Tony Awards 2018 Predictions - The Actresses
Check out Part 2 of our 2018 Tony Awards predictions...
Following on from last week's first installment of our 2018 Tony Award predictions, where we took the categories of "Best Musical," "Best Play," "Best Revival of a Musical," and "Best Revival of a Play" under consideration, it is now time for the ladies to step up into the spotlight. This Broadway season has seen a generous helping of seasoned stage veterans, Broadway favorites and newcomers gracing us with their talents on the Great White Way. From 82-year old five-time Tony Award nominee Glenda Jackson to 19-year old Hailey Kilgore, earning her first Tony nomination in her Broadway debut, we weigh in on all of this season's astonishing women...
So without any further ado, it's curtain up, once again, for Part 2 - The Actresses...
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE IN A PLAY
We would like to give a special mention at this point to Lauren Ridloff, who made a stunning Broadway debut and became the heart and soul of the Broadway revival of Children of a Lesser God. Sadly the production struggled to find its audience and is set to close on May 27, despite Ms. Ridloff's emotionally-charged performance. However, this category belongs to one woman this year and that is the incomporable Glenda Jackson. Making her return to Broadway after a 30-year absence and earning a fifth Tony Award nomination (for her fifth Broadway outing, no less) this veteran of stage and screen is a force of nature, giving a powerful and heartwrenching performance in Edward Albee's Three Tall Women at the Golden Theatre. The changes in her physicality and demeanour in the two stylistically opposed acts of the play are remarkable and the way she draws an audience into the palm of her hands as she recounts the scattered tales of her character's life is a true master class. By the time the curtain fell, we were literally left stunned and speechless for minutes. Whatever you do, don't miss out on experiencing this phenomenal woman on stage.
Three Tall Women Tickets are available now for performances through to June 24, 2018.
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE IN A MUSICAL
Lauren Ambrose, My Fair Lady - PREDICTED WINNER!
Hailey Kilgore, Once On This Island
LaChanze, Summer: The Donna Summer Musical
Katrina Lenk, The Band's Visit
Taylor Louderman, Mean Girls
Jessie Mueller, Carousel
In an unprecedented and unforseen event, we have a grand total of six nominees in the category of "Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical". Apparently, there was a tie after the votes were counted... In any case, it is certainly an eclectic mix of performances and relatively hard to call. Katrina Lenk is giving an enticingly hypnotic performance as Dina in The Band's Visit, whilst Taylor Louderman and Hailey Kilgore are proving very popular choices amonst the younger demographic of theatregoers, but we feel Tony voters may ensure that Lauren Ambrose steals the crown for her interpretation of Eliza Doolittle in Lincoln Center Theater's revival of My Fair Lady. Although her cockney accent may not be 100% flawless, Ms. Ambrose does well in setting Eliza up as an equal to Henry Higgins and her natural and deceivingly effortless vocals are a refreshing take on Lerner & Loewe's timeless standards.
My Fair Lady Tickets are available now for performances through to January 6, 2019.
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A FEATURED ROLE IN A PLAY
Susan Brown, Angels in America
Noma Dumezweni, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
Deborah Findlay, The Children
Denise Gough, Angels in America - PREDICTED WINNER!
Laurie Metcalf, Three Tall Women
Hmmmm... Now this was a touch category to call with all five nominees deserving the prize, but ultimately we feel it boils down to a two-horse race between recent Oscar nominee Laurie Metcalf and Olivier Award winner Denise Gough (with Noma Dumezweni as the dark horse in the race, if the power of the Potter kicks in). Ms. Metcalf finally won her overdue Tony Award last year (after three previous nominations) and we feel like this just might be Ms. Gough's year, as the character of Harper Pitt in Angels in America is a tricky one to get right. The actress must strive to enduce empathy over irritation from the audience through Harper's multi-layered nuances. Watching Ms. Gough, we feel her interpretation was genuinely identifiable, regardless of age, gender or sexual orientation and her connection with Andrew Garfield's character of Prior Walter, in the dream sequences, is electric. On a side note, Ms. Gough also gave an all-consuming performance as the leading lady in People, Places and Things, reprising her Olivier Award-winning performance at Brooklyn's St. Anne's Warehouse last fall, and we feel her contribution to the whole New York season should be rewarded.
Angels in America Tickets are available now for performances through to July 15, 2018.
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A FEATURED ROLE IN A MUSICAL
Ariana DeBose, Summer: The Donna Summer Musical
Renée Fleming, Carousel - PREDICTED WINNER!
Lindsay Mendez, Carousel
Ashley Park, Mean Girls
Diana Rigg, My Fair Lady
And finally, the trickiest category so far... This one really is anyone's game. If we were purely rewarding the best "triple threat", then Ariana DeBose would surely take home the prize for her breath-taking vocals and dance skills in Summer and if Dame Diana Rigg had a role that offered a little more stage time, then she would probably be the top contender. If younger Broadway fans had their say, then Ashley Park or Lindsay Mendez would find themselves getting the nod. However, since many of the Tony voters are a little long in the tooth, we've gone with opera sensation Renée Fleming, who is currently giving a confident, warm and maternal performance as Nettie Fowler in Carousel. At the end of the day, her rendition of "You'll Never Walk Alone" might be the deciding factor in this category, but we'll just have to wait and see what happens, when June 10 rolls around...
Rodgers & Hammerstein's Carousel Tickets are available now for performances through to January 6, 2019.
So, that wraps it up for this week's installment of our 2018 Tony Award predictions, but be sure to check in next week when it will be the boys' turn to face the music (and dance)...