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Predictions: Which Female Actors Are Going to Win a Tony in 2019?

Our critics reveal their picks for the Tony Awards on June 9.

With a week to go until the Tony Awards, our critics share their predictions for the top categories, starting with the four categories for female actors. Check back over the course of this week for predictions about the male acting categories, direction, original work, and revival categories.

Also, be sure to vote for your predictions here. We'll check back on the 10th and see how we all did.

Elaine May is the odds-on favorite to win the Tony for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play.
(© Brigitte Lacombe)

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play

THE NOMINEES:
Annette Bening, All My Sons
Laura Donnelly, The Ferryman
Elaine May, The Waverly Gallery
Janet McTeer, Bernhardt/Hamlet
Laurie Metcalf, Hillary and Clinton
Heidi Schreck, What the Constitution Means to Me

David Gordon:
Will win: Elaine May, The Waverly Gallery
Should win: Elaine May, The Waverly Gallery
No contest. Best performance of the season.

Hayley Levitt:
Will win: Elaine May, The Waverly Gallery
Should win: Janet McTeer, Bernhardt/Hamlet
Elaine May gave a phenomenal performance as the mentally declining Gladys in Kenneth Lonergan's The Waverly Gallery. But in Theresa Rebeck's Bernhardt/Hamlet, Janet McTeer had the tall task of embodying Sarah Bernhardt — a woman with a reputation as the greatest actress the world has ever seen. When you pull that off believably, you deserve an award.

Zachary Stewart:
Will win: Elaine May, The Waverly Gallery
Should win: Elaine May, The Waverly Gallery
Elaine May will beat Laurie Metcalf (and those who would love to give her a third Tony Award in a row) by a hair. Expect Metcalf to be back this time next year, however, when she takes on Martha in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?


According to our critics, Celia Keenan-Bolger has a lock on winning the Tony for Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play.
(© Julieta Cervantes)

Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play

THE NOMINEES:
Fionnula Flanagan, The Ferryman
Celia Keenan-Bolger, To Kill a Mockingbird
Kristine Nielsen, Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus
Julie White, Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus
Ruth Wilson, King Lear

David Gordon:
Will win: Celia Keenan-Bolger, To Kill a Mockingbird
Should win: Celia Keenan-Bolger, To Kill a Mockingbird
This will likely be Mockingbird's only win of the night, and it's the one the production deserves the most. Celia Keenan-Bolger is the emotional center of the play, and in a career of first-rate performances, this one is her best to date.

Hayley Levitt:
Will win: Celia Keenan-Bolger, To Kill a Mockingbird
Should win: Celia Keenan-Bolger, To Kill a Mockingbird
Celia Keenan-Bolger is on Tony nomination no. 4 with To Kill a Mockingbird, and it's about time she take home a statue. I was hoping for her to win for her Laura Wingfield in The Glass Menagerie back in 2014, but her Scout Finch is just as heart-melting and award-worthy, and I have a feeling Tony voters will agree.

Zachary Stewart:
Will win: Celia Keenan-Bolger, To Kill a Mockingbird
Should win: Celia Keenan-Bolger, To Kill a Mockingbird
In a just world, this would be a Tony nomination for Leading Actress, but Aaron Sorkin forgot that Mockingbird is actually Scout's story. Still, Keenan-Bolger deserves to win for rising above the middling script and bringing Scout to vivid life eight times a week.


It looks likely that Stephanie J. Block will take home her first Tony for her performance in The Cher Show.
(© Joan Marcus)

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical

THE NOMINEES:
Stephanie J. Block, The Cher Show
Caitlin Kinnunen, The Prom
Beth Leavel, The Prom
Eva Noblezada, Hadestown
Kelli O'Hara, Kiss Me, Kate

David Gordon:
Will win: Stephanie J. Block, The Cher Show
Should win: Beth Leavel, The Prom
It's Broadway diva Dee Dee Allen (Leavel) vs. music icon Cher (Block) in this race, and after a career of impressive performances, the Tony-less Block will come out as the ultimate victor. She truly lives up to the name of her character in The Cher Show: "Star."

Hayley Levitt:
Will win: Stephanie J. Block, The Cher Show
Should win: Stephanie J. Block, The Cher Show
This is Block's third nomination, and her ability to both embrace and tamp down the camp of The Cher Show while doing a spot-on impression should be the thing that finally pushes her over the top. It's also due time she had some redemption for the Wicked Tony that Idina Menzel snagged from this original out-of-town Elphaba.

Zachary Stewart:
Will win: Stephanie J. Block, The Cher Show
Should win: Stephanie J. Block, The Cher Show
She's the best part of the show, and her impersonation of Cher gives Chad Michaels a run for his money.


Ali Stroker of Oklahoma! is favored to win, but two of our critics bloom for Amber Gray's Persephone in Hadestown.
(© Little Fang Photo/Matthew Murphy)

Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical

THE NOMINEES:
Lilli Cooper, Tootsie
Amber Gray, Hadestown
Sarah Stiles, Tootsie
Ali Stroker, Oklahoma!
Mary Testa, Oklahoma!

David Gordon:
Will win: Ali Stroker, Oklahoma!
Should win: Amber Gray, Hadestown
Gray's turn as Persephone in Hadestown is electrifying, but audiences love nothing more than a hilarious Rodgers & Hammerstein BFF who steals the show. That's why Ali Stroker will take home her first Tony for Ado Annie, following last year's win for Lindsay Mendez as Carrie in Carousel.

Hayley Levitt:
Will win: Ali Stroker, Oklahoma!
Should win: Amber Gray, Hadestown
The audience at Circle in the Square Theatre goes nuts over Stroker's rendition of "I Cain't Say No" — as they should. But Amber Gray's performance as Persephone in Hadestown is bold, brassy, and completely transformative.

Zachary Stewart:
Will win: Ali Stroker, Oklahoma!
Should win: Ali Stroker, Oklahoma!
The revival of Oklahoma! makes us totally reconsider an old musical we thought we knew, and Stroker's sexually assertive performance is a major part of that, delivered through good old-fashioned showmanship.


Those are our predictions for the four female acting categories. Don't forget to enter your predictions here.

For the complete list of Tony nominees, click here.

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