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Best Original Song in a Musical?

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  • ConMan
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    #433406

    Should the Tony Awards add a category for Best Original Song in a Musical. No doubt that category would be competitive – they might want to give it more than five nominees. Do you think this is a good idea? Do you think they’ll ever do this? And what songs might have won this category (or even just gotten nominated) in previous years?

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    Beau S.
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    #433408

    If this category existed it would be the place to honor shows with brilliant individual songs but inconsistent scores.

    Defying Gravity would have won this.
    Who I’d Be would have won this.
    Gimme Gimme would have won this.
    Sister Act (the song) would have deserved to win but a Book of Mormon song would have won
    Maybe something from Legally Blonde?

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    babypook
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    #433409

    I see no reason why an addition like this shouldnt be added, if for no other reason than to make the Tonys more accessible. Rules for eligibility however, could be a challenge.(why this is is crazy making)

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    Anonymous
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    #433410

    well this would be really competitive category  

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    SamEckmann
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    #433411

    Personally, I don’t see a need for an individual song category. Id rather see a best musical director or best ensemble award before this one. Or better yet, go back to when playwrights had their own category for their script, rather than being lumped in with the production award (War Horse was a fine choice for best play, but can we really argue its script was the best out of that year’s crop?). 

    Broadway.com has a best song category in its audience choice awards. Unfortunately, these nominations are chosen by readers who are mostly out of towners, in high school, who havent seen any of the shows.

    If I had to pick my favorites from this year:
    “One Second and a Million Miles” – Bridges of Madison County
    “It All Fades Away” – Bridges of Madison County
    “I’ve Decided to Marry You” – A Gentleman’s Guide
    “Always Starting Over” – If/Then
    “Always Better” – Bridges of Madison County

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    Anthony
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    #433412

    I think there are a few cons to this issues, with the primary one being that it would mean (in many cases), the person/team who wins Score may win a dubious 2nd Tony for Song.

    Beau S. makes a point I also feel is valid in that it could give a bone to a show score that may not be good enough to beat a frontrunner or is flawed but has a few strong selections.

    The following are kind of a mix of personal choices and what I feel might have occurred if the song category existed:

    1969: This one is interesting because even Score wasn’t a category this year. While 1776 won the Tony, you could argue that score to Promises, Promises and even more so HAIR are much more known. 1776 has moments of brilliance in its score but also some that are trite…however, if the Song award existed in this year, my vote would’ve gone to Momma Look Sharp.

    1982: Nine won Score…Song probably would’ve gone to And I Am Telling You….but to be honest, I think that song is so well known primarily because of Jennifer Holliday. My personal choice for Best Song would’ve been one from NINE: Unusual Way.

    1984: La Cage won Score….Song probably would’ve been I Am What I Am….though I think it would’ve been a great opportunity to give it to a song from Sunday in the Park (Sunday or Putting it Together) or Baby (The Story Goes On).

    1991: The Will Rogers Follies won Score….Song could’ve gone to something from any of the others….my vote would’ve been Lily’s Eyes from The Secret Garden

    2002: Urinetown won Score…which I don’t think it deserved….I agree that Millie’s Gimme Gimme would be a very likely choice.

    2004: With AVENUE Q winning Score, this probably would’ve been WICKED’s chance to take Song for Defying Gravity….although

    2005: Piazza deserved Score and while I would completely support several of the songs winning, I actually think I would give my Song vote to The I Love You Song from SPELLING BEE.

    2007: Spring Awakening won Score (which I feel it shouldn’t have won) but SONG could’ve gone to something from Grey Gardens (Revolutionary Costume, Another Winter in a Summer Town, etc….)

    2010: Memphis came out at such a perfect time because I don’t see how it could win in any other year….it was that lucky. I would rather give score to The Addams Family.

    2011: The Book of Mormon would take both but as much as people seem to hate Catch Me If You Can, there were a few songs in that show I loved (Fly Fly Away is an example)

    2012: Newsies won Score, but my personal vote would’ve gone to How ‘Bout a Dance from Bonnie & Clyde for Song (and it hurts me to say that because I hate Frank Wildhorn but I also don’t care for Newsies).

    2013: Kinky Boots wasn’t exactly a deserving Score winner….I do think for SONG that When I Grow Up from MATILDA would be a contender and I also love All Falls Down from CHAPLIN (which was actually my favorite Score from last year).

    This year is hard to say because it will take time for some songs to settle in but as of now, my list would be narrowed down from a list of songs from BRIDGES and GENTLEMAN’S GUIDE:

    Bridges: To Build a Home, Another Life, Look at Me, One Second and a Million Miles, It All Fades Away

    Gentelman’s Guide: Foolish to Think, Inside Out, Lady Hyacinth Abroad, I’ve Decided to Marry You

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    adamunc
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    #433413

    In too many cases this would result in the same person or persons winning two Tonys for basically the same thing. As for a good song in a flawed score, I’m not really in favor of giving people who wrote a flawed score a Tony for songwriting.

     

    If the Tonys expand, the first new award I’d like to see is for musical direction.

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    MHayes1323
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    #433414

    This is going to sound terribly naive, and as a self-professed musical theatre nut I’m ashamed not to know, but can someone give me an in-depth explanation of the difference between Orchestrations and Musical Direction? I assume that Orchestrations is the arrangement and Musical Direction the conducting?

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    adamunc
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    #433415

    I think it often varies depending on the show and how involved the actual show director wants to be. A music director often hires the musicians, coaches them and may coach singers as well on phrasing, musicality, technical aspects, etc. The music director may be the rehearsal pianist and/or the pit conductor. Some actually play in the orchestras as well. They often coach new cast members or musicians. Often they and the production stage manager maintain the director’s vision and maintain performance consistency after a show opens.

     

    The orchestrator arranges the music for each instrument in the pit.

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    Anthony
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    #433416

    I think it often varies depending on the show and how involved the actual show director wants to be. A music director often hires the musicians, coaches them and may coach singers as well on phrasing, musicality, technical aspects, etc. The music director may be the rehearsal pianist and/or the pit conductor. Some actually play in the orchestras as well. They often coach new cast members or musicians. Often they and the production stage manager maintain the director’s vision and maintain performance consistency after a show opens.

     

    The orchestrator arranges the music for each instrument in the pit.

    He beat me to it. I think Music Direction is an overlooked and very vital position in a musical, especially in Regional/Community Theatre settings because they can make or break how the basic ensemble comes about. They can be unfairly overlooked as unimportant as my partner often music directs locally and some companies don’t see them as valuable as a Choreographer or even an Assistant Director.

    Orchestration was an award that was VERY unfairly overlooked for years by the Tonys until as recently as the late 90s. I am so thrilled that the category exists but I do agree bringing back Musical Direction would be ideal. 

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    adamunc
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    #433417

    Instating the Orchestrations Tony was doubly gratifying because the first three were won by three of the very, very best in the business–the legendary Jonathan Tunick, William David Brohn and Douglas Besterman.

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    24Emmy
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    #433418

    My favorite song from this season is Rocky’s “Fight From the Heart”.

    Would it be nominated if the category existed? No.

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    Tony Ruiz
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    #433419

    Personally, I don’t see a need for an individual song category. Id rather see a best musical director or best ensemble award before this one. Or better yet, go back to when playwrights had their own category for their script, rather than being lumped in with the production award (War Horse was a fine choice for best play, but can we really argue its script was the best out of that year’s crop?). 

    Broadway.com has a best song category in its audience choice awards. Unfortunately, these nominations are chosen by readers who are mostly out of towners, in high school, who havent seen any of the shows.

    If I had to pick my favorites from this year:
    “One Second and a Million Miles” – Bridges of Madison County
    “It All Fades Away” – Bridges of Madison County
    “I’ve Decided to Marry You” – A Gentleman’s Guide
    “Always Starting Over” – If/Then
    “Always Better” – Bridges of Madison County

    I echo all of Sam’s choices, but I would replace the If/Then song with “Wondering” from Bridges.

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    Tony Ruiz
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    #433420

    My favorite song from this season is Rocky’s “Fight From the Heart”.

    Would it be nominated if the category existed? No.

    It’s funny that tastes are so different…I just absolutely hated that song.  Sounds like a rejected theme song for an inspirational religious film.

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    Turner Unruh
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    #433421

    If this category existed it would be the place to honor shows with brilliant individual songs but inconsistent scores.

    Defying Gravity would have won this.
    Who I’d Be would have won this.
    Gimme Gimme would have won this.
    Sister Act (the song) would have deserved to win but a Book of Mormon song would have won
    Maybe something from Legally Blonde?[/
    The only song that would of won out of the ones you listed would be omg you guys from legally blonde

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