2018 Tony Awards predictions: Michael Musto vs. Susan Haskins vs. Tom O’Neil [VIDEO & PODCAST]

“Nothing’s going to compete against ‘The Band’s Visit,’” Michael Musto roars when we size up the Tony Awards race for Best Musical during our webcam chat with Susan Haskins (Theater Talk). Watch above or listen to the audio podcast below.

Michael is right, according to the predictions of all 12 Experts, who give “The Band’s Visit” 1/20 odds to prevail over “Mean Girls” (40/1), “SpongeBob SquarePants” (40/1) and “Frozen” (80/1). See latest odds in all categories.

However, there is fierce disagreement among the Experts in the race for Best Actor in a Musical. Three strong contenders battle for the lead. Susan and I pick Joshua Henry for his big, powerhouse turn in “Carousel,” but Michael opts for Tony Shaloub (“The Band’s Visit”) while warning that many other pundits are picking Ethan Slater (“SpongeBob SquarePants”).

“I think the smart money is on Ethan Slater, but I’m going with Shaloub,” Michael says. “It’s his fourth nomination. He doesn’t really sing much in ‘The Band’s Visit,’ but he gives a very dignified, touching performance.”

Susan pooh-poohs the idea that Ethan Slater could triumph: “While it’s a wonderful, energetic performance, he’s playing a TV cartoon character, so it’s not that deep.”

In the race for Best Actress in a Musical, Michael says, “I’m going with Lauren Ambrose because it was such an impossible challenge to play Eliza Doolittle in ‘My Fair Lady,’ make it fresh. She’s not doing Julie Andrews. She’s not doing Audrey Hepburn. I had no idea that she had a beautiful, operatice voice on her.”

Susan disagrees, instead betting on Katrina Lenk (“The Band’s Visit”). “The thing about Katrina Lenk is that she’s creating an original character in a new musical,” she notes.

See all of Michael’s Tonys predictions here. Susan’s Tony picks here. Check out mine. See how they compare side by side with the rankings of 17 other Tony gurus at Gold Derby.

Can you beat the Experts? Make your predictions here. Below, listen to the audio podcast version.

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