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re: Tony winners with mixed word of mouth (with spoilers!)
Last Edit: Chazwaza 06:21 pm EDT 08/11/22
Posted by: Chazwaza 06:04 pm EDT 08/11/22
In reply to: re: Tony winners with mixed word of mouth (with spoilers!) - keikekaze 03:48 pm EDT 08/11/22

Very true and fair. BUT keep in mind, the poster was talking about how a weak/undeserving-of-a-Best-Musical-win-were-there-any-good-competition won in a weak year... your 88-89 example only compares if Legs Diamond had won Best Musical. But Jerome Robbins Broadway, a revue/dance recital, won. In the other case, the genuine original book musical won over the jukebox musicals.

I guess one could say that the most over-all deserving show won in each example.

A more tragic example would be when Fosse won despite Parade being right there nominated next to it, and winning Best Score and Book too.
A more murky, but I think equally sad circumstance, was Contact winning with The Wild Party right there (or, some would say instead, Aida).
In 88-89 season there wasn't a worthwhile winner that was an original musical. In 1999 and 2000 there very much were.
Hell, I'd say a similar thing for 1992 when Crazy For You beat Falsettos... but at least CFY was an original musical in terms of book, with an eligible book... Fosse was just a revue. And both shows at least had singing and live music played, which isn't true of Contact (which did at least have an original book the dance to exist in).

1992 is a very interesting year actually because Falsettos was the only *original* musical with an original score nominated for Best Musical. The competition was Crazy For You (winner), Jelly's Last Jam... an original play with existing songs making up the score (and a much better and more important "jukebox" musical which should have won if Falsettos wasn't going to), and Five Guys Named Moe, another play using existing songs for the score, and the less worthy of the Best Musical prize of the 3 "jukebox" musicals nominated. It's hard to beat a funny book, enjoyable story, amazing Gershwin songs, and amazing choreography... clearly, since none of these shows did.
But had Falsettos won Musical, some might say it won in a weak year since it was the only real original musical nominated.

Meanwhile, over in 2006... it was not a weak year for musicals... the nominees were the worthwhile original musicals The Color Purple (admittedly came off much better in the revival than the 2006 production), The Drowsy Chaperone, and The Wedding Singer. 3 very different shows, all lost to the popular and very well received jukebox bio-musical Jersey Boys.

Memphis won 3 pretty jukebox musicals of relative quality only 4 years later. But none of them were as undeniably a hit with audiences and critics as Jersey Boys, so I guess the voters went with the original... my point is, that is by no means their default, to crown the original show when there's no good original musical to compete.
I like Gentleman's Guide more than Memphis... but it won under similar circumstances... nominated against Disney's Aladdin (which had neither the material or stage craft imagination to pull a win), After Midnight (a revue, fabulous but short-lived), and Beautiful, the presumed favorite to win, but not quite as good or universally praised as Jersey Boys though it was a hit with audiences... clearly the voters wanted to favor the original musical, and I'm glad they did (even though I find the score forgettable outside of 2-3 songs, and the show to basically be a good comedy sketch stretched out over 2 hours).
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