Do you have a burning Broadway question? Are you dying to know more about the Dark Arts? Broadway historian and self-proclaimed theater nerd Jennifer Ashley Tepper is here to help with her new series, Broadway Deep Dive. Each month, Broadway World will receive questions from theatergoers like you. If you’re lucky, your question may be chosen as the topic of the next column!
This month’s reader question was; There is a lot of talk about Lea Michele’s performance A funny girl, and how they didn’t win a Tony Award when the show opened last season. Is there any history of Tony Awards rule changes/exceptions in the past?
Exceptions to the rules of the Tony Awards have historically been rare, but they have happened.
At the 1971 Tony Awards, Larry Kert was nominated for a Lead Actor in a Musical Tony Award for his performance as Bobby in Company. Kert did not accept the role on Broadway; that distinction is obtained by Dean Jones, who also appears CompanyThe original Broadway album. But Jones left the production after one month of performances at the Alvin Theatre. Chasing a divorce at the time, he found her devastated to appear in Stephen Sondheim and George Furth’s exploration of marriage, relationship and bachelor life as he enters his life.
As Donna McKechnie tells it, Jones was so upset during rehearsals that the stage management decided to send the rest of them out to leave him alone whenever he was inside so he could have some space. They don’t really know what was going on with Jones personally. When they show, the rest are original Company the crowd was blinded. They never said good-bye or sent anyone of any kind for Jonah; he just went away.
Many years later, a concert was held Company and when Iones and the rest rejected them, they had a greater reason. “We thought you hated us!” “I thought you hated me!” The cast, who had remained near, brought the Ions back into the fold, and the bridges were repaired.
But back in 1971; Company Director and producer Hal Prince considered replacing Jones after playing Bobby for only one month. Larry Kert took over as the immensely talented Prince. Kert was born in Tony’s role West Story. This was one of nine previous Broadway productions, which also included multiple productions of Prince. Most of those who saw it Company on Broadway they saw Kert as Bobby, like the others who played the role except Jones-Kenneth Cory, John Cunningham, and Gary Crawford-Lassius much less.
By the time the 1971 Tony Awards rolled around in March, Kert had been playing Bobby for 10 months, and Jones was long gone, leaving after one month. The management of the Tony Award was forced to consider Kert for an evaluation of the nomination instead of Jones due to special circumstances. He presided over the council in favor of the prince, and indeed Kert was named Bobby for his performance. 1971 Tony Award for Best Lead Actor in a Musical to Hal Linden for he lost Rothschildsbut Company He won several other awards, including Best Musician.
In time Company set a record for nominations for the production, with 14 being the most Tony Award nominations. And this was partly because of the six Companythe actors were all nominated separately, although no one had won. Company would hold the record for Most Tony Award Nominations until 2001, when Managers took 15
In 1998, the Tony Awards made another exception in the performance category when they allowed both Alice Ripley and Emily Skinner to be nominated for Best Actress in a Musical for their roles show part. Along with the purple twins Daisy and Hylton, who were real historical figures, Ripley and Skinner won praise for their charmingly interwoven series of performances. But it was only the third time the Tony Award council shared two actors sharing a nomination. Donal Donnelly and Patrick Bedford were jointly nominated for Best Actor in a Play Philadelphia, here I come! In 1966 both John Kane and Winston Ntshona were jointly nominated (and won) for best actor in a play for Sizwe Banzi is dead and Island (which he played in the repertoire) in 1975. (In 2009, he won the Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical, jointly won by the three actors who played the title role. Boy Elliott, David Alvarez, Trent Kowalik, and Kiril Kulish. But while they shared parts, they did not share the stage.
Another exception to the Tony rule that has been made several times after the production campaign is that it looks at whether the shows are eligible in the new musical or play categories or in the respective revival categories. In 2004, the Broadway production of . assassins It should be considered a revival rather than an original production. Although the show had not previously been seen on Broadway, it was set in the canon musical. As such, the revival was ruled a Broadway premiere. This happened several other times. Yes, at the same time Broadway saw a . Little Shop of Horror which is also considered a revival rather than an original production, although it has never been on Broadway before.
But back to Lea Michele’s ability to walk away with a Tony Award for her portrayal of Fanny Brice in her current Broadway revival. A funny girl…
With the exception of being made for Larry Kert in The Company, a substitute actor has never been eligible to perform for a Tony Award. In 2005, the Tony Awards created a new category for Best Replacement (called “Best Actor or Actress in a Recreated Role”). Industry chatter at the time was thought to be the first award to be given to Jonathan Pryce, who replaced John Lithgow in the first Broadway production. Rotting, dirty criminals or Harvey Fierstein who had assisted Alfred Molina in the restoration of the people Fiddler on the Roof. When the 2006 Tony Awards rolled around, only one actor had received the required number of nomination votes for the award. The trial was then canceled entirely, instead of the planned trial of three Broadway seasons, as originally planned.
The exception that a replacement actor may be selected for a Tony nomination is extremely rare, but you never know!