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Sometimes, it's just the luck of the draw
Last Edit: WaymanWong 03:23 pm EDT 03/13/17
Posted by: WaymanWong 03:10 pm EDT 03/13/17
In reply to: re: Good shows won't even be nominated for Best Musical this year - tmdonahue 09:13 am EDT 03/13/17

Would any new musical have had a shot beating juggernauts like ''The Producers,'' ''The Book of Mormon'' or ''Hamilton''?

''Ragtime'' lost to ''The Lion King,'' but if it opened the season earlier, it probably would've beat ''Titanic.'' A season later, it'd beat ''Fosse.''

It's timing. And always great to be good and lucky. When ''Memphis'' opened in the fall of 2009, it got some very good notices and a pretty dismissive pan from Isherwood in the Times. But it was seen as a long shot. Yet as the crop of new shows opened and fell short of expectations in the spring, ''Memphis'' wound up being the last show standing, winning the Outer Critics, Drama Desk and the Tony for Best Musical.

Nowadays, there seem to be at least 10-12 new contenders for Best Musical. Even though I lived through them, it's hard to imagine a new season, like 1995, where only one new book show (''Sunset Blvd.'') would compete for Best Musical. Or 1989, where only 3 shows were up for Best Musical (and two of them were revues), and the Tonys dropped the categories for Book and Score. Or 1985, which yielded a skimpy field of ''Big River,'' ''Quilters,'' etc., and the Tonys even eliminated 3 categories, including Best Actor and Actress in a Musical).

Tmdonahue, maybe your book will deal with those circumstances more in depth. Break a leg with getting into print!

Meantime, I heartily recommend Peter Filichia's terrific tome ''Broadway Musicals: The Biggest Hit & the Biggest Flop of the Season: 1959-2009.''

It's a treasure trove of theatrical trivia, and you could not ask for a brighter or more felicitious guide than Filichia.
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