The Spoken Word Album Grammy tends to go to sentimental favorites — and who doesn’t love Betty White? The 89-year-old Emmy winner is cited for reading her book “If You Ask Me (And of Course You Won’t).” A victory for her would be in line with well-liked actors who have taken the prize in recent years. Michael J. Fox won for “Always Looking Up” in 2009 while Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee won for “With Ossie and Ruby” in 2006. This funny lady may have had to wait almost nine decades, but White will likely take home a Grammy on her first attempt.
Tina Fey specifically mentions Gold Derby founder Tom O’Neil in her book “Bossypants,” pouncing on some remarks Tom made on television about her demeanor toward former Governor Sarah Palin when they met on the “Saturday Night Live” set. Fey’s spoken word recording of the book has the best shot at overtaking White, but remains in a firm second place. I just hope I don’t make it into her next book for saying she won’t win this award.
Former Beatle George Harrison‘s sister Louise hosts “Fab Fan Memories: The Beatles Bond,” featuring fans telling their stories about the band. Too bad for this bunch that the Best Spoken Word Album award almost exclusively goes to big names. President Barack Obama won while he was a senator in 2005 (“Dreams from My Father”), for instance, while former presidents Bill Clinton (“My Life,” 2004) and Jimmy Carter (“Our Endangered Values,” 2006) also won in recent years.
The Hollywood Theater of the Ear put on this nominated production of “The Mark of Zorro” led by Val Kilmer. The famous story of a masked aristocratic swordsman who helps the poor may be exciting and engaging enough to pull an upset.
Dan Donohue and the rest of the ensemble of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s production of “Hamlet” are in contention. The Bard previously made a winner of John Gielgud in this category when he won for “Ages of Men: Readings from Shakespeare” in 1980.