Monday, June 3, 2013

The Tony Awards Countdown Trivia Day 2: ANNIE, Meryl Streep and More!

The Elephant Man, 1979
The Tony Awards are on June 9! So in anticipation of that, I will be posting some Tony Awards trivia and tidbits on Singular Sensation every day leading up to it. Did you miss yesterday's countdown trivia? Read it here!

Tonys Countdown #2: Tony Ties (Part 2)

The most recent tie for acting occurred in 1979 between Broadway vet Constance Cummings (Wings) and Carole Shelley (The Elephant Man) for Best Actress in a Play. These two were up against women who had already each won a Tony Award: Jane Alexander (First Monday in October) and Frances Sternhagen (On Golden Pond). I hear the name Carole Shelley and think classic actress, but Elephant Man is the only show for which she has won any awards, despite other nominations.

Broadway classic Annie and obscure musical The Cherry Orchard, tied for Best Costume Design in 1977. These two productions were incomparable considering that not only did Annie sweep the Tonys that year (winning a third of the total awards*), and ended up running 21 times (times, not performances!) longer than Cherry Orchard, but Annie won 20 theatre awards (out of the 25 awards for which it was nominated). Much like Billy Elliot, it was a miracle that anything tied with Annie. Contrastingly, The Cherry Orchard won only 9 awards total. Despite its underdog status, The Cherry Orchard's claim to fame is that Meryl Streep was nominated for a Drama Desk Award for her role (ironically, Cherry Orchard won every Drama Desk for which it was nominated except for Streep's).

Check out the Tony Awards Annie medley of "Tomorrow," "Never Fully Dressed without a Smile," "Easy Street," and "Tomorrow (Reprise)" from 1977. I love how Annie was clearly the favorite. The audience goes absolutely crazy for every number!

1968 held the third tie for Best Actress in a Musical. That year Patricia Routledge won for Darling of the Day, and Leslie Uggams won for Hallelujah, Baby! This was Leslie Uggams's Broadway debut preceding many other lead roles, and the first of two Tony nominations she received, while Patricia Routledge only did two other Broadway shows in her career and only garnered one theatre award total.

*Voted awards, not including special ones.

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