The Best Musical Tony Award Debate: 1987

In writing about these the Tony-nominated Best Musicals of various seasons and making a judgment as to which nominee deserved to win, I take full ownership of my opinion and realize that many of you will disagree. In fact, I invite the debate and am always interested in hearing your opinions as well. Theatre is obviously subjective, and what appeals to me might invite disdain from you. Contrarily, what I detest might be something you are passionate about. When I write these pieces, I do try to keep by opinions balanced, supported with reasoning, while trying to find that good and the challenging in each musical I dissect. That being said, I often find myself at odds with my own determinations, loving one show more, respecting another, while ultimately conceding that yet another deserved to win. 1987, which featured Les MisérablesRagsStarlight Express, and Me and My Girl as the Best Musical nominees, is a year that leaves me so divided, as each of them offered something very different and each excelled in very different ways. 

The Best Musical Tony Award Debate: 1973

This week’s debate takes us back to 1973, a year were anything was likely to happen and where two musicals (out of four nominees) were really the chief contenders for Best Musical, and two others that had much to offer but would ultimately be outshined. This was, after all, the decade where the team of composer Stephen Sondheim and director Harold Prince would revolutionize musical theatre.

The Best Musical Tony Award Debate: 2004

I find this particular Tony year the most oft-debated on social media. Of course, it was a year with incredibly diverse offerings, and the four nominated Best Musicals each had a great deal to recommend. Most people are either squarely and adamantly behind Wicked, certain that it was robbed by Avenue Q. Just as many are ardently confident that Avenue Q was the rightful victor. Then we have two other shows, Caroline, or Change and The Boy From Oz, both pieces that arguably have equal claim for the Best Musical Tony. Not since The Music Man bested West Side Story at the 1958 Tony Awards has there been a more hotly contested Best Musical category. So, let’s take a look at the nominees individually and then begin the debate.

The Best Musical Tony Award Debate: 1966

1966 was an interesting year in Tony Award history. Three of the four nominated Best Musicals, Man of La ManchaMame, and Sweet Charity, ultimately achieved iconic status and could have easily won the category, each for very different reasons. The three aforementioned nominees had some particularly good things going for them, but none of the three were the perfect musical, each falling short in one way or the other. The fourth nominee, Skyscraper, is simply in the running to round out the category, a weak choice in just about every aspect. We know that Man of La Mancha took home the prize, but did it have everything required to deserve a Best Musical win? Was there another title more deserving? Today we take a look at the 1966 Tony Awards and have that discussion.