It's old news as this point, but she coined the phrase in this article's title, so it bears repeating: When Julie Andrews' performance in (the Broadway stage musical adaptation of her hit film) Victor/Victoria received the production's sole 1996 Tony Award nomination, she made a public statement declining the nomination to "stand instead with the egregiously overlooked" company. This was unheard of — can you even decline a nomination? What does that mean? Would it at least sway Tony voters? When Donna Murphy eventually won that year (for the revival of The King And I), you had to wonder if she had Andrews to thank. Of course, nobody likes a sore loser, but something like this coming from Julie Andrews carries a great deal of weight. Was there, in fact, something nefarious behind Victor/Victoria's exclusion?
The sad irony is that, much of the time, the opposite is true. It's so difficult to mount a show on Broadway that precious few productions open each year, and with such a small pool of potentially eligible Tony nominees, it sometimes seems like everyone gets a nomination, just for showing up—like trophies in kids soccer. Still, there are the years when one category or another is bursting at the seams with viable candidates, and some people get shut out. And, sometimes those people deserved to be nominated, perhaps more than some of the actual nominees.
Click through to read my selections for the Top Ten Performances Egregiously Overlooked for A Tony Nomination (in Musicals).
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