Strippers, Showgirls and Sharks: a Very Opinionated History of the Broadway Musicals That Din Not Wi (BOK)
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Not since 'Not Since Carrie' has a book about the Broadway musical taken such a gimlet-eyed look at this quintessential American art form. In Strippers, Showgirls, and Sharks, popular syndicated theatre critic Peter Filichia chronicles the American musical by looking at those shows that did not win the Tony Award. Every spring the American Theatre Wing bestows its annual Tony Awards. Only those shows that have reached Broadway are nominated and while all Tonys are created equal, the universally acknowledged biggest prize is the Best Musical Tony. But did the best musical always win Best Musical? And were there other factors that kept a more deserving show from winning? Filichia answers these questions and more as he looks at all 153 previous Best Musical Nominees that didn't win. In 1959 when Ethel Merman and a variety of strippers took the stage, there was a tie between "The Sound of Music" and "Fiorello". In 1971, Stephen Sondheim's "Follies" and its ghostly showgirls lost to a "groovy" re-tuning of "Two Gentlemen of Verona" best forgotten. And, in 1957, "West Side Story" was bested by the fine people of River City Iowa singing their Americana hearts out in "The Music Man". If you love Broadway, hate the Tonys and still can't figure out how a show you hated won the Tony Award for Best Musical, you will love riding through the years with Peter Filichia, one of America's most respected and popular theatre critics.