Tony for Best Orchestrations

MNC77
Swing
joined:5/5/13
Tony for Best Orchestrations
Posted: 4/10/14 at 03:28pm
Could someone please clarify how the Tony nominating committee chooses the nominees for best orchestrations? What are they looking for? Any opinions on which musicals are likely to get nominated are welcome as well.
Sutton Ross
Broadway Legend
joined:7/20/13
Tony for Best Orchestrations
Posted: 4/10/14 at 03:40pm

This one!!

nomore.org
newintown
Broadway Legend
joined:3/3/10
Tony for Best Orchestrations
Posted: 4/10/14 at 04:08pm

No, this one.

avyrocks
Stand-by
joined:1/3/07
Tony for Best Orchestrations
Posted: 4/10/14 at 04:17pm
I'm with Sutton Ross. BRIDGES!
dreaming
Broadway Legend
joined:4/24/09
Tony for Best Orchestrations
Posted: 4/10/14 at 04:20pm
I'm going out on a limb and saying If/Then.
Michael Bennett
Broadway Legend
joined:3/16/05
Tony for Best Orchestrations
Posted: 4/10/14 at 04:50pm
Think this will go to BRIDGES or AFTER MIDNIGHT
theatreguy
Broadway Legend
joined:7/31/03
Tony for Best Orchestrations
Posted: 4/10/14 at 05:05pm
Is After Midnight eligible? I thought they were using original orchestrations (or close approximations done by transcribers) for the majority of the songs.
RaisedOnMusicals
Broadway Star
joined:7/20/10
Tony for Best Orchestrations
Posted: 4/10/14 at 06:05pm
After failing to give the orchestrations Tony to Cinderella last year, it's hard to know what they're looking for.
<--------Curtain call, opening night of A Little Night Music, Dec. 13, 2009
Jeffrey Karasarides
Featured Actor
joined:11/27/11
Tony for Best Orchestrations
Posted: 4/10/14 at 06:11pm
These are what I think are the 8 top candidates!

Aladdin-Danny Troob
Beautiful: The Carole King Musical-Steve Sidwell
The Bridges of Madison County-Jason Robert Brown
Bullets Over Broadway-Doug Besterman
A Gentleman's Guide to Love & Murder-Jonathan Tunick
If/Then-Michael Starobin & Tom Kitt
Les Miserables-Christopher Jahnke, Stephen Metcalfe, & Stephen Brooker
Violet-Rick Bassett, Joseph Joubert, & Buryl Red
RaisedOnMusicals
Broadway Star
joined:7/20/10
Tony for Best Orchestrations
Posted: 4/10/14 at 06:19pm
Danny Troob did the Cinderella orchestrations, and he was robbed last year.
<--------Curtain call, opening night of A Little Night Music, Dec. 13, 2009
HeyMrMusic
Broadway Legend
joined:5/16/04
Tony for Best Orchestrations
Posted: 4/10/14 at 09:30pm
I'd imagine this will be between Bridges and Gentleman's Guide, two worthy candidates.

After Midnight won't be eligible. They are using original transcriptions or mostly original. The arrangers are listed in the Playbill.

Isn't Violet using original orchestrations? Haven't seen it yet, so I am unsure.

The Tonys certainly missed out on awarding Danny Troob last year. What a brilliant orchestration.
Rinaldo
Chorus Member
joined:5/5/09
Tony for Best Orchestrations
Posted: 4/10/14 at 09:48pm
I agree about Danny Troob (and associates) being robbed last year.

I fear that the Tony people really don't know how to listen to or evaluate orchestrations. So often, it simply seems to go to Best Musical or Best Score, because they already decided that one sounds good, and they figure the orchestrations must be a part of that.
neonlightsxo
Broadway Star
joined:7/29/08
Tony for Best Orchestrations
Posted: 4/10/14 at 09:49pm
Just FYI, Kitt didn't have a hand in the orchestrations for If/Then. It's just Starobin this time.
HeyMrMusic
Broadway Legend
joined:5/16/04
Tony for Best Orchestrations
Posted: 4/11/14 at 02:41am
Many people involved in theatre don't even know what orchestrations are or what makes them good, so many (most) Tony voters probably don't know how to evaluate them. But I mean does Dakota Fanning, member of the Academy, know how to evaluate sound editing when filling out her Oscar ballot?
peerrjb
Featured Actor
joined:7/7/09
Tony for Best Orchestrations
Posted: 4/11/14 at 05:02am
I still think it is pathetic that while the TonyTeam festoons awards for SOUND DESIGN and ORCHESTRATIONS, they've still come up with NO good reason to not honor MUSICAL DIRECTOR. Supposedly it is because "nobody realllllly knows what that artist DOES".... Huh? Orchestrators are a brilliant lot (well, some not so brilliant) and deserve recognition as long as the awards are being splattered about. But to not include the man or woman who first-off created the (honored) sound of the show, and made the (honored) music/lyric component come to life, and often night-after-night RUNS the show kinda makes the whole thing hypocritical. Cuz sometimes, the Musical Director makes even the orchestrations (nominated) sound better than they are!
After Eight
Broadway Legend
joined:6/5/09
Tony for Best Orchestrations
Posted: 4/11/14 at 08:46am
"I still think it is pathetic that while the TonyTeam festoons awards for SOUND DESIGN and ORCHESTRATIONS, they've still come up with NO good reason to not honor MUSICAL DIRECTOR."

Up until 1964, the Tony's did have such an award: best conductor and musical director.

Why they dropped it I don't know.

But I agree with you. Bring back that award!
WestEndmasterclass
Swing
joined:4/2/14
Tony for Best Orchestrations
Posted: 4/11/14 at 09:31am
Danny Troob was definately robbed last year! And my money is on Bridges this year.
HeyMrMusic
Broadway Legend
joined:5/16/04
Tony for Best Orchestrations
Posted: 4/11/14 at 01:45pm
Well, that goes without saying that there should be an award for musical direction. Lots of MDs are running their own shows this season too. I've noticed some shows have even rightfully billed the musical director individually at the bottom with the director and choreographer. After all, the three make up the creative team.
Rinaldo
Chorus Member
joined:5/5/09
Tony for Best Orchestrations
Posted: 4/11/14 at 05:43pm
I've done a little self-indulgent compiling of statistics.

The Orchestration award has been given 17 times since it was introduced in 1997. In 10 of those years it was given to the winner for Best Musical (Fosse, Millie, Once, Titanic, Producers, Spring Aw, In the Heights, Memphis, Book of M, Kinky; for all but the first three the show won Best Score as well).

In 3 years when that didn't happen, Best Orchestrations did coincide with Best Score (Ragtime, Piazza, Next to Normal). One can conjecture why it aligned that way rather than with the respective Best Musicals (Lion King, Spamalot, Billy Elliot), but I won't go that far afield.

So that leaves only four occasions when Orchestrations/Musical/Score went another way:

Kiss Me Kate's new Sebesky arrangements may have seemed more familiar-sounding than Aida's sound (while Contact wasn't admissible).

The new Sweeney Todd arrangements (played by the cast) were so highly publicized, the voters may have figured they were something noteworthy and award-worthy (over Jersey Boys/Chaperone).

With Movin' Out, the fact that Billy Joel shares credit for the orchestrations may well have gotten them the win (over Hairspray twice); nobody may know what orchestration really is, but hey, Bill Joel did them.

And the remaining instance, with Assassins winning (over Avenue Q twice) who knows? Maybe it was a way to give something to Sondheim (via Starobin) for a show deemed a revival and hence ineligible as New Score or Best Musical, even though it was new to Broadway.

Or I could be full of it. But I would expect orchestrations to go to whatever wins Best Score, as that has happened 10 out of 17 times, and mostly the voters don't look beyond that.
HeyMrMusic
Broadway Legend
joined:5/16/04
Tony for Best Orchestrations
Posted: 4/11/14 at 07:13pm
Billy Elliot won the Tony Award for Best Orchestrations in a tie with Next to Normal.
bjh2114
Broadway Legend
joined:4/19/06
Tony for Best Orchestrations
Posted: 4/11/14 at 07:23pm
Am I really the only one who really didn't like the Cinderella orchestrations? I liked the show, but the orchestrations sounded too thin and keyboard heavy to me.
Rinaldo
Chorus Member
joined:5/5/09
Tony for Best Orchestrations
Posted: 4/11/14 at 08:17pm
Thank you for the correction, HeyMrMusic. I don't know how I messed that up. It doesn't undo the point I was making, but still I should get my facts straight.
HeyMrMusic
Broadway Legend
joined:5/16/04
Tony for Best Orchestrations
Posted: 4/11/14 at 08:50pm
Well, the tie awarded the shows that won Best Musical and Beet Score.

Cinderella too keyboard-heavy? Not to my ears at all! I thought it was a beautiful contemporary-classic sound and very lush. Like Troob's work in the earlier Disney films.
jdrye222
Featured Actor
joined:5/28/11
Tony for Best Orchestrations
Posted: 4/12/14 at 02:40am
The best orchestration of the year is BRIDGES.
But I am a musician who knows how to listen for what orchestration IS and DOES. Which most Tony voters sadly know nothing about.

What JRB has done with 10 musicians and using all strings and piano is stunning.
There is nothing electronic in that pit - it's all acoustic.
It's gorgeous.

Last year - it was a travesty that CINDERELLA did not win. KINKY BOOTS is a perfect example of voters not understanding what orchestration is.
avyrocks
Stand-by
joined:1/3/07
Tony for Best Orchestrations
Posted: 4/12/14 at 02:58am
^ That.

Cinderella was definitely my favorite last year. This year it's Bridges.
disneybroadwayfan22
Broadway Star
joined:2/10/13
Tony for Best Orchestrations
Posted: 4/12/14 at 07:48am
Kinky Boots didn't deserve 98% of the awards it received. Period. I was flabbergasted as well that it beat Cinderella for Best Orchestrations.

I think If/Then is also a strong contender. The guitar parts are absolutely stunning.

EDIT: But yeah, I'm listening to the Bridges score on its website. Absolutely beautiful.


Broadway Shows: Phantom of the Opera (January 2011), Mary Poppins (January 2011), Anything Goes (August 2011, W/ Sutton Foster, Joel Grey, and Laura Osnes), The Lion King (August 2011), Godspell (June 2012, W/ Corbin Bleu), Matilda the Musical (Original Broadway Cast, May 2013), Newsies (May 2013), Cinderella (W/ Carly Rae Jepsen and Fran Drescher, May 2014), and Aladdin (OBC, May 2014). Pre-Broadway: If/Then (November 2013/World Premiere, W/ Idina Menzel, LaChanze, and Anthony Rapp). National Tours: Wicked (October 2012), Beauty & the Beast (January 2013), & Jersey Boys (November 2013)

Met Idina Menzel & Sierra Boggess (November 2013)
Updated On: 4/12/14 at 07:48 AM

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