Top 10 Amazing Tony Awards Performances from Years Past

Written by Ashleigh Gardner

June 5, 2017

It’s no secret that at Performer Stuff, we love the Tony Awards. It’s the one week of the year when we go nuts for nomination announcements. Everyone has their favorites for every year, but I’m very particular about my musical theatre. Below are my favorite Tony Award performances to date. (But let’s face it, Natasha, Pierre, & the Great Comet of 1812 is bound to make my list this year.)

10. “Revolutionary Costume for Today” from Grey Gardens (2007)

Little Edie Beale was brought to us on the Tony stage in 2007 by the witty and hilariously dry Christine Ebersole. This number is one of the most famous from Grey Gardens, and it’s a memorable representation of how Broadway loves its unconventional characters.

9. “Sit Down, You’re Rockin the Boat” from Guys & Dolls (1992)

This high-energy number is comedy genius with incredible choreography by Christopher Chadman, a longtime friend of Bob Fosse’s. Funny, clever, and visually stunning, this one takes number #9 on my list.

8. “I Believe” from The Book of Mormon (2011)

Another hilarious number, “I Believe” from Trey Parker and Matt Stone’s The Book of Mormon gets me in a positive mood, but I’m not sure if it’s from laughing too hard at Andrew Rannells or from reveling in the amazing song-writing abilities of Robert Lopez and the fantastic duo known for South Park.

7. “We Are What We Are” / “I Am What I Am” from La Cage Aux Folles (1984)

It doesn’t get any more glamorous than La Cage Aux Folles, the Broadway show that celebrated gay pride with a beautiful number that began in chorus members in frocks and ended with George Hearn belting a joyful manifesto of self-acceptance and celebration.

6. “Ring of Keys” from Fun Home (2015)

This anthem of discovery sung by Sydney Lucas is a show-stopping number. The young actor’s connection to the number and outstanding delivery makes this performance one I’ll never forget.

5. “Mama Who Bore Me”/”The Bitch of Living”/”Totally Fucked” from Spring Awakening (2007)

There is no way I’d leave this medley off this list. The inclusion of three of Spring Awakening’s most popular and amazing songs in this Tony Award performance gives me chills and gets me rockin’ every time.

4. “Gypsy Rose” from Gypsy (2003)

What can I say about Bernadette Peters that hasn’t already been said? Nothing. Because I’m speechless.

3. “Anything Goes” from Anything Goes (1988)

I can’t imagine any other performer playing Reno Sweeney than Patti LuPone. This high energy number ranks high on my favorites list.

2. “And I Am Telling You” from Dreamgirls (1982)

Holy moly, if this number doesn’t bring you to your feet in applause, I’m not sure what will. Only 21 at the time, Jennifer Holliday belts the final note with the power of a supreme diva.

Ashleigh Gardner received her AA in Theatre/Drama/Dramatic Arts from Valencia College and her Bachelors Degree in English Literature and Masters Degree in Literary, Cultural, and Textual Studies from the University of Central Florida. She is a playwright, an actor, and’s Editor. 
Thumbnail image from The Lion King. Copyright Joan Marcus.