4. Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical
Stephanie J. Block, “The Mystery of Edwin Drood”
Carolee Carmello, “Scandalous”
Valisia LeKae, “Motown The Musical”
Patina Miller, “Pippin”
Laura Osnes, “Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella”
Will and Should Win: Patina Miller
Patina Miller’s life got a whole lot sweeter when the four actors who share the title role in “Matilda” were deemed ineligible in this category. (They will instead receive a special Tony.) Crowd favorites Osnes and Carmello could come in for the upset, but Osnes’ performance isn’t as complex, and Carmello’s is likely forgotten or not seen by all the voters because “Scandalous” had a short run last fall, all of which make Miller’s re-invention of the Leading Player in the “Pippin” revival as close to a sure thing as they get. Director Diane Paulus has crafted this high-flying production around the Leading Player, and Miller delivers on all levels, learning trapeze tricks and charting the show’s wobbly plot with aplomb.