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Predictions: Which Men Are Going to Win an Acting Tony in 2018?

Here are our critics' picks for the Tony Awards on Sunday.

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Leading up to the Tony Awards, our critics share their insider predictions that may just give you the edge you need in your Tony pool. First up, the male acting awards. Check back over the course of this week for predictions about the female acting, direction, original work, and revival categories.

Andrew Garfield, who plays Prior Walter in the Broadway revival of Angels in America, is a favorite to win the Tony.
(© Brinkhoff-Moegenburg)

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

THE NOMINEES
Andrew Garfield, Angels in America
Tom Hollander, Travesties
Jamie Parker, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts One and Two
Mark Rylance, Farinelli and the King
Denzel Washington, Eugene O'Neill's The Iceman Cometh

David Gordon:

Will win: Andrew Garfield, Angels in America
Should win: Andrew Garfield, Angels in America
It's a fabulous performance that finds the larger-than-life qualities of Prior without sacrificing the small, personal moments that make up the character's arc.

Hayley Levitt:

Will win: Andrew Garfield, Angels in America
Should win: Andrew Garfield, Angels in America
Andrew Garfield delivers an amazing performance. But beyond that, Prior is a marathon that not every actor is up to running. London didn't give him the Olivier while he was on the West End, so Broadway needs to step up and give this man the tchotchke he deserves.

Zachary Stewart:

Will win: Andrew Garfield, Angels in America
Should win: Tom Hollander, Travesties
London was right! Prior is a marathon, but Garfield takes a few too many shortcuts to truly impress. Hollander, on the other hand, finds all of the absurd and tragic shades in Henry Carr. Still, the voters will be swayed by the grandeur of Garfield's performance in Angels over Hollander's mere two-and-a-half-hours of brilliance in Travesties.


Nathan Lane, who plays Roy Cohn in the Broadway revival of Angels in America, is predicted to win his third Tony Award on Sunday.
(© Brinkhoff-Moegenburg)

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

THE NOMINEES
Anthony Boyle, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts One and Two
Michael Cera, Lobby Hero
Brian Tyree Henry, Lobby Hero
Nathan Lane, Angels in America
David Morse, Eugene O'Neill's The Iceman Cometh

David Gordon:

Will win: Nathan Lane, Angels in America
Should win: Nathan Lane, Angels in America
Anthony Boyle's crowd-pleasing turn as Scorpius Malfoy in "Harry Potter and the Cursed Child" could be the dark horse. But smart money is on Nathan Lane winning his long-awaited third Tony for finding the humanity inside the monster that is Roy Cohn.

Hayley Levitt:

Will win: Nathan Lane, Angels in America
Should win: Nathan Lane, Angels in America
Yes, Lane already has two Tony Awards, but Roy Cohn is a theatrical trump card — especially when you perform it with as much maniacal comedy as Lane does. The role won Ron Leibman the award in 1993, and I think it would take some serious Broadway wizardry to keep history from repeating itself.

Zachary Stewart:

Will win: Nathan Lane, Angels in America
Should win: Nathan Lane, Angels in America
Here we're in complete agreement. Audiences are likely most familiar with Al Pacino's bulldozer interpretation of Cohn in the HBO miniseries. Lane delivers a Cohn who roars like a lion in his head, but outwardly wheezes like the dying old man he is. It's revelatory, and completely deserving of a Tony.


Tony watchers see the Leading Actor in a Musical category as a two-way race between Joshua Henry of Carousel and Ethan Slater of SpongeBob SquarePants.
(© Julieta Cervantes/Joan Marcus)

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

THE NOMINEES
Harry Hadden-Paton, My Fair Lady
Joshua Henry, Rodgers & Hammerstein's Carousel
Tony Shalhoub, The Band's Visit
Ethan Slater, SpongeBob SquarePants: The Musical

David Gordon:

Will win: Joshua Henry, Rodgers & Hammerstein's Carousel
Should win: Ethan Slater, SpongeBob SquarePants: The Musical
SpongeBob SquarePants doesn't seem like it will take home many awards come Tony night — certainly not the all-important Best Musical. A win for Ethan Slater — the hard-working leading man in quadrilateral khakis — would be a well-deserved honor for carrying the show. But Joshua Henry in Carousel will get the prize, if for his absolutely amazing "Soliloquy" alone.

Hayley Levitt:

Will win: Ethan Slater, SpongeBob SquarePants: The Musical
Should win: Harry Hadden-Paton, My Fair Lady
Ethan Slater's feats of spongelike physicality will ultimately tip the scales in his favor, but Harry Hadden-Paton shouldn't be overlooked. His Henry Higgins doesn't come with fireworks, but it's an artfully crafted performance that's self-centered, misogynistic, and sympathetically human all at the same time. It also doesn't leave a Rex Harrison-shaped hole, and that's nothing to sneeze at.

Zachary Stewart:

Will win: Ethan Slater, SpongeBob SquarePants: The Musical
Should win: Ethan Slater, SpongeBob SquarePants: The Musical
Awards voters tend to value drama over comedy, but they will make an exception for Ethan Slater, an old-fashioned Broadway showman in a millennial body.


Will Norbert Leo Butz of My Fair Lady or Ari'el Stachel of The Band's Visit win the Tony for Featured Actor in a Musical?
(© Joan Marcus/Matthew Murphy)

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

THE NOMINEES
Norbert Leo Butz, My Fair Lady
Alexander Gemignani, Rodgers & Hammerstein's Carousel
Grey Henson, Mean Girls
Gavin Lee, SpongeBob SquarePants: The Musical
Ari'el Stachel, The Band's Visit

David Gordon:

Will win: Norbert Leo Butz, My Fair Lady
Should win: Ari'el Stachel, The Band's Visit
Norbert Leo Butz rightfully stops the show in My Fair Lady with "Get Me to the Church on Time," but this Tony belongs to Ari'el "Do you like Chet Baker?" Stachel in The Band's Visit.

Hayley Levitt:

Will win: Norbert Leo Butz, My Fair Lady
Should win: Grey Henson, Mean Girls
Norbert Leo Butz delivers the best possible Alfred P. Doolittle anyone could ask for. But Grey Henson compelled Tina Fey, Jeff Richmond, and Nell Benjamin to write Damian his own Act 2 opener, complete with a Casey Nicholaw tap routine. That's a special feat of show-stealing that deserves recognition.

Zachary Stewart:

Will win: Ari'el Stachel, The Band's Visit
Should win: Ari'el Stachel, The Band's Visit
Grizzled beyond recognition, Butz is giving the kind of performance that looks like it deserves an award. But don't underestimate the allure of a charming newcomer: When Stachel sings "Haled's Song About Love," I suspect that Tony voters will melt.

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