|New Girl in Town (1962)|
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Tonys Countdown #3: Tony Ties (Part 3)
The most notable fact about Anna Maria Alberghetti (Carnival!) and Diahann Carroll (No Strings, opposite a pre-Man of La Mancha Richard Kiley) winning Best Actress in a Musical in 1962 is that they beat out a Broadway legend: Elaine Stritch (Sail Away). This was Stritch's second Tony nomination out of 5. Both of these 1962 winners only ever won one theatre award, though Carroll was in 3 Broadway shows. Broadway hopefuls can learn a lesson in quitting while you're ahead from Alberghetti, though. She appeared on Broadway only once, took her Tony, and disappeared. That's how it's done.
Listen to Alberghetti sing "Love Makes the World Go Round" from Carnival! in this video!
Definitely the most shocking tie, in hindsight, occurred in 1960: Fiorello! tied for Best Musical with Rodger's and Hammerstein's classic hit The Sound of Music. What in the world is Fiorello!? was exactly my first thought. It had music by Jerry Bock, lyrics by Sheldon Harnick and actually has a winning record not too different from The Sound of Music, winning only 2 Tony Awards fewer than its now legendary competitor. Though Fiorello! can be a poster-child for forgotten award-winners, it had a respectable run of about 800 performances. Most notably, however, Fiorello! starred Tom Bosley, who won a Tony for his performance. That was a competitive year for Best Musical, though, with Gypsy and Once Upon a Mattress losing that fight, as well as Take Me Along.
I'm aware that this has nothing to do with this particular tie, but watch this video of Mary Martin's acceptance speech when she won Best Actress in a Musical!
The first tie in Tony Awards history happened in 1958 between Gwen Verdon and Thelma Ritter for Best Actress in a Musical for New Girl in Town. Of course Verdon is a Broadway legend who created several iconic roles on Broadway. She won 4 Tonys in a row, with two other nominations in her career. Ritter, however, only played in 4 Broadway shows, garnering only one nomination/award. The tie was good for New Girl in Town, considering that gave the show its only two awards. There was stiff competition for the other categories, considering they were up against West Side Story and The Music Man in many categories, including choreography, making that one of only 3 times Bob Fosse lost in the choreography category.
That concludes the series of ties in Tony history. Check Singular Sensation tomorrow for more trivia!