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Tag Archives: Tony Award Winning

June 10

June 10, 2012 – The Musical Newsies Wins Two Tony Awards

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“Well, it’s been such an incredible, improbable journey for Newsies…Jack, we’re kings of New York.” – Alan Menken

On June 10, 2012, the 66th Tony Awards were held at the Beacon Theater in New York City. The Disney Theatrical Productions musical Newsies: The Musical, having been nominated for eight Tony Awards, walked away with two: Best Choreography for Christopher Gattelli, and Best Original Score for Alan Menken and Jack Feldman. Although nominated for Best Musical, it would lose to the musical Once. In his acceptance speech, Alan Menken thanked the “generations of kids who adopted this movie and insisted that it be brought to the stage.”

June 4

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June 4, 2000 – The Broadway Musical Aida Wins Four Tony Awards

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“Every story, new or ancient, bagatelle or work of art, all are tales of human failing, all are tales of love at heart.”

On June 4, 2000, the 54th Annual Tony Awards were held in Radio City Music Hall in New York City. Nominated for five Tonys, the Walt Disney Theatrical produced musical Aida would go on and win four: Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical for Heather Headley (Aida), Best Original Score (Music and Lyrics) Written for the Theater for Elton John and Tim Rice, Best Scenic Design for Bob Crowley, and Best Lighting Design for Natasha Katz.

November 13

November 13, 1997 – The Lion King Officially Opens on Broadway

Image Credit: wikipedia

“Till we find our place on the path unwinding in the circle, the Circle of Life.”

On November 13, 1997, the musical The Lion King officially opened on Broadway in the New Amsterdam Theater after the previews that began on October 15. The musical is based on the 1994 animated film, with music by Elton John and lyrics by Tim Rice. The book was written by Roger Allers and Irene Mecchi, and was directed by Julie Taymor. The show has been a financial and critical success, winning Tony Awards for Best Musical, Best Direction of a Musical, Best Choreography, Best Scenic Design for a Musical, Best Costume Design for a Musical, and Best Lighting Design of a Musical.

As with its predecessor, Beauty and the Beast, several changes were made in adaptating  the film to the Broadway stage; most notably Rafiki was changed to a female character. Songs and scenes were added, including the song “Morning Report,” which was later added into the Platinum Edition release of the animated film. The show has had several international productions. In April 2012, it became the highest-grossing Broadway show of all time with $853.8 million in profit, and is the fifth-longest running show in Broadway history.

June 7

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June 7, 1998 – The Lion King Wins Six Tony Awards

Image Credit: The Official Website for the Tony Awards

 “Tom [Schumacher] and I want to thank the Tony committee and the theater community for embracing this show and honoring us this way.” – Peter Schneider

On June 7, 1998, the 52nd Annual Tony Awards were held at Radio City Music Hall in New York. The Lion King musical walked away with six awards, including Best Musical, beating out Ragtime, Side Show, and The Scarlet Pimpernel. The Lion King also won Best Direction of a Musical for director Julie Taymor, Best Choreographer for Garth Fagan, Best Scenic Design for a Musical for Richard Hudson, Best Costume Design for a Musical for Julie Taymor and Michael Curry, and Best Lighting Design of a Musical for Donald Holder.

The musical, based on the animated film released in 1994, was a phenomenon when released on Broadway, smashing records and earning rave reviews. Julie Taymor, the director, was the first female to receive a Tony for Best Direction of a Musical. “Julie Taymor is a goddess; we’re eternally grateful for your courage, your passion, and the genius that is your gift,” Tom Schumacher announced upon receiving the Tony Award for Best Musical. Using her studies in pre-Bunraku puppetry in Japan, Taymor also helped to create the costumes for the musical, with a variety of masks and puppets used to portray the animals in the show; this unique design helped set the musical apart from the movie.

March 23

March 23, 2000 – The Musical Aida Premieres on Broadway

“This is the story of a love that flourished in a time of hate.”

On March 23, 2000, the musical Aida premiered on Broadway. The music was written by Elton John, with lyrics by Tim Rice, and was produced by Walt Disney Theatrical. Based on the opera by Giuseppe Verdi, it tells the story of a forbidden love between the Egyptian military commander Radames and the captured Nubian princess Aida. The original cast starred Heather Headley as Aida, Adam Pascal as Radames, and Sherie Rene Scott as Amneris. Aida would go on to win the Tony Award for Best Original Musical Score, Best Actress in a Musical (for Heather Headley), Best Scenic Design, and Best Lighting Design.

The film began as a possible animated feature for Disney, conceived as another vehicle for Sirs Elton John and Tim Rice after their great success with The Lion King, but John suggested that it was a better story for a full-fledged musical production. The first production of the musical took place in Atlanta in September of 1998. It was revised after the showing there and shown in Chicago in November of 1999. After more revisions and recastings, the show premiered on Broadway on March 23, and closed on September 4, 2004, as the 34th longest-running show in Broadway’s history with 30 previews and 1,852 performances. A recording was released with the original Broadway cast on June 6, 2000; it won the Grammy Award for Best Musical Show Album.