2017 Tony Race for Best Revival of a Musical

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  • Jeffrey Kare
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    This has to be the most crowded season for musical revivals we’ve had on Broadway since the 2011-12 season. The first two revivals from this season have already taken place, and we’ve got four more coming in the spring.

    Cats-The very first Broadway revival of Cats has been running since last summer, its grosses have been pretty good, but the response has been underwhelming. It already looks like Cats will be completely left out of next year’s Tony Awards not just because of its response, but also because it really is more of a remounting of the original production with some tweaks and additions. Not to mention that the new choreography by Two-Time Tony Winner Andy Blankenbuehler won’t even be eligible for Best Choreography.

    Falsettos-Lincoln Center Theatre’s revival of Falsettos received mostly positive reviews from critics back in the fall, and recently ended its limited run on January 8th. While the production may not win anything since it’s hard for closed productions to win Best Revival of a Musical, I do think it has chance of being remembered with a few Tony nominations.

    Hello, Dolly!-The very first Broadway revival of this classic musical since 1995 (as well as the second Broadway production with Carol Channing). This production has already broken box office records by making over $9,000,000 on the very first day tickets went on sale. But the question I have is that will it live up to anticipation? This production is being directed by Jerry Zaks, made a successful Broadway debut as director in 1986 with the original production of The House of Blue Leaves. He would go on to helm several more successful productions that included Anything Goes (1987), Lend Me a Tenor, Six Degrees of Separation, Guys & Dolls (1992), and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (1996). But since he tried to fix The Capeman, his track record on Broadway has been pretty inconsistent. Some of his credits after that included The Civil War, Little Shop of Horrors (2003), La Cage aux Folles (2004), The Addams Family, Sister Act, and most recently A Bronx Tale.

    Miss Saigon-This long-awaited first Broadway revival of the Boublil & Schoenberg classic is coming in after a successful two-year run in London’s West End. It stars newcomer Eva Noblezada as Kim and Jon Jon Briones as The Engineer (which means no white-washing with the role this time around). This production only received 2 Olivier nominations in 2015 (albeit that it opened almost the year before where some aspects might’ve gotten lost in the shuffle). People also felt that Noblezada should’ve been nominated.

    Sunday in the Park with George-Following a sold-out run at City Center this past fall, a new Broadway production of Stephen Sondheim & James Lapine’s Sunday in the Park with George will be re-opening the Hudson Theatre with Jake Gyllenhall and Annaleigh Ashford in the starring roles. This production is suppose to be more well-realized, visually than what was previously staged at City Center, which should be interesting to see how it will turn out. It is also currently a limited run scheduled to end just a week before Tony nominations will be announced, so that may also hurt its chances of winning Best Revival of a Musical.

    Sunset Boulevard-Also coming in from London is the first Broadway revival of Andrew Lloyd Webber, Don Black, & Christopher Hampton’s musical adaptation of the 1950 Billy Wilder film. This is a semi-staged concert production with a 41-piece orchestra that will star Glenn Close reprising her Tony-Winning role as Norma Desmond. It is currently a limited run scheduled to end on May 28th. The question I have is how many Tony nominations will it receive? Glenn Close won’t be eligible for Best Lead Actress in a Musical since she already won the Tony for the original production back in 1995. It’s also a much smaller production in terms of scenery than the original, so I don’t know how it could do in the design categories.

    So what’s your take on the Best Revival of a Musical race at this point?

    • This topic was modified 6 months, 3 weeks ago by  Jeffrey Kare.
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    adamunc
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    At this point, I think Dolly would have to be a real bust not to be the front-runner. Cats ain’t happening, Falsettos will be long gone, Saigon is very similar to the original, and Sunset and George aren’t really full productions.

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    FreemanGriffin
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    Falsettos will prevail despite it’s early in the season closing date.

    As for Hello, Dolly!: it depends on which Bette Midler shows up for it? Does she give an actual performance or her usual Las Vegas type shtick? Remains to be seen…

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    Jeffrey Kare
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    It was just announced that the upcoming revival of Sunday in the Park with George won’t be competing at this year’s Tony Awards…
    http://www.broadway.com/buzz/187487/exclusive-jake-gyllenhaal-annaleigh-ashford-sunday-in-the-park-with-george-wont-compete-in-2017-tony-awards-race/

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    adamunc
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    My guess is they didn’t want to give away all those free tickets to nominators and voters for this limited run that really has no chance to extend.

    Oh well, still looking forward to seeing it at what is currently scheduled to be the final performance.

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    Philip
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    There are only 24 voters on the nominating committee. Like that’s a pretty stupid reason.

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    Jeffrey Kare
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    I believe there’s up to 50 people on the nominating committee.

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    Philip
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    Okay, it was 24. But even 50 isn’t that many.

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    David Buchanan
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    Okay, it was 24. But even 50 isn’t that many.

    The nominating committee is only the first round, though. Once nominated, 800+ voters  (and I believe a plus-one each) must be given comps, in addition to whatever money the producers may have planned on spending on a campaign.

    Formerly known in the forums as PianoMann.

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    adamunc
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    The actual value of tickets given to nominators and voters can run well over $300,000.

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    FreemanGriffin
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    Is there any precedent for this situation with a show insisting on no Tony award recognition? It’s so odd and strange!

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    adamunc
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    I believe the Hugh Jackman one-man show a few years ago announced it would not provide tickets to Tony voters.

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    Philip
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    The actual value of tickets given to nominators and voters can run well over $300,000.

    That’s if you give tickets to all the voters, they could give tickets to the nomination committee and it would be less than 10,000.

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    adamunc
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    The actual value of tickets given to nominators and voters can run well over $300,000.

    That’s if you give tickets to all the voters, they could give tickets to the nomination committee and it would be less than 10,000.

    Not possible. Here is the official rule from the Tony Awards Administration Committee:

    the producer of the production must invite, in a timely manner and free of charge, each of the eligible Tony voters, as well as the members (including those designated on an ex officio basis) and alternate designees of the Tony Awards Administration Committee, to attend a performance of the production. Invitations shall be extended, either via postal service and/or email, for performances occurring no later than the earlier of 16 weeks after the production officially opens or the day before the annual Tony Nominating Meeting. For this purpose, the producer must make available to eligible Tony voters at least eight “paid performances” of the production (i.e. previews, opening and/or regular performances in an eligible Broadway theatre). For the members and alternate designees of the Tony Awards Administration Committee, the producer must make available performances occurring no later than two weeks after the production officially opens or before the Eligibility Date, whichever occurs first. This requirement shall be subject to the following exception: If a production which officially opens in an eligible Broadway theatre on or before the Eligibility Date is unable to satisfy the eight paid performance requirement because it closes prior to presenting eight paid performances, the production may nevertheless be deemed eligible
    provided that the producer has invited and made tickets available to the Tony voters for at least one half of all paid performances presented in an eligible Broadway theatre prior to the closing.

    With only a 10-week window to recoup production costs for Sunday, I’m sure the producers decided they’d rather have the money than a Tony nomination which would do them no good at the box office, as the production is currently scheduled to close before the nomination announcement.

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    Jeffrey Kare
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    Sunday in the Park with George just opened to great reviews…
    http://www.broadwayworld.com/article/Review-Roundup-Jake-Gyllenhaal-and-Annaleigh-Ashford-Open-in-SUNDAY-IN-THE-PARK-WITH-GEORGE-20170223

    Yet one has to wonder that had the production not withdrawn from this year’s Tony Awards, how would it have done?

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