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And the Tony Almost Went to…

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    Jeffrey Kare
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    #1204339641

    Today, we’ll be taking a look back at what appeared to have been quite a stellar Best Lead Actress in a Musical lineup from the 2000 Tony Awards as well as a deep dive into all 5 nominees that year.

    Tonys Flashback: Best Lead Actress in a Musical (2000)

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    Nate
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    #1204339692

    Thanks for continuing this series, JK. I thought and still think that Headley deserved the win, but Luker and Mazzie were so phenomenal bringing freshness to decades-old projects and I still can’t believe that they are both gone now. And none of these three even performed at the Tonys that year!

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    Jeffrey Kare
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    I can understand why neither of them performed on the Tonys that year. With Heather Headley, Aida wasn’t nominated for Best Musical, and this was back when shows not nominated for that nor Best Revival couldn’t be allowed to perform on the telecast. Of course, things have been different there since the producers of the Tony Awards decided to invite other currently-running new musical productions to perform every year since 2008. That year in particular, shows like The Little Mermaid and Young Frankenstein had greater name recognition to the masses than the four nominees for Best Musical (Cry Baby, In the Heights, Passing Strange, and Xanadu).

    With Rebecca Luker, whenever one is selling a production of The Music Man, the one performer you always have to highlight first is the actor playing Harold Hill. He is not only the central lead of that musical, but also one of the great male leading roles in musical theatre. Craig Bierko was also a breakout star of the 1999-2000 Broadway season. Not to mention that he had a narrative of how he was previously this “minor TV star” who not only ended up taking on a very coveted role in a big Broadway revival of a beloved classic after a ton of big name actors at time turned it down, but a role that was made famous by Robert Preston in both the 1957 original Broadway production and its 1962 film adaptation. So for the 2000 Broadway revival of The Music Man, of course they were going to perform a big production number on the Tony Awards, which in this case was ‘Seventy-Six Trombones’. Although Rebecca Luker actually did participate in that performance, but she was more of a mute.

    With Marin Mazzie, I guess it was a similar scenario where the producers of the 1999 revival of Kiss Me, Kate wanted to do a big production number on the Tonys. The biggest number they had was ‘Too Darn Hot’, which is just what the last revival did in 2019.

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    Nate
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    #1204339743

    That’s right, I forgot Luker popped up at the end of Seventy-Six Trombones, but it’s nothing like hearing her beautiful voice at the 1991 and 1998 awards (and she wasn’t even Tony-nominated at either!).

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    Jeffrey Kare
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    #1204339791

    The same thing can almost be said about Marin Mazzie. When Ragtime performed on the 1998 Tony Awards, she only had one brief solo during it. Although she at least had more to do during the Passion performance in 1994.

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    Jeffrey Kare
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    #1204363276

    Though something I am planning to do at some point is a bonus series where I talk about the musical that might’ve finished in third place, but people argue could’ve been the runner-up. There, I’d be taking a deep dive into shows like The Prom, The Great Comet, Something Rotten!, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, and The Secret Garden.

    Now, that new series has launched. For the 2019 edition of ‘And the Tony Almost Went to…’, I settled on Tootsie as the runner-up to Hadestown. Though today, we’re going to look into whether or not it could’ve actually been The Prom.

    How Close Were They?: THE PROM

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    Jeffrey Kare
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    #1204749881

    Today, we’ll be taking a look back at what ended up being a very competitive Best Lead Actor in a Musical race from the 2012 Tony Awards as well as a deep dive into all 5 nominees that year.

    Tonys Flashback: Best Lead Actor in a Musical (2012)

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