Tony Awards history backs Best Musical bid by ‘Once’

Since the Tony Awards began announcing the nominees as well as the winners at the 10th ceremony in 1956, there have been fifteen years where Best Musical did not go to the show with the most nominations.  

This year, “Once” leads with 11 nominations. “Newsies,” it’s closest rival for the top Tony, has eight bids. Outpacing that show is “Nice Work If You Can Get It” which has 10 nominations. The fourth Best Musical contender, “Leap of Faith” had to settle for just that solo nod.

What Will Win Best Musical?

Forecast top races. Compete against Experts!

Below, the list of the tuners that bucked the trend and won Best Musical despite not having the most nominations as well as the shows they bested.

16th (1962): “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying” (8 noms) wins over “No Strings” (9)

17th (1963): “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum” (8 noms) wins over “Oliver!” (10)

20th (1966): “Man of La Mancha” (7 noms) wins over “Mame” (8)

22nd (1968): “Hallelujah, Baby!” (9 noms) wins over “The Happy Time” (10)

23rd (1969): “1776” (5 noms) wins over both “Promises, Promises” and “Zorba the Greek” (8 each)

26th (1972): “Two Gentleman of Verona” (9 noms) wins over “Follies” (11)

32nd (1978): “Ain’t Misbehavin'” (6 noms) wins over “On the 20th Century” (9)

36th (1982): “Nine” (12 noms) wins over “Dreamgirls” (13)

38th (1984): “La Cage Aux Folles” (9 noms) wins over “Sunday in the Park with George” (10)

41st (1987): “Les Miserables” (12 noms) wins over “Me and My Girl” (13)

44th (1990): “City of Angels” (11 noms) wins over “Grand Hotel” (12)

46th (1992): “Crazy for You” (9 noms) wins over “Jelly’s Last Jam” (11)

51st (1997): “Titanic” (6 noms) wins over “The Life” (12) and “Steel Pier” (11)

53rd (1999): “Fosse” (8 noms) wins over “Parade” (9)

58th (2004): “Avenue Q” (6 noms) wins over “Wicked” (10)

More News from GoldDerby