Friday, June 05, 2020

Forty-Three Years Ago Today In Theatre History

June 5, 1977. Know what happened on that date? Well if you are a theatre fan like me, you know that was the day that the theatre industry came together to honor those plays and musicals that opened during the 1976-1997 Broadway season. Also known as the The Antoinette Perry Awards for Excellence In Broadway Theatre, or as what we call it today, the Tony Awards. 1977 was a very interesting year on the Great White Way, with sixty-seven shows opening that season.However as it turns out, there wasn't one hit musical until near the end of the season. Not only that, but each of those shows all opened in the same week in April.

So what were those shows you ask? Well I'll tell you. I Love My Wife, Side by Side by Sondheim, and last but not least Annie. Of the three, Annie is probably the most well known, as well as the one that most of seen. Now when it comes to musicals today, there are usually more new productions than revivals. However during the 1976-1977 Broadway season, there were a total of eight musical revivals, with the most successful being Guys and Dolls, Porgy and Bess, and The King and I, with Porgy and Bess winning the first ever Tony Award for Best Innovative Production of a Revival, which we now know as the Tony Award for Best Revival of a Play, and Best Revival of a Musical.

Also that night, Annie took home the prize for Best Musical of the Year, along with six other Tony Awards including Best Book, Best Score, and Best Actress in a Musical, and The Shadow Box won the Best Play of the Year. Since then, there have been forty-two Tony Award ceremonies, with this year's ceremony set to be it's seventy-fourth.Sadly, it along with most of the 2019-2010 Broadway season, was put on hold due to the coronavirus. As I have said many times before, we don't have any idea when Broadway will return. And quite frankly, I am tired of guessing. Actually I am just tired. Stay safe everyone, and keep looking out for each other. Until next time theatre fans.

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