Nora Dominick ‘17 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer
The 68th Annual Tony Awards are swiftly approaching. In preparation for the biggest night on Broadway, Emertainment Monthly has decided to count down our top 10 Tony Awards performances over the years.
10. “Ragtime” Ragtime, 1998
A great big, ensemble number is always spectacular. This is one of my favorite opening numbers for any musical. The original 1998 Broadway production of Ragtime featured some hard-hitting players including Audra McDonald, Lea Michele, Peter Friedman and Brian Stokes Mitchell. The choreography and blending of these great voices helped create this iconic Tony Awards performance. My favorite part of performance is watching “The Little Boy” standing downstage backed by the enormous cast.
9. “Find Your Grail”, Spamalot 2005
If there was any show that stuck out to me as a cult classic it would be the 2005 Broadway musical Spamalot. The show as filled with an all star cast that included Tim Curry, Hank Azaria, Michael McGrath, Christopher Sieber and Sara Ramirez. The production was nominated for 14 Tony Awards that year and walked away with Best Musical and Best Featured Actress in a Musical for Sara Ramirez. In this TonY Award performance you can see why Ramirez won the Tony Award. She belts this song and shakes the rafters of the Radio City Music Hall. This performance will always remind me of this amazing and quirky show.
8. “At the End of the Day”/ “One Day More” Les Miserables, 1987
Les Miserables will always hold a special place in my heart. My senior year of high school my school pulled off the impossible and put on a successful production of Les Miserables. This Tony Awards performance reminds me of all the memories associated with my time stage-managing the production. This show has the ability to bring audiences to its feet with huge ensemble numbers. The mash up of “At the End of the Day” and the incredible Act One finale “One Day More” created a truly incredible moment at the Tony Awards. I am excited to see what the revival cast will do for their performance this year at the awards.
7. “Circle of Life” The Lion King 1998
A large elephant comes down the aisle and makes its way onto the stage. That’s kind of hard to beat. Julie Taymor’s production of The Lion King brought amazing puppetry to the great white way in 1998 and it has never left. Now in its 16th year on Broadway, The Lion King continues to enchant audiences of all ages. The incredible puppetry captivated the Tony Awards audience and viewers at home. The number took the iconic song from the 1994 Disney animated movie with the same name and effortlessly re-invented it for the stage. Its no wonder the show was nominated for 11 Tony Awards and won Best Musical that year!
6. “Mama Who Bore Me”/ “The Bitch of Living”/ “Totally F**ked” Spring Awakening, 2007
In 2007 contemporary rock musical with music by Duncan Sheik and a book and lyrics by Steven Sater, rocked the great white way. The musical was known for its provocative subject matter and its young cast that propelled Lea Michele, Jonathan Groff, Skylar Astin and John Gallagher Jr. to stardom. This performance mashed together two of the iconic songs from the musical and proved that the young cast offered freshness and youth to Broadway. When the cast explodes into the following, TV-censored number it rocks the Tony Award stage. This performance will always stand out in my mind due to the songs and cast.
5. “Corner of the Sky”/ “Magic to Do” Pippin, 2013
“We’ve got Magic to Do. Just for you!” The words to the iconic Stephen Schwartz song, belted here by the incomparable Patina Miller and the 2013 revival cast hold true during this earth defying number. The re-imagined staging by the talented Diane Paulus, brings the audience into the circus tend to watch the Leading Player help Pippin find his “Corner of the Sky.” This Tony Awards performance stands out for me because it is the definition of a revival. Paulus combined new choreography and acrobatics with the classic Bob Fosse choreography. This performance exemplifies the reason for Paulus 2013 win for Best Director and Pippin’s win for Best Revival of a Musical
4. “And I Am Telling You” Dreamgirls, 1982
This performance is the definition of a true Broadway performance. Jennifer Holliday delivers a captivating performance as she hits every extraordinary high note in this song. Every time I watch this performance my jaw hits the floor and I am completely mesmerized. Dreamgirls didn’t go onto win Best Musical that year however, Holliday sang (rather belted) her way into musical theatre lovers hearts. I can’t say much more about this, simply watch the video and be amazed.
3. “We’ll Take A Glass Together,” The Grand Hotel, 1990
Even without the incredibly talented leading man David Carroll, who was sitting in the audience already battling AIDS (which would later lead to his death wy recording the cast album), this performance always brings a tear to my eye. The glee on the faces of the performers paired with the electrifying choreography makes this performance in my top 3 all time favorite Tony Award performances. This number captivates the audience and reminds us of the classic Broadway.
2. “Anything Goes,” Anything Goes, 2011
Sutton Foster. Her Tony Award winning performance as Reno Sweeney brought the amazing Cole Porter musical to a new generation. The incredible tap number showcased here is one of the reasons Foster has earned numerous awards for her work on the stage. This Tony Awards performance is one of my favorites because the dance break in the song is electrifying. She tapped her way into the hearts of the audience and earned a standing ovation. Foster continues to astound audiences with her talent today however, this performance will go down in history as one of the greats.
1. Neil Patrick Harris’ 2013 Opening Number
This may not be a musical performance but it had to be my number one. Neil Patrick Harris’ opening number for the 2013 Tony Awards is a true spectacle. Harris’ ability to combine numerous musicals both old and new into a show stopping opening number is truly magical. Marking the Tony Awards return to Radio City Music Hall, this number could not have done a better job of celebrating 67 years of musical theatre. Harris has truly become a Tony Award icon. After hosting the show 3 times before this opening number last year, he brought his all. He received a standing ovation for the earth defying number. Simply watch and be amazed at the musical talent of this Tony Award icon.
Remember to tune into the 68th Annual Tony Awards on Sunday June 8, 2014 on CBS. This years award show will be hosted by Hugh Jackman.