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Going for 2013 Tony Gold! Handicapping the Race for Best Actress in a Play

Going for 2013 Tony Gold! Handicapping the Race for Best Actress in a Play
Cicely Tyson in 'The Trip to Bountiful,' Bette Midler in 'I'll Eat You Last' & Jessica Hecht in 'The Assembled Parties'
Strong female roles abound in the race for Best Actress in a Play.

It's Tony time on Broadway, and as always, we can't stop thinking about who'll be going for the gold on June 9! In anticipation of the 2013 nominations, which will be announced on April 30, we're clocking 14 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, a cheat sheet on the race for Best Featured Actress in a Play.

Jessica Hecht, The Assembled Parties
In one of the best reviewed performances of the season, Hecht brings style and complexity to her portrayal of an optimistic former teen movie queen in a troubled family.

Bette Midler, I'll Eat You Last
After 30 long years away from the Broadway stage, the Divine Miss M does not disappoint in her comeback as salty and stoned super-agent Sue Mengers in this intimate solo show.

Cicely Tyson, The Trip to Bountiful
In a commanding return to the stage, Tyson adds spunk and warmth (and awe-inspiring energy) to Horton Foote's well-drawn matriarch yearning to go home once more.

Amy Morton, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
Morton's more-vulnerable-than-usual take on the boozy, brawling Martha seems like a nominator's no-brainer.

Kristine Nielsen, Vanya and Sonia...
Nielsen was a favorite to win the featured actress Tony for her wacky, wide-eyed Sonia. The competition in the leading category is much tougher.

Fiona Shaw, The Testament of Mary
As the grieving, furious mother of Jesus, Shaw gives a breathtaking performance that feels like awards-bait.

Holland Taylor, Ann
Taylor embodies the straight-talking Texas governor with confidence and dynamism.

Sigourney Weaver, Vanya and Sonia...
Weaver's reunion with playwright Christopher Durang yields a lot of laughs for the her take on an uber-diva.

Also possible: Emilia Clarke (Breakfast at Tiffany's), Jessica Chastain (The Heiress), Katie Holmes (Dead Accounts), Scarlett Johansson (Cat on a Hot Tin Roof), Patti LuPone (The Anarchist), Debra Winger (The Anarchist)

Laurie Metcalf, The Other Place
With her riveting portrayal of a successful neurologist coming unhinged, Metcalf proved once again what a fine actress she is. Here's to Tony nominators remembering the depth and raw emotion she brought to this twisty thriller.

Click here for more Tony forecasts!

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