How many Double Crown winners have there been in all of Theater History?
The Olivier Awards were Sunday night. And as I tweeted, The Book of Mormon shockingly took home the big prize of Best New Musical. (In case you can’t read ‘tone’ through text – that “shockingly” was my little attempt at wry irony.)
We all knew it was going to win, right?
By bringing home that blimey best musical prize overseas, The Book of Mormon entered the theatrical history books (as if the first musical to use the “C word” on a Broadway stage wasn’t enough), as a Theatrical Double Crown Winner, which means it won the Best Musical or Best Play prize on both sides of the Atlantic.
There have only been thirteen musicals and only six plays that have impressed nominators and voters in NY and London, so this ain’t an easy feat.
Here is a list of the others plays and musicals that have taken home the 2x Crown:
Children of a Lesser God, (Tony- 1980, Olivier- 1981)
Dancing at Lughnasa, (Tony-1992, Olivier- 1991)
Art (Tony -1998 , Olivier -1998 )
The History Boys, (Tony- 2006, Olivier- 2005)
God of Carnage, (Tony- 2009, Olivier- 2009)
Clybourne Park, (Tony- 2012, Olivier- 2011)
A Chorus Line, (Tony-1976, Olivier- 1976)
Sweeney Todd, (Tony-1979, Olivier- 1980)
42nd Street, (Tony-1981, Olivier- 1984)
Cats, (Tony-1983, Olivier-1981)
The Phantom of the Opera, (Tony-1988, Olivier- 1986)
City of Angels, (Tony-1990, Olivier- 1994)
Crazy For You, (Tony-1992, Olivier- 1993)
The Producers, (Tony- 2001, Olivier- 2005)
Hairspray, (Tony- 2003, Olivier- 2008)
Jersey Boys, (Tony- 2006, Olivier- 2009)
Spring Awakening, (Tony- 2007, Olivier- 2010)
Billy Elliot, (Tony- 2009, Olivier- 2006)
The Book of Mormon, (Tony- 2011, Olivier- 2014)
While the twin cities of NYC and London are the theatrical centers of the universe, the people in them have massively different tastes. (I’m convinced that for a show to work in London that was born in the US or is about the US, then it has to somehow, at its core, mock Americans just a bit. Cases in point – Enron: a hit there, and flop here. Rent: a hit here, and never had the same box office or cultural power there. Book of Mormon . . . well, you see my point.) The US and the UK may share the same language, but there could be another revolutionary war over exactly how that language should be used on a stage.
What do you think are the characteristics of a show that make it a hit here and ‘over there’?
Oh, and by the way, I’m supremely aware that “Theatrical Double Crown” is a lame moniker for this kind of winner.
So I leave it up to you. What should we call a play or a musical that wins both big awards? A Coast-Stopper? The Fish and Fries Award? (Oh boy, it’s late.)
Comment below what you think we should name shows that get this lofty EGOT like kudos.
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