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Best Featured Actor (Musical) 2015 — Inquiring after PBS' An American In Paris


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  • Balthazar
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    I really enjoyed PBS’ An American in Paris last night! I was especially impressed with Brandon Uranowitz’s portrayal of Adam Hochberg. I’m not surprised he was Tony-nominated & am wondering if someone could refresh my memory over the race for Best Featured Actor in a Musical (2015). The nominees besides Uranowitz were: Christian Borle (Something Rotten!), Andy Karl (On The Twentieth Century), Brad Oscar (Something Rotten!), & Max von Essen (An American in Paris).

    Who was/were the initial frontrunner(s)? What were Uranowitz’s perceived chances during balloting? Looking for commentary along these lines.

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    Awardsfan1990
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    A lot of people felt Brad Oscar had a strong chance of winning for Something Rotten, especially since the song “A Musical”, which he’s a primary player in, was considered the highlight of that show. Andy Karl was also considered a strong contender for On The Twentieth Century, since he was considered the comedic highlight of that show and his co-star Kristin Chenoweth was locked in a tight race for Lead Actress In A Musical alongside Kelli O’Hara for The King And I and Chita Rivera for The Visit (O’Hara of course eventually prevailed, probably because of the fact that she was long seen as overdue for a win in anything). Christian Borle’s eventual win over Oscar for Something Rotten was seen as a definite surprise, as he had just won his first Tony a few years earlier as Featured Actor In A Play for Peter And The Starcatcher.

    Overall, An American In Paris‘ biggest praises from critics weren’t necessarily its acting, but mostly its choreography, scenic and lighting design. That’s why almost no one predicted it to take home any acting Tonys.

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    Jeffrey Kare
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    I remember people were split with their predictions for not only this category, but also Lead Actor in a Musical. Robert Fairchild was sweeping through both the Outer Critics Circle and Drama Desk Awards for his performance as Jerry Mulligan. Though given that Fun Home had already competed at those places the year before when it was Off-Broadway, Fairchild was not up against industry veteran Michael Cerveris with such a baity part. While Robert Fairchild did appear to be An American in Paris‘ best shot at an acting prize, Ceveris managed to win what some people might’ve felt was his overdue second Tony Award (especially in a soft sweep for Fun Home).

    As for Featured Actor in a Musical, there were people who predicted Brad Oscar to win for his show-stopping production number in Something Rotten! like how James Monroe Iglehart managed to do so for Aladdin (which of course was also from Casey Nicholaw) the year before. I remember David Buchanan mentioned that in Gold Derby’s 2015 predictions slugfest while Sam Eckmann responded that as great as Brad Oscar’s performance was, he thought that the real power of ‘A Musical’ came from the writing and the staging.

    The people that were predicting Andy Karl to win felt that he would benefit from both Christian Borle and Brad Oscar from Something Rotten! as well as Brandon Uranowtiz and Max von Essen from An American in Paris potentially canceling each other out. Not to mention the fact that Karl was taking on the role that won Kevin Kline his first Tony for the original production back in 1978.

    At that point, I hadn’t seen any of the shows, so I was basing my predictions on what I was hearing (like most people). From what I’ve heard of the two nominees from Something Rotten!, Brad Oscar’s character felt more of a one-note while Christian Borle’s character had a lot more to do. Not to mention that from listening to the cast recording, I really loved Borle’s Tim Curry/Russell Brand-ish parody of William Shakespeare, so I correctly predicted him to win his second Tony (which was also his first for a musical).

    • This reply was modified 1 month, 1 week ago by  Jeffrey Kare.
    • This reply was modified 1 month, 1 week ago by  Jeffrey Kare.
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