It’s Tony season and who better to educate us about the wonderful world of theatre than Thomas S. Hischak, author of The Oxford Companion To The American Musical: Theatre, Film and Television. Hischak is a Professor of Theatre at the State University of New York College at Cortland. He is the author of sixteen books on theater, film, and popular music as well as the author of twenty published plays. In The Oxford Companion To The American Musical Hischak offers over two thousand entires on musicals, performers, composers, lyricists, producers, choreographers and much more. In the quiz below Hischak questions your Tony knowledge. Post your answers in the comments section. We will post the answer sheet later today.
1. The Tony Awards are named after actress and director Antoinette Perry (1888-1946), founder of the American Theatre Wing. What was her long-running comedy hit, later turned into a successful feature film starring Jimmy Stewart?
2. Name the musical star, ever a tabloid presence for her many marriages, battles with substance abuse, and ability to poke fun at her own image, who caused quite a stir in 1977 when it was discovered that, due to the strenuous dancing in the show, parts of her singing were prerecorded. She won the Tony anyway.
3. Although The Phantom of the Opera won the Best Musical and six other Tonys in 1988, the Best Book and Best Score went to another musical that season. A 2002 revival, which added three little pigs, won Best Revival of a Musical. Name the musical.
4. The 1956 Tonys were the first in which musicals were nominated. Before that only a winner was announced. Damn Yankees won over what Rodgers and Hammerstein musical? Maybe if Julie Andrews—who auditioned but was told by Richard Rodgers to focus on getting the part of Eliza Doolittle instead—had stayed with the production, it would have had better luck.
5. Although The Producers cleaned up at the 2001 Tony Awards, winning most of the major awards, an earlier musical is the only one to win Best Musical, Best Score, Best Book, Best Director and all four musical performance Tonys for a musical. The earlier show could clean up again at the 2008 Tonys, in a different incarnation. Name that show.
6. In 1999, Parade was the only nominated musical with a book; the other three nominees were revues. Which one won? Hint: Ann Reinking and Chet Walker channeled another choreographer in numbers such as “Razzle Dazzle”, “Bye Bye Blackbird” and “Big Spender”.
7. What 1950s musicals won eight Tony Awards but was not revived on Broadway for fifty years? When it was, Donna Murphy lost to Idina Menzel for Best Actress in a musical.
8. It sometimes happens that someone is nominated for two different musicals in one season. For what two shows, impressive in very different ways, was Trevor Nunn nominated for Best Director of a Musical at the same Tony Awards ceremony?
9. Four girls and two boys were nominated together for the Best Featured Actress Tony for what 1959 musical?
10. “What worst piemaker in London has hosted the most Tony telecasts?”