Ties Are Bustin’ Out All Over! Three Tony Ties We’d Love To See
June 2nd, 2014
by Josh Ferri
Is 2014 the year of the tie? As the Tony Awards near (June 8!), the theatre community rehearses their surprised faces and speeches at a trio of preliminary awards ceremonies (the Lortels, Outer Critics Circle and Drama Desk Awards), and one surprising trend this year has been tie winners. There was a tie for Costume Design at the Lortels, a tie for Featured Actress in a Play at the OCC and two acting ties last night at the Drama Desk.
And since we have Tonys on the brain, we thought, well wouldn’t it be a treat if there were a Tony tie this year to change things up and keep Broadway on its toes?! There have only been 10 ties in Tony history; the last tie at the Tony Awards was in 2009 when Billy Elliot and Next to Normal tied for Best Orchestrations, and the last acting tie was in 1979 when Constance Cummings won for Best Actress in a Play for Wings and Carole Shelley won for The Elephant Man.
Now this year, competition is fierce in some of these acting categories so let’s spread around the love with at least one tie in one of the following categories.
Best Leading Actress in a Musical
How great would it be if we didn't have to pick between Jessie Mueller (Beautiful) and Kelli O’Hara (The Bridges of Madison County); what if both ladies walked away with a well-deserved Tony Award for their work this season? Because a world where Mueller and O’Hara are Tony winners is “always better.”
Best Featured Actor in a Musical
It would be adorable to see these former The Wiz co-stars (Iglehart played the Lion and Henry was the Tinman) share their first-ever wins together on the Radio City stage. And that way Aladdin’s show-stopping Genie gets the love he deserves, while Henry (who maybe should have won for Scottsboro?) takes home the prize you want to give him after hearing him own Violet’s “Let It Sing.”
Best Leading Actor in a Musical
One of the biggest theatrical events of the season was Neil Patrick Harris as the title character in Hedwig and the Angry Inch. He won a Drama League Award for his electrifying performance (that’s the award that goes to only one person a year!) and tied for a Drama Desk Award. There’s no doubt Neil deserves everything he has coming, but how fun would it be if one of the wildly talented other leading men shares the award with him this year? Previous Tony winner Jefferson Mays won the OCC and tied for the Drama Desk for his amazing performance as all the D'Ysquiths in A Gentleman’s Guide, so he clearly has a chance. Les Miz star Ramin Karimloo would be the one to beat in any other season for the way he reinvents the role of Jean Valjean. And as underdog Rocky Balboa, Andy Karl has emerged as a major contender and one of the breakout stars of the season—who else puts themselves through what he goes through physically eight-times-a-week? Which is why, yes, give it to NPH, but also maybe give it to one of these other guys too.
Bonus: The last tie for Actress in a Musical was in 1968 when Patricia Routledge tied with Leslie Uggams—the unofficial Patron Saint of June thanks to her infamous performance of “June Is Bustin’ Out All Over.”