25 Facts About the Tony Awards You Need to Know Before the Big Show

FOR TONY AWARDS USE ONLY
Jason Bell/CBS
James Corden

A treasure trove of Tony lore, like the memorable time Kander & Ebb tied with Pete Townshend.

With the 73rd annual Tony Awards coming up on Sunday, it's time to brush up on your Tony trivia.

James Corden, who won a Tony for best actor in a play in 2012 for One Man, Two Guvnors, is hosting the show for the second time. He previously hosted in 2016, before hosting the Grammys in 2017-18. Corden is the third performer to have hosted both of these award shows, following Whoopi Goldberg and Rosie O'Donnell.

Here are 25 facts that will make you the hit of your Tony viewing party.

Production with the most nominations: Hamilton: An American Musical (2016)—16. It went on to win 11 awards.

Production with the most awards: The Producers, the new Mel Brooks musical (2001)—12.

Musical that has won the most total awards, counting all of its Broadway productions: Rodgers and Hammerstein's South Pacific—17. The original 1949 production won 10 Tonys. The 2008 revival won seven. (Bonus facts: The original is the only show in Broadway history to sweep all four acting categories. The 2008 production won more Tonys than any other musical revival in history.)

Musicals that had the worst showing on Tony night: The Scottsboro Boys (2011) and Mean Girls (2018). Both shows went 0-12.

Most wins in one night by an individual: Trey Parker for The Book of Mormon (2011). Parker won for best book, best score, best direction and (as a producer) best musical.

Only best musical winners where one person single-handedly wrote the book, music and lyrics: The Mystery of Edwin Drood (1986, Rupert Holmes), Rent (1996, Jonathan Larson), Hamilton: An American Musical (2016, Lin-Manuel Miranda).

Only show to win as best musical where the book, music and lyrics were all written by women: Fun Home (2015). Lisa Kron wrote the book and lyrics. Jeanine Tesori composed the music.

Only tie for best musical: The Sound of Music and Fiorello! (1960). The Sound of Music is far more famous today, but Fiorello! won a Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

Only musicals that have lost best musical and yet gone on to win a Pulitzer Prize for Drama: Sunday in the Park with George (1984) and Next to Normal (2009).

Only show to win best musical after closing: Hallelujah, Baby! (1968). The show, which starred Leslie Uggams, won the Tony on April 21. It had closed on Jan. 13.

Only shows that have won best revival of a musical twice: The King and I and La Cage Aux Folles. Note: Kiss Me, Kate will join the list if it wins this year. A 2000 revival won in this category.

Performers with the most nominations: Chita Rivera and Julie Harris (10). In addition, both performers have won special awards for lifetime achievement.

Performer with the most awards won in competition: Audra McDonald (six). McDonald's awards are split evenly between plays and musicals.

Most wins for best actress in a musical: Angela Lansbury (four). She won for Mame (1966), Dear World (1969), Gypsy (1975) and Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (1979). Lansbury has also hosted more Tony telecasts than anyone else—five between 1968-89.

Only cast replacement to be nominated in a competitive category: Larry Kert, who was nominated for best actor in a musical for Company (1970). Dean Jones originated the role of Robert, but left the company after a little more than a month.

First African American performers to win best actress and best actor in a musical: Diahann Carroll in No Strings (1962) and Cleavon Little in Purlie (1970), respectively.

First Asian performer to win best actress in a musical: Lea Salonga in Miss Saigon (1991). Salonga was born in the Philippines.

First actor to win best actor in a musical for playing a female character: Harvey Fierstein for playing Edna Turnblad in Hairspray (2003).

First actor to win best actor in a musical for playing a transgender character: Neil Patrick Harris for playing Hedwig in Hedwig and the Angry Inch (2014).

Most wins for best score: Stephen Sondheim (six). (The Tonys didn't have a best score category in 1971, but Sondheim won both for best music and best lyrics for Company.) Most by a woman: Betty Comden (three).

Only tie for best score: John Kander and Fred Ebb for Kiss of the Spider Woman and Pete Townshend for The Who's Tommy (1993).

Only posthumous winners for best score: T.S. Eliot for Cats (1983) and Jonathan Larson for Rent (1996). Eliot had died in 1965; Larson, earlier in 1996.

First woman to win best score without a male collaborator: Cyndi Lauper for Kinky Boots (2013).

Most wins for best direction of a musical: Harold Prince (eight). First woman to win in that category—Julie Taymor for The Lion King (1998).

Most wins for best choreography: Bob Fosse (eight). Most by a woman: Susan Stroman (four).


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