Meet the 2014 Tony Nominees: Best Actor in a Musical

The performances given by this year’s Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical are a mixed lot to say the least — a transgender rock singer, a reformed ex-convict, a scrappy small-time boxer, a charming murderer, and all eight of his aristocratic victims. What unites them is their skill and talent in bringing these varied characters to life on Broadway eight times a week.

 

Andy Karl in Rocky (Photo: Matthew Murphy)

Andy Karl is a Best Actor nominee for ‘Rocky’ (Photo: Matthew Murphy)

Neil Patrick Harris
Hedwig and the Angry Inch
The multi-talented Neil Patrick Harris has kissed Doogie Howser and Barney of How I Met Your Mother, the TV roles that made him famous, goodbye. With his electrifying portrayal of Hedwig, the flamboyant German transgender rock ringer, Harris combines comedy, drama, pop, rock and glamour. After hosting the Tony Awards four times (and winning two Emmys for his stints), playing replacement roles in Cabaret and Proof, and an ensemble part in the revival of Assassins, he has come into his own as a Broadway star.

Ramin Karimloo
Les Misérables
Ramin Karimloo, an Iranian-born Canadian who has played the Phantom of the Opera and several Les Miz roles in London, endows Jean Valjean, the wronged hero of the international megahit based on Victor Hugo’s classic novel, with brawn, grime and a soaring voice. He begins as a bitter convict, snarling and biting like a feral dog during “Look Down” and then, after his character has been shown kindness by a priest, transforms into an angelic savior in movement and tone. His sweetly moving performance of “Bring Him Home” crystallizes Hugo’s themes of redemption through suffering.

Andy Karl
Rocky
Pound for pound, Andy Karl is probably playing the most demanding role on Broadway in the musical version of the Oscar-winning film about a hard-luck club fighter given a once-in-a-lifetime shot at the heavyweight crown. Karl, who has appeared in numerous Broadway musicals including Cats, 9 to 5, Wicked, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, and Jersey Boys, must sing, dance, run (along with a chorus of Spider-Man-like doubles) and go 15 rounds with the champ in the spectacular climactic match. Karl gets a vigorous workout and emerges triumphant.

Jefferson Mays
A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder
It should come as no surprise that Jefferson Mays would be able to play all eight members of the aristocratic D’Ysquith family, marked for murder by their scheming distant cousin, Monty Navarro. After all, Mays won a Tony Award for enacting 40 different characters in the one-man play I Am My Own Wife. But his dazzlingly versatile performance still shocks and amuses as each of the victims is so distinct. Narcissistic young fop Asquith, addled bishop Ezekial, vicious fox hunter Adalbert, crusading philanthropist Hyacinth, terrible actress Salome, and all the others are so different, it’s hard to believe they are played by the same actor.

Bryce Pinkham
A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder
Though his co-star, and fellow Tony nominee, Jefferson Mays has the flashier role in A Gentleman’s Guide, Bryce Pinkham as the handsome and murderous Monty Navarro never leaves the stage and carries the narrative along with unflappable style and virile charm. Though his role is less obviously complicated than Mays’, Pinkham creates a believable and sympathetic serial killer, which is no mean feat. He’s previously appeared on Broadway in supporting roles in Ghost the Musical and Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson and Off-Broadway in The Orphans Home Cycle.

Get full coverage of the nominees and the 2014 awards on our Tonys page! Click here to save on tickets to the Tony nominees.

 

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