Sunday, June 2, 2013

The Tony Awards 2013 Countdown Begins... NOW!

The Tony Awards (aka: Christmas for Broadway people) are just a week from today! So in honor of that, I will be posting some Tony Awards trivia and tidbits on Singular Sensation every day leading up to it.

The Tony Awards were named for Antoinette "Toni" Perry who was an influential woman of the theatre world, starting out as an actress, broadening her horizons rapidly. At a time when women usually just acted, did costume design, or choreography, Toni became a successful producer and director after her acting career.

Tonys Countdown #1: Tony Ties (Part 1)

There have been 9 ties in Tony history, so for Part 1, I bring you the most recent 3.

In 2009, Billy Elliot the Musical and Next to Normal tied for Best Orchestrations, an award which has only been around since 1997. Also in the runnings were Shrek the Musical and Irving Berlin's White Christmas. The fact that anyone tied with Billy Elliot for anything is remarkable considering that the show had an obscene number of nominations across 6 awards organizations (including 15 Tony nominations, the most nominations ever). They won a grand total of 35 awards! While Next to Normal only won 5 awards total, they most notably won the Pulitzer Prize for drama, becoming one of the few musicals to ever receive that honor (the last musical to win was Rent in 1997). 

Check out the Tony performance from Next to Normal below!



Based on the old rock opera of the same name, The Who's Tommy tied for Best Score with Kander and Ebb's Kiss of the Spiderwoman in 1993. What's interesting about this tie is that these two shows were very similar in many ways. Though I think of the latter show as another one of Kander and Ebb's forgotten endeavors, and the former as a run-of-the-mill flop , each show won 17 theatre awards, with Spiderwoman winning Best Musical from 3 different award organizations. Additionally, they ran almost exactly the same number of performances, both shows opening in spring 1993, closing in summer 1995. The Who's Tommy is of interest to me mostly because that was Tony Award-winner Christian Hoff's Broadway debut!

One of only two ties to take place between a play and a musical, Lanford Wilson's short-lived play Talley's Folly and Cy Coleman and Michael Stewart's musical Barnum both won Best Scenic Design in 1980. Though they did beat out another forgotten musical, A Day in Hollywood/A Night in the Ukraine, they also beat one of Andrew Lloyd Webber's many hits, Evita. While this was the only Tony that Talley's Folly won, Barnum won two other Tonys. Barnum's main claim to fame is that it starred Jim Dale, who, according to Frank Rich of the New York Times, made the show great. However, my "#TwitterlessTwin" (as I refer to her on Twitter) will tell you that the most significant thing by far was that Barnum was of course Terrence Mann's Broadway debut!

Here's the Tony performance from Barnum! Not the best quality... but it was 1980.



Keep checking Singular Sensation every day leading up to the Tonys for more trivia and videos!

Read more:
Tony Awards Trivia on www.TonyAwards.com
www.PlaybillVault.com

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