August 9, 2019 at 12:51 pm #1203017715
This question has been bugging me for some time now, so if there’s anybody who had been around in the 1990s, please respond. How much of a favourite was Julie Andrews back in 1996? Was Donna Murphy’s win a shocker, was she the obvious alternative? How much of a factor was Daphne Rubin-Vega? Would Julie have been a lock without her Egregiously Overlooked speech?August 9, 2019 at 1:01 pm #1203017732
According to Donna Murphy in “Nothing Like a Dame” she thought for certain that Julie Andrews would win and almost everybody else did too. Still it would have been odd for Julie to have won being the sole nominee for her show, so who knows? There may have been a voters backlash to the lack of other nominations for Victor/Victoria and Julie might have prevailed. (William Daniels didn’t win after he refused his Featured Actor nomination for 1776 because he felt he belonged in lead).August 9, 2019 at 1:05 pm #1203017741
I may have only been two years old at the time (yes, do the math, I’m now 25), but here’s my perception of the race that year. In 1996, Julie Andrews won both the Outer Critics Circle and Drama Desk Awards for Victor/Victoria. Though at the Tonys, she was the only recognition that show received. We’ve seen how hard it can be for sole nominees to win. They rarely overcome that stat. It also did not help that Julie declined the nomination because of how much she felt everything else from her show was overlooked. Daphne Rubin-Vega in Rent does seem like an alternative given that she was playing a drug addict in the eventual Best Musical winner. As for Donna Murphy, she had just won Lead Actress in a Musical two years prior for Passion, yet her performance as Anna Leonowens in the 1996 revival of The King & I was very well regarded. Not to mention that she became the second of three actresses to have won Tonys for that part, the other two being Gertrude Lawrence in 1952 and Kelli O’Hara in 2015.August 10, 2019 at 6:34 am #1203018403
If Victor/Victoria had gotten more nominations, Julie Andrews would have probably won. But the lack of nominations combined with her refusal to accept her nomination probably, in the end, pushed Daphne Rubin-Vega into second place and Andrews in third.August 10, 2019 at 9:29 am #1203018560
I don’t know if the New York Times did their annual Tony voter survey back then, but if they did, it would be really nice to read it.August 10, 2019 at 5:03 pm #1203018903
Julie also skipped all Tony events, encouraging voters to look elsewhere.August 10, 2019 at 5:32 pm #1203018935
She declined her nomination:August 11, 2019 at 1:08 pm #1203019653
Though if Julie Andrews had not decline her nomination for Victor/Victoria, would she have won the Tony? I myself am not sure about that. On the one hand, she was already considered a legend that had never won a Tony despite having been nominated twice before for her iconic performances in My Fair Lady and Camelot. Though she was the only nomination Victor/Victoria received. Meanwhile, Tony voters pretty much went for the performance from a production they clearly liked more, which was Donna Murphy in The King & I.
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