Friday, August 17, 2007

When was the last original idea on Broadway?

April 19, 1976, June 4, 1990, and June 6, 2004. What do these three dates have in common? Well these are the only times in 28 years where the Tony Award for Best Musical was given to a show that wasn't based on a book, movie, or cartoon. Don't believe me?

1976 A Chorus Line The answer to the first date. It's back now and still just as powerful.
1977 Annie- A cartoon about a rambunctious little red head and her dog Sandy.
1978 Ain't Misbehavin' A revue featuring the music of Jazz legend Fats Weller. This will not be the last time a revue wins Best Musical.
1979 Sweeney Todd- Who would have thought a musical about a homicidal barber would win the hearts of the Tony voters?
1980 Evita- What's next? A musical about Golda Meir? I can hear it now. Goldy: The Musical.
1981 42nd Street- Movie
1982 Nine Movie
1983 Cats- Enough said.
1984 La Cage Aux Folles- From the French. First the Statue of Liberty and now this hilarious farce. What's next?
1985 Big River- Based on the classic tale of Huck Finn. One of my favorites. But once again a book.
1986 Drood-Book.
1987 Les Miserables- Book
1988 The Phantom of the Opera-Book and Movie
1989 Jerome Robbins' Broadway-Why not take all the best numbers from each show and turn it into one big Broadway revue. I mean does anyone really need to sit through High Button Shoes?
1990 City of Angels- Ding Ding Ding We have a winner. Yes I know it's based on the old detective movies of the 1940's. But can anybody reacall a detective named Stone?
1991 The Will Rogers Follies- This beat The Secret Garden?
1992 Crazy For You- Yes the story is new but the music we've heard a million times before.
1993 Kiss of the Spider Woman- A play and a movie.
1994 Passion- Based on the film Passione D' Amore. The shortest run of any Best Musical winner in history. Yes I hate Disney but the only reason this won was because the Tony Awards weren't ready to give the big prize to the Mouse.
1995 Sunset Boulevard-A Movie. The only new musical of the 1994-95 season. Smokey Joe's doesn't count. Maybe if had some competition who knows what might have happened.
1996 Rent- My favorite show. But it was based on La Boheme.
1997 Titanic- What? No Hindenburg the Musical?
1998 Lion King-The Mouse scores it's first victory.
1999 Fosse- See 1989.
2000 Contact- No live singing and recorder music. Aida wasn't that bad.
2001 The Producers-From what I have heard it was based on a Mel Brooks movie. I think it even won a few awards along the way as well.
2002 Thoroughly Modern Millie-The worst Best Musical winner. I wish I could take credit for that but it was Forbidden Broadway. New York has smelled like urine for years and it hasn't killed us yet. So why no love for a show called Urinetown?
2003 Hairspray-Great show. Great Movie.
2004 Avenue Q-Another winner. Puppets having sex. You can't make up stuff like that.
2005 Spamalot-Movie.
2006 Jersey Boys- The fisrt successful Jukebox musical. But still about Frankie Valli.
2007 Spring Awakening-My new fave. But still a book.

Well there you are. The facts don't lie and neither do I.


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