This theater image released by The O+M Company shows Pittsburgh native Billy Porter during a performance of “Kinky Boots.” The Cyndi Lauper-scored “Kinky Boots,” based on the 2005 British movie about a real-life shoe factory that struggles until it finds new life in fetish footwear, is nominated for 13 Tony Award nominations. The awards will be broadcast on CBS from Radio City Music Hall on June 9. (AP Photo/The O+M Company, Matthew Murphy)



Will win: Bertie Carvel. Should win: Billy Porter.

Both men are deserving of the honor and, believe us, both actors look sensational in skirts, but Billy Porter in “Kinky Boots” bares his heart a little more and pushes his poor body a little more than his rival in “Matilda the Musical.” Bertie Carvel won the Oliver Award — Britain’s equivalent of the Tony — in the role of Miss Trunchbull and brought his terrifying skill to Broadway without being cartoonish, but Porter can make tears fall down your cheeks.


Will win: Patina Miller. Should win: Patina Miller.

While Laura Osnes from “Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella” is perfectly cast as a princess-to-be and sings beautifully, Patina Miller is a muscular creature with a hat and cane, a grimace plastered to her face, who dances tough Bob Fosse steps and does tricks on a trapeze while singing in Diane Paulus’ retelling of “Pippin.” Miller is fierce and that always beats cute.



This May 17, 2013 file photo shows Cyndi Lauper at the 79th Annual Drama League awards at the Marriott Marquis Times Square in New York. More singer-songwriters from the rock and pop world are turning to the stage. Lauper, along with John Mellencamp, Sarah McLachlan, Tori Amos, Edie Brickell, David Byrne, Fatboy Slim, Burt Bacharach, Elvis Costello and The Flaming Lips are making musicals. Lauper’s “Kinky Boots,” was nominated for a Tony for best musical. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, file)


Mark Kennedy can be reached at


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