Tony Awards 2013 Predictions
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The Tony Awards race is on between two of the year's most celebrated musicals: "Matilda: The Musical" and "Kinky Boots."
The Cyndi Lauper-scored "Kinky Boots" is up for a leading 13 Tony Award nominations, while the British import, "Matilda: The Musical," is close behind with 12. So, a lot of the evening will be guessing which of these two newcomers will pick up honors.
"It's kind of an unusual year in that it appears to be an actual race...there's no clear front-runner. Like in the year of 'The Book of Mormon' or the year of 'The Producers,' it was sort of clear that they were the one and only front-runners," said Gordon Cox of Variety. "This year, I think going into the season a lot of people thought 'Matilda' given the strength and critical praise for it would have been the clear front-runner -- and it's one of them. But I think a lot of people are surprised by the strength of 'Kinky Boots.' So it seems like there's quite a bit of affection out there for that show. I think it's actually sort of a nail-biter."
According to The Associated Press' predictions, "Kinky Boots" will win. But The AP believes "Matilda: The Musical" should win, though, noting, '"Kinky' is unabashedly sentimental with a classic message of acceptance, while "Matilda" is rebellious and edgy, a place Tony voters don't naturally feel comfortable."
Cox echoed those sentiments, telling CBSNews.com, "'Matilda is very kind of...strange, but quite touching. It's challenging. It's not the most welcoming experiences. It's smart and spiky and weird -- in a very British way. It's not off-putting by any means. It feels like a very British take on the American musical tradition. Whereas 'Kinky Boots,' which was inspired by a British indie film, feels like the opposite of that. It's written by Harvey Fierstein with music by Cyndi Lauper, who sort of everyone in the country loves, and it's welcoming and warm and the message is unabashedly -- love yourself and you will go on to love others. It's warmth versus chilliness, which I think is very interesting. 'Kinky Boots' is from the American school of Broadway musicals whereas 'Matilda' very clearly has the London grey skies in it, while also be quite moving in its own right."
Although many eyes will be on the best new musical category, plenty of other honors will be handed out at Radio City Music Hall on Sunday, including best play.
Even the play category is also kind of a tough call. "'Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike' has won a lot of awards from other organizations leading up to the Tonys...It was written by Christopher Durang, who's the beloved theater figure, and he's never won a Tony before...but then there is 'Lucky Guy,' the last Nora Ephron play, which many New Yorkers have a great fondness for her," said Cox. "And it was a really stellar production and Tom Hanks was in it. And it's selling really well. And that seems like an actual contender as well."