Marianne Elliott prevailed in a tough Tony race — Best Director of a Musical — winning for her gender-swapped update to Stephen Sondheim’s “Company.” This victory means far more than just another trophy on her shelf: with this win, Elliott is now the winningest female director in Tony Awards history.
“Company” marks Elliott’s third win for helming. She previously prevailed twice in the Best Director of a Play category for helming “War Horse” (2011), which she shared with co-director Tom Morris, and “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (2015). She is the only woman to win Best Director of a Play more than once. The five other women who have won that category are: Garry Hynes (“The Beauty Queen of Leenane”), Mary Zimmerman (“Metamorphosis”), Anna D. Shapiro (“August: Osage County”), Pam McKinnon (“Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?”), and Rebecca Taichman (“Indecent”).
This year is the first time that Elliott won for directing a musical (and the first time she has tackled a tuner on Broadway). The Best Director of a Musical category has slightly worse representation when it comes to female winners. Only four women have prevailed here before Elliott’s “Company” victory: Julie Taymor (“The Lion King”), Susan Stroman (“The Producers”), Diane Paulus (“Pippin”), and Rachel Chavkin (“Hadestown”). No woman has won this category more than once.
In addition to her three directing wins, Elliott also won a Tony as a producer when the 2018 production of “Angels in America” won Best Revival of a Play. So her full title is “Four-Time Tony Award winner” for those that are keeping track (and we are).
The acclaimed director may not have to wait long to add another potential win to her resume. She is already set to produce the incoming revival of Arthur Miller’s “Death of a Salesman” this fall. That West End transfer is set to star Sharon D Clarke (“Caroline, or Change”), Wendell Pierce (“Clybourne Park”), and Andre de Shields (“Hadestown”). All those folks in one room sounds like a recipe for Tony Awards success to me.
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