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What was Tony Awards' best Best Musical winner of the 2000s?

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What was Tony Awards' best Best Musical winner of the 2000s?
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The Producers
Thoroughly Modern Millie
Hairspray
Avenue Q
Monty Python's Spamalot
Jersey Boys
Spring Awakening
In the Heights
Billy Elliot the Musical
  • David Buchanan
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    #1201978029

    Taking a cue from Tom’s post in the Oscar forum, what does everybody think is the best Best Musical winner from 2000 through 2009? Vote in the poll and then comment with your thoughts and your runners-up!

    Formerly known in the forums as PianoMann.

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    Jeffrey Kare
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    #1201978140

    My favorite would have to be Billy Elliot.

    • This reply was modified 10 months, 3 weeks ago by  Jeffrey Kare.
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    Joe Burns
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    #1201978143

    Avenue Q/Hairspray.

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    Philip
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    #1201978148

    In the Heights.

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    adamunc
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    #1201978773

    Hairspray

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    David Buchanan
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    #1201978781

    Personally, I think this is an extremely underwhelming group of musicals. There’s a lot of entertaining shows here (Hairspray, Avenue Q, Millie) and some of the biggest shows in recent Broadway history (Producers, Jersey Boys), but very little of actual substance. For that reason, I voted for Billy Elliot for its great book and score, performances, and near-perfect balance of theatrical heft and fun.

    Imagine how much better this group would be if some of the nominees ended up winning! The best losers include LaChiusa’s version of The Wild PartyUrinetownCaroline, or ChangeThe Light in the PiazzaDirty Rotten ScoundrelsThe Drowsy ChaperoneGrey Gardens, and Next to Normal.

    Formerly known in the forums as PianoMann.

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    Jeffrey Kare
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    #1201978800

    It’s interesting conversation about the critical darling vs. the commercial hit at the Tonys. Back in the 2000’s, the commercial hits would usually win (Thoroughly Modern Millie winning over Urinetown; Monty Python’s Spamalot winning over The Light in the Piazza; Jersey Boys winning over The Drowsy Chaperone; In the Heights winning over Passing Strange).

    But nowadays, the critical darlings have been the big winners (Once winning over Newsies; A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder winning over Aladdin and Beautiful; Fun Home winning over An American in Paris).

    Though the early 2000’s, the world was still grieving over 9/11, so it must’ve been understandable for Tony voters wanting to support the more feel-good shows like Thoroughly Modern Millie, Hairspray, Avenue Q, and Spamalot.

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    Jeffrey Kare
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    #1201978829

    Imagine how much better this group would be if some of the nominees ended up winning! The best losers include LaChiusa’s version of The Wild Party, Urinetown, Caroline, or Change, The Light in the Piazza, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, The Drowsy Chaperone, Grey Gardens, and Next to Normal.

    Though I do wonder how The Color Purple would’ve done at the 2006 Tony Awards had the current Broadway revival been the original production.

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    Andrew Carden
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    #1201978874

    The Producers, with the Original Broadway Cast, was a truly epic sight to behold.

    For the finest in film reviews and awards analysis, please visit me at The Awards Connection!

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    David Buchanan
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    #1201978884

    The Producers, with the Original Broadway Cast, was a truly epic sight to behold.

    I agree (based on the OBCR and what I heard about the production, because I didn’t have the opportunity to see it), but with the exception of a few great songs it’s an average score that really required the likes of Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick to elevate the material. I don’t think the book and score hold up nearly as well as recent, better written musicals.

    Formerly known in the forums as PianoMann.

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    SamEckmann
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    I cant believe “Billy Elliot” is ahead! (Sorry Elton, I love you. But “Next to Normal” is one of the most exquisitely crafted musicals in the entire canon).

    This is a tough one though. “The Producers” is certainly the biggest and splashiest, Brooks at his best. “Avenue Q” has, for my money, the best book and lyrics. Even Mel Brooks doesnt make me laugh as much as those demented, foul mouthed puppets. The way Miranda mixed Cuban beats, hip hop, and musical theater in “In the Heights” was so seamless. It had so much heart and not a weak moment to be found. Afterwards I remember thinking “this is what ALL new musicals should strive to be. He just set the bar.”

    But…I actually think “Spring Awakening” was the most original of the bunch. The rock score erupting in bouts of fantasy with modern microphones, the ingenious direction, the appeal to a demographic of young theater goers who are so rarely directly spoken to by musicals. I was the right age when I saw it. It totally won me over and its originality leaves the most impact in my mind. And the flawless, haunting revival shows just how malleable and resonant the material is.

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    pacinofan
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    #1201978957

    “Spring Awakening” is a pretty easy choice for me out of this line-up.

    It is the only one of this line-up I saw on Broadway but I saw “Producers” and “Spamalot” in Las Vegas and the rest on tour.

    The only one I actively disliked was “In the Heights” which I found very caricatured but I liked “Billy Elliot” less than expected. I thought it was decent but after all I had read that still seemed like a disappointment to me.

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    David Buchanan
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    #1201978959

    I cant believe “Billy Elliot” is ahead! (Sorry Elton, I love you. But “Next to Normal” is one of the most exquisitely crafted musicals in the entire canon).

    The Billy Elliot versus Next to Normal battle is one of my all time favorites at the Tonys, in part because I love both shows. Ultimately, I think Tony voters awarded each show in the correct categories.

    Next to Normal deserved Best Score over Billy Elliot not only because of its own merits, but also because it stands alone so well. I think one could easily listen to the OBCR without seeing the show and enjoy it, whereas it’s so difficult for me to listen to the Billy Elliot cast recording because the score and the staging were so perfectly integrated (on songs like “Solidarity,” for example) that I think it loses a lot without hearing the songs in context. I do think it’s a much more mature score than Elton’s Aida, though, so I almost wish he had the accolade for his better achievement.

    For the sum of its parts, though, I think Billy Elliot deserved Best Musical.

    Formerly known in the forums as PianoMann.

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    Jeffrey Kare
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    #1201978978

    I agree, David. Billy Elliot is actually one of my all time favorite musicals.

    In response to the whole Billy Elliot vs. Next to Normal Tony race, I actually re-visited both shows from having seen regional productions of them at North Carolina Theatre. While I definitely think Next to Normal is a great musical that very much deserved the Tony for Best Original Score, it to me did not have the emotional impact Billy Elliot did.

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    SamEckmann
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    #1201978981

    I have long held a V. important and V. angry (read: v. irrational) grudge against “Billy Elliot” for the sole reason it beat “Next to Normal”. John Benutty has “Carol,” I have “Next to Normal. ”   I mean, there’s nothing wrong with Billy Elliot and its an incredibly well crafted musical. But I liked N2N so much I would have given it Best Revival of a Play just to up its Tony Award count.

    One day I will stage a one man version of Next to Normal. It stars me, playing myself, playing Alice Ripley, playing Diana. This dynamite performance is currently seen on a regular basis in my bedroom. Tickets cost 1 bottle of wine (which I will drink in order to perform at peak level). I hear its already the frontrunner for the Unique Theatrical Experience award at the Drama Desks.

    ALSO: (ready for me to unleash theater nerd chaos?) “Billy Elliott” is more mature, but Aida is more fun. And given a choice I would much rather listen to Aida’s score and hear Heather Headley and Sherie Renee belt their faces off. And its style allows Elton to rock out more, which is the version of Elton I like best.

    (also also: somewhere on the internets exists footage of high school me doing my best disney villain as Zoser. Also also: somewhere on the internets exists me singing ‘A Step too Far’ in a wig with strangers on fire island. Aida for the win)

     

    ….Im bored at work.

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