lion King. I saw it in Minneapolis twice and both times it was fantastic. I think it deserves all the awards it is nominated, especially for directing and costume design. Above all, I am positive that Tsidii Le Loka will win for her portrayl of Rafiki. The way her voice starts out the opening number is enough to send a chill right up your spine and she even eases that chill down with her wondrous chants. If I were voting, I wouldn't have to think twice.


Read more responses to the Performer poll.

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