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Put the Tony Money on Lucky 'Seven' and 'Rent'

June 02, 1996|Laurie Winer | Laurie Winer is The Times' theater critic

'Mary Poppins Hoppin' Mad!" cried the New York Post. Julie Andrews spurned the Tony nomination when she felt that the nominators spurned her show, the depressingly mediocre "Victor/Victoria."

Because the Tonys are both an award and a national commercial, a sense of entitlement seems to cling to the annual event. Both Jackie Mason and David Merrick have tried to sue the folks who administer the Tony Awards. I can't remember anyone suing the Pulitzer committee.

But now it's time to concentrate on the important matter at hand: betting. Here are my picks for who will win tonight.

Play: "Seven Guitars" by August Wilson. "Buried Child" is old, no matter what its producers say about rewrites, "Master Class" is made great by its star and "Racing Demon" is both British and boring.

Musical: "Rent." This is the year of Jonathan Larson.

Book of a musical: "Rent."

Original score: "Rent."

Revival of a play: "A Delicate Balance."

Revival of a musical: "The King and I." Pound for theatrical pound, it's better than its only rival, "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum."

Leading actor in a play: George C. Scott in "Inherit the Wind."

Leading actress in a play: Zoe Caldwell in "Master Class."

Leading actor in a musical: Nathan Lane, no question, for "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum."

Leading actress in a musical: Tough one. It will probably go to Julie Andrews, even though she won't be there. But Donna Murphy of "The King and I" deserves it.

Featured actor in a play: James Gammon as a hilariously gnarled alcoholic in "Buried Child," though Ruben Santiago-Hudson was terrific in "Seven Guitars."

Featured actress in a play: Tough call. Could be Audra McDonald in "Master Class" or Michele Shay in "Seven Guitars."

Featured actor in a musical: Wilson Jermaine Heredia as the sweet-voiced Angel in "Rent."

Featured actress in a musical: I don't have a clue on this one. Either Ann Duquesnay in "Bring In 'Da Noise, Bring In 'Da Funk" or Idina Menzel in "Rent."

Direction of a play: Gerald Gutierrez for "A Delicate Balance."

Direction of a musical: George C. Wolfe for "Bring In 'Da Noise, Bring In 'Da Funk."

Scenic design: John Lee Beatty for "A Delicate Balance." But since he already won for a similar set in "The Heiress" last year, maybe Brian Thomson for "The King and I."

Costumes: Roger Kirk for "The King and I."

Lighting: Jules Fisher and Peggy Eisenhauer for "Bring In 'Da Noise, Bring In 'Da Funk."

Choreography: Savion Glover for "Bring In 'Da Noise, Bring In 'Da Funk."

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