The clock is ticking down to the biggest event of the Broadway season, the Tony Awards. The 62nd Annual Antoinette Perry Awards will be telecast live tomorrow night on CBS, with Whoopi Goldberg presiding over the tony (ahem) evening as host.
The general consensus is that the two big awards -- Best Play and Best Musical -- are August: Osage County and In the Heights' to lose. However, the Tonys always have a few surprises waiting in the wings (remember Avenue Q besting Wicked?), so don't count out the underdog, which this year is Xanadu. The best bet for the Fanadu (and Movie Dearest) fave is Douglas Carter Beane's book, while Cry-Baby's exuberant dances should land Rob Ashford his second Tony.
Two revivals of theatrical classics, South Pacific and Gypsy, are expected to dominate the musical acting categories, with the former (the first return to New York of the Rodgers and Hammerstein standard ever) expected to nab Best Revival and Best Director (for Bartlett Sher). On the play front, Patrick Stewart is favored for Best Actor for his Macbeth, while Raúl Esparza may get the Tony this year (for The Homecoming) that many feel he deserved last year (for Company; he lost to surprise winner David Hyde Pierce, for Curtains).
The evening will also honor legendary composer Stephen Sondheim with a lifetime achievement award; fans will want to check out Broadway.com's look at his 50-year history with the Tonys, including his seven previous wins (more then any other composer).
For all of us outside of the New York area, there are a few ways we can join in on the excitement as it happens: Tony Award winners Julie White and Michael Cerveris will host the first hour of presentations of the "Creative Arts awards" live on the Tony's website, while Playbill.com will live blog from backstage at Radio City Music Hall. And if you are hosting your own Tony viewing party, Broadway.com has ideas for a critically acclaimed menu. A Catered Affair canapés, any one?