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BroadwayWorld's 4th Annual Phonys! 2022 Tony Categories We Wish Existed

Rob McClure, The Music Man, Funny Girl, and more take home 2022 Phony Awards!

BroadwayWorld's 4th Annual Phonys! 2022 Tony Categories We Wish Existed

Each year, the Tony Awards honor Broadway's best and brightest from the current season. And though the awards are many, each year there are a few shows that bring a little something new and different to the stage that deserve their own brand of recognition.

Check out our picked for some of Tony's most overlooked honors of the 2021-2022 Broadway season. This is the 2022 BroadwayWorld Phonys.


Best Youth Ensemble

The kids, teens, and tweens of The Music Man

BroadwayWorld's 4th Annual Phonys! 2022 Tony Categories We Wish Existed

In a show with Hugh Jackman and Sutton Foster, it's pretty difficult to pull focus. When it comes to the underage citizens of River City, Iowa, however, that is a completely different story. Exhibiting dance ability, acrobatics, and showmanship well beyond their years, the young people of The Music Man are holding their own with some of Broadway's biggest stars and shipoopi-ing their way into undoubtedly bright futures.


Most Necessary Revival

Caroline, or Change

BroadwayWorld's 4th Annual Phonys! 2022 Tony Categories We Wish Existed

It may have taken Funny Girl fifty years to make it back to the Broadway stage, but for those of us that lived through the 2003-2004 Broadway season, no revival was more anticipated than Tony Kushner and Jeanine Tesori's Caroline, or Change. Though Wicked and Avenue Q dominated the conversation way back when, Caroline, short-lived in its original incarnation, has gathered a fan following in the intervening years and returned in fabulous fashion this season in a brand-new production starring Sharon D. Clarke.

In addition to the excitement surrounding the revival, more essential still was the show's excavation of the timely themes of race, class, and privilege, as well as the nuances of microaggressions, poverty, abuse, and a subplot involving the vandalization of a Civil War monument. Some shows are simply ahead of their time, and though it debuted nearly twenty years ago, Caroline is truly a show for our times.


The YAAAASSSS Award for Vocal Runs

The Queens of SIX the Musical

BroadwayWorld's 4th Annual Phonys! 2022 Tony Categories We Wish Existed

For nearly twenty years, the revolving door of green girls over at Wicked have set the bar for vocal acrobatics. This season, however, not one, but SIX extraordinary queens came for that crown in a big way. Displaying feats of vocal prowess across a variety of styles and flawless harmonies that would make the barbershop quartet over at The Music Man WEEP, the ladies of SIX the Musical are wowing audiences eight times a week and earning their places as Broadway royalty!


Most Astounding Performance By A Mother and Her Unborn Child in A Play

Kenita R. Miller - for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf

BroadwayWorld's 4th Annual Phonys! 2022 Tony Categories We Wish Existed

Even for the most seasoned performer, eight shows a week is a tall order. That mission gets taller still when doing it with a passenger, as one incredible actor found this season.

As part of the ensemble cast of this acclaimed revival, Tony-nominee Kenita R. Miller was performing for two as she took the stage at 30 some odd weeks pregnant with her first child. Taking on one of the play's toughest pieces, the emotional powerhouse, "Beau Willie Brown", executing director-choreographer Camille A. Brown's athletic choreography, and remaining on stage for the better part of 90-minutes, all the while baring her pregnant belly on a Broadway stage, Kenita inspired the awe of audiences and the industry alike.

Though the fabulous Ms. Miller has earned a Tony nomination for her portrayal of the Lady in Red, we salute her (and her sweet baby girl) for this powerful feat of artistry and motherhood.


The Hardest Working Man on Broadway Award

Rob McClure - Mrs. Doubtfire

BroadwayWorld's 4th Annual Phonys! 2022 Tony Categories We Wish Existed

There truly are no people like show people. From years of intensive training, to the grueling auditioning process, to the rigors of the eight-show week, Broadway performers are some of the hardest working folks in show business, but this season one leading man rose above the rest. Doing double duty as Daniel Hillard and Euphegenia Doubtfire in this new musical adaptation, the amazing Rob McClure gave a hilarious and heartfelt performance of a lifetime as a father who goes to unexpected lengths to reunite with his children.

McClure astonished in a role that demanded madcap antics, numerous impressions, dozens of costume changes, high-energy musical numbers (in orthopedic heels), the mastery of. a. damn. loop. machine, backstage cardio, and the heartbreaking and high stakes emotions of a family in turmoil. In delivering all this and more while creating an original take on a beloved character, McClure has cemented his place as the hardest working nanny Broadway has ever seen.


The Unbelievable Chutzpah Award

Beanie Feldstein - Funny Girl

BroadwayWorld's 4th Annual Phonys! 2022 Tony Categories We Wish Existed

It's no secret that any soul brave enough to take on the role of Fanny Brice will be attempting to fill a very large leopard pillbox hat. So large, in fact, that it took over fifty years for the musical to make its way back to Broadway.

While it's true that the great Fanny Brice rose to fame on the strength of her comic charm, her real gift was her courageous spirit. When it comes to courage, no performer has exhibited that virtue, both in and out of character, more than Funny Girl star, Beanie Feldstein. For taking on one of the canon's most gargantuan roles and all of the impossible expectations that come along with it, Beanie deserves an actual parade. For now, our eternal respect will have to suffice.


The "Get the F*** Out" Award for Covid Safety

Front of House Staff and Covid Safety Personnel

BroadwayWorld's 4th Annual Phonys! 2022 Tony Categories We Wish Existed

It took a lot of passion and hard work to get Broadway back on its feet this season, and at the forefront of that mission are some of the most essential, yet criminally under acknowledged members of the theatre community. Each night dozens of hardworking house managers, ushers, Covid safety teams, security people, box officers, concessions staff and more put their best foot forward to ensure a safe experience for company members and theatregoers from all over the world.

For their dedication, professionalism, and composure in the face of unprecedented circumstances and a not-always-cooperative public, we are sending our final Phony of the year to all those who played a role in keeping masks above noses, our community safe, and our stages bright. We drink to you!

And for those not willing to cooperate, well...there's always Patti.



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From This Author - A.A. Cristi

A.A. Cristi is a graduate of the College of Staten Island with a degree in Communications/Journalism. She has performed both onstage and behind the scenes with La MaMa Experimental Theater Club,... (read more about this author)


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