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Bernadette Peters’ Tony win for Annie Get Your Gun (and Donna Murphy)

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  • dude93
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    #433471

    Did anyone catch Bernadette Peters in Annie Get Your Gun? What exactly was so Tony-worthy about her performance? On the same note, do many of you think that Donna Murphy’s Tony win for King and I in 1994 was mainly due to Julie Andrews’ declining of her nomination the same year for Victor/Victoria? In other words, would Andrews have a Tony now if she wasn’t so selfless? 

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    adamunc
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    #433473

    Never saw Bernadette in AGYG, but I do remember that when Reba McEntire took over for her, the Times did a whole new review and praised the replacement to the heavens.

    I don’t think there’s any question Andrews would have won. Murphy definitely benefitted from being the most-likely “default” vote. Daphne Rubin-Vega was not most people’s favorite part of Rent and it’s not like Crista Moore had a chance. (Though I did see Murphy in The King and I and she was quite good. Her “Hello Young Lovers” was heartbreaking and the confrontation scenes played very well.) 

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    Milo Kunis
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    #433474

    In my opinion, Bernadette has never really been a true critical darling. For every performance she delivers that receives good notices, she has two more that are pretty divisive, or outright dismissed. Sometimes I have found her to be magic, and other times I have found myself watching a little girl drowning in the weight of a role she cannot handle. Besides, Reba McEntire stepped into that show once Peters dipped out, and she became the toast of the town with her critical raves.

    Victor/Victoria was a mess. Andrews probably would have won on name alone. I’m sure even Murphy knew that Andrews taking herself out of the competition paved the way for her inevitable win. 

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    dude93
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    #433475

    Annie Get Your Gun just seems like such a ‘meh’ show for Peters to win a Tony for (that and Song and Dance).

    It seems ironic that an actress who is the most impressive interpreter (certainly in America) of Stephen Sondheim’s work should win her first Tony for a show written by Sondheim’s (for want of a better word) ‘rival,’ Andrew Lloyd Webber. I would’ve preferred Peters to get Tonys for Sunday in the Park with George or Into the Woods. 

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    CAROL-CHANNING
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    #433476

    I never saw Bernadette in AGYG, but I do know there are a lot of people who preferred Reba over her.  I just think it’s funny that Bernadette won a Tony for AGYG and then her replacement got better overall reviews, and then Bernadette came around ten years later in A Little Night Music, and she basically slaughtered Catherine Zeta Jones in HER Tony-winning role with her reviews.

    IMO, Bernadette is always exhilarating to watch, and always makes the most daring, interesting, and bold choices as an actress.  

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    dude93
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    #433477

    Except Follies – she was brutal in Follies IMO… I wish Victoria Clark had been ‘Sally’ from the outset in Washington and New York, and had gotten a Tony nod for her performance… Although no one was gonna beat Audra that year.

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    vinny
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    #433478

    My cousin used to blast her version of “Anything You Can Do I Can Do Better” all the time. Hate that song BUT she sounded great. I’m guessing it’s becuase most of the songs in that show are in the same kinda vein.

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    Anthony
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    #433479

    I did see Bernadette Peters in AGYG and as a huge fan of hers, I was definitely pleased with her….but I can see why others would feel differently. While I support her Tony win, I can’t help but remember the always wonderful Carolee Carmello who was so heartbreaking in PARADE, in which she won the DD with Peters in a tie but with her show long closed (4 months by that point if I recall), she seemed less poised to pull it off.

    I am glad it was brought up that both of Peters’ Tony wins seem a little strange because SONG & DANCE (even being my favorite ALW musical), isn’t exactly a role I felt was suited for her. She was a little too old for it and at times, she didn’t seem comfortable with it….but she had no competiton and was overdue.

    She should’ve won for Sunday in The Park With George, but they gave it to Chita Rivera who was even more overdue for a show that bombed and is now often forgotten about other than the fact it starred her, Liza, and Jason Alexander.

    As for Donna Murphy, she definitely should thank Julie Andrews for that Tony win. Murphy was stellar as Fosca and deserved the Tony she won two years before but this was strictly a default scenario.

    So Bernadette Peters should have at least 3 Tonys: Sunday, Song & Dance (by default), Gypsy…and then depending on the day, one for AGYG.

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    Beau S.
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    #433480

    I’ve thought long and hard about all of Bernadette Peters’ stints at the Tonys.

    1975 – nominated for Mack and Mabel – lost to Angela Lansbury for Gypsy
    I don’t think anybody can really challenge Lansbury’s win here.

    1984 – nominated for Sunday in the Park with George – lost to Chita Rivera for The Rink
    This seems like a pretty silly decision now considering how much more notable SITPWG is today as compared to The Rink, but Chita was overdue at the time and the Tony voters obviously had no way of knowing that she would be MUCH better years later in Kiss of the Spider Woman. Hindsight is always 20/20. Peters should have won.

    1986 – won for Song and Dance
    This seems like a default win but I must remind everybody how incredible Debbie Allen was in Sweet Charity. Charity is such a dynamite role but the revivals always seem to be so poorly timed when it comes to the Best Actress race as there’s always somebody better/more overdue in the category. I would have given this to Allen.

    1988 – not in competition for Into the Woods
    Peters would have been an incredibly worthy winner in the featured actress category (yes, I consider the Witch a supporting role to Baker’s Wife). As great as Kaye was in Phantom, a much more deserving win was coming her way a little more than 20 years later.

    1993 – nominated for The Goodbye Girl – lost to Chita River in TKOTSW
    Like I mentioned earlier, this is where Chita easily deserved the win.

    1999 – won for Annie Get Your Gun
    This is another pretty silly win, especially considering her replacement ended up getting better reviews than she did. It’s pretty heinous that this forgettable musical and performance from Peters took down Carolee Carmello’s brilliant work in Parade.

    2003 – nominated for Gypsy – lost to Marisa Jaret Winokur for Hairspray
    Becoming one of only two actresses to lose for this role, Peters didn’t open to the best reviews though many reevaluated her later on. I saw this performance and was blown away, but I have to give this to Winokur who led a musical that went on to become one of the decade’s best and one of the best of the new millenium so far.

    So in the end I still leave her with two for SITPWG and ITW. 

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    Joe Burns
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    #433481

    Agree about Bernadette deserving Tonys for Sunday and Into The Woods.  I honestly think Annie Get Your Gun has some fantastc classic  songs and although I haven’t seen the show, it shouldn’t be written off as forgetable.  And to me,  Bernadette’s voice fits perfectly with the role.  

    Just listened to Mack And Mabe today  and I thought Bernadette was fabulous as always of course.  She is a goddess!!  

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    Anonymous
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    #433482

    Mandy and Bernadette both should’ve won for Sunday in The Park with George. It would’ve been nice consolation prizes, as La Cage swept most of the top awards that year including Best Musical. On that note, what are peoples thoughts on La Cage vs. Sunday. I adore La Cage and as an musical theatre performer in real life, one of my dream roles is Albin. Yes, it’s a glitzy and glamourous show, but I like Sunday more as a conceptual, more complex musical. 

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    Anthony
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    #433483

    I know that for me personally, and I have said it here in the forum as well, that I think the closest/hardest race for me to make a decision is the Sunday/La Cage battle.

    The joyous extravaganza of La Cage is easy to fall in love with while the complex and artsy nature of Sunday leaves me feeling like I just witnessed such a personal statement about the “art of making art”.

    Bernadette Peters should’ve won hands down but I will contend that George Hearn deserved his.

    As for book and score, that is where it gets harder because they are so drastically different and great in their own ways.

    Each time I begin to type my personal choice, I question preferring the either.

    I think I would choose Sunday for musical but the book and score races would depend on the day.

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    adamunc
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    #433484

    I think I would go with La Cage by a nose. It hearkens back to the Golden Age of musicals, and is an ideal example of the classic musical comedy. Much as I admire and enjoy most of Sunday, there’s just something not completely satisfying about it that I can’t put my finger on.

     

    I’d have voted for Peters, though. Her material was better and allowed her more range and nuance. Rivera was a trouper and made a couple of her songs (especially “Chief Cook and Bottle Washer”) showstoppers by sheer force of will, but from what I’ve seen and heard in old clips, she was undermined by the unpleasantness of some of the material in a generally undistinguished work. 

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