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

Our critics predict how the awards will go on June 9.

Yesterday we shared our predictions about which women will win Tony Awards this year. Now it's time to bring on the men. Here's how our critics think the four male acting awards will play out on Sunday. Be sure to check back throughout the week for more predictions about direction, revivals, and the two big awards of the night: Best Musical and Best Play.

You can vote for your predictions here, and on post-Tony Monday we'll see who was closer to the mark: TheaterMania's critics or TheaterMania's audience.

Our critics are split on who will win this award: Bryan Cranston or Jeff Daniels?
(© Jan Versweyveld / Julieta Cervantes)

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

THE NOMINEES:
Paddy Considine, The Ferryman
Bryan Cranston, Network
Jeff Daniels, To Kill a Mockingbird
Adam Driver, Burn This
Jeremy Pope, Choir Boy

David Gordon:
Will win: Bryan Cranston, Network
Should win: Jeremy Pope, Choir Boy
Jeremy Pope's Broadway debut in Choir Boy signaled the arrival of a major force of the acting world, but this year's Tony is going to another major force: Bryan Cranston for Network. Cranston does the impossible — he makes us forget about Peter Finch's jaw-dropping screen performance in Network by creating one of his very own.

Hayley Levitt:
Will win: Jeff Daniels, To Kill a Mockingbird
Should win: Jeremy Pope, Choir Boy
Jeff Daniels's Atticus Finch is a tough act to beat, but voters should not forget about Jeremy Pope's remarkable performance as Pharus in Manhattan Theatre Club's Broadway mounting of Tarell Alvin McCraney's Choir Boy. Pope is also nominated for his current role as Temptation Eddie Kendricks in Ain't Too Proud, but if you didn't see his Pharus, you haven't seen all he can do.

Zachary Stewart:
Will win: Bryan Cranston, Network
Should win: Paddy Considine, The Ferryman
Cranston will wow voters with his craggy, snarly, mad-as-hell Howard Beale, but it's Considine, with his restrained strength, who more compellingly portrayed a man driven to extreme measures. Unfortunately, he has been replaced by an American actor (the magnificent Brian d'Arcy James) in the Broadway run, so road voters (the swing voters of the Tonys) were unable to see his performance.


Bertie Carvel is favored to win this category for his "Mephistophelean" performance as right-wing media baron Rupert Murdoch.
(© Joan Marcus)

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

THE NOMINEES:
Bertie Carvel, Ink
Robin De Jesús, The Boys in the Band
Gideon Glick, To Kill a Mockingbird
Brandon Uranowitz, Burn This
Benjamin Walker, All My Sons

David Gordon:
Will win: Bertie Carvel, Ink
Should win: Benjamin Walker, All My Sons
Bertie Carvel's performance as an early-career Rupert Murdoch can best be described using the word "Mephistophelean." In perhaps the most competitive category of the season, Carvel will emerge as the winner, getting a Tony to put next to the Olivier he earned for the show's London production.

Hayley Levitt:
Will win: Bertie Carvel, Ink
Should win: Benjamin Walker, All My Sons
Bertie Carvel is coming to the Tony Awards already having won an Olivier for his performance as Rupert Murdoch in Ink, which should work in his favor. But the perpetually snubbed Benjamin Walker (American Psycho, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson) finally got his Tony nomination with Chris Keller in the Roundabout revival of All My Sons, and it's a performance worthy of the grand prize.

Zachary Stewart:
Will win: Bertie Carvel, Ink
Should win: Robin De Jesús, The Boys in the Band
As I've already noted, Robin De Jesús gave one of the most powerful performances of the year, but that was a whole year ago. Voters will reward Bertie Carvel (and punish Rupert Murdoch) by voting for his Richard III-like performance, currently on view at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre.


Santino Fontana is favored to win this category, but our critics clearly have a crush on Brooks Ashmanskas.
(© Matthew Murphy / Deen van Meer)

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

THE NOMINEES:
Brooks Ashmanskas, The Prom
Derrick Baskin, Ain't Too Proud — The Life and Times of the Temptations
Alex Brightman, Beetlejuice
Damon Daunno, Oklahoma!
Santino Fontana, Tootsie

David Gordon:
Will win: Santino Fontana, Tootsie
Should win: Brooks Ashmanskas, The Prom
On a technical level, Santino Fontana's performance in Tootsie is perfect. He'll win and I won't complain, but my soft spot is for Brooks Ashmanskas in The Prom.

Hayley Levitt:
Will win: Santino Fontana, Tootsie
Should win: Brooks Ashmanskas, The Prom
Santino Fontana deserves all the credit in the world for carrying Tootsie on his shoulders as its two stars (if you care to count Michael Dorsey and Dorothy Michaels as two different characters). Brooks Ashmanskas, however, is the heart of The Prom, charming audiences as a character no one has heard of before. And 14 Broadway credits should equal at least one Tony Award.

Zachary Stewart:
Will win: Brooks Ashmanskas, The Prom
Should win: Brooks Ashmanskas, The Prom
I'll be the Pollyanna of the group and predict that Ashmanskas, who is animated, buoyant, and utterly charming in The Prom, will finally get his long-deserved Tony Award — which is even better than getting an invite to the prom.


André De Shields is the favorite to win the Tony award for Featured Role in a Musical on Sunday.
(© Matthew Murphy)

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

THE NOMINEES:
André De Shields, Hadestown
Andy Grotelueschen, Tootsie
Patrick Page, Hadestown
Jeremy Pope, Ain't Too Proud — The Life and Times of the Temptations
Ephraim Sykes, Ain't Too Proud — The Life and Times of the Temptations

David Gordon:
Will win: André De Shields, Hadestown
Should win: André De Shields, Hadestown
When Hadestown ended, I wished I were as cool and suave as André De Shields. He'll win a well-deserved first Tony Award this year, celebrating both his effortless performance and his nearly five decades as a Broadway star.

Hayley Levitt:
Will win: André De Shields, Hadestown
Should win: Patrick Page, Hadestown
I predict a Hadestown race that De Shields will win for his divine performance as messenger god Hermes. But I think the Tony voters should take a second look at Page's graceful transformation from a menacing god of the underworld to the softhearted husband of Persephone (played by Amber Gray — another should-win of mine #couplegoals).

Zachary Stewart:
Will win: André De Shields, Hadestown
Should win: Patrick Page, Hadestown
Both of these gentlemen turn in Herculean performances, but De Shields will just edge out Page in part due to his storied (and un-Tony Awarded) career, and the feeling that he was unfairly snubbed by the New York Drama Critics' Circle when it considered its special awards earlier this month. I have a feeling that he'll appreciate the Tony more.


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

For the complete list of Tony nominees, click here.

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