It's not too difficult to predict low ratings for this year's Tony Awards, which will be held on Sunday night at Radio City Music Hall and broadcast on CBS.

This season lacks a megahit musical, and the hosts (Alan Cumming and Kristin Chenoweth) are unlikely to attract anyone who isn't already a theater fan. But the award categories are unusually competitive and -- in some cases -- close to unpredictable.

Best Musical could go to "An American in Paris" (a crowd-pleaser with brilliant visuals, elaborate ballet sequences and famous Gershwin songs) or "Fun Home" (the innovative musical about a lesbian cartoonist looking back on her relationship with her father during childhood and college).

Conventional logic dictates that "An American in Paris" will win thanks to its mainstream appeal, but an upset by "Fun Home" is not impossible (remember when "Avenue Q" beat "Wicked?"). My theory is that the Renaissance farce "Something Rotten!" will steal some votes away from "An American in Paris," allowing "Fun Home" to just barely win.

"The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time," the exhilarating adaptation of Mark Haddon's novel about the adventures of a teen with Asperger's, has a lock on Best Play. Alex Sharp, its 26-year-old lead, is likely to beat out Bradley Cooper ("The Elephant Man") for Best Actor in a Play.

Best Musical Revival is a tossup between "The King and I," "On the Twentieth Century" and "On the Town," but I expect "The King and I" -- a golden age classic combined with the lavish production values of Lincoln Center Theater -- will win.

Helen Mirren, who plays Queen Elizabeth II at various points of her life in "The Audience," is sure to win Best Actress in a Play.

Best Actor in a Musical could go to Michael Cerveris (who gives an intense turn in "Fun Home"), Robert Fairchild (who combines dancing prowess with dashing looks in "An American in Paris") and Brian d'Arcy James (the likable lead of "Something Rotten!"), but I suspect Cerveris' superb acting abilities will win out.

Best Actress in a Musical is an embarrassment of riches led by Kristin Chenoweth ("On the Twentieth Century"), Kelli O'Hara ("The King and I") and Chita Rivera ("The Visit"). O'Hara, who has yet to win an award despite numerous nominations, has a lot of sympathy, but this is not her best performance to date. Everyone admires the 82-year-old Rivera, but few actually liked "The Visit." I expect Chenoweth, with her blissfully hammy theatrics in "On the Twentieth Century," to win.

No less than three females from "Fun Home" are nominated for Best Featured Actress in a Musical (Judy Kuhn, Sydney Lucas, Emily Skeggs), which could split the vote and give the edge to "King and I" standout Ruthie Ann Miles.

 

What should win... and what will win

 

 

Best Play:

 

I predict: "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time"

I voted for: "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time"

 

 

Best Musical:

 

I predict: "Fun Home"

I voted for: "Fun Home"

 

 

Best Revival of a Play:

 

I predict: "Skylight"

I voted for: "You Can't Take It With You"

 

 

Best Revival of a Musical:

 

I predict: "The King and I"

I voted for: "On the Twentieth Century"

 

 

Best Actor in a Play

 

 

I predict: Alex Sharp ("The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time")

I voted for: Alex Sharp ("The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time")

 

 

Best Actress in a Play:

 

 

I predict: Helen Mirren ("The Audience")

I voted for: Helen Mirren ("The Audience")

 

 

Best Actor in a Musical:

 

 

I predict: Michael Cerveris ("Fun Home")

I voted for: Michael Cerveris ("Fun Home")

 

 

Best Actress in a Musical:

 

I predict: Kristin Chenoweth ("On the Twentieth Century")

I voted for: Kristin Chenoweth ("On the Twentieth Century")

 

 

Best Featured Actor in a Play:

 

I predict: Richard McCabe ("The Audience")

I voted for: Micah Stock ("It's Only a Play")

 

 

Best Featured Actress in a Play:

 

I predict: Annaleigh Ashford ("You Can't Take It With You")

I voted for: Annaleigh Ashford ("You Can't Take It With You")

 

 

Best Featured Actor in a Musical:

 

I predict: Andy Karl ("On the Twentieth Century")

I voted for: Andy Karl ("On the Twentieth Century")

 

 

Best Featured Actress in a Musical:

 

I predict: Ruthie Ann Miles ("The King and I")

I voted for: Sydney Lucas ("Fun Home")

 

 

Best Book of a Musical:

 

I predict: "Fun Home"

I voted for: "Fun Home"

 

 

Best Score of a Musical:

 

I predict: "Fun Home"

I voted for: "Fun Home"

 

 

Best Direction of a Play:

 

I predict: "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time"

I voted for: "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time"

 

 

Best Direction of a Musical:

 

I predict: "Fun Home"

I voted for: "Fun Home"

 

 

Best Choreography:

 

I predict: "An American in Paris"

I voted for: "An American in Paris"

 

 

Best Orchestrations:

 

I predict: "An American in Paris"

I voted for: "An American in Paris"

 

 

Best Scenic Design of a Play:

 

I predict: "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time"

I voted for: "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time"

 

 

Best Scenic Design of a Musical:

 

I predict: "An American in Paris"

I voted for: "An American in Paris"

 

 

Best Costume Design of a Play:

 

I predict: "The Audience"

I voted for: "The Audience"

 

 

Best Costume Design of a Musical:

 

I predict: "The King and I"

I voted for: "On the Twentieth Century"

 

 

Best Lighting Design of a Play:

 

I predict: "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time"

I voted for: "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time"

 

 

Best Lighting Design of a Musical:

 

I predict: "An American in Paris"

I voted for: "An American in Paris"