66th Annual Tony Awards

Last Friday night was the the 66th annual Tony Awards, the brightest night of the year for the Broadway theater community.  You probably already know that “Once” took the top awards of “Best Musical” and “Best Leading Actor.”  5-time Tony winner, Audra McDonald snagged “Best Leading Actress in a Musical.”  And the high-energy, tumbling tricks of “Newsies” was a shoe-in for “Best Choreography.”  But what determines “best” choreography?  Theater critic, Alastair Macaulay, writes “There is no single method for choreography to succeed in a musical: It may be a source of isolated highlights or a unifying thread.”  The competition is also an important factor in determining the year’s winner.  For example, Michael Bennett’s “A Chorus Line” beat out Bob’s Fosse’s “Chicago” back in 1976.  Some of the most renowned “dance musicals” didn’t even win “Best Choreography” (“White Christmas,” “Hairspray,” and “Come Fly Away”).   Here’s a brief list of the past Tony winners for “Best Choreography.”

1947 – Agnes de Mille (Brigadoon) & Michael Kidd (Finian’s Rainbow)

1948 – Jerome Robbins (High Button Shoes)

1949 – Grover Champion (Lend an Ear)

1950 – Helen Tamiris (Touch and Go)

1951 – Michael Kidd (Guys and Dolls)

1952 – Robert Alton (Pal Joey)

1953 – Donald Saddler (Wonderful Town)

1954 – Michael Kidd (Can-Can)

1955 – Bob Fosse (The Pajama Game)

1956 – Bob Fosse (Damn Yankees)

1957 – Michael Kidd (Li’l Abner)

1958 – Jerome Robbins (West Side Story)

1959 – Bob Fosse (Redhead)

1960 – Michael Kidd (Destry Rides Again)

1961 – Gower Champion (Bye Bye Birdie)

1962 – Joe Layton (No Strings)

1963 – Bob Fosse (Little Me)

1964 – Gower Champion (Hello Dolly!)

1965 – Jerome Robbins (Fiddler on the Roof)

1966 – Bob Fosse (Sweet Charity)

1967 – Ron Field (Cabaret)

1968 – Gower Champion (The Happy Time)

1969 – Joe Layton (George M!)

1970 – Ron Field (Applause)

1971 – Donald Saddler (No, No, Nanette)

1972 – Michael Bennett (Follies)

1973 – Bob Fosse (Pippin)

1974 – Michael Bennett (Seesaw)

1975 – George Faison (The Wiz)

1976 – Michael Bennett & Bob Avian (A Chorus Line)

1977 – Peter Gennaro (Annie)

1978 – Bob Fosse (Dancin’)

1979 – Michael Bennett & Bob Avian (Ballroom)

1980 – Tommy Tune & Thommie Walsh (A Day in Hollywood/A Night in the Ukraine)

1981 – Gower Champion (42nd Street)

1982 – Michael Bennett & Michael Peters (Dreamgirls)

1983 – Tommy Tune & Thommie Walsh (My One and Only)

1984 – Danny Daniels (The Tap Dance Kid)

1986 – Bob Fosse (Big Deal)

1987 – Gillian Gregory (Me and My Girl)

1988 – Michael Smuin (Anything Goes)

1989 – Cholly Atkins, Henry LeTang, Frankie Manning, & Rayard Nicholas (Black and Blue)

1990 – Tommy Tune (Grand Hotel)

1991 – Tommy Tune (The Will Rogers Follies)

1992 – Susan Stroman (Crazy for You)

1993 – Wayne Cilento (The Who’s Tommy)

1994 – Kenneth MacMillan (Carousel)

1995 – Susan Stroman (Show Boat)

1996 – Savion Glover (Bring in ‘da Noise/Bring in ‘da Funk)

1997 – ann Reinking (Chicago0

1998 – Garth Fagan (The Lion King)

1999 – Matthew Bourne (Swan Lake)

2000 – Susan Stroman (Contact)

2001 – Susan Stroman (The Producers)

2002 – Rob Ashford (Thoroughly Modern Millie)

2003 – Twyla Tharp (Movin’ Out)

2004 – Kathleen Marshall (Wonderful Town)

2005 – Jerry Mitchell (La Cage aux Folles)

2006 – Kathleen Marshall (The Pajama Game)

2007 – Bill T. Jones (Spring Awakening)

2008 – Andy Blankenbuehler (In The Heights)

2009 – Peter Darling (Billy Elliot the Musical)

2010 – Bill T. Jones (Fela!)

2011 – Kathleen Marshall (Anything Goes)

2012 – Christopher Gattelli (Newsies)

Check out this New York Times article: Judging Tony Nominees by Their Dance Numbers

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