As we know, this category is certainly not my area of expertise but I'm going to give it my best shot anyway!
Best Scenic Design of a Play: John Lee Beatty, The Royal Family, Alexander Dodge, Present Laughter, Santo Loquasto, Fences, Christopher Oram, Red
My Pick: Christopher Oram for Red-- this pick certainly reflects my 'artsy' taste but I give the nod to Oram simply for the recreation of the Rothko work.
Best Scenic Design of a Musical: Marina Draghici, Fela, Christine Jones, American Idiot, Derek McLane, Ragtime, Tim Shortall, La Cage aux Folles
My Pick: Christine Jones for American Idiot-- the use of television screens is a great incorporation of technology and that along with the graphiti on the walls suits the contemporary time period of the piece.
Best Costume Design of a Play: Martin Pakledinaz, Lend Me A Tenor, Constanza Romero, Fences, David Zinn, In The Next Room/The Vibrator Play, Catherine Zuber, The Royal Family
My Pick: Catherine Zuber for The Royal Family-- nothing in this category impressed me greatly but at least these accurately reflect the time period.
Best Costume Design of a Musical: Marina Draghici, Fela, Paul Tazewell, Memphis, Matthew Wright, La Cage aux Folles
My Pick: Matthew Wright for La Cage Aux Folles-- everything is better in drag! But in all seriousness, these are gorgeous costumes that are flamboyant and fabulous without being distracting.
Best Lighting Design of a Play: Neil Austin, Hamlet, Neil Austin, Red, Mark Henderson, Enron, Brian MacDevitt, Fences
My Pick: Neil Austin for Red-- I apologize for my artsy side coming out again but Austin shows the audience what happens to great art when it is not displayed in proper conditions, giving us insight into the importance of presentation in visual art.
Best Lighting Design of a Musical: Kevin Adams, American Idiot, Donald Holder, Ragtime, Nick Richings, La Cage aux Folles, Robert Wierzel, Fela
My Pick: Kevin Adams for American Idiot-- simply because the scenic and lighting design really do work in harmony in the production.
Best Sound Design of Play: Acme Sound Partners, Fences, Adam Cork, Enron, Adam Cork, Red, Scott Lehrer, A View From The Bridge
My Pick: Acme Sound Partners for Fences-- the score of this play is indeed fantastic, but part of what makes it great is the quality with which it is delivered, thanks to the sound designer.
Best Sound Design of a Musical: Jonathan Deans, La Cage aux Folles, Robert Kaplowitz, Fela, Dan Moses Schreier and Gareth Owen, A Little Night Music, Dan Moses Schreier, Sondheim on Sondheim
My Pick: Dan Moses Schreier for Sondheim on Sondheim-- the show is almost equally split between songs and video projections, but Sondheim's spoken voice blends seamlessly into the performance of his compositions.
Best Orchestrations: Jason Carr, La Cage aux Folles, Aaron Johnson, Fela, Jonathan Tunick, Promises, Promises, Daryl Waters and David Bryan, Memphis
My Pick: Jason Carr for La Cage aux Folles-- this is a great update of a classic without greatly altering the original.