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Tony Award for Best Play?

TheatreKid3
Broadway Star
joined:3/25/12
Tony Award for Best Play?
Posted: 6/2/12 at 10:27pm
What is everyone's opinion in which show will win the Tony Award for Best Play?

Clybourne Park - won the Pulitzer, that says enough.

Other Desert Cities - is closing June 17th. Could this hurt its chances?

Peter and the Starcatcher - one of the most imaginative and theatrical pieces I have ever seen. My pick!

Venus in Fur - also closing June 17th. Could this hurt its chances?

Thoughts? I think Peter is more of a frontrunner than people think. After all, it did receive the most nominations of any new play.

Updated On: 6/2/12 at 10:27 PM
TheatreKid3
Broadway Star
joined:3/25/12
Tony Award for Best Play?
Posted: 6/3/12 at 12:31am
No love for plays?
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CapnHook
Broadway Legend
joined:5/12/03
Tony Award for Best Play?
Posted: 6/3/12 at 11:15am
Out of all the categories, this is the hardest to predict. I still haven't made up my mind. I'm leaning towards OTHER DESERT CITIES but that could change tomorrow and every day until the Tonys...
"The Spectacle has, indeed, an emotional attraction of its own, but, of all the parts, it is the least artistic, and connected least with the art of poetry. For the power of Tragedy, we may be sure, is felt even apart from representation and actors. Besides, the production of spectacular effects depends more on the art of the stage machinist than on that of the poet."
--Aristotle
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AC126748
Broadway Legend
joined:7/15/06
Tony Award for Best Play?
Posted: 6/3/12 at 11:23am
I wouldn't read too much into the fact that Peter and the Starcatcher received the most nominations. Many of those nominations were for the physical production, which is a lot more lavish and technically stunning than the other three nominees.

I still think Other Desert Cities is the frontrunner.
"You travel alone because other people are only there to remind you how much that hook hurts that we all bit down on. Wait for that one day we can bite free and get back out there in space where we belong, sail back over water, over skies, into space, the hook finally out of our mouths and we wander back out there in space spawning to other planets never to return hurrah to earth and we'll look back and can't even see these lives here anymore. Only the taste of blood to remind us we ever existed. The earth is small. We're gone. We're dead. We're safe." -John Guare, Landscape of the Body
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bdn223
Broadway Star
joined:6/14/08
Tony Award for Best Play?
Posted: 6/3/12 at 11:38am
Peter and the Starcatcher may/will not win best play, but its likly going to walk away with more wins than any other play or even musical of the season. It is going to sweep the technical catagories, so at least 4 wins. Christian Borle's possible/likly win makes 5 and the play deserves best director, but likly won't win, but if it does that makes 6 wins. Since the musical catagories will be split between Once and Newsies, with Spiderman getting the technicals, and the acting catagories going to neither, Peter and the Starcatcher looks like it will walk away with the most awards.
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AC126748
Broadway Legend
joined:7/15/06
Tony Award for Best Play?
Posted: 6/3/12 at 11:41am
I liked Borle's performance much better, but I think Andrew Garfield will win over him.
"You travel alone because other people are only there to remind you how much that hook hurts that we all bit down on. Wait for that one day we can bite free and get back out there in space where we belong, sail back over water, over skies, into space, the hook finally out of our mouths and we wander back out there in space spawning to other planets never to return hurrah to earth and we'll look back and can't even see these lives here anymore. Only the taste of blood to remind us we ever existed. The earth is small. We're gone. We're dead. We're safe." -John Guare, Landscape of the Body
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MusicAndPassion
Broadway Star
joined:9/14/05
Tony Award for Best Play?
Posted: 6/3/12 at 12:05pm
I think this race is tighter than any other category this season. We've have an overwhelming production of great plays this season; what a gift to Broadway!

I believe, and hope, that Other Desert Cities will take the Tony next week. The play itself is a well written drama with comedic elements that are more hauntingly familiar than over the top. The acting is the best on stage this season. The design is fantastic. The odds, I hope, are in this show's favor. I'm a sucker for American family dramas, and I enjoyed this play almost as much as I did when I first sat through August: Osage County. Other Desert Cities has also enjoyed a great run this season. It's run is a great length, making this a play a gift for theatre goers that needs not to be missed!

Peter and the Starcatcher was too much of a spectacle for my taste. I did find it quite good with moments of greatness. Act I was weak and over the top. Act II was almost moving, and more Broadway than "Look what we can do!" While the performances from select members were touching, I thought Borle was too over the top and distracting. I tried very hard to like, love and enjoy every moment of this show but I just couldn't. It was on my list of shows I must see this season, and it was disappointing. The theatricality of this play is brilliant. The play itself is fine.

I enjoyed Venus in Fur more than Peter and the Starcatcher. I found it to be the smartest play this season, next to Wit. I'm a fan of David Ives. He has a way with words that makes me appreciate theatre. Walter Bobbie's direction was tight, clever and well crafted. Nina Arianda was explosive, and Hugh Dancy was great.

I am seeing Clybourne Park this week, after rereading A Raisin in the Sun.

Clybourne Park did beat Other Desert Cities for the Pulitzer, but that doesn't mean it will beat it for the Tony. While Venus in Fur was excellent, it is not quite the Tony winning material that the voters seem to award each year. The race is between Other Desert Cities, Clybourne Park and Venus in Fur.
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bdn223
Broadway Star
joined:6/14/08
Tony Award for Best Play?
Posted: 6/3/12 at 12:15pm
Clyborne Park did not beat Other Desert Cities for the Pulitzer. ODC was not elligle to with the Pulitzer last year, which is why it was named a finalist this year.
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Kad
Broadway Legend
joined:11/5/05
Tony Award for Best Play?
Posted: 6/3/12 at 12:32pm
I think Clybourne Park's win is locked at this point. It has the Pulitzer and the Olivier, as well as critical love and already many regional productions lined up. I think the Tony voters won't let an American-written play that has won so much praise slip by unrewarded.

I would personally rather see Starcatcher or Venus in Fur win.
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HeyMrMusic
Broadway Legend
joined:5/16/04
Tony Award for Best Play?
Posted: 6/3/12 at 02:16pm
Clybourne Park will win. Peter and the Starcatcher would be my pick. I thought it was a magical night at the theatre.

And regarding Peter, wasn't over the top the point? It's basically a panto.

I wouldn't read too much into the fact that Peter and the Starcatcher received the most nominations. Many of those nominations were for the physical production, which is a lot more lavish and technically stunning than the other three nominees.

Besides the four design nominations, it was nominated for two of its actors, direction, and score (and of course, play). I'd say that means it's pretty well-liked in every regard, not just for its spectacle.
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CapnHook
Broadway Legend
joined:5/12/03
Tony Award for Best Play?
Posted: 6/3/12 at 08:02pm
I think "momentum" and "hype" have a lot less to do with predicting the winner than many here believe. Tony voters will vote based on either politics, opinion, or a combination of the two. Voters are not responsible for generating hype, nor do I think they respond to the momentum of other theatre awards building up to their voting deadline.

To some extent, I think it helps to have the dozens of producers that some of the nominated plays and musicals have. It increases the chances that some of the producers are friends with different voters, thus potentially receiving more votes.
"The Spectacle has, indeed, an emotional attraction of its own, but, of all the parts, it is the least artistic, and connected least with the art of poetry. For the power of Tragedy, we may be sure, is felt even apart from representation and actors. Besides, the production of spectacular effects depends more on the art of the stage machinist than on that of the poet."
--Aristotle
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theatreguy
Broadway Legend
joined:7/31/03
Tony Award for Best Play?
Posted: 6/3/12 at 08:14pm
HeyMrMusic, those 9 nominations only mean it's well-liked in every regard by the nominating committee. The voters may (or may not) feel differently.

If the process were like the Oscars, then the number of nominations would be a better indication of how widely-liked a production is.
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HeyMrMusic
Broadway Legend
joined:5/16/04
Tony Award for Best Play?
Posted: 6/3/12 at 10:37pm
I just meant that their nominations are not just in design categories. Without them, they still would have gotten five nominations, a very respectable number for a play and a higher number than Clybourne Park and Venus in Fur, and just as many as Other Desert Cities. I'm not saying I think it'll win, but its nominations aren't just for the spectacle of it.
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WiCkEDrOcKS
Broadway Legend
joined:6/13/04
Tony Award for Best Play?
Posted: 6/3/12 at 11:05pm
CLYBOURNE PARK will (and should) win.
Current Avatar: Tony-winner Idina Menzel, delivering a sucker-punch of an 11:00 number, "Always Starting Over," in IF/THEN.
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Polka Dot2
Stand-by
joined:7/26/08
Tony Award for Best Play?
Posted: 6/3/12 at 11:11pm
I've seen three of the nominees. My thoughts:

-While I really enjoyed the play in general, I went back a second time to see Nina's performance again. Nina will win, but I don't think Venus in Fur will.

-Other Desert Cities - I enjoyed every aspect of it, and the acting was top notch.

-But Peter and the Starcatcher was captivating, innovative, immensely creative, and moving in such a unique way. It moved me to laughter and tears. There isn't another show that is quite like this, so that's why it's my pick for Best Play. It is a very special show.
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Playbilly
Broadway Legend
joined:3/30/12
Tony Award for Best Play?
Posted: 6/3/12 at 11:56pm
Wish the Tonys were separated into Best Play (text) and Best Production of a Play. It's very silly the way it is.
"Through The Sacrifice You Made, We Can't Believe The Price You Paid..For Love!"
After Eight
Broadway Legend
joined:6/5/09
Tony Award for Best Play?
Posted: 6/4/12 at 08:54am
It's too bad Tony voters have no "none of the above" option.
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WiCkEDrOcKS
Broadway Legend
joined:6/13/04
Tony Award for Best Play?
Posted: 6/4/12 at 10:58am
Yeah, because this was such a weak year for new plays.

ONE MAN, TWO GUVNORS, VENUS IN FUR, THE LYONS, OTHER DESERT CITIES, CLYBOURNE PARK, PETER AND THE STARCATCHER, ....what disasters.
Current Avatar: Tony-winner Idina Menzel, delivering a sucker-punch of an 11:00 number, "Always Starting Over," in IF/THEN.
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bdn223
Broadway Star
joined:6/14/08
Tony Award for Best Play?
Posted: 6/4/12 at 05:09pm
Playbilly they actually used to have it set up that way during the first few years of the Tonys, with the Best Authour catagory, though it did somewhat lump Best Book of a Musical and Play together.
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Idiot
Broadway Star
joined:10/9/10
Tony Award for Best Play?
Posted: 6/4/12 at 05:51pm
I don't know what CLAYBOURNE PARK is like on Broadway, but here in LA it was 'okay' at best.
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ABB2357
Broadway Star
joined:7/29/09
Tony Award for Best Play?
Posted: 6/4/12 at 06:03pm
I second the criticism of CLYBOURNE. I thought it was solidly entertaining but weak for a Pulitzer winner, and didn't delve beyond its expected (and telegraphed) dramatic beats. OTHER DESERT CITIES, while not a great play, is much better crafted and brilliantly performed. I'd give it a slight edge due to strength of both the text and the production. Here's hoping Judith Light wins too!
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HeyMrMusic
Broadway Legend
joined:5/16/04
Tony Award for Best Play?
Posted: 6/4/12 at 10:24pm
It's okay here too. Solid, but not thrilling like Peter or even Venus in Fur.
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broadwaydevil
Broadway Legend
joined:2/16/11
Tony Award for Best Play?
Posted: 6/4/12 at 10:35pm
Other Desert Cities did not win the Pulitzer this year, but it wasn't head to head with Clybourne Park so it's very difficult to draw any conclusion from that.

The argument about whether Best Play means best production or best written play is one that probably confuses voters just as much as it confuses us. It's never clearly specified in any Tony literature I've read and I think voters are generally left to interpret how to vote however they'd like. If it was based purely on writing, Peter wouldn't even be in the conversation. However, I think that the vast majority of voters vote on some combination of the writing and production though it's really difficult to quantify the mechanism of voting.

I'm not saying one system is more preferable than another, I just am observing the reality which is that it's a confusing, ambiguous category.
Scratch and claw for every day you're worth! Make them drag you screaming from life, keep dreaming You'll live forever here on earth.
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HeyMrMusic
Broadway Legend
joined:5/16/04
Tony Award for Best Play?
Posted: 6/4/12 at 10:38pm
Best Musical used to include the writers of the show before they had separate book/score categories.

Voters clearly don't mind voting solely on production with no regard to writing. Last year, War Horse won.
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broadwaydevil
Broadway Legend
joined:2/16/11
Tony Award for Best Play?
Posted: 6/4/12 at 10:55pm
^True, but last year had a far weaker crop of plays. I'd like to think War Horse wouldn't stand a chance against Other Desert Cities, though I guess nothing would surprise me at this point.

Also, there is no such thing as the homogenous voting body. Each voter votes differently. With such ambiguous qualifications especially for the Best Play category, I'm sure some voters vote based on production, some based on writing, and some use a combination. It may not even be that the majority vote on production but rather that those who are more interested in writing split their vote among the other nominees. Then again, it's so difficult to say exactly what weighing mechanism one uses to vote, so perhaps the argument is irrelevant. One could easily claim they're voting on strictly production and vote for any nominee and vice versa as they are ultimately subjective decisions.
Scratch and claw for every day you're worth! Make them drag you screaming from life, keep dreaming You'll live forever here on earth.