2018 Tony Awards: Competitive lead acting races pit Broadway newcomers against seasoned veterans

According to our official Tony Awards odds, three of the four lead acting races at the 2018 Tony Awards are among the most competitive in recent memory. Only Lead Actress in a Play looks like a lock with Glenda Jackson all but certain to win for her acclaimed performance in Edward Albee‘s “Three Tall Women.” Nominations for the 72nd annual Tony Awards will be announced on May 1 with the ceremony set for June 10.

Ingenues Lauren Ridloff (“Children of a Lesser God”) and Condola Rashad (“Saint Joan”) are likely to face off against the Oscar and Emmy-winning Jackson. The two remaining slots are a toss up between Lili Taylor (“Marvin’s Room”), Amy Schumer (“Meteor Shower”), and Elizabeth McGovern (“Time and the Conways”).

SEE 2018 Tony Awards nominations preview: ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child,’ ‘The Band’s Visit’ will dominate

Among the leading men in plays, Oliver winner Jamie Parker is a strong contender for playing the grown-up version of the bespectacled wizard in “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.” He will have to fend off three other Brits: Andrew Garfield, who headlines the National Theatre’s acclaimed revival of “Angels in America”; three-time Tony winner Mark Rylance in “Farinelli and the King”; and Tom Hollander in Tom Stoppard‘s classic “Travesties.” Rounding out the race is Tony and Oscar winner Denzel Washington for his standout turn in Eugene O’Neill‘s epic “The Iceman Cometh.”

SEE 2018 Tony Awards predictions: Complete odds for 72nd Tonys nominations

Lead Actor in a Musical will only have four nominees, but they all have a shot at winning. Ethan Slater’s high energy Broadway debut in “SpongeBob,” Tony Shalhoub’s quiet charm in “The Band’s Visit,” Harry Hadden-Paton’s mannered comedy in “My Fair Lady,” and the gorgeous singing of Joshua Henry in “Carousel” are all deserving. Apologies to Paul Alexander Nolan (“Escape to Margaritaville”), the only eligible lead actor who won’t be recognized. Tony nominators just aren’t Parrot-heads.

PREDICT the Tony Awards nominees and winners now; change them until May 1

Lead Actress in a Musical looks like a showdown between Katrina Lenk of “The Band’s Visit” and Lauren Ambrose from “My Fair Lady.” If their fellow nominees turn out to be Hailey Kilgore (“Once on This Island’), Taylor Louderman (“Mean Girls”), and Patti Murin (“Frozen”) it will be an entire slate of first-time nominees. Past winners LaChanze (“Summer”) and Jessie Mueller (“Carousel”) are hoping to keep that from happening.

SIGN UP for Gold Derby’s free newsletter with latest predictions

Be sure to make your Tony Awards predictions today so that Broadway insiders can see how their shows and performers are faring in our odds. You can keep changing your predictions as often as you like until just before nominees are announced on May 1. And join in the fun debate over the 2018 Tonys taking place right now in our theater forums. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.

More News from GoldDerby