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Going for 2012 Tony Gold! Handicapping the Race for Best Featured Actress in a Musical

Going for 2012 Tony Gold! Handicapping the Race for Best Featured Actress in a Musical
Judy Kaye in 'Nice Work If You Can Get It,' 'Jessie Mueller in 'On A Clear Day You Can See Forever' & Elaine Paige in 'Follies'
Broadway.com hopes Tony nominators remember Melissa van der Schyff!

It’s almost Tony time, and let's face it: We’re obsessed! In anticipation of the 2012 Tony nominations, which will be announced on May 1, the Broadway.com editorial staff clocked 12 of the top races. Take a look at our forecast, including frontrunners, hopefuls and a “shout out” to one performer or show we hope the Tony nominators won’t forget. Below, our cheat sheet on the jam-packed race for Best Featured Actress in a Musical.

FRONTRUNNERS
Judy Kaye, Nice Work If You Can Get It
Tony winner Kaye gives an outrageous physical performance. From singing on top of ladders to swinging on chandeliers, there's nothing Kaye won't do, and nominators are sure to reward this fearless performance. 

Jessie Mueller, On a Clear Day...
Newcomer Mueller made a splash this fall as big-voiced chanteuse Melinda Wells. Her number “Ev'ry Night at Seven" was the bright spot of this revival, and her "star is born" performance can't be overlooked.

Elaine Paige, Follies
The First Lady of the British Musical Theatre made a rare Broadway appearance and stopped the show with her rendition of the Sondheim anthem "I'm Still Here." Expect her still here on June 10.

IN THE MIX
Jayne Houdyshell, Follies
Broadway baby Houdyshell's hilarious take on former-showgirl Hattie may score her a Tony nom.

Da'Vine Joy Randolph, Ghost
In a role that won Whoopi Goldberg an Oscar, Randolph has audiences in stitches at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre.

Jennifer Laura Thompson, Nice Work...
The versatile Thompson provides comic relief as Matthew Broderick’s self-absorbed bride.

NaTasha Yvette Williams, Porgy and Bess
As the matriarch of Catfish Row, Williams is a scene-stealing highlight of this starry revival.

Terri White, Follies
With "Who's That Woman," White may have tapped and belted her way into the 2012 Tony Awards.

Also possible: Kecia Lewis-Evans (Leap of Faith), Kendra Kassebaum (Leap of Faith), Chilina Kennedy (Jesus Christ Superstar), Estelle Parsons (Nice Work in You Can Get It), Jessica Phillips (Leap of Faith), Rachel Potter (Evita).

BROADWAY.COM SHOUT OUT
Melissa van der Schyff, Bonnie & Clyde
We'd love to see van der Schyff remembered for her Dolly Parton-inspired performance as Blanche Barrow in the short-lived musical. The actress won a regional award for the role and we hope she is acknowledged in New York as well.

Click for more Broadway.com Tony forecasts!

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