December 30, 2018 at 12:40 pm #1202714205
Julie Andrews might have won for My Fair Lady, because in the 1955-56 Broadway Yearbook it shows she wouldn’t have been competing with Judy Holliday for Bells Are Ringing; Gwen Verdon’s Damn Yankees was in the 1954-55 season, but it premiered on May 5, 1955, so if we had the same eligibility period we had now she would have competed with Julie Andrews. (I think it’s a shame that Dame Julie never won for any of her 3 Tony nominations – her show was ‘egregiously overlooked’ in 1996, where she may have won instead of Donna Murphy for The King And I, but she also lost to Elizabeth Seal for Irma la Douce in 1961).
Ethel Merman would have likely defeated Gwen Verdon (Redhead) in the 1958-59 season, when Gypsy actually premiered, instead of having to face Mary Martin’s nun turned nanny in The Sound of Music. And Gypsy would have likely defeated Redhead for Best Musical.
I think Barbara Cook would have been nominated for She Loves Me in 1962-63, when She Loves Me premiered. (Vivien Leigh (Tovarich) defeated Georgia Brown (Oliver!), Nanette Fabray (Mr. President) and Sally Ann Howes (Brigadoon) – surely Barbara Cook would have replaced one of those last two). In 1963-64 Carol Channing, Beatrice Lillie, Barbra Stresand and Inga Swenson prevented her from getting a nomination.
I am sure there are other ones too. I’m not sure when they changed the dates – sometime in the 1970’s? Follies was actually part of the 1970-71 season, and Company was part of the 1969-70 season! I suspect another reason, besides the subject matter, that Follies lost the Tony was the early premiere date.December 30, 2018 at 1:25 pm #1202714225
I’m not sure Merman ever would have won for Gypsy. From accounts I’ve read of the time, she was very hit or miss in the role. Either totally on or phoning it in.
Another fun game is what if the Tonys followed the calendar year like the Oscars? Hello, Dolly! would have competed against Fiddler on the Roof. La Cage Aux Folles would not have competed against Sunday in the Park with George and Sweeney Todd would likely have beaten Evita. And more recently, Fun Home would likely have gotten swallowed up in the Hamilton thresher.December 30, 2018 at 6:16 pm #1202714408
Here are some ideas I have of what past races would’ve looked like if the Tony Awards took place in a calendar year.
42nd Street and Dreamgirls both would’ve gone head-to-head for Best Musical.
While Into the Woods would’ve been lucky to have not been up against The Phantom of the Opera, it still likely could’ve been overshadowed by Les Misérables.
Ragtime probably would’ve won Best Musical since it would not have been up against The Lion King. Though the original production still had its share of detractors.
The Full Monty would’ve had a better chance of winning Best Musical since it would not have been up against The Producers.
Speaking of The Producers, Urinetown would’ve been the show that had the unfortunate timing instead of The Full Monty.
This would’ve been one competitive race for Best Musical with The Drowsy Chaperone, Grey Gardens, and Spring Awakening all in contention.
Billy Elliot likely would’ve beaten In the Heights for Best Musical.
Next to Normal probably could’ve won Best Musical a little more easily, though it still had its share of detractors.
Kelli O’Hara likely wouldn’t have finally won a Tony for The King & I given that she would’ve been up against Cynthia Erivo in The Color Purple.
The Band’s Visit and Come From Away both would’ve gone head-to-head for Best Musical. Meanwhile, Once on This Island likely would’ve been toppled by Hello, Dolly! for Best Musical Revival. Andy Karl also probably could’ve won Best Lead Actor in a Musical for Groundhog Day since Ben Platt would not have been in contention for Dear Evan Hansen.
The race for Best Revival of a Musical definitely would’ve been between Carousel and My Fair Lady with the latter easily coming out on top. Lauren Ambrose also probably could’ve won Best Lead Actress in a Musical with Katrina Lenk out of the way.
That’s all I can pretty much think of right now.
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