June 12, 2014 at 3:04 am #433543
Now that the Tonys are done, we might as well keep this section of GD alive somehow. So here’s the idea – if we are unsure of something in regards to theatre or the Tonys in the past, we ask it here, and if you have the answer or knowledge on that, help them out. For some of us not too familiar with Tonys of the past (I’ve only been watching since 2010), this can be really helpful
I’ll start – in 2005, was Norbert Leo Butz the favorite to win Best Actor in a Musical, or was one of the other men favorite to win?June 12, 2014 at 5:22 am #433545
It was Butz all the way. He was almost as big a lock as Victoria Clark that year.June 12, 2014 at 6:38 am #433546
Yes, Butz was a strong lock….he even managed to win the Distinguished Performance Award over Victoria Clark and many strong Drama candidates like Cherry Jones or the Virginia Woolf cast. That was such a fantastic role for him, and I always smile when listening to him on “Nothing is Too Wonderful to be True” or “Love is My Legs”.June 12, 2014 at 6:54 am #433547
Yeah I thought so – thanks guysJune 12, 2014 at 6:59 am #433548
Watching him do “Great Big Stuff” live at the Imperial was one of those master classes in stage performance you get to see maybe two or three times a season if you’re lucky. Choreography, comedy, rapping, and basically running an obstacle course up and down the stairs all while putting over a tricky set of lyrics flawlessly… just wow.June 12, 2014 at 3:25 pm #433549
Were all of the Assassins cast petitioned as Featured for the 2004 Tonys? Was anyone petitioned as Lead. Michael Cerveris won the Tony for Featured Actor… Was it generally considered to be an ‘ensemble show’?June 12, 2014 at 3:29 pm #433550
Yes. The committe decided that all the performers would be eligible in the featured categories. No one was billed above the title. And while Booth could be considered the central most figure, it is a fairly evenly split ensemble piece, so its a fair call from the Tony committee.June 12, 2014 at 6:43 pm #433551
Becky Ann Baker was ROYALLY robbed of a nomination that year for Assassins. One of the funniest performances I’ve ever seen on Broadway.June 12, 2014 at 7:48 pm #433552
My question: Was Audra favored to win every year that she has won? Obviously we know she was the favorite this year and the year she won for Porgy And Bess, but I’m not sure about the others.June 13, 2014 at 4:32 am #433553
I agree that Becky Ann Baker was robbed of a nomination! That whole category, though, was a trainwreck that year considered they missed her and Stephanie J. Block and especially Ann Harada.
In the case of Audra McDonald, I can’t speak too much for her first two wins but since she won the DD for Carousel I assume she was strongly considered….Master Class had to be an upset unless someone can tell me otherwise. RAGTIME was a case where one performer (Tsiidii Le Loka) won both the OC and the DD and then McDonald won her THIRD Tony….I frankly at the time (although I didn’t closely follow any trends was a little surprised though thrilled since she was my personal choice.
I honestly don’t remember in the case of her Raisin in the Sun win.June 13, 2014 at 5:09 am #433554
She was the prohibitive favorite for Raisin. I think this year and Ragtime were the only years when Audra won that she wasn’t a slam dunk.
What do you guys think are a) the best; and b) the worst Best Musical winners so far in the 21st century?June 13, 2014 at 6:08 am #433555
I would probably rank them as follows:
#1-A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder (Yes I loved it that much)
#2-The Book of Mormon
#6-Thoroughly Modern Millie
—-Drop in quality
#9-In The Heights
—-Drop in quality
(Honestly those last two both have my equal hatred…Contact gets placed on the bottom strictly because it was a true musical whereas Memphis, extremely flawed and cliche as it was, was at least an original piece with live music).
Looking at this list makes me sad for what could have been. For examples, wins going to:
The Wild Party or James Joyce’s The Dead over Contact
The Light in the Piazza over Spamalot
The Drowsy Chaperone over Jersey Boys
Grey Gardens over Spring Awakening
Passing Strange over In The Heights (though that was a very weak year)
Next to Normal over Billy Elliot
American Idiot over Memphis (worst year of the new millenium)
Matilda over Kinky BootsJune 13, 2014 at 8:46 am #433556
@ Anthony I will never forgive them for snubbing Ann Harada! comic gold. Id probably move Avenue Q up to number 3 in your ranking, I cant get enough of that show.
As for Memphis and Contact, it was sort of a weird season both those years. I dont really hate either of them, theyre harmless shows that I think got backlash for receiving the top award. Memphis certainly didnt try anything new or exciting, but was at somewhat entertaining thanks to the talented cast. I would have given that one to Fela!. I saw Contact regionally not on Broadway (though with the original choreography). I liked the show, but wouldnt have named it best musical. Though its hard to see any of the nominees enciting real passion that year.
And I still dont understand how Next to Normal lost to Billy Elliot. Easily the best musical of the past decade in my book.June 13, 2014 at 9:17 am #433557
Next to Normal losing to Billy Elliot was classic Tony syndrome. The same people gave the Tony to Spamalot over The Light in the Piazza. That still gets my goat to this day.
1994: She was the favorite to win for Carousel as she was the new girl on the block. Everyone was captivated by what she was able to achieve with the role of Carrie… she was the star of that show, clearly.
1996: I don’t think anyone was widely predicted to win that year. Audra’s win was a surprise I’d imagine, but her singing in the play tipped her over the edge for the win, much like this year. How can you compete with someone who sings?
1998: Total shocker win for Ragtime. Everyone was predicting Tsiidii Le Loka, but Tony LOVES Audra, so they gave her her third win. A small part but she rocked it. Much like Carousel, she stole the limelight from her leading lady, in this case, Marin Mazzie.
2004: It seems to be an award magnet role, so I’m sure people were predicting her at the time. She was heartbreaking, and it was one of the first instances people saw her in a straight play. No singing, but man she can act.
2012: People tried to create a ‘race’ here between Audra and Jan Maxwell, who would’ve won if Audra wasn’t in the category, for her electrifying performance in Follies. No one was gonna beat Audra. She had the heat because this would be her first win for Leading Actress, and she was considered overdue at this stage. Plus, she was essentially singing an operatic role, she was taking drugs and getting raped night after night as Bess, so obviously she had the dramatic card too.
2014: I think she was the favorite to win ever since they announced Lady Day which was pretty late in the season, considering Cherry Jones was the favorite up to that point. It never was Jones vs Audra, it was always simply Audra. Again, she was singing 15+ songs in the show making her the most memorable performance of the lot.
June 13, 2014 at 10:38 am #433558
Thanks for clearing up the Audra stuff! I figured her wins for Ragtime and Master Class weren’t expected, but given people’s love for her, it’s hard to tell. No doubt she was locked last year, I don’t even remember any expectation of an upset, it seemed so pre-determined.
What about Ragtime losing to The Lion King? Some people talk about that as an upset, but given Lion King’s huge commercial success and obviously more crowdfriendly appeal, its hard for me to believe that, but I could be wrong.