Tony Memories

It’s Tony Week! Since we can’t celebrate Broadway’s biggest night together with dazzling new numbers from this season, The Musical Theater Project staff has assembled some favorite clips from years past.*

Have you seen them all? Did your favorite make the list?

Annie (1977)

At a time before body mics, Andrea McArdle offers her signature rendition of a song that will be sung by so many for years to come. I imagine every young girl who saw this dreamed of being on stage in that famous red dress and wig.
– Heidi Lang, Director of Development

Evita (1980)

Patti LuPone’s unparalleled vocal ability is really what makes this clip so iconic, but the staging is equally brilliant. In college we actually studied it for the acting specificity of the cigarette choreography between Eva and Peron. And for all theater insiders, if you watch carefully you may spot a tiny blunder!
– Joanna Cullinan, Director of Marketing

Hamilton (2016)

For their Tony performance, the Hamilton cast had planned to perform “Yorktown,” a number that normally calls for many prop guns. But in the wake of a mass shooting the night before the ceremony, the company made a last minute decision to remove all guns from the stage and adapt the show’s original choreography out of respect. Barack and Michelle Obama introduced the performance making it even more impactful.
– Bridie Srsen, Kids Love Musicals Coordinator

I Do! I Do! (1967)

This was the first year the Tonys were televised and the most “important” musical that season was of course Cabaret, but I Do! I Do! gave me the chance to see two titans of Broadway — Mary Martin and Robert Preston — stop the show in their two-character musical. Little did I know that 50 years later Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt, who wrote it, would be friends of mine, and that I’d be co-producing three albums of their work. At 16, all I knew was that life couldn’t possibly get any better than this!
– Bill Rudman, Artistic Director

In The Heights (2008)

I will never tire of watching this performance by (at that point) relatively-unknown Lin Manuel Miranda and company. From the knowing lead-in by Whoopi Goldberg to the audience cheers to the break-neck pace of the lyrics and choreography, I was (and am still!) hooked. I’ll be first in line when the movie is finally released (after a year-long delay due to the pandemic) next summer.
– Heather Meeker, Executive Director

Les Miserables (1987)

I only saw this Tony performance after the fact but I love the passion and artistry. I spent long graduate school nights studying with the 10th anniversary in-concert production playing on PBS — and first became a PBS member just to get that production on video tape! As with all incredible art, the messages of this show are timeless.
– Debbie Schinker, Administrative Consultant

The Secret Garden (1991)

I’ve been thinking about this show a lot lately because it represents rebirth, growth and possibility. The theme of “Wick” is so needed right now. And I love that for this performance you get a taste of the full musical with tidbits of several glorious performances including Mandy Patinkin and Robert Westenberg singing “Lily’s Eyes.” It doesn’t get much better than that.
– Jodi Kirk, Director of Active Learning

Titanic (1997)

For sheer excitement and stunning vocals, there is nothing like this performance. The orchestration sounds like the sun shimmering on water the morning the ship is set to sail, and the final portion is a thrilling chorale, a prayer for God to guide the voyage safely to it’s destination. Gives me chills every time! Such incredible commitment from all on that stage. 
– Nancy Maier, Associate Artistic Director

*The Musical Theater Project does not own the rights to any of these recordings.