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2013 Tony Awards Clip Countdown: #11 - The 1974 Show

Today we are continuing BroadwayWorld's 2013 Tony Awards Clip Countdown with a special spotlight focused on the Tony Awards broadcast from 39 years ago, all the way back in 1974!


The 1974 Tony Awards featured some spectacular stars and some iconic theatrical luminaries awarded for their efforts - some notable highlights of the night included: Michael Bennett and Tommy Tune winning for SEESAW; Harold Prince winning Best Director for his revival of CANDIDE; and, Christopher Plummer taking top honors for Best Actor In A Musical byway of CYRANO. Also, Bette Midler - currently on Broadway in I'LL EAT YOU LAST - won a special Tony that night, presented to her by Johnny Carson, as did Broadway and Hollywood icon Liza Minnelli, still going strong near-forty years later (and how!); and, believe it or not, 2013 Tony Award nominee Cicely Tyson herself co-hosted the 1974 Tony Awards and appears throughout the telecast, as well. Additionally, current GLENGARRY GLEN ROSS headliner Al Pacino presented and Joel Grey performed, acting as even further evidence of some long-lasting careers in the theatre spanning almost half a century and flourishing on the Great White Way to this very day - five of them between those famous faces alone, as a matter of fact.

As for the musicals represented on the show, the Andrews Sisters revue OVER HERE! and George M. Cohan revue GEORGE M! joined with play-to-musical adaptations RAISIN and PURLIE, as well as Carol Channing in the GENTLEMEN PREFER BLONDES reboot LORELEI and revivals GOOD NEWS and THE CRADLE WILL ROCK alongside Michele Lee in SEESAW, Florence Henderson in FANNY, Nancy Walker in PHEONIX '55 and Bea Arthur in then-upcoming musical A MOTHER'S KISSES as the evening's entertainment..

Plus, a stop-the-show-cold medley courtesy of Charles Nelson Reilly. Now that's some major entertainment value!

Indeed, the 1974 Tony Awards show was one to remember, and, now, thanks to the magic of YouTube, we can relive it all over again. Enjoy!

And, remember, "It's not where you start... it's where you finish!"

The 2013 Tony Awards air Sunday, June 9, at 8 PM on CBS. More information is available at the official site here.

Over Here!

So, now, let's journey back to the Winter Garden Theatre on April 21, 1974, and relive some highlights from the 1974 Tony Awards, spying some famous faces in their earliest appearances on the annual telecast and some classic stars, as well.

View the entire 1974 Tony Awards below. Also, spot John Travolta, Ann Reinking, Treat Williams and more soon-to-be-stars in the company of OVER HERE! during the opening number (around 4:30 in).

Witness Michael Bennett's heartfelt acceptance speech after winning Best Choreography for his work on SEESAW.

Also, see Tommy Tune's win for his show-stopping SEESAW performance.

Bea Arthur sings a song from the then-forthcoming, but ultimately closed-out-of-town musical A MOTHER'S KISSES.

Bette Midler receives a special award at the 1974 Tony Awards. Yet, will she present at this year's ceremony? Time will tell!

Lastly, Robert Preston introduces a medley of Broadway melodies performed by the incomparable Charles Nelson Reilly.

So, what was your favorite performance of the night from this fascinating time capsule of Tony Awards telecasts gone by? Furthermore, aren't the coincidental parallels between that year and this year somewhat eerie - indeed, Bette Midler, Cicely Tyson, Al Pacino, Joel Grey and Liza Minnelli (and more glimpsed here) clearly continue light up stages just as brightly as they did forty years ago!

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From This Author Pat Cerasaro

Pat Cerasaro contributes exclusive scholarly columns including InDepth InterViews, Sound Off, Theatrical Throwback Thursdays, Flash Friday and Flash Special as well as additional special features, (read more...)