5 Fun Dancy Tony Awards Facts

June 8, 2019

The annual Tony Awards are Broadway’s biggest night, and among those honored are the amazing choreographers and dancers who push the art form forward with their work each season. In recognition of the 73rd Tony ceremony (airing tonight at 8 pm EST on CBS), we rounded up a bunch of fun, dancy Tony facts.

The choreographer with the most Tony Award wins is…Bob Fosse.

courtesy Dance Magazine archives

It’s really no surprise that dance legend Bob Fosse has won the most Tony Awards for choreography—eight in all! The shows that earned him those Tonys are The Pajama Game, Damn Yankees, Redhead, Little Me, Sweet Charity, Pippin, Dancin’, and Big Deal.

Also, Bob Fosse is the only person to ever win a Tony, an Emmy, and an Oscar in the same year.

Leave it to Fosse to break even more records! In 1973, he won two Tony Awards for Pippin: one for choreography and one for direction. That same year, he won an Emmy for Liza with a “Z” and an Oscar for Cabaret.

The dancing boys of Billy Elliot set some records, too.

(From left) David Alvarez, Kiril Kulish, and Trent Kowalik (Carol Rosegg, courtesy “Billy Elliot: The Musical”)

The year 2009 was a great one for Broadway, mostly because it brought us the stage adaptation of Billy Elliot, and the show’s legendary choreography by Peter Darling. Three boys—David Alvarez, Trent Kowalik, and Kiril Kulish—alternated in the title role of the show, and became the only people to jointly win a Tony for sharing one role.

The musical with the most Tony nominations is…Hamilton.

(From left) Daveed Diggs, Okieriete Onaodowan, Anthony Ramos, and Lin-Manuel Miranda in “Hamilton” (Joan Marcus, courtesy “Hamilton”)

has a whopping 16 Tony noms. Sharing second place are The Producers and Billy Elliot: The Musical, with 15 nominations each. The Producers also holds the record for the most Tony wins, with 12 total, including Best Musical.

The leading lady with the most Tony noms is…Chita Rivera.

Photo by Laura Marie Duncan, courtesy Victory Dance Project

Rivera holds the record with 10. And Angela Lansbury and Gwen Verdon are tied for the most best-actress wins in a musical, with four each.

A version of this story appeared in the May/June 2019 issue of
Dance Spirit with the title “It’s Tony Time!”