Opinion: Does a Tony Award define success?

19 Jun
Posted in: Theatre News
Author: Joanne Sadler
Dear Evan Hansen dominated this years Tony Awards, but what about the other shows..?

It's been a little over a week since the biggest night in American Theatre - The Tony Awards - dominated theatre headlines worldwide. DEAR EVAN HANSEN dominated the affair with HELLO, DOLLY! Also picking up awards for itself and its star Bette Midler. But what about the shows that didn't win? Or the shows that never even got anomination? Joanne Sadler from our friends at the Musical Theatre Appreciation Society asks whether or not a Tony Award defines success...

I’m writing this shortly after the announcement that AMELIE, starring the ever-so-talented Phillipa Soo will be closing at the end of the month. There’s all kinds of speculation as to why this is (especially with the soundtrack release just around the corner) including falling profits – or even losses – but the most likely conclusion to draw is the fact that the show wasn’t nominated for a single Tony.


The show has quickly gained quite a substantial following, and yet it’s closing months before it’s previously announced closure date. But the show itself, at least in my opinion, looks pretty good, so the thought of it closing so soon is quite a shock.

Now let’s take a look at all of the Tony nominees, and there’s one which stands out for me: FALSETTOS.


Nominated for four awards, the show ran for just over a month. Would the run have been extended had the nominations come out four months ago? Or was it bound to be a short lived revival?

On the other hand, it was also announced in the last week that ANASTASIA (which will need a wheelbarrow to carry all the awards it’s bound to win) would be opening across various continents, which leads me to pose the question:

Does a Tony define success?


Now this is a tough one, isn’t it? It’s difficult to tell. Going through a list of every Tony Award ‘Best Musical’ winner ever, there are only a handful I’ve never heard of, so surely there’s a pattern there. Although, HEATHERS was never nominated for any major awards, and that’s recently gained quite a cult following. I’m aware that this was Off-Broadway, but it still didn’t win more than a handful of awards across its entire run.

I think the point I’m trying to make is that maybe it wasn’t entirely fair to cut the show THAT short due to a lack of nominations, and perhaps it could have even been successful had it been nominated for at least one award. I know there’s nothing we can do about it, but it’s an interesting thing to consider- can a show be successful even if it hasn’t been nominated for a high profile award? Only time can tell.


Following on from the previous paragraphs, the Tony Awards were this month and DEAR EVAN HANSEN dominated, claiming six awards (but controversially, Mike Faist was not one of the winners) and I’ve seen people discussing the price of tickets which have jumped spectacularly from around 100 dollars to over 300 dollars. Is this extortionate or just seizing an opportunity after being catapulted into success?

What do you think? Have your say on Twitter @StageFaves or contact the author @joelsa29