By Andrea Towers
June 06, 2014 at 10:00 PM EDT
Joan Marcus

As we look ahead to the Tony Awards on Sunday, EW is taking a closer look at this season’s nominated selection of new musicals, plays, and revivals, all of which will be competing for Broadway’s highest honor. Today, we dive into this year’s nominees for Best Revival of a Musical.

Hedwig and the Angry Inch

Opened: April 22, 2014

Closing: Aug. 17, 2014

Starring: Neil Patrick Harris and Lena Hall

Directed by: Michael Mayer

Book by: John Cameron Mitchell

Music and lyrics by: Stephen Trask

Synopsis: Hedwig (Harris) is a transgender East German who weds an American G.I. near the end of the Cold War, and finds herself living in a Kansas trailer park and forming a band called The Angry Inch while pining for her lost love, a younger rock star named Tommy.

Tony nominations: 8 — Best Revivial of a Musical, Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical (Neil Patrick Harris), Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical (Lena Hall), Best Scenic Design of a Musical (Julian Crouch), Best Costume Design of a Musical (Arianne Phillips), Best Lighting Design of a Musical (Kevin Adams), Best Sound Design of a Musical (Tim O’Heir), Best Direction of a Musical (Michael Meyer)

EW’s review: “Purists may balk at Harris’ punk-lite vocals on Trask’s infectiously rockin’ score — he’s less Iggy, more pop — and his threats to ”cut you, bitch” come off with more of a wink than actual menace. But in a bravura performance, the actor proves the perfect instrument for Hedwig’s transition into world-class superstardom. He’s honed his showmanship on four Tony Awards gigs, of course. But he’s looser here, and lewder, more spontaneous and quick on his pumps.” A- (Thom Geier)

Scenic designer Julian Crouch on the challenges of a revival: “Hedwig is a kind of woman who would never perform on Broadway. In a sense, she’s a failure. So we had to find a way that it would be genuine that she was on Broadway – so let’s do it on the set of a failed musical. It really worked.”

Odds of winning: Bet your pumps on it.

NEXT: Les Miserables

Joan Marcus

Les Miserables

Opened: March 23, 2014

Starring: Ramin Karimloo, Will Swenson, Caissie Levy, Andy Mientus, and Nikki M. James

Directed by: Laurence Connor and James Powell

Music by: Claude-Michel Schonberg

Lyrics by: Alain Boublil and Herbert Kretzmer

Book by:  Alain Boublil

Synopsis: Based on the popular novel by Victor Hugo, a relentless policeman (Swenson) pursues escaped convict Jean Valjean (Karimloo) as he reforms his life during revolutionary France.

Tony nominations: 3 — Best Revival of a Musical, Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role (Ramin Karimloo), Best Sound Design of a Musical (Mick Potter)

Listen to this:Bring Him Home

EW’s review: “The revelation is Ramin Karimloo, an Iranian-born Canadian who is well known in London but makes his Broadway debut here. As Jean Valjean, the petty criminal turned respected citizen still on the run from the law, Karimloo projects a masculine authority that cannily reveals hidden pockets of vulnerability. He’s blessed with matinee-idol looks and a crystalline tenor that pierces the back rows of the Imperial Theatre. With apologies to Hugh Jackman, his may be the best sung, best acted Valjean I’ve ever seen.” A- (Thom Geier)

Odds of winning: Not likely.

NEXT: Violet

Violet

Opened: April 20, 2014

Closing: Aug. 10, 2014

Starring: Sutton Foster, Colin Donnell, Joshua Henry, and Alexander Gemignani

Directed by: Leigh Silverman

Music by: Jeanine Tesori

Book and lyrics by: Brian Crawley

Tony nominations: 4 — Best Revival of a Musical, Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical (Sutton Foster), Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role (Joshua Henry), Best Direction of a Musical (Leigh Silverman)

EW’s review: “It’s impossible not to get swept up by rousing numbers like Violet’s ”On My Way” and Flick’s ”Let It Sing” (Henry pretty much blows the roof off the bus with that one) — or to resist Foster’s pluck and aw-shucks charm. Fantastic as she was in her two spangly, tap-dance-filled Tony-winning performances—flapper/stenographer Millie Dillmount in Thoroughly Modern Millie and evangelist–turned–nightclub singer Reno Sweeney in Anything Goes — she’s never been more vulnerable, or more moving, than she is here.” A- (Melissa Rose Bernardo)

Odds of winning: Color it a long shot.

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