NEW YORK —
Will win: "The Glass Menagerie." Should win: Any of the four.
Want great acting in brilliant works? Step right down to the best play revival category. "The Glass Menagerie," with Cherry Jones and Zachary Quinto, was dreamy and sublime. "A Raisin in the Sun" with Denzel Washington is powerful and resonant. "Twelfth Night" with Mark Rylance was Shakespeare at its best. And "The Cripple of Inishmaan" is an ensemble, sets and a playwright firing on all four cylinders. No one should have to choose among these standout productions.
Will win: "Hedwig and the Angry Inch." Should win: "Les Miserables."
The breathtaking 90-minute revival of "Hedwig and the Angry Inch" is full of energy and bravado, with a leading transvestite in Neil Patrick Harris who sings with real feeling and saucily spits up at the audience. So it's easy to overlook the new "Les Mis," with its gloomy, aching heartbeat. It has two superb leads in Ramin Karimloo and Will Swenson and new orchestrations, stagecraft and costumes. The third candidate, the understated "Violet," could sneak in to steal the trophy if its two glitzy rivals spit the vote.
Will win: Bryan Cranston. Should win: Bryan Cranston.
Are you going to argue with Walter White? Cranston, fresh off his triumph as a drug kingpin in "Breaking Bad," shows what he can do in a Broadway debut, and it's astonishing. He looks nothing like President Lyndon B. Johnson in "All the Way" but no matter: With his hair slicked back, his pants hiked up and in a pair of thick black glasses, Cranston stretches his rubbery face into a near-constant Johnson scowl and makes that good ol' boy accent run riot. He makes Mark Rylance's "Richard III" look like a cub scout. The other competitors — Chris O'Dowd, Tony Shalhoub and Samuel Barnett — need not have a speech ready.