Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The Featured Actors Again ... But This Time, With Music!

This was a stellar year for featured actors in musicals.  Magic, sight gags, great singing, quick humor, and personalities to spare, the supporting actors are, in each case, scene stealers.  There are so many that deserve to be in this category that my first instinct was to pick my favorite five.  And to some extent, that's what I did.  But there is also some prognostication here, as well.  I guess I will start off by mentioning who the possible contenders are.

Christopher Fitzgerald and Chuck Cooper, Finian's Rainbow
James Monroe Iglehart and J. Bernard Calloway, Memphis
Bobby Steggert, Ragtime
Bill Irwin, Bye Bye Birdie
Kevin Chamberlin, The Addams Family
Aaron Lazar, A Little Night Music

In addition to the above, there is a chance that, as with Movin' Out a few years ago, some of the dancers in Come Fly Away will be nominated, but that's difficult to predict just yet.  Somehow, though, I doubt that will be the case because I think there are enough other strong nominees to fill the category.

The first unfortunate actor that I did not pick from the above list was Bill Irwin who, as funny as he generally is, was just wrong in that role -- and most people I've heard from agree with that, some saying that his talents had so much potential that was entirely misused here.

Of the remaining actors, it seems relatively clear to me that Christopher Fitzgerald and James Monroe Iglehart will be nominated.  Fitzgerald performed a number of great magic tricks and pulled off a lot of quick humor and sight gags that deserve nomination.  Iglehart had his own brand of magic in Memphis with his great singing and dancing, stealing the show in his big musical number.

The last two slots I have picked are good contenders, but are also wild cards, to a certain extent.  Kevin Chamberlin is ideally cast as Uncle Fester in The Addams Family and I can't imagine this well loved actor (who has never won a Tony) NOT being nominated, but there will be more buzz to learn from after the show opens.  There is definitely a chance that he won't make the cut, though, based on the strong performances of others in the category.

The same goes for Bobby Steggert -- Mother's Little Brother in Ragtime.  I thought he was great, and the critics agreed.  But his show may have closed too long ago for someone else to get the nomination instead of him.

Of the above, the biggest threat to any of the men in the category is Calloway, who was a solid presence and a scene stealer in his short time on stage.  Aaron Lazar, a decently respected actor on Broadway, gave a smart performance in a great production of a Sondhim musical, but there just hasn't been enough buzz around Mr. Lazar yet for me to be sure he will be nominated.

As I wrap up this post, for clarity's sake, my picks are:

Bobby Steggert, Ragtime
Christopher Fitzgerald, Finian's Rainbow
Chuck Cooper, Finian's Rainbow
Kevin Chamberlin, The Addams Family
James Monroe Iglehart, Memphis

So, those are my pics, and we will see how these develop over time until May 4th.

No comments:

Post a Comment