Playbill Tony Poll: Which Musical Creators Should Win?

Tony Awards   Playbill Tony Poll: Which Musical Creators Should Win? The 1998 Tony Awards will be given June 7. Here is a recap of the nominees in the four categories of musical creation. Please share your opinion on who should win, and why. Simple lists will not be posted; we want to hear your reasons. Also: make sure to state which category you're writing about.

The 1998 Tony Awards will be given June 7. Here is a recap of the nominees in the four categories of musical creation. Please share your opinion on who should win, and why. Simple lists will not be posted; we want to hear your reasons. Also: make sure to state which category you're writing about.

Send responses to Managing Editor Robert Viagas at robert_viagas@playbill.com by 12:01 AM June 5. No further submissions will be posted after that time.

As a reminder, here are the nominees:

BEST SCORE
Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty for Ragtime
Paul Simon and Derek Walcott for The Capeman
Henry Krieger and Bill Russell for Side Show
Elton John, Tim Rice, Lego M, Mark Mancina, Jay Rifkin, Julie Taymor and Hans Zimmer for The Lion King

BEST BOOK
Terrence McNally for Ragtime
Nan Knighton for The Scarlet Pimpernel
Roger Allers and Irene Mecchi for The Lion King
Bill Russell for Side Show BEST CHOREOGRAPHY
The Forever Tango Dancers for Forever Tango
Graciela Daniele for Ragtime
Garth Fagan for The Lion King
Rob Marshall for Cabaret

BEST ORCHESTRATIONS
William David Brohn, Ragtime
Robert Elhai, David Metzger and Bruce Fowler, The Lion King
Michael Gibson, Cabaret
Stanley Silverman, The Capeman

Polls for the other categories are listed separately.


Here are the results so far. Playbill On-Line thanks those who took the time to write.

From Louis Schwebius:
BEST SCORE -- Although I really enjoyed the execution of THE LION KING score with its added African rhythms and sounds, I found the originality of Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty's work in RAGTIME to ultimately be more moving.
BEST BOOK -- No contest on this one - Terrence McNally for RAGTIME. He triumphed over the extremely difficult task of making all of the many subplots in RAGTIME understandable to the audience.
BEST CHOREOGRAPHY -- Although I loved the dancing in FOREVER TANGO, I believe that Graciela Daniele for RAGTIME is long overdue for a Tony. As always, I find her work refreshingly original and exciting to watch.
BEST ORCHESTRATIONS - This category is a hard choice between RAGTIME and THE LION KING, and I would not be deeply disappointed if either show one this award. The arrangements in both shows are extremely effective in eliciting a strong emotional response. They are a pleasure to the ears! However, if push comes to shove, I have to go with William David Brohn for RAGTIME, as it moved me more.


From joe berger:
Best Score: Ndo doubt about it, Paul Simon for the Capeman. Sure, I didn't see any of the other shows, but *come on*, the Capeman's score was just incredible. Although, I don't know that it's doo-wop/salsa style will go over with the Tony voters. Regardless, I'm sure they were all good, but the Capeman was truly special.


From Lindsay Ribar:
Once again, PIMPERNEL all the way! Nan Knighton has a wonderful book for that show (enhanced every night by Doug Sills of course...) and the Best Score award should go to Frank Wildhorn. Yes, I say that with raised eyebrows. How can the Tony committee nominate the LION KING score, most of which was written for the movie, in place of such beautiful songs as "Falcon in the Dive," "She Was There," "Into the Fire," and "Prayer"? Grow up, guys, you can't "love to hate" Wildhorn for the rest of your lives.


From joe berger:
Best Score: No doubt about it, Paul Simon for the Capeman. Sure, I didn't see any of the other shows, but *come on*, the Capeman's score was just incredible. Although, I don't know that it's doo wop/salsa style will go over with the Tony voters. Regardless, I'm sure they were all good, but the Capeman was truly special.

From Todd Caporizzo:
BEST MUSICAL SCORE - RAGTIME (Flaherty & Ahrens) They have written and composed a body of work worthy of immortality in the American Musical Theatre. And besides, they should have won back in 1991 for ONCE ON THIS ISLAND!
BEST MUSICAL BOOK - RAGTIME (Terrence McNally) - He's just fantastic!
BEST CHOREOGRAPHER -- RAGTIME (Graciela Daniele) -- Just because -- she deserves it -- LION KING will probably win -- but Graciela really deserves it.


From Logan, Shawn Tracy:
>BEST BOOK, SCORE, ORCHESTRATIONS: Ragtime, Ragtime, Ragtime!!! What a >wonderful score with the most memorable songs created in the 90s. The >opening sequence of the show is a masterful blend of Book, Score and >Orchestrations. I started crying here and didn't stop the whole way >through. Each number is so moving in its own way. Other memorable >moments from the score/book/orchestrations: The "Gliding" sequence, >"Wheels of a Dream", the superlative "Back to Before" and extremely >dramatic "Look what you've done" sequence. This is theater at its very >best. Ragtime is the best show I've ever seen (and I've seen many >musicals).
> >CHOREOGRAPHY: If I were to give the Tony, it would go to both Graciele >Daniele and Garth Fagan. Ms. Daniele's work is very subtle yet >effective. Mr. Fagan's work is very "in your face" and shines in the >Hyena dance and the aerial ballet (I liked it). This redeems the >ridiculously boring fight on Pride Rock. If I did have to choose >though, I'd go with Ms. Daniele.


From Louis Schwebius:
BEST SCORE - Although I really enjoyed the execution of THE LION KING score with its added African rhythms and sounds, I found the originality of Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty's work in RAGTIME to ultimately be more moving.
BEST BOOK -- No contest on this one - Terrence McNally for RAGTIME. He triumphed over the extremely difficult task of making all of the many subplots in RAGTIME understandable to the audience.
BEST CHOREOGRAPHY -- Although I loved the dancing in FOREVER TANGO, I believe that Graciela Daniele for RAGTIME is long overdue for a Tony. As always, I find her work refreshingly original and exciting to watch.
BEST ORCHESTRATIONS -- This category is a hard choice between RAGTIME and THE LION KING, and I would not be deeply disappointed if either show one this award. The arrangements in both shows are extremely effective in eliciting a strong emotional response. They are a pleasure to the ears! However, if push comes to shove, I have to go with William David Brohn for RAGTIME, as it moved me more.


From Jlockhorn:
Best Score - This is clearly the year of Ragtime. It's a joke that The Lion King was even nominated. Side Show has a chance, but a very slim one. With only two nominations, The Capeman doesn't have a chance. Ragtime will win. There's not competition. There's no other score on broadway now that is better, and it clearly expresses the mood. The music is beautiful, and the lyrics work very well.
Best Book - Once again, The Scarlet Pimpernel, The Lion King and Side Show have to default to Ragtime. The only competition for Ragtime could MAYBE be Side Show, but Pimpernel and Lion King's books are laughable.
Best Choreography - I don't know about this one. I think that Graciela Daniele will win for her subtle yet brilliant choreography. The Forever Tango Dancers could win, but then again, all they're doing is tangoing. Garth Fagan could possibly win for Lion King, but it's doubtful, especially for the lame fight scene. Rob Marshall for Cabaret? I think this is Ragtime's sole competition. It could just pull it off, but then again, there's not really enough room on that stage to perform the necessary moves, so I think Ragtime, the rightful winner, will pull it off.
Best Orchestrations - There's nothing like Ragtime. The orchestrations are haunting, using sounds never heard in a Theater before now. the Lion King's orchestrations are cool, but, well, it's a puppet show! Forget Cabaret an The Capeman.


From William G Hodgson:
Without a doubt, Side Show should get the nod for both best book and best score! By far the most original of all the nominees. (And how Harold Wheeler was overlooked for his brilliant orchestrations is beyond me.) What is all the fuss about with Ragtime? Boring and generic are the words that come to my mind. Side Show, on the other hand, was moving, enthralling and entertaining. Who could ask for anything more?


From Lauren:
I think Nan Knighton should definitely win for the Scarlet Pimpernel. It is an absolutely hilarious musical! I am very upset that Frank Wildhorn wasn't nominated for best score. After all, the Scarlet Pimpernel has the best music to ever be on Broadway.


From Matt Hough:
I am going to be mightily disappointed if Stephen Flaherty's score for RAGTIME doesn't win. Not only is it the best of the four nominated scores, I think it's the best original Broadway score since KISS OF THE SPIDER WOMAN. The songs are magnificently varied: rangy, sentimental, soaring, and sensational. No other nominated score contains the richness and power of this score.
I'd put SIDE SHOW as the score I'd most like to see win if RAGTIME doesn't. It's inconceivable to me that the score will win since the show has closed, but the score is a quality piece of work, and the singers on the cast album (I didn't see the show) are magnificent.
I'd also like to mention that I think THE SCARLET PIMPERNEL should have received a nomination over, yes, THE LION KING. I think THE LION KING is the least deserving of the four nominees. It might very well win, but I don't think it is in the same league with RAGTIME. As for choreographers, neither Rob Marshall nor Graciela Daniele have ever won a Tony, and both have been deserving in past years. All the pre-Tony awards have done to Garth Fagan for THE LION KING, but I'd really like to see Rob Marshall win. His CABARET work is so different from Ron Field's Tony winning work in the original show.
Terrence McNally's book for RAGTIME is the only real work of art in its category. He, too, should have no trouble winning.


From Jenny:
For Best Score: I has to be Ragtime. It is the best score to come across a stage in over 20 years. Just brilliant!!!!
For Best Book: Terrance McNally all the way!!!! Ragtime is such a complex novel and McNally rose to occation and delievered such a base to develop Ragtime.
For Best Choreography: Graciela Daniele for Ragtime. Bringing such different elements of dance into this show, the choreography is not overpowering and just look at 'Sarah Brown Eyes'.
Best Orchestrations: William David Brohn for Ragtime. Just listen to the music. Amazing!!!


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