Best Tony Awards for Performances
The prestigious Tony Awards are a celebration of excellence in the Broadway theatre and also a national showcase of outstanding performances. The most memorable moment echoes in theatre history for decades to come. The list portrays just some of the most outstanding performance that have gracefully decorated the stage in Broadway shows around the globe.
Lullaby of Broadway, 42nd Street, 1980. After many ornate dance sequences for 42nd street, Gower Champion celebrated the final show of his career, pared his choreography way down to give a rousing centre piece in lieu of fancy step work in the uncomplicated possible movements. The combination of arms waving from side to side, leg kicking up in cakewalks and rising like corkscrew wings was all part of the show dancing that scraped the magic down to its bones.
My Body 1997, The Life, this was CY Coleman’s finishing Broadway musical and offered audiences a look back at the shabby lives of Time Square hookers around the early eighties. The show presented several standout numbers including my body, in which sex workers of all sizes and shapes flout their haters and flaunt their wares. My Body was a sassy come off that boosted energy, which earned the song a solid life among Tony devotees.
Company, 2007 Being Alive. Mostly in musical theatre ladies get the big emotional songs, but composer Stephen Sondheim shared the wealth with the male characters, such as Company’s Bobby. Raul Esparza played with unusual depth and intensity in the musical 2006 revival and the sheer capaciousness of his voice completed with reverb switch gave Bobby a personal breakthrough with Being Alive in an almost cosmic resonance.
Evita, A New Argentina in 1980. This was the show that put superdiva Patti LuPone on the map. The Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice unlikely subject opera was the former first lady of Argentina, Eva Peron. Her often repeated theme song, Don’t Cry for Me Argentina was the signature tune of the show. But for the prestigious Tony Awards the show decided on Harold Prince’s dazzling staging of act 1 closer, in which an aquiline, predatory LuPone bashes out the huge notes to help clarify Eva’s role in the radical rise of her democratic strongman husband. When LuPone belts, people listen.
The Wild Party, Welcome to My Party/When it Ends in 2000. Toni Collette made a memorable and striking debut as a troubled showgirl, opposite Mandy Patinkin’s obnoxious clown, in the George C Wolfe and Michael John LaChuisa’s underappreciated 2000 adaption of a Jazz Age poem. In this show unique Eartha Kitt returned to Broadway after a 22 year absence with her felinity honed trademark to claw and fang and brought the house down with her ferociously dire When it Ends part warning, part bloodied and part curse lament.
Annie, Tomorrow, You’re Never Fully Dressed without a Smile, 1977 Easy Street. The orphan imagined Annie is remarkable enough for is long medley of songs and opening salvo alone. Andrea McArdle’s touchingly, nonsaccharine delivery of Tomorrow and the show’s legendary paean implacable optimism. Dorothy Louden spikes the punch with Easy Street as her bouncing hips and flouncing blouse out her in a league of her own gleeful malice as if her lips were not always in perfect sync with the pre-recorded vocals.