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Why I believe that Audra McDonald belongs in Lead Actress ina Musical category

Freeman5
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The OCC gets it right: Audra's performance is a MUSICAL actress performance. She sings 12 songs - more songs than any of the other actresses in the category performs. She tells her story equally by words and music. I hope the Drama Desk and Tony nominators follow suit and place her correctly in the Lead Actress in a Musical category. (She will bump either Idina Menzel or Michelle Williams if she is deemed eligible in this category).
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dreaming
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I want her in the musical category-but she would rather be in the play category so she can complete her sweep. And I'm guessing the committee will let her have her way. (Such a shame, because Cherry Jones deserves to win for her amazing performance in The Glass Menagerie.)
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@dreaming-whether Audra's "way" is completing a sweep is, to my knowledge, not something she has ever said. But in any event, it is not up to her; it is up to the producers, and their calculus is a quite different one (and based on winning vs losing awards).
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Hasn't the Tony nominating committee already decided what category? Is it being kept a secret?
"Jaws is the Citizen Kane of movies."
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dreaming
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The decision will be announced Friday, Best12bars.

I think an actor who's got yet to be nominated or win in a category might want that to complete the sweep.
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You're assuming that Audra only cares about awards.
"...everyone finally shut up, and the audience could enjoy the beginning of the Anatevka Pogram in peace."
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adamgreer
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I would think the producers would petition to have her in the play category, where her competition would be limited to Cherry Jones, as opposed to the fiercely competitive leading actress in a musical category.


My name is neither "adam" nor "greer."
Updated On: 4/23/14 at 08:30 AM
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I think she'd have a much easier time in the musical category. Although it's crowded, she'd win for sure, I think-because none of the reviews (Foster is the exception) were as good.
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"I think she'd have a much easier time in the musical category. Although it's crowded, she'd win for sure, I think-because none of the reviews (Foster is the exception) were as good."

What about Jessie Mueller or Kelli O'Hara?
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Audra would easily beat them. The last time an actress in a 'play with music' was in the actress in a play category-she LOST-to an actress in a traditional play. Just saying...

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Christian Borle won a Tony for a play with music in a play category...
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I wouldn' guess that someone of Audra's caliber and class, doesnt' REALLY care all that much. I'm not saying it wouldn't be an amazining feat or something that's never crossed her mind. However, in my naive world, I'm fairly certain she's thrilled with her career and kudos and continued brass is not quite the goal as it once was.

Let's face it: does Meryl Streep REALLY care if she wins another Oscar? It's nice, sure; but certainly not needed to feel any sort of professional satisfaction.
If we're not having fun, then why are we doing it? These are DISCUSSION boards, not mutual admiration boards. Discussion only occurs when we are willing to hear what others are thinking, regardless of whether it is alignment to our own thoughts.
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dreaming-whatever your theories (and I am not suggesting I disagree) the point is that there IS a strategy that must be played, it is not crystal clear and it is the producer's strategy to undertake, for the benefit of investors, not stars.
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"Audra would easily beat them."

You assume way too much, way too easily. That's not very bright.
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Audra McDonald's show is selling out...Bridges is about to close, and I don't think someone in a jukebox musical with a terrible book is going to beat her. She should be in the musical category. It is a musical. Should they place her 'strategically' (in the play category) it could backfire.
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Plus, Audra might be a lock for PLAY. MUSICAL is very competitive this year with Menzel and Foster. And if she also wants to complete her sweep like someone said, it's best if she and the producers go for PLAY.
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I'm saying it now: if Audra is in the musical category, Kelli O'Hara beats her because she's never won before. Audra just won that category 2 years ago, and I think the voters will recognize Kelli for her continued runner up status. Audra would be much better off in the Play category.

Updated On: 4/23/14 at 08:55 AM
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how is it best for the producers? They would like SOME award to advertise (and it is not going to be the big one). There is a huge risk that, as a play performance, it will be judged harshly, for the simple reason that the parameters are different. There is also formidable one on one competition. In the musical category, there are numerous competitors who could conceivably cancel each other out, and who could also be punished for the weakness of their vehicles. (The same is true for Audra's.) So it is a VERY complicated analysis, but Audra's wishes (whatever they may or may not be) cannot be a serious factor in that: it would be irresponsible.

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madbrian
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I'd like to thank folks for adding some levity into this discussion, even if the levity is unintentional. It's comical how folks have the chutzpah to speak for Ms. McDonald, Tony voters, and the producers of the show.
"It does me no injury for my neighbour to say there are 20 gods or no god. It neither picks my pocket, nor breaks my leg." -- Thomas Jefferson
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And it's comical how you think you are better than them or above it all by posting a snarky, wise-ass comment.
mar6411
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Pot, meet kettle.

Agree mad rain.
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The general argument that decides whether something is a "musical" or a "play with music" is the context of how the music is used in conjunction with the development of the central story. The argument for shows like this and End of the Rainbow being 'plays with music' is that the music is presented for the most part independent from the dialogue (in both instances as 'club' numbers) and that the music in-itself is secondary to the dialogue in the development of the character and story.

LADY DAY has enough music (and because the show is entirely set during a 'club act') to perhaps be deemed as a musical, but I think the fact that the majority of the central character's journey is expressed through extensive monologue will give it the nudge into the play category. Unlike LOVE JANIS, there is enough character development specifically through dialogue to make the push.

The Tony Committee could also decide to honor the show with a special Tony and deem it not eligible for either play or musical revival.



Updated On: 4/23/14 at 09:36 AM
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"Audra would easily beat them. The last time an actress in a 'play with music' was in the actress in a play category-she LOST-to an actress in a traditional play."

Correlation is NOT causation. She LOST to an actress who was extremely, extremely praised and hailed instantly as one of the finest young actresses working. Comparisons to Meryl Streep were thrown left and right. Nina Arianda's turn in Venus in Fur was one of the rare "star is born" performances.
"...everyone finally shut up, and the audience could enjoy the beginning of the Anatevka Pogram in peace."
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MB-that's a fine "rule' but it is honored in the breach. What about certain other bio plays with music that happen to be in play?
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dreaming
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Fair enough, Kad. I couldn't help but wonder if the more 'traditional' minded voters wanted to award a 'traditional' play or might even have viewed "End of the Rainbow" as a musical or a 'special event' piece. (Sometimes people don't want ambiguity.)

This is an instance where I kind of think the "Special Event" Tony should be used-it's very hard to categorize this piece. (I define it by how much singing takes place or is used to tell the story.) I wish they'd allow it here. (Maybe we'll get a tie between Audra and Cherry Jones.)
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The role of music in End of the Rainbow is not what cost Tracie Bennett the award. It was a mix of a good number of people finding the performance and play distasteful, the production not being particularly well-received, and the fact that this was a chance to foster an extremely talented American newcomer.

The situation this year is not at all comparable.
"...everyone finally shut up, and the audience could enjoy the beginning of the Anatevka Pogram in peace."
Updated On: 4/23/14 at 10:06 AM

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