At the 2001 Tony Awards Ceremony, held on June 3rd at the Radio City Music Hall in New York, The Producers (pictured) won all of the awards for which it had been nominated - 12 wins in all, breaking the all-time record for Tony wins by one show.
Adapted from his own film by Mel Brooks, the show won Brooks himself awards for Best Original Score and Best Book of a Musical. It also netted prizes itself (Best Musical), for many of its performers, and for the rest of its creative team: Susan Stroman (Best Choreography, Best Direction of a Musical), Doug Besterman (Best Orchestrations), Robin Wagner (Best Scenic Design), William Ivey Long (Best Costume Design) and Peter Kaczorowski (Best Lighting Design).
Both Wagner and Kaczorowski were runners-up at last year’s Tonys for their work on the acclaimed revival of Kiss Me Kate, scheduled to make a West End appearance later this year. This year, Wagner beat last year’s winner, Bob Crowley (nominated for The Invention of Love) as well as Heidi Ettinger (The Adventures of Tom Sawyer) and Douglas W Schmidt (the popular revival of 42nd Street). The other lighting nominees were Jules Fisher and Peggy Eisenhauer for Jane Eyre, Paul Gallo for 42nd Street and Kenneth Posner for The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.
The Producers’ clean sweep meant that a number of other popular musicals went home empty handed, notably the much-hyped new production of Follies, the revival of The Rocky Horror Show, the technically complex Jane Eyre, the troubled Seussical and the highly popular musical adaptation of The Full Monty. Jane Eyre and Follies announced their closures quite soon after the awards ceremony; ticket sales at The Full Monty seemed unaffected and this production is also expected to appear in London before too long. Only the well-received revival of the Broadway classic 42nd Street managed to hold its own, winning the Leading Actress in a Musical and Best Musical Revival awards.
Away from the musicals, awards were won by, among others, Proof (Best Play, Best Direction of a Play, Best Leading Actress in a Play) and One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest (Best Revival of a Play). Special awards were also presented to musical director Paul Gemignani for lifetime achievement, while Blast!, seen in London last year, won the special theatrical event category.