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Going for 2012 Tony Gold! Handicapping the Race for Best Actor in a Play

Going for 2012 Tony Gold! Handicapping the Race for Best Actor in a Play
James Corden in 'One Man, Two Guvnors,' Philip Seymour Hoffman in 'Death of a Salesman' & Stacy Keach in 'Other Desert Cities'
Hugh Dancy is our 'shout out' pick for a Best Actor Tony nomination.

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 race for Best Actor in a Play.

FRONTRUNNERS
James Corden, One Man, Two Guvnors
This farce would fall flat without Corden’s nonstop verbal and physical hijinks, including audience stunts, slapstick with food and wisecracking with 10 equally nutty co-stars. Playing dumb never looked so smart.

Philip Seymour Hoffman, Death of a Salesman
Attention will be paid to this Oscar winner’s uncompromising performance as Willy Loman, the salesman whose delusions of grandeur wreak havoc on his family. Hoffman humanizes Willy without begging the audience for sympathy.

Stacy Keach, Other Desert Cities
A grounding presence as a retired politico, Keach is effortlessly in sync with Stockard Channing and the rest of his dysfunctional stage family—and Tony nominators will want to cheer his return to Broadway after a long absence.

IN THE MIX
Frank Langella, Man and Boy
The show wasn't loved, but Tony favorite Langella gave a fearsome performance as a Madoff-like swindler.

John Larroquette, The Best Man
Larroquette’s dry wit as a presidential candidate may earn the 2011 Tony winner his second nom in a row.

John Lithgow, The Columnist
With his third stage stint as a journalist, Lithgow is looking for his sixth Tony nod.

James Earl Jones, The Best Man
The two-time winner appears to be having the time of his life as a jovial but hard-nosed former president.

Alan Rickman, Seminar
Rickman was both charming and prickly as an imperious writing teacher in Theresa Rebeck’s play.

Also possible: Tug Coker (Magic/Bird), Kevin Daniels (Magic/Bird), Paul Gross (Private Lives), Dulé Hill (Stick Fly), Samuel L. Jackson (The Mountaintop), Eric McCormack (The Best Man), Mekhi Phifer (Stick Fly), Blair Underwood (A Streetcar Named Desire), Gary Wilmes (Chinglish).

BROADWAY.COM SHOUT OUT
Hugh Dancy, Venus in Fur
Nina Arianda has the flashier role in this two-hander about an audition that morphs into a sexy standoff, but Dancy (juggling American and British accents) is equally astonishing as the writer/director who falls under her spell.

Click for more Broadway.com Tony forecasts!

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