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Who Were the Runners-Up for Both Lead Acting in a Musical Categories?

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  • Jeffrey Kare
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    Inspired by what was going on in the movies forums for different categories at the Oscars, I thought it would be fun to do the same thing for different categories at the Tony Awards. Who do you think were the runners-up for both Lead Acting in a Musical categories in any previous year? Here are my best educated guesses going as far back as the beginning of the millennium.

    Lead Actor in a Musical
    2018: Ethan Slater-SpongeBob SquarePants
    2017: Andy Karl-Groundhog Day
    2016: Danny Burstein-Fiddler on the Roof
    2015: Robert Fairchild-An American in Paris
    2014: Jefferson Mays-A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder
    2013: Bertie Carvel-Matilda
    2012: Danny Burstein-Follies
    2011: Josh Gad-The Book of Mormon
    2010: Sahr Ngaujah-Fela!
    2009: Brian d’Arcy James-Shrek
    2008: Lin-Manuel Miranda-In the Heights
    2007: Raúl Esparza-Company
    2006: Michael Cerveris-Sweeney Todd
    2005: Tim Curry-Monty Python’s Spamalot
    2004: John Tartaglia-Avenue Q
    2003: Antonio Banderas-Nine
    2002: John Cullum-Urinetown
    2001: Patrick Wilson-The Full Monty
    2000: Craig Bierko-The Music Man

    Lead Actress in a Musical
    2018: Lauren Ambrose-My Fair Lady
    2017: Eva Noblezada-Miss Saigon
    2016: Carmen Cusack-Bright Star
    2015: Kristin Chenoweth-On the Twentieth Century
    2014: Kelli O’Hara-The Bridges of Madison County
    2013: Laura Osnes-Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella
    2012: Cristin Milioti-Once
    2011: Patina Miller-Sister Act
    2010: Montego Glover-Memphis
    2009: Josefina Scaglione-West Side Story
    2008: Kelli O’Hara-South Pacific
    2007: Audra McDonald-110 in the Shade
    2006: Patti LuPone-Sweeney Todd
    2005: Christina Applegate-Sweet Charity
    2004: Tonya Pinkins-Caroline, or Change
    2003: Bernadette Peters-Gypsy
    2002: Vanessa Williams-Into the Woods
    2001: Marla Schaffel-Jayne Eyre
    2000: Marin Mazzie-Kiss Me, Kate

    Who do you think were the runners-up? You can go as far back as you want.

    • This topic was modified 3 months, 1 week ago by  Jeffrey Kare.
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    Awardsfan1990
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    Like I did with the Oscar runner-ups, I’m going to try and guess from as far back as the year I was born:

    Best Actor In A Musical:
    1990—David Carroll
    1991—Keith Carradine
    1992—Nathan Lane
    1993—Tim Curry
    1994—Jere Shea
    1995—John McMartin
    1996—Adam Pascal
    1997—Robert Cuccioli
    1998—Brian Stokes Mitchell
    1999—Brent Carver
    2000—Craig Bierko
    2001—Matthew Broderick
    2002—Gavin Creel
    2003—Antonio Banderas
    2004—John Tartaglia
    2005—Tim Curry
    2006—Michael Cerveris
    2007—Raul Esparza
    2008—Lin-Manuel Miranda
    2009—J. Robert Spencer
    2010—Sahr Ngaujah
    2011—Andrew Rannells
    2012—Danny Burstein
    2013—Bertie Carvel
    2014—Jefferson Mays
    2015—Brian d’Arcy James
    2016—Danny Burstein
    2017—Andy Karl
    2018—Ethan Slater

    Best Actress In A Musical:
    1990—Liliane Montevecchi
    1991—Dee Hoty
    1992—Josie de Guzman
    1993—Bernadette Peters
    1994—Judy Kuhn
    1995—Rebecca Luker
    1996—Daphne Rubin-Vega
    1997—Karen Ziemba
    1998—Marin Mazzie
    1999—Carolee Carmello
    2000—Marin Mazzie
    2001—Blythe Danner
    2002—Vanessa Williams
    2003—Bernadette Peters
    2004—Kristin Chenoweth
    2005—Sherie Renee Scott
    2006—Patti LuPone
    2007—Audra McDonald
    2008—Kelli O’Hara
    2009—Josefina Scaglione
    2010—Montego Glover
    2011—Patina Miller
    2012—Cristin Milioti
    2013—Laura Osnes
    2014—Kelli O’Hara
    2015—Kristin Chenoweth
    2016—Laura Benanti
    2017—Patti LuPone
    2018—Lauren Ambrose

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    Jeffrey Kare
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    Here’s my thinking behind some of my guesses:

    In 2001, Marla Schaffel won the Drama Desk for Jayne Eyre as well as the Outer Critics Circle Award in a tie with the eventual Tony winner, Christine Ebersole for 42nd Street. Meanwhile, Patrick Wilson was probably the frontrunner for Lead Actor in a Musical early on in the season for The Full Monty, all until Nathan Lane & Matthew Broderick both came along with The Producers. I also think that had Lane and Broderick cancelled each other out (which they obviously didn’t), Wilson probably could’ve been the alternative.

    In 2002, Michael Riedel reported that John Cullum (Urinetown) and John Lithgow (Sweet Smell of Success) were both battling it out for Lead Actor in a Musical.

    In 2004, Tonya Pinkins was the presumed frontrunner for Lead Actress in a Musical for Caroline, or Change. While Donna Murphy did win both the Outer Critics Circle and Drama Desk Awards that year for Wonderful Town, she still suffered from all the reports about how she missed a ton of performances during the run. In the end, Idina Menzel’s win for Wicked was considered an upset.

    In 2009, Brian d’Arcy James had actually won both the Outer Critics Circle and Drama Desk Awards for Shrek in absence of the three boys playing Billy Elliot. Of the other nominees that year, James probably gave the bigger, more transformative performance.

    In 2011, Norbert Leo Butz was able to repeat his win at the Drama Desk for Catch Me If You Can at the Tonys. Though at the Outer Critics Circle Awards, Josh Gad was able to win for The Book of Mormon (albeit, his co-star, Andrew Rannells, wasn’t even nominated there).

    In 2015, Robert Fairchild had won both the Outer Critics Circle and Drama Desk Awards for An American in Paris in absence of Michael Cerveris for Fun Home. Fairchild did have the narrative of coming from the ballet world to star in a big Broadway musical. That does seem to fit into the mold of races we’ve seen in the past with the veteran vs. the newcomer.

    In 2016, that year is a tough one to figure out who might’ve won Lead Actress in a Musical had it not been for Cynthia Erivo’s performance in The Color Purple. Laura Benanti was well-cast in She Loves Me, but her role didn’t seem to have the gravitas of what the other nominees had. Jessie Mueller had already won two years prior for Beautiful, so I don’t think Tony voters wanted to give her another one so soon for Waitress. While it definitely could’ve been possible for Phillipa Soo to get caught up in the enormous sweep for Hamilton, her character was really more of a featured role compared to the other nominees. The reason I settled on Carmen Cusack is because she probably had the best narrative out of all the competition that year. After having performed in London’s West End for over a decade, she came back to the United States in 2006 to star in the national touring productions of Wicked and South Pacific. However, it wasn’t until 2016 when she made her long-awaited Broadway debut in Bright Star. In fact, I think aside from Cynthia Erivo, Cusack probably gave the most celebrated Broadway debut of the season.

    • This reply was modified 3 months, 1 week ago by  Jeffrey Kare.
    • This reply was modified 3 months, 1 week ago by  Jeffrey Kare.
    • This reply was modified 3 months, 1 week ago by  Jeffrey Kare.
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    Joe Burns
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    Some of these are just guesses lol but here we go!

    2000: Marin Mazzie
    2001: Maria Schaffel
    2002: Vanessa Williams
    2003: Bernadette Peters
    2004: Tonya Pinkins
    2005: No clue
    2006: Patti Lupone
    2007: Audra McDonald
    2008: Keli O’Hara
    2009: Allison Janney
    2010: Montega Glover
    2011: Patina Miller
    2012: Jan Maxwell
    2013: Laura Osnes
    2014: Kelli O’Hara
    2015: Kristin Chenoweth
    2016: Jesse Mueller
    2017: Denee Benton
    2018: Laura Ambrose

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    Joe Burns
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    Inspired by what was going on in the movies forums for different categories at the Oscars, I thought it would be fun to do the same thing for different categories at the Tony Awards. Who do you think were the runners-up for both Lead Acting in a Musical categories in any previous years? Here are my best educated guesses going as far back as the beginning of the millennium.

    Lead Actor in a Musical
    2018: Ethan Slater-SpongeBob SquarePants
    2017: Andy Karl-Groundhog Day
    2016: Danny Burstein-Fiddler on the Roof
    2015: Robert Fairchild-An American in Paris
    2014: Jefferson Mays-A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder
    2013: Bertie Carvel-Matilda
    2012: Danny Burstein-Follies
    2011: Josh Gad-The Book of Mormon
    2010: Sahr Ngaujah-Fela!
    2009: Brian d’Arcy James-Shrek
    2008: Lin-Manuel Miranda-In the Heights
    2007: Raúl Esparza-Company
    2006: Michael Cerveris-Sweeney Todd
    2005: Tim Curry-Monty Python’s Spamalot
    2004: John Tartaglia-Avenue Q
    2003: Antonio Banderas-Nine
    2002: John Cullum-Urinetown
    2001: Patrick Wilson-The Full Monty
    2000: Craig Bierko-The Music Man

    Lead Actress in a Musical
    2018: Lauren Ambrose-My Fair Lady
    2017: Eva Noblezada-Miss Saigon
    2016: Carmen Cusack-Bright Star
    2015: Kristin Chenoweth-On the Twentieth Century
    2014: Kelli O’Hara-The Bridges of Madison County
    2013: Laura Osnes-Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella
    2012: Cristin Milioti-Once
    2011: Patina Miller-Sister Act
    2010: Montego Glover-Memphis
    2009: Josefina Scaglione-West Side Story
    2008: Kelli O’Hara-South Pacific
    2007: Audra McDonald-110 in the Shade
    2006: Patti LuPone-Sweeney Todd
    2005: Christina Applegate-Sweet Charity
    2004: Tonya Pinkins-Caroline, or Change
    2003: Bernadette Peters-Gypsy
    2002: Vanessa Williams-Into the Woods
    2001: Marla Schaffel-Jayne Eyre
    2000: Marin Mazzie-Kiss Me, Kate

    Who do you think were the runners-up? You can go as far back as you want.

    Thoughts on 2017 and 2014?

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    Jeffrey Kare
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    ^I’ve previously mentioned this elsewhere that had Bette Midler not opened Hello, Dolly! two years ago, we definitely would’ve had a more interesting race for Lead Actress in a Musical. On paper, it looked like Christine Ebersole and Patti LuPone both would’ve gone head to head for War Paint. Though they’d probably still be at risk of vote-splitting (especially for a show that didn’t really ignite any passion from the industry). Maybe Eva Noblezada would’ve been more of a dark horse alternative given the marathon role of Kim in Miss Saigon coupled with her narrative to how she got cast. While that production also didn’t have a lot of support from the industry, it was at least nominated for Best Revival while War Paint wasn’t even nominated for Best Musical.

    In any case, I’m glad that Bette Midler dominated the season just because we all probably would’ve been really stressed out over the race that year if there wasn’t such a juggernaut of a contender like her.

    • This reply was modified 3 months, 1 week ago by  Jeffrey Kare.
    • This reply was modified 3 months, 1 week ago by  Jeffrey Kare.
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    Juanald02
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    My guesses would have to be

    Lead Actor in a Musical
    2018: Joshua Henry, Carousel
    2017: Andy Karl, Groundhog Day
    2016: Danny Burstein, Fiddler on the Roof
    2015: Robert Fairchild, An American in Paris
    2014: Bryce Pinkham, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder
    2013: Bertie Carvel, Matilda
    2012: Danny Burstein, Follies
    2011: Josh Gad, The Book of Mormon
    2010: Sahr Ngaujah, Fela!
    2009: Brian d’Arcy James, Shrek
    2008: Lin-Manuel Miranda, In the Heights
    2007: Raúl Esparza, Company
    2006: Michael Cerveris, Sweeney Todd
    2005: Tim Curry, Monty Python’s Spamalot
    2004: Alfred Molina, Fiddler On The Roof
    2003: Antonio Banderas, Nine
    2002: Patrick Wilson, Oklahoma!
    2001: Matthew Broderick, The Producers
    2000: Craig Bierko, The Music Man

    Lead Actress in a Musical
    2018: Lauren Ambrose, My Fair Lady
    2017: Denee Benton, Natasha, Pierre And The Great Comet Of 1812
    2016: Laura Benanti, She Loves Me
    2015: Kristin Chenoweth, On the Twentieth Century
    2014: Kelli O’Hara, The Bridges of Madison County
    2013: Laura Osnes, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella
    2012: Jan Maxwell, Follies
    2011: Patina Miller, Sister Act
    2010: Montego Glover, Memphis
    2009: Allison Janney, 9 To 5
    2008: Kelli O’Hara, South Pacific
    2007: Audra McDonald, 110 in the Shade
    2006: Patti LuPone, Sweeney Todd
    2005: Sherie Rene Scott, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
    2004: Donna Murphy, Wonderful Town
    2003: Bernadette Peters, Gypsy
    2002: Vanessa Williams, Into the Woods
    2001: Marla Schaffel, Jayne Eyre
    2000: Marin Mazzie, Kiss Me, Kate

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    adamunc
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    In the 2017 Times poll, Midler had three times as many votes as second-place LuPone. Ebersole had a smattering of votes, and the other two nominees weren’t mentioned.

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    Jeffrey Kare
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    Like I did with the Oscar runner-ups, I’m going to try and guess from as far back as the year I was born:

    Best Actor In A Musical:
    1993—Tim Curry
    1994—Jere Shea

    Best Actress In A Musical:
    1992—Josie de Guzman
    1994—Judy Kuhn
    1996—Daphne Rubin-Vega

    In 1992, I think that had Josie de Guzman and Faith Prince split their support for Guys & Dolls (which obviously didn’t happen), Jodi Benson might’ve been the alternative. With Crazy for You winning Best Musical that year, it would’ve made sense for it to take an acting prize.

    In 1993, Martin Short had actually won the Outer Critics Circle Award for The Goodbye Girl (albeit, the eventual winner, Brent Carver, wasn’t even nominated there). Meanwhile, Tim Curry was nominated for My Favorite Year, a show that had already been long gone by the time the Tonys took place that year, and also wasn’t even nominated for Best Musical. Though those hurdles obviously didn’t stop Andrea Martin from winning Featured Actress in a Musical.

    1994 is definitely an interesting year to guess who the runners-up were. For Lead Actress in a Musical, Judy Kuhn had already left She Loves Me when the production ended its run at the now-closed Criterion Center Stage Right on August 1st, 1993. She couldn’t continue with it because of her commitments to the American premiere of Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles. So when She Loves Me resumed performances at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre on October 7th, 1993, Diane Fratantoni took over for Kuhn as Amalia Balash. My guess for the runner-up is Susan Egan for Beauty & the Beast given that voters were able to see her performance during Tony season that year. Dee Hoty was the only nominee who had no chance of winning. Her show, The Best Little Whorehouse Goes Public, was a huge flop. Not to mention that she was also the only nomination it received. Back when the acting categories only had four slots for nominations, it probably would’ve made more sense to give the fourth slot that year to Sally Murphy for Carousel. At least the other three nominees went on to become Disney royalty. Not only was Susan Egan nominated for playing Belle in Beauty & the Beast, but she would three years later provide the voice for Meg in Hercules; Judy Kuhn would one year later provide the singing voice for the titular role in Pocahontas; and Donna Murphy would later provide the voice for Mother Gothel in 2010’s Tangled.

    As for Lead Actor in a Musical, that’s a tough one. Victor Garber was a respected veteran taking on the role of Applegate in Damn Yankees, Terrence Mann was giving a transformative performance in Beauty & the Beast, and Jere Shea was in the eventual Best Musical winner, Passion.

    In 1996, Julie Andrews did win both the Outer Critics Circle and Drama Desk Awards for Victor/Victoria. Though at the Tonys, she was the only recognition that show received. It also did not help that she declined the nomination because of that. Daphne Rubin-Vega definitely seems to make sense given that she was playing a drug addict in the eventual Best Musical winner, Rent.

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    Joe Burns
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    ^I’ve previously mentioned this elsewhere that had Bette Midler not opened Hello, Dolly! two years ago, we definitely would’ve had a more interesting race for Lead Actress in a Musical. On paper, it looked like Christine Ebersole and Patti LuPone both would’ve gone head to head for War Paint. Though they’d probably still be at risk of vote-splitting (especially for a show that didn’t really ignite any passion from the industry). Maybe Eva Noblezada would’ve been more of a dark horse alternative given the marathon role of Kim in Miss Saigon coupled with her narrative to how she got cast. While that production also didn’t have a lot of support from the industry, it was at least nominated for Best Revival while War Paint wasn’t even nominated for Best Musical.

    In any case, I’m glad that Bette Midler dominated the season just because we all probably would’ve been really stressed out over the race that year if there wasn’t such a juggernaut of a contender like her.

    And 2014?

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    Awardsfan1990
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    In 2014, there was a lot of people calling for Kelli O’Hara to win because, that being her 5th nomination at the time, many felt she was overdue for a win because she was an industry veteran at that point. However, while The Bridges Of Madison County did receive a lot of acclaim for O’Hara’s performance and Jason Robert Brown’s score (the latter of which won a Tony), critics had more mixed reactions to the story’s overall narrative, whereas Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, while still following a strict jukebox musical formula, was overall at least well-received by critics, particularly with Jessie Mueller’s performance.

    The King And I’s universal acclaim and bigger box office success the next year no doubt helped propel O’Hara to her Tony win there.

    • This reply was modified 3 months, 1 week ago by  Alex Meyer.
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    Jeffrey Kare
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    ^Not to mention that Beautiful managed to make the cut for Best Musical while The Bridges of Madison County was snubbed.

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    Juanald02
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    I also remember that The King And I was announced for the following season before tony voting ended, so the new narrative became we can vote for Kelli next year, and vote for Jessie this year.

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    adamunc
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    The Times poll in 2014 indicated a very close race. Mueller had a slight lead, but only a few votes in the poll separated her from Kelli O’Hara and Idina Menzel for If/Then.

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    Joe Burns
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    I don’t think Mueller won in a cakewalk and I do think O’Hara was second with Menzel close behind.

    I want to say that O’Hara was actually predicted to go home empty handed again the next year by most pundits on here but Chenoweth ended up being overestimated. Her biggest obstacle was the show which missed out on nominations in Directing and in Lead Actor not that it was necessarily favored to get in for those but the fact that The King & I over-performed by getting Watanabe nominated plus it having Lincoln Center’s pedigree made On The Twentieth Century’s nominations pale in comparison. It didn’t help that the revival came out early and then started to fade in comparison to The King & I which came out just a month later and that On The Town was much more of a commercial crowdpleaser. Also the show being an ensemble show may not have helped her compared to Kelli either whose Anna is the center/driving force of The King & I. Chenoweth’s character is what the show revolves around but Lily/Mildred isn’t the one steering it. And Kelli being massively overdue helped her go over the top in the end.

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