The race for Best Actor (Musical) is a close one with two Broadway newcomers -- Jeremy Jordan ("Newsies") and Steve Kazee ("Once") -- jostling for the lead against veterans Danny Burstein ("Follies") and Norm Lewis ("The Gershwins Porgy and Bess").
Jordan, who plays the leader of a strke by newsboys in 1899 New York is ahead with odds of 3 to 2. Kazee, as the Irish songwriter inspired by a Czech muse, is in second with odds of 10 to 3. Burstein, who played the lovesick Buddy in the acclaimed revival of Stephen Sondheim's 1971 smash, has odds of 9 to 2. And Lewis, who headlines the controversial revision of the Gershwins 1935 opera, has odds of 6 to 1.
Eight of our 17 Experts predict a win for Jordan in his second rialto appearance of the season. They are: Melissa Bernardo (Entertainment Weekly), Frank DiLella (NY1), Andy Humm (Gay USA), Brian Lipton (Theatermania), Tom O'Neil (Gold Derby), Doug Strassler (NY Press), Matt Windman (amNY) and Wayman Wong (NY Daily News).
Four Experts foresee victory for Kazee: Thom Geier (EW), Harry Haun (Playbill), Michael Musto (Village Voice) and Blake Ross (Playbill).
Three Experts expect Burstein to prevail after coming up short with his previous bids in the featured actor (musical) category. In 2006, he contended for "The Drowsy Chaperone" but lost to Christian Hoff ("Jersey Boys) while in 2008 he was cited for "South Pacific" but was bested by Boyd Gaines ("Gypsy). The Experts who think third time will be the charm are: Martin Denton (NY Theatre), Paul Sheehan (Gold Derby) and David Sheward (Backstage).
And Elysa Gardner (USA Today) and Susan Haskins (Theater Talk) are backing the longshot Lewis.